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How to think about a cash balance pension
Old 12-22-2015, 10:14 AM   #1
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How to think about a cash balance pension

My wife has a cash balance pension plan from her very large non-profit employer. The plan guarantees at least 6.5% returns every year, and is insured by the PBGC. We get a yearly statement with the balance of the account, but I know very little else about it. It looks like when she leaves the position she'd be able to roll over the money into an IRA, or leave it with the non-profit and keep getting the guaranteed gain.

We're hoping to retire at 50 in 2030. If she leaves the job in the next couple of years, does it makes sense to leave the money in the account?

The account represents less than 20% of our retirement savings, and the guaranteed returns at that rate are favorable, so we're tempted to leave the money there. On the other hand, I don't trust that the non-profit won't make significant changes in the future, if/when it faces operational budget deficits (which I expect).

So my question is - what is actually guaranteed here? What could go wrong?
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:19 AM   #2
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The interest crediting part of the accrued benefit is protected under IRC Section 411(d)(6).

A 6.5% minimum interest crediting rate is very generous.
You can't be a retirement plan actuary without a retirement plan, otherwise you lose all credibility...
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Old 12-22-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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I would leave it there as long as they are crediting a good rate of interest and as long as the plan seems to be financially strong. If either of those deteriorate, then you can always rollover to a IRA and manage it yourself.
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