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Thread: Pensions...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Pensions...

    Hi...
    I retired about a year and a half ago at age 63-1/2 with reduced social security and payments from one employer pension. My choice to get out of the workforce and no regrets about the refuced social security. Financially, I am fine.
    In November at age 65 I became eligible for pension benefits from a previous employer. It took several months to finally get them to start making the payments.
    They made the first monthly payment today.

    Has anybody else had issues getting pension payments from a defunct former employer?
    The financial institution that bought the pension plan was lax about sending me paperwork to initiate the payments. However once I got the election forms(2 months late) they have been very professional and even agreed to pay me for two months of benefits that I hadn't received since I turned 65. They made that deposit to my account today also.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had the opportunity to divest my earnings from my pension and put it in a 401K. The pension went bankrupt and is currently paying out $0.15 on the dollar. I have increased my earnings and am on track to retire at 68. I suggest everybody do the same if able.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Draw pensions from three sources (military, VA and SS) and never had a problem, although it took a while for the VA (about 3 months), but like your case they back payed from time of application.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy facetious's Avatar
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    I called it quits the last December at 62.5 and the wife 63.5. We started the wifes SS right away and are going to wait on mine. Between us we are we will have four pensions and her SS. plus some income from savings.

    We met at the first place I worked so we have the same pension plans, she worked 9 years , I did 40. When she turned 62 Prudential sent a letter with the paper work to get it started with out us doing anything.( Prudential took over a company plan we had. The plan pays in full at 62.) When I quit I had started my paper work three month's early'er and it started paying the next month ajusted for the extra year worked.

    We also each also have a pension's through a G.C.I.U. plan for people in the printing field. When I called them to get things going thy told me it would take 45 day's to process ,but that there was a three month back log of application's. I jokingly asked if every one was quiting at the same time? She kind of hesitated and said Ya it kind of looks like that. I guess with news papers going down the tube's every where every one who can are taking what thy can get and jumping ship. That is what I did, git while gitn's good.

    My wife wasn't working so hers went faster starting two month's after I quit with back pay to the first of the year. I just got and sent back mine and it SHOULD start in April. The guy's who retired in the year before me said it took a good six months to start getting payed, one was all most eight month's. I ask around to try and fine out what the hold ups were and get a head start on all the stuff thy want. Thy have been good to work with sending me all the stuff I would need to have filled out by my old employer the month before I quit so I think that my have helped speed thing up.

    All this stuff is a PIA but it still beats going to work evey night!
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    My pension is the land purchased during my farming days and now own free and clear, well, 'cept for property taxes. Wife and I both retired at 60. Her company gave her the option to take her non-contributory pension as an annuity or lump sum. We chose lump sum, for the same reason mentioned above. Too many pensions funds have been raped by corporate raiders in buyouts. They are cash cows in a company purchase. Used third party to move it to an IRA, she also had a 401-K she had contributed to(with company matching) for over 35 years there. Our logic on the lump sum was, in addition to not having much faith in pension funds being there in the future, annuitized payments end with her/my death. If we had wrapped our car around a pole on the way home that afternoon, those annuity payments do not go to your kids or estate. The company pension fund keeps it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy facetious's Avatar
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    This is why I am waiting on my SS. Our pension's only offer annuity payments. That way the bigger SS payments would help if any thing happened with the pension's. But I think that any changes would be for the ones not yet retired. She didn't have enough years to get much and the company plan was frozen years ago and sold to Prudential . Most income will come from my G.C.I.U. pension, IRA's and her SS.

    For the guy's not yet retired , start planing NOW! There isn't any one thing that will support you. You will have to string many thing to gather to make it work. As my dad would tell me " If you aren't thinking ten year's ahead, you will be ten year's behind."
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by facetious View Post
    For the guy's not yet retired , start planing NOW! There isn't any one thing that will support you. You will have to string many thing to gather to make it work. As my dad would tell me " If you aren't thinking ten year's ahead, you will be ten year's behind."
    This is good advice! Except 10 years is not far enough ahead. Start when you are young. You'll be old soon enough!

    I draw a pension from the company that I worked for for 35 years. I didn't have a pension from any of my earlier jobs. My paper work went very smoothly and my first retirement check arrived on schedule. I also contributed to a company 401K plan with company matching. A lump sum retirement payment was not an option.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    It seems like pensions in general are becoming a thing of the past. I had a pension when I started with my current employer 20 years ago. A couple years in they changed their retirement system and discontinued pensions for those under 40, going with an "enhanced 401k" instead. I was too young to stay with the pension, but the 9% employer contribution in the 401k was nice.

    A couple years ago they did some sleazy corporate stuff, and long story short, their contribution went from 9% to 2%, as well as my health insurance premiums increasing by about $7k/yr. I'm still on the "sunny side of 50", pinching pennies to pay my bills and raise a family. Retirement for me is going to be a pipe dream. Fortunately the 401k has a good start from the good days. If I were 10 years younger with a couple hundred k in the 401k, I'd feel pretty good about it. In reality though, at my age I'm way behind.

    The good news though, is that the company saved millions by eliminating most of the retirement contributions for a couple thousand employees. Profits are up! Business is good! A bunch of corporate types got some nice bonuses!

    Yeah, I really stress savings to my kids. I want them to learn some financial discipline and long-term planning that I lacked when I was young. I also want to teach them to never rely on an employer for retirement savings.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    My previous employer made me two offers to buy out my pension but they were both sucker deals. I would collect more in 5 years than they offered me as a lump sum. I started collecting a couple years ago when I turned 60 with a 50% survivors benefit for my wife. I am still working because I have a great job and I have high 6 figures in an IRA. Add to that I will be getting social security when I turn 65 and a half or something like that. Belt, suspenders and an elastic waist band. Be prepared.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy facetious's Avatar
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    I got lucky, I got into good trade when I was 22. and made good money for a kid. When I got into my apprenticeship one of the old guys told me that getting accepted for the apprenticeship was like winning the lottery. I guess he was right to a point, it lasted long enough to retire from. The pension's weren't as good as some but between use thy come to about half of what we need each month.

    My dad was one of those number's guys who literally took me to the bank and had me start a IRA after I got the job and made sure I funded in full every year. Later I met a gal who worked as a investment counselor at the bank the wife and I used and started teaching use about things like mutual funds and such. About that time I got a 401-k at work. When thy came out with the ROTH's she talked us into moving stuff in to one for each of us.She is long gone and we have worked with the guy we use now for 15yr's putting this retirement thing together. And the thing is that we were never putting in really large amounts at any one time but with time and componding and little luck we were abale to peace together enough to call it quits.

    Some times the hardest thing you can do is to take good advice. It can be hard to try and look at what life will be like in 20,30,40 or 50 years and try to figure out how to make it work. That's why it helps to have some one to do some of the math and help figure what you will need and how to get there.

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”

    ― Albert Einstein
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  11. #11
    Banned
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    The company that I had worked 20 years for went belly up in 1991. They however purchased an annuity for me and that provides a monthly payment. When I think back we got $7.50 for every year worked and that was a good package back then.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've been retired since 2008 at 58 years old. Have a good pension and a employer supplemented SS payment till turning 62 1/2...............then started drawing my SS. My advice is to do the math and draw SS as soon as your eligible, unless your still working. Guberment propaganda, says otherwise. In my case, it would take about 15 years to make up for delaying SS...............are you going to live that long? Statistics say otherwise.

    Definitely, contribute to employer sponsored saving plans, especially when they match. Max out on your IRA's. Contribute to Roth's. For every $3000, I contributed, I saved $1000 in Federal income tax.......can't beat that with a stick.

    Winelover

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I retired in 2007 at age 57 with a pension and started SS at age 62 plus some VA disability, I took a large reduction for retiring early but I figure it is not so much how much you draw but how long you can draw it.

    My father worked until he was 65 years old and passed away at age 66, I did not want to play that game.

  14. #14
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    In a bankruptcy action the pension fund has traditionally been the first one funded. General class shareholders the last. I believe all major pensions are insured by the Pension Benefit fund and if you are a member of that fund you are required to get annual statements showing the state of each fund and the percentage of funding covered by deposits. Most of the good ones are in the high 80% range to low 90% range. If they get lower than 85% the premiums start to increase and under 80% they really increase. IIRC, under 70% is a take over of assets with Gov't fines and penalties.

    I currently get 3 pensions and am waiting on SS until I hit full retirement age. One of my grandparents died at age 59, the other three and my parents lived into their 90's with a good quality of life.

    Each administrator has their own rules and quirks about when they want information and how quickly they work. That isn't much different than most companies in the general work sector.

    Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you investigated the options of payouts which can include a full payout of all monies paid in to your designated beneficiary, minus an admin fee.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy facetious's Avatar
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    One thing to think about SS "Insuance" is that it was never a retirement plan.

    For most people the big thing is going to cash flow as thy get older. Yes it is a gamble as to how long you or your better half will live, One way you both die at the same time and it no longer matters the other way one or both of live longer than you thought you would and spend the last years eating cat food and Tuna Helper.

    If the average worker pays in the average amount and lives the average life span, the TOTAL amount you will get will be the same but not the monthly cash flow. If I took my SS now it would be about 1,800 a mounth if I wait 48 months it go's to 2,400 a month. My wife is getting hers starting at 63.5 and is getting 983.00 a month, that will go up to 1,200 for a total of 3,600.00 when I turn 66.5 . For us that will be a big jump in cash flow for the rest of our lives. There is no way to know how long you will live or how the Market's will do or how your health will be in ten years so you have to kind of take a gamble and plan arount the worst and hope for the best.

    As to leaving stuff to the kid's, we all want to do that to help them out but not having to drag them down becouse of the decisions we make can help too.
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    The era of the defined benefit plans is effectively over. Even the military is transitioning to defined contribution plans.
    I take issue with the SSA reducing benefits while simultaneously increasing the tax rate.
    401K’s with a company match is great until the markets tank and half (or more) of your plan is vaporized just before your planned retirement and you are forced to remain in the workforce until your plan regains enough value to hang up your hat.
    Anyone today who is 50 or under would be wise to reject the idea of government or corporations paying anything toward your retirement. Also imminently possible is the dollar losing its global reserve currency status, which will really force a downturn in every American’s real wealth and standard of living.
    So...what is the safest way to store wealth? Not in 401K’s or any dollar-denominated assets, or any foreign currency not backed by a hard asset, historically gold.
    R/Griff

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    If your 401 account is vaporized, just before retirement, you were invested in the wrong investment options. I retired just before the last big recession. Didn't loose a dime....................because I stayed with FDIC investments, even though they paid the least amount of interest. Yeah, I know of some of my fellow employees losing half of their's. You make your choices and live with the results.

    Winelover

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Definitely, contribute to employer sponsored saving plans, especially when they match. Max out on your IRA's. Contribute to Roth's. For every $3000, I contributed, I saved $1000 in Federal income tax.......can't beat that with a stick.

    Good advice. Put as much as you can into both up to the max or 401k up to max. Slowly as you approach retirement age switch your investments into more conservative stuff that will not take a hit if the market go's south. Right now the market is tanking but my retirement is down less than 6%.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Pensions...

    Quote Originally Posted by winelover View Post
    If your 401 account is vaporized, just before retirement, you were invested in the wrong investment options. I retired just before the last big recession. Didn't loose a dime....................because I stayed with FDIC investments, even though they paid the least amount of interest. Yeah, I know of some of my fellow employees losing half of their's. You make your choices and live with the results.

    Winelover
    No choice available when the company you work for decides what stocks make up their 401K. You are forbidden to make allocations yourself. I am effectively locked out of mine.
    There is a downside to that company match, after all.
    ETA: Who has a gold IRA? I’d prefer real money over fiat dollars.
    R/Griff

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    Definitely, contribute to employer sponsored saving plans, especially when they match. Max out on your IRA's. Contribute to Roth's. For every $3000, I contributed, I saved $1000 in Federal income tax.......can't beat that with a stick.

    Good advice. Put as much as you can into both up to the max or 401k up to max. Slowly as you approach retirement age switch your investments into more conservative stuff that will not take a hit if the market go's south. Right now the market is tanking but my retirement is down less than 6%.
    How does that standard investment disclaimer go? “Past performance does not guarantee future earnings.”
    Did you know that inflation has eroded over 95% of the dollar’s purchasing power since 1913? What do you think will happen if the Federal Reserve bank turns on the printing presses and shifts them into high gear to juice the markets in which everyone with a pension has a stake? What happens when the dollar crashes and erases that last bit of buying power? When the rest of the world realizes our dollars are truly worthless, when hyperinflation hits our economy, all pensions earned and promised, public or private, paid in USD, will collapse.
    If I were allowed to make wise investment decisions with “my” own 401K, I would convert every cent to a physical gold IRA. Can’t get more conservative than that, and we aren’t allowed to do it. There will be many lessons learned in regards to trusting Wall Street bankers with our economy...and many more regrets, to be sure.
    R/Griff

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