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Old 11-07-2018, 07:29 AM
 
1,943 posts, read 1,335,073 times
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Luckily I have a company pension but I won't be retiring in another 20 years if I'm lucky enough to not be fired, let go, or have my company close.

Curious if anyone here lost their company pension or had it reduced due to bankruptcy of their company. Not sure if my company can last another 20 years even though it's very stable now but who can tell in the future. I feel for people who say retired from Sears and were depending on that pension to help them in retirement.

Sorry if this has been discussed to death.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,081 posts, read 12,461,714 times
Reputation: 26084
Nope, I retired from state government. My retirement, although isn't much, is in the state constitution. I get a COLA each year too.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2,241 posts, read 1,461,976 times
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I lost out big time. Not due to a company bankruptcy, but due to a company takeover and them recalculating monthly pension payments to people that they RIF'ed out. In other words, they promised a pension, but they never promised how much it would be if they changed the rules. So after 28 years, I get just enough pension to almost pay my monthly car insurance payments in Michigan... It should have been 60% of my salary.


Luckily I have a 401k, and that is a stellar one.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:56 AM
 
5,424 posts, read 3,442,945 times
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You might be interested in watching this new (10-23-18) interesting Frontline episode called and about the "The Pension Gamble", even though you're not a public employee.

Here it is in full:
https://www.pbs.org/video/the-pension-gamble-hzokyh/
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,369 posts, read 7,758,843 times
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I don't think this has been discussed to death, it's a valid question, especially for someone still active in the workforce. I worked for two large telecom companies during my 40 year employment career. After working about 20 years at the first place (ATT), I changed employers and took a very generous pension buyout and rolled that over tax free to my own IRA account. That put the my retirement funds from employer #1 under my control.

I know many other people who worked at a variety of telecom companies in the 1970s through 1990s that got bought out by (or merged with) other telecom companies, who saw future promised pensions vastly reduced or eliminated as a result of the buyouts. A quick google search on lost pension benefits as a result of buyouts will give endless examples. This has occurred in all industries, not just tech or telecom.

I worked almost 20 years at my second employer and qualified to receive a lifetime monthly pension benefit. The second employer is a large privately held (family owned) corporation over 100 years old. The existing generation of relatively young owners has no interest in selling out the corporation to some other company, so I don't expect a surprise buyout by another company anytime in the next decade or two. The pension fund appears to be well managed and well funded, and the company is in good financial health, so I don't expect the pension fund to be looted by the company management.

My second employer instituted a huge change in the retirement plan for all new employees, just before I retired (so change did not affect me). All new employees would no longer be participants in the company funded pension plan. All new employees must set up a 401K plan, which they and the company would fund. The company would match dollar for dollar, any employee contribution to the 401K up to 6 percent of salary.

My advice is, don't bet the farm that the company funded pension plan will still be there 20 years from now. Contribute as much as you can into a 401K or IRA. Once your contributions and your employers contributions to an employer's 401K plan are vested, that employer cannot raid or steal your 401K funds, even if the company goes bankrupt or is sold off to another. I put the maximum allowed amounts into my 401K plans at both employers where I worked for 40 years, and those are much larger components of my retirement funds than the monthly pension benefit that I get from employer #2.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Northern panhandle WV
3,007 posts, read 2,168,437 times
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My mother in law retired from Sears and had her pension bought out years ago. I believe they did that for everyone, but that might also have been before K-Mart bought out Sears.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Herndon, VA
2,086 posts, read 2,103,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
I don't think this has been discussed to death, it's a valid question, especially for someone still active in the workforce. I worked for two large telecom companies during my 40 year employment career. After working about 20 years at the first place (ATT), I changed employers and took a very generous pension buyout and rolled that over tax free to my own IRA account. That put the my retirement funds from employer #1 under my control.
I too worked in telecom for the now infamous WorldCom. In the 90s we were getting stock options to the tune of $15k a year which was a ton of money back then. Since I had a military background, I decided to leave them for federal civil service, and they all thought I was crazy. Now I'll be eligible for my full pension in five years, and I look like a genius.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
Reputation: 35449
Yes. I have a small pension that was recently made smaller by my former union. This was the same union that was responsible for it’s former investment company along with its own former union heads stealing 401ks, pension funds and other investments from its members years ago.

When I left the company the amount I had recouoped was small. Now it’s about $40.00 a month less. Still, $400.00 month isn’t so bad. These days it buys the groceries at least.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,434 posts, read 3,659,178 times
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Yes, sort of at least.


I worked as a salaried employee at GM for 38 years. GM reformulated pension calculations in 2008 and 2012 (that I remember and prior to that as well). Both reformulations resulted in reduced future pension amounts. The last change also froze the salaried employee's pension balances and replaced the pension with an annuity plan, although no details were released regarding the annuity plan. I was age 56 when the 2012 changed occurred, and if I had elected to stay at GM until age 65 my pension/annuity fund balance would not have changed during the 9 year period.


So I left GM, cashed out my pension fund, turned it over to our Financial Planner for retirement investing, and got a new job in the same field earning similar wages with a 40 miles/day reduced commute.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:08 AM
 
722 posts, read 481,151 times
Reputation: 1819
Investing it yourself like a 401k, Roth or IRA you are choosing the funds and have a greater selection of choices. Literally thousands of fund choices. Rather then someone else choosing for you like a pension.

With pensions when you die only you or your spouse get survivor amount. Eventually it will die no matter how much may be in it. But with a 401k, IRA, Roth it can all be passed to your heirs.

Personally I would still invest 15% into retirement myself and consider the pension gravy should it still be around come retirement time.
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