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Old 12-10-2009, 05:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by akck View Post
A almost perfect pension is based on your three highest pay years, percentage based on years worked (percent increases with more years), vested after 5 years, partial inflation protection, offers a 10% COLA if you remain in the state, full medical paid and retirement age is 55 (early retirement at 50). They also offer dental, vision and auditory coverage and a LTC insurance for a monthly cost. It can be taken lump sum, but you'd lose the medical coverage.
Originally Posted by bosco View Post
Pretty easy to recognize an Alaskan.

I have an Alaska State pension--Tier I. The best thing about it is the benefits are written into the state constitution. Lessening benefits would require an amendment to the constitution.
I'm not an Alaskan (even though it's cold enough here right now to qualify!), but my pension is similar. It's DB, 3% COLA, based on your highest 4 years out of the previous 10, vested at 8 years (though they are working on changing that to 5 years). To qualify for the full pension you have to be 55 years old with at least 35 years service, unless the employer offers the Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) which allows the employee to "buy" 5 years of service if they are 50 years old or older. If you don't meet those specs, then full retirement age is 62, but pension will be reduced by (IIRC) 1% for each year less than 40 years of service that you have. (i.e. if you are 62 with 20 years service, your pension would be reduced by 20%)

I got the ERI when I was 50, with about 32 years service, and I bought 5 years service, giving me about 37 years service credit...and qualifying me for the full pension amount. Yippee!!!

Although our pension plan doesn't include the medical, dental, prescription, or LTC insurance, retirees are able to keep the employer's medical/dental/prescription plan by paying 25% of the monthly premiums (we paid 20% while employed). And LTC is offered through a pension plan endorsed company at reduced rates.

And as bosco stated about the Alaskan pension being protected by the state's constitution, ours is also and cannot be changed with out the opening of the state's constitution, and that can't be done without the voters in the state voting for a constitutional convention....that got shot down last election. And although our pension plan is regulated by the state constitution, it is administrated by a board of 8 trustees elected by the employers (4), the employees (3), and the retirees (1). And can't be touched or raided by any of our (less than) illustrious politicians....Thank God!!!

Before the economy took a royal dump, our plan was about 96% or 97% funded. It dropped down to about 81% at the lowest point, but has since rebounded to just over 90%, and continuing the upswing. So while our pension plan may not be the absolute best one out sure ain't too dang shabby in my book!!!

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Old 12-10-2009, 05:48 PM   #22
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DB Pensions - things to consider

formula to calculate final remuneration
when can a full pension be taken? (mine is "80 pts" - age + service)
how much does the employee contribute (I contribute nothing)
lump sum or partial lump sum available - if a partial lump sum is available it may be worth taking and perhaps buying an annuity to diversify the risk
how much is covered by PBGC
long term strength of company
is health insurance part of the pension?
spousal options (50/50, 100%, 75/25)

Lots of questions to ask, plus in 20 years it can change a lot or completely go away - either by a company decision or by a merger or take-over by another company that does not have dpb's.

Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:28 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Good pension - the one you get
Great pension - the one the other guy gets

Another thought.

Real Great Pension - The one your congressman is getting!!!!
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post

So when wondering which is the better pension, the answer is any pension is the better pension as most companies no longer offer them.

-- Rita
Exactly, but only if you vest. During the 80s my company kept discontinuing plans; they would either cash out and I'd take a rollover or they'd absorb the plan into the next one. In that process, many employees never vested in any of the plans. One of the plans was put into an annuity with an insurance company that failed but was bailed out by the state. In my viewpoint, a good pension is one you vest in and that eventually pays off as described. Even better is a Keogh (similar to a 401k) plan I can draw from.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Any pension that sends regular checks to me is a good pension and if it has cola ,it's a great pension !
Agreed. it's a good pension if you get one ... it's a bad pension if you don't get one ...
Life is GREAT!
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Eagle43 View Post
Well, I have two pensions.

The military pension I have had for 28 years, and it goes up a tad almost every year. I also believe it will continue for the remainder of my life. The Mega Corp pension I have had for nearly 6 and it never increases.

I like the military pension better.

But I agree that any pension is a good one.
I've been very happy with my military pension. Of course, it took me 28 years in the Navy to earn it. But, as Eagle says, it increases a bit every year (although I recognize it might not forever.) It is, without a doubt, the foundation of my early retirement.

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