Participating in your company’s pension plan makes excellent financial sense and can help you to be better prepared for retirement. However, in today’s work environment, it is common for individuals to have many jobs at various companies during their working years. You may not remember all of the jobs that you participated in a pension plan with over the years. Even if you do remember which plans you participated in, you may not remember who administered the plan or how to access the funds that may rightfully be yours. You will need all of the funds you have available in retirement if you want to be as financially secure as possible, and you can access all of your pension funds with a few easy steps.
Track Your Pension Funds Over the Years
One of the best steps you can take to ensure that you do not miss out on accessing any pension funds that you are entitled to is to track the funds over the years. After you leave a workplace, the pension fund administrator no longer has to send you regular statements about the pension. However, you can still request this information periodically. Keep this information in your financial records. When you update your retirement plan each year, make an effort to request an update from your previous plan’s administrator. Taking this initiative on a regular basis will make it less likely that you will overlook or forget about funds that you are entitled to over the years.
Transfer Pension Funds to your Current Pension Plan
If that sounds like too much work or if you do not trust yourself to keep up with the tracking process, you could consider rolling over your past pension funds into your new pension account. This way, all of the funds are invested together in a single plan. You will then receive regular statements from your current plan administrator regarding the fund’s performance. In addition, if you leave your current job, you will not have multiple accounts to track. Instead, you will have the single, consolidated pension fund to keep track of over the years.
Contact Previous Plan Administrators
If you believe that you may have pension funds from participation in a retirement with employers from years or decades ago, you may be wondering what steps you can take to access the funds. You can always reach out to plan administrators regardless of how long it has been since you communicated with them. Look through your old financial paperwork to get information about who the plan administrator was. You can also contact your previous employers’ human resources or accounting departments for more information about the right person to contact for plan details.
Speak with Previous Co-Workers or Managers
Many people develop excellent working relationships with co-workers and managers over their years of employment, and these friendships may continue on even after you leave the workplace. In addition, thanks to social media platforms, it is easier than ever to keep up with previous co-workers and managers as well as to locate those who you have fallen out of touch with over the years. You can easily reach out to some of these individuals to determine if they have plan details. Some may still work at the company and may be able to put you in direct contact with the appropriate person to speak with about your pension fund. Others may no longer be working at the company, but they may have kept up with the pension fund details more closely over the years than you did.
Missing out on pension funds that you may be entitled to can be detrimental to your retirement finances. Many people struggle throughout retirement because they do not have the full amount of income that they need, and the last thing you want to do is to leave retirement funds that you are entitled to unclaimed. Remember that you must apply for your pension benefits at a certain age, and the benefits will not simply be passed along to you. With this in mind, you should follow these steps to track pension funds that you may be entitled to. Doing so can help to ensure that you have a comfortable retirement.
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