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.