Take the Money or Leave it?

in Money, Nortel, Opinion, Pensions, Retirement Savings, Unemployment

This was written as I was trying to decide whether to keep my money in the Nortel Pension Plan or extract it, I luckily made the right decision (and took the money out).

One of the options I have as part of my severance is what to do about my pension.

My employers pension was a Defined Benefit (up until January 1 this year), it is now a different plan (and my old pension has been capped).

The options I have are:

  1. Leave my money in Nortel’s pension scheme and start drawing from it at either age 55 or later.
  2. Take the money out and put it into a Locked In Retirement Account, or at least the portion that the government allows.

As background my current employers pension plan is under funded, by a fairly large amount. I also have passed a point, so that I can draw from the pension when I am 55.

The question now is, do I leave the money in, or take it and run. My wife and I have decided to take the money and run, just for safety sake, given rumors I am hearing, and the fact that the fund is under funded significantly.

I am curious to hear if there is anyone out there that has gone through this and what they did in this situation. Either comment, or if you want send me an e-mail at bigcajunman AT gmail.com, if you don’t want to publicly make any statements.

{ 2 comments }

  • Gene September 5, 2008, 11:51 AM

    The one time I was faced with this decision, I took the money in an LIRA. I then invested in a stock that returned 1000%, so that was lucky.

    Anyway, at that time, I only had about 3.5 years in at the company, and was moving on. I was 30 years old, and would have had to wait a long time to start drawing from the pension. The amount would have been small, and I like managing my own money. So, I took the commuted value of the pension.

    Reply
  • DAvid September 5, 2008, 9:50 AM

    I would consider the future solvency of the company. If you expect it will be insolvent before retirement, then take the money & run, even though you lose the employer contribution, and the potentially greater benefit.

    The LIRA should allow you to choose the investments within it, so you can build your retirement nest egg with products you are satisfied to own.

    DAvid

    Reply

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