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Deferred pension - riskier if company is sold?
Old 12-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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Deferred pension - riskier if company is sold?

Seeking a pension expert out there...

I have a significant non-COLA pension that is currently deferred. I decided to defer until it hits its maximum monthly payout (late 2015) as we have other funds available for living expenses.

I was visiting with some former colleagues today and there is a lot of "pruning" going on (small divestitures and large layoffs) which they are taking as a sign the company is being prepped for sale. (This has been rumored for years but seems to be a lot more serious this time.)

My question: Is there any more risk that a new owner could change something about my pension if it is deferred than if I have already started taking payments? (I can decide to start payments anytime I want, I think it's 30-60 days notice.)

Thanks in advance for any information or helpful links.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #2
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Not sure if I'm an expert, but I do know a bit about pensions.

I don't think so. While an acquirer might curtail the pension, the obligation to existing vested participants would not change whether or not they have starting receiving pension payments.

If the acquirer is a strong player you could be better off - and obviously if the acquirer botches the acquisition you would be worse off.

If you are really concerned the only way you can totally protect yourself is by getting a lump sum - but not all plans offer a lump sum payout.

YMMV
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
My question: Is there any more risk that a new owner could change something about my pension if it is deferred than if I have already started taking payments? (I can decide to start payments anytime I want, I think it's 30-60 days notice.)

Thanks in advance for any information or helpful links.
What pb4uski said.

Your pension is already fully vested. It makes no difference if you take payments now or later. Terms can't be changed. If the pension fund were to become insolvent it could be restructured but even in that case it would affect all pensioners in roughly the same way. Nothing can be changed about your pension solely because it is deferred.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Thanks pb and Michael. Lump sum is not an option, so it's good to know that the choice to defer doesn't affect anything else. Appreciate the info.
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