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Keep Tabs on Your Pension Plan

Should you switch funds?
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Do you have a pension plan at work? If so, continue reading. If not, investigate the possibilities of beginning one, and then finish reading this article.

While it’s great that you are saving, don’t rest on your laurels. Do you understand the documentation that you have received from your pension or life insurance company? And even if you do, do you ever take the time to read through it?

Recently I was preparing a financial plan for a client, when he called to tell me he “found” some money – he forgot he had a pension plan from a previous employer, and only realized when he received the annual report in the mail. While the anticipated pension was a small sum, every bit helps.

Another financial planning client recently called to thank me after I insisted that he speak with the human resources director at work to get the details of his pension plan. In doing so, he discovered that many months worth of deposits were not properly credited to his plan. He called the appropriate people to rectify the mistakes, and now will keep closer tabs to make sure his pension savings are invested properly.

There are many places that “automated” pension plans could break down. It’s up to you to make sure that all is well at each step along the way: Were both yours and your employer’s contributions added to the account? Was it invested according to the allocation model you chose? Is the original allocation model still ideal, or should you switch funds? Does your pension fund fit into your ideal asset allocation as a whole? Are your disability and life insurance policies still sufficient? If you have more than one plan, make sure you keep careful records, even when your contributions stop.

Your pension plan is meant for your future. Take the time today to make sure all is in order.

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About the Author: Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning firm located in Jerusalem. He specializes in working with clients in New York, Florida, and Israel and is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, SIFMA. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Doug’s newest book The Expatriates’ Guide to Handling Money and Taxes is available at www.expatguidetomoney.com. He hosts a weekly finance show, Goldstein on Gelt, on internet radio. Listen live or download podcasts. Toll-free from U.S. 1-888-327-6179, Jerusalem: (02) 624-2788. Follow on Twitter: @DougGoldstein or contact at doug@profile-financial.com.


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