from the Desk of Brian Bickett, CFP®
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation…
This week’s retirement income article discusses GE’s recent announcement to discontinue their employee pension plan as well as their offer of a lump-sum payment for 100,000 former employees who haven’t yet started receiving their benefits. It is important to note that neither of these moves has any direct effect on current pension benefit recipients.
The article also mentions that GE currently has a $8 billion pension deficit. This brings up a concern that many current and future pension recipients have: What happens to my pension benefits if the pension fund goes under? For most, in steps the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
The PBGC was established by Congress in 1974 to protect pension benefits in private defined benefit plans. When a pension plan is insured by PBGC and it doesn’t have enough funds to pay all benefits, the PBGC insurance program steps in and pays the benefit owed up to the limit set by law. The Maximum Monthly Guarantee Tables can be found with this link.
To check if your private pension is covered by the PBGC, use this link.
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(Maryalene LaPonsie, U.S.News) – This week’s personal finance article reminds us that we each have an opportunity once a year to make changes to our health insurance and, for most, that opportunity is right around the corner. For individuals using employer-based health insurance, check with your employer concerning open enrollment dates as it can, and does, vary by employer. For most of the rest of us, both the federal marketplace and Medicare open enrollment periods are Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 this year. The article also provides some tips on how to evaluate your health insurance options.
(Charles Schwab, Fox Business) – This week’s investing article explores the common emotional chaos that most investors experience when the markets move as they did this summer. That it’s completely natural to feel the urge to move to the exits during turbulent times and the importance of not reacting to those urges. Mr. Schwab wraps up the article with the sage advice that every successful investor is ultimately an optimist who believes that the future will be better than the past.
(Alessandra Malito, MarketWatch) – This week’s retirement income article covers the details of GE’s decision to discontinue it’s pension plan and instead provide a healthy contribution and match to a 401k plan. The trend to move away from defined-benefit plans is only expected to accelerate as employer’s shift the responsibility to employee’s. The article does somewhat glaze over the fact that current pension payment recipients are not affected and doesn’t explain how the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation insures private pension plans.
Preparing for the first scheduled snow storm of this fall…
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