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Jumping off the high dive board
Old 09-14-2012, 11:14 AM   #1
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Jumping off the high dive board

...into the shallow end, it seems. I'm brand new to this community and have read some really interesting insights here. Thank you for your thoughts.

When I took early retirement from my employer in 1990 (they were looking to reduce ranks) at age 35, I was told I would get a 5 + 5 deal: five years added to age and to years of service when calculating pension. So that would have given me 17.5 yrs service and 40 yrs in age. I don't remember getting any documentation of this...you can see where this is going, can't you?

Well, now I'm preparing to take an early pension disbursement in the form of a direct IRA rollover. And my pension amount has been calculated with 12.5 years service.

Naive me thought that the company would keep track of things like this, ha on me. To be fair, they have gone through many mergers, etc., since that time. Has anyone else received documentation of a similar 5 + 5 offer when taking early retirement?
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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Oh my....not good. Do you remember the HR person/manager that you spoke with about this added ER perk? Maybe you could find them for some backup. I would dig for documentation. This kind of separation should be on paprer somewhere. Good luck with this.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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5+5 offers were pretty common in the early 90's. No documentation is not good, usually there is a contract or separation letter that spells out the terms. You cannot be the only one, however, so records must exist. Perhaps you could reach out to the HR folks in a friendly way to check.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
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Wow....I hope it works out in your favor....
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Thanks!
Old 09-14-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks!

Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement. I'm researching - good thought to ask HR.

[This is like digging into family history, where not only is the house where your grandparents lived not there, but the street is gone as well!]

The building that I worked in was purchased in 2007, torn down, and replaced with a high-end shopping complex. A lot of the folks who took this offer with me are gone now, too. I'd just like to know what the doc looks like, even!

Will report back if I find anything. Again thanks for taking time to help.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:58 AM   #6
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If you can remember any names, you can use https://pipl.com/ to try to locate them.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your situation!

If you don't make much progress on your own, might even be worth contacting one of those people at the Post Dispatch or local tv stations that do the "investigative reporting" for people that are getting the raw end of a deal. They might be able to access better resources than you - although since the company is long gone from M&A, there's less PR/public pressure they could exert on them....but your situation is most likely not unique, and could appeal to a larger audience, and make you a better candidate for them to pick to help out.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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[QUOTE="abbymist"]Wow. That's now 22 years ago, and with multiple mergers during that period it will be difficult to find documentation of the package that you were offered (and accepted).

Probably not impossible, though ... large companies tend to retain huge amounts of documentation, sometimes on the most obscure topics.

There are specialists in "insurance archeology", who are expert in tracking down old insurance policies that might provide coverage for recent claims arising from things that (allegedly) occurred decades ago. I doubt that they could / would assist you, but they might be able to refer you to someone who could.

If nothing else, this is certainly a cautionary tale on the importance of securing and retaining confirmatory documentation when entering into important financial arrangements.

Good luck to you.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #9
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abbymist -
Does the corporation of your former employer still exist? Or did they go bankrupt.
Mergers/acquisitions happen - but if you can trace who bought them/merged with them you should be able to track down corporate hq. Once you do that - call and request to speak to HR.

I've got 17 years with the same employer (meaning I haven't quit) but the company name has changed several times due to mergers/acquisitions/spinoffs/etc... I can imagine it would be tricky for someone who didn't live through the changes to figure it all out - but the info is all publicly available... there were press releases and SEC filings at every step.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Donzo View Post
Oh my....not good. Do you remember the HR person/manager that you spoke with about this added ER perk? Maybe you could find them for some backup. I would dig for documentation. This kind of separation should be on paprer somewhere. Good luck with this.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:03 AM   #11
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Do you recall colleagues who took the deal and were much closer to retirement?
They might have documentation that the company honoured the 5+5 with them, so you could argue that you left at the same time = under the same deal.
You could also try to reach out to everybody who got the same offer and help each other with documentation or affidavits or start group action.
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