Download Protecting Your Pension for Dummies (ISBN - 0470102136) PDF

TitleProtecting Your Pension for Dummies (ISBN - 0470102136)
TagsFor Dummies
File Size4.7 MB
Total Pages386
Table of Contents
                            Protecting Your Pension For Dummies
	About the Authors
	Authors’ Acknowledgments
	Contents at a Glance
	Table of Contents
		About This Book
		Conventions Used in This Book
		What You’re Not to Read
		Foolish Assumptions
		How This Book Is Organized
		Icons Used in This Book
		Where to Go from Here
	Part I: Focusing on Pension Fundamentals
		Chapter 1: Navigating the Ins and Outs of Pensions
			Checking Out Pension Rules
			Getting a Grip on Tax-Qualified Plans
			Moving Forward with 401(k) Plans
			Funding Your Retirement with the Help of IRAs
			Tracking Pension Investments
			Ensuring That You Get Your Pension
			Keeping Your Pension Safe from Your Employer
			Safeguarding Your Pension from Life’s Trials
			Taking Action When Necessary
		Chapter 2: Acquainting Yourself with Pension Rules
			Before You Begin: Basic Information for Understanding ERISA
			Gotta Do It: ERISA’s Requirements for Pension Plans
		Chapter 3: Exploring the World of Tax-Qualified Plans
			You Get What You Give: Defined Contribution Plans
			Benefits from the Boss: Defined Benefit Plans
			Something Special: Other Retirement Plans
		Chapter 4: Using 401(k) Plans to Your Advantage
			Understanding the Benefits of 401(k) Plans
			Looking at the Traditional 401(k) Plan
			Checking Out Other Varieties of 401(k) Plans
		Chapter 5: Increasing Your Income with IRAs
			The Fundamentals of Traditional IRAs
			The Nuts ’n’ Bolts of Roth IRAs
			The Simplicity of the SIMPLE IRA
			The Skinny on the Simplified Employee Pension Plan ( SEP)
		Chapter 6: Monitoring the Investments in Your Pension
			Staying Alert When Others Decide Your Pension’s Investments
			It’s Up to You: Choosing Your Own Pension Investments
	Part II: Making Sure That You Receive the Pension You Earned
		Chapter 7: Getting the Scoop on Eligibility, Accrual, and Vesting
			Eligibility: Officially Entering a Plan
			Accrual: The Pension Is Almost Yours
			Vesting: The Pension Is Yours, and No One Can Take It!
		Chapter 8: Planning for Retirement While You’re Still Working
			Tallying the Cost of Your Retirement
			Gathering the Goods on Your Pension Plan
			Painting a Complete Picture of Your Retirement Income
		Chapter 9: Understanding the Rules of Pension Distributions
			Knowing When You Can Take Your Distribution
			Surveying Your Options for Distribution Payments
			Getting a Grip on Rollovers
			Claiming Your Benefits
	Part III: Guarding Your Pension from Your Employer
		Chapter 10: Zeroing In on Fiduciaries
			Defining Who Is (and Isn’t) a Fiduciary under ERISA
			Surveying the Duties and Restrictions of a Fiduciary
			Knowing Who Pays for What: Fiduciaries and Lavish Spending
			Keeping an Eye on Your Plan’s Fiduciaries
		Chapter 11: Dealing with Your Employer’s Corporate and Financial Changes
			Keeping an Eye on Your Plan When Your Employer Combines with Another
			Considering Your Options When You End Your Relationship with Your Employer
			Protecting Your Pension if Your Employer Goes Bankrupt
		Chapter 12: Handling Plan Modifications and Terminations
			The Particulars of Plan Amendments
			The Standards of Standard Plan Terminations
			The Details of Distress and Involuntary Terminations
	Part IV: Shielding Your Pension from Life’s Ups and Downs
		Chapter 13: Hitting Yourself Up for a Loan
			Surveying the Pros and Cons of Borrowing from Your Pension Plan
			Walking through the Loan Process
			Understanding Loan Termination and Plan Disqualification
		Chapter 14: Surveying Survivorship Benefits
			Understanding the Basics of Survivorship Benefits
			Spelling Out the ABCs of Specific Survivor Annuities
			“Waiving” Goodbye to Survivorship Benefits
			Looking at the Impact of Life’s Unpleasantries on Survivorship Benefits
		Chapter 15: Dividing Your Pension between You and Your Ex
			Checking Out the Basics of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
			Qualifying a Domestic Relations Order
			Handling Taxes on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
			Protecting Your Rights If You’re the Ex
		Chapter 16: Protecting Your Retirement Funds from Creditors and Bankruptcy
			Inside or Outside? Looking at Levels of Creditor Protection
			Finding Protection Outside of Bankruptcy
			Understanding Protection Inside of Bankruptcy
			Planning for Protection from Creditors
	Part V: Taking Action When Bad Things Happen to Good Pensioners
		Chapter 17: Looking Out for Potential Distribution Problems
			Checking Out Common Mistakes in Calculating Pension Distributions
			Recognizing Red Flags That Signal Trouble Ahead
			Reviewing Your Pension Distribution for Mistakes
			Getting Guidance from the Right Places
		Chapter 18: Tackling Denied Claims
			Oh, No! Discovering That Your Claim for Benefits Has Been Denied
			Undergoing an Appeal after Your Claim Is Denied
		Chapter 19: Hiring and Working with an Attorney
			Searching for the Best Attorney for Your Needs
			Interviewing a Prospective Attorney
			Crunching Your Pension Plan Numbers after You Hire an Attorney
			Keeping an Eye on Your Relationship with Your Attorney
		Chapter 20: Dissecting a Pension Lawsuit
			Examining ERISA’s Rules for Pension Lawsuits
			Before You Begin: Preparing to File a Complaint
			Get Ready to Rumble: Filing a Complaint
			Understanding the Plan’s Response to the Complaint
			Getting the Goods: The Discovery Process
			In It to Win It: Stating Your Case to the Court
			Take the Money and Run: Getting Paid after Winning Your Lawsuit
	Part VI: The Part of Tens
		Chapter 21: Ten Key Pension Issues for People Still Working
			Be Familiar with Special Requirements for Participating in Your Plan
			Keep Your Pension Documents Safe and Accessible
			Fill Out Those Pesky Beneficiary Designation Forms
			Take Advantage of Any and All Investment Advice Available to You
			If Your Plan Invests in Employer Stock, Determine Whether You Can Diversify
			Know Whether You Can Check Plan Benefits or Change Investments Online
			Get the Help of a Financial Advisor
			Know How Much You’re Really Saving for Retirement
			Max Out Matching Contributions in Your 401( k)
			Confirm That the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Insures Your Plan
		Chapter 22: Ten Key Pension Issues for People Getting Ready to Retire
			Make Sure the Facts on Which Your Pension Is Based Are Correct
			Verify That the Plan Is Using the Proper Formula to Calculate Your Benefits
			Be Sure the Plan Had the Right to Reduce Your Benefits ( If They’ve Been Reduced)
			Select Your Own Investments If Your Plan Gives You the Opportunity
			Know What Fees You’re Paying
			Choose Carefully between a Lump Sum and an Annuity
			Take Advantage of Rollovers
			Have a Plan for Drawing Down Your Lump Sum Payout
			Look Before You Leap and Take Early Retirement
			Find Out How Returning to Work after Retirement Affects Your Pension
		Chapter 23: Ten Key Pension Tips for Small Business Owners
			Be Certain You Can Afford a Retirement Plan for Yourself and Your Employees
			Think about a SIMPLE IRA If You Have Fewer Than 100 Employees
			Consider a 401(k) Plan to Attract and Retain Good Employees
			Add a Profit-Sharing Plan to a 401(k) for Extra Benefits
			Consider Defined Benefit Plans for More Sizeable Contributions
			Weigh the Pros and Cons of Fixed versus Flexible Contributions
			Encourage Your Employees to Contribute
			Carefully Select a Third-Party Administrator
			Examine All Investment Options
			Uncover Hidden Fees
	Part VII: Appendixes
		Appendix A: Glossary
		Appendix B: Tables and Charts
Document Text Contents
Page 1

by Robert D. Gary and Jori Bloom Naegele

Your Pension



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Page 2

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� Chapter 11 bankruptcy: This type of bankruptcy is referred to as a reor-
ganization, and it’s a bit different from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your
company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it may not affect your pension
plan. In fact, it’s quite possible that your pension plan, whether it’s a
defined benefit or defined contribution plan, will continue to exist while
the company is trying to reorganize its financial situation under the pro-
tection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It’s likely, however, that future ben-
efits or contributions to the plan will be reduced.

If your company files for bankruptcy, you should immediately contact your
plan administrator and ask for an explanation regarding the status of your
plan and your benefits. You want to make sure that your accrued benefits are
protected. Start with some basic questions like these:

� Has my company filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

� Will the pension plan be terminated or will it continue?

� If the plan will be terminated, how will my accrued benefits be paid?

� Will the plan administrator change during the bankruptcy? Who will be
the trustee for the plan? (Get these people’s names and numbers so that
you can contact them when necessary.)

Don’t count on the plan or the company to notify you. Instead, take the initia-
tive and contact the company’s human resources department, the plan
administrator, or the bankruptcy trustee. If you’re in a defined benefit plan,
contact the PBGC to make sure that it’s aware of the bankruptcy.

Because of ERISA’s requirements stating that your employer must make its
plan contributions in a timely manner and that its assets must be kept sepa-
rate from the plan’s assets, your retirement funds should be fairly safe from
your company’s creditors if it declares bankruptcy. On top of that, ERISA
requires that the plan’s fiduciaries properly manage the fund and not abuse
the assets (head to Chapter 10 to find out more about fiduciaries).

173Chapter 11: Dealing with Your Employer’s Corporate and Financial Changes

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174 Part III: Guarding Your Pension from Your Employer

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Page 385

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