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Old 01-07-2016, 09:12 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,664,703 times
Reputation: 8643

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Two questions here.

DH received notice a few months ago that his pension is going from Vanguard to Mercer in early 2016. Vanguard I know, but not Mercer. Does anyone have any insight on them? I googled and didn't really come up with current info that was helpful.

DH was given a chance to take a lump sum before his company had Vanguard take over the pension administrations 10 years ago. We opted not to. We haven't gotten any information on whether that will be offered again with the changeover to Mercer. He was given the total amount of the pension at the time of taking a lump sum, but now there is no overall amount, it is only presented as the highest payout amount per month at FRA. This info's from Vanguard.

DH's pension was frozen at his 25 year mark several years before his division was sold off to another company and they went forward with a matching 401k plan from that point on. Does the financial status of his old company still affect his pension or are they out of the picture with other companies handling the pensions?

Thanks for any info, change isn't one of my favorite things.

Last edited by jean_ji; 01-07-2016 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,153,086 times
Reputation: 5472
I found this webpage for Mercer's information

http://www.bbb.org/iowa/business-rev...dale-ia-101737

It got A+ BBB rating with 29 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 9 closed in last 12 months
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:29 PM
 
527 posts, read 1,089,577 times
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I believe the IRS made changes to the pension laws whereby it was illegal for a company to offer a lump sum payment to any retiree who was already receiving month to month checks. They made it illegal to change after the monthly checks had started.

This went into affect summer 2015

so if true, don't expect another lump sum offer.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:43 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,664,703 times
Reputation: 8643
Quote:
Originally Posted by boater1 View Post
I believe the IRS made changes to the pension laws whereby it was illegal for a company to offer a lump sum payment to any retiree who was already receiving month to month checks. They made it illegal to change after the monthly checks had started.

This went into affect summer 2015

so if true, don't expect another lump sum offer.
We aren't taking any payments yet and won't until DH hits FRA and retires in four years. DH hasn't gotten any paperwork from Mercer yet, just Vanguard.

We had no qualms the first time when the pension was transferred to Vanguard, we both have our 401k's with them, but are concerned about a company we don't know anything about. It's raising the question of whether to take the lump sum again with an unknown to us company if it is offered.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:45 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,664,703 times
Reputation: 8643
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I found this webpage for Mercer's information

http://www.bbb.org/iowa/business-rev...dale-ia-101737

It got A+ BBB rating with 29 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 9 closed in last 12 months
Thanks! That is the type of thing I was looking for, rather than the corporate info from Mercer's website.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:02 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,230 posts, read 8,392,545 times
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From the info you have received, is it clear whether this is just a change of administrator, or did his employer actually "sell" their pension plan to Mercer ?

If it is just a change in administrator, then you probably will not be offered a lump sum again. If they "sold" the plan, then you might get a lump sum offer again.

Before I started receiving benefits from my ex-employer's plan, they "sold" it to an insurance co. In which case the ex-employer was then completely out of the picture. I was offered a lump sum at that time, which I took.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:08 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
Reputation: 20048
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
Two questions here.

DH received notice a few months ago that his pension is going from Vanguard to Mercer in early 2016. Vanguard I know, but not Mercer. Does anyone have any insight on them? I googled and didn't really come up with current info that was helpful.

DH was given a chance to take a lump sum before his company had Vanguard take over the pension administrations 10 years ago. We opted not to. We haven't gotten any information on whether that will be offered again with the changeover to Mercer. He was given the total amount of the pension at the time of taking a lump sum, but now there is no overall amount, it is only presented as the highest payout amount per month at FRA. This info's from Vanguard.

DH's pension was frozen at his 25 year mark several years before his division was sold off to another company and they went forward with a matching 401k plan from that point on. Does the financial status of his old company still affect his pension or are they out of the picture with other companies handling the pensions?

Thanks for any info, change isn't one of my favorite things.


1) Mercer is a third party administrator, much like Vanguard. They are part of the Marsh and McLennan which is a respected firm. I would not be too concerned as they are r\well known in the industry.

2) That would be a question better answered by the company's HR department. When there is a change in ownership, the pension is generally funded before divestiture and then discontinued by the new employer as of that date. You are generally pretty much frozen where you were at time of sale. HR would know that more; if they are not available, Mercer should be able to answer that question.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,358 posts, read 3,694,371 times
Reputation: 4084
Few years ago I interviewed Mercer for a 401k. The people we talked to were good and the company seemed good. I would not worry about the company.
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:33 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,156,240 times
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I am familiar with Mercer, and friends of mine work there. They are a good company. They do not manage assets, but are an employee benefits consultant and third party administrator. You will be fine.
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