Author Topic: Me with another question: Is this legal?  (Read 1422 times)

WootWoot

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Me with another question: Is this legal?
« on: November 07, 2017, 05:42:07 PM »
This continues to mystify me, and I'm starting to wonder if it is legal.

Years ago, I worked for a local newspaper. During that time, I started a 401(K), and apparently, I've got some sort of a pension from the company. Every now and then, an envelope shows up in the mail telling me something about their rules changing or some such. During my annual appointment with TIAA-CREF, the rep asked me if I could get this pension in a lump sum and roll it over into my 403(b).

Well, I called the company--and they said no. Not only that, I have never received any kind of a statement telling me how much money is in this pension account. This pension goes back to 2001, and yeah, I should have asked questions long before this.

Has anyone ever heard of such a situation? Don't they HAVE to tell me about my own damn pension? All they've told me is I'll get it when I'm in my 60s.

Any ideas on this, folks?

Tester

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Re: Me with another question: Is this legal?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 12:47:53 AM »
This continues to mystify me, and I'm starting to wonder if it is legal.

Years ago, I worked for a local newspaper. During that time, I started a 401(K), and apparently, I've got some sort of a pension from the company. Every now and then, an envelope shows up in the mail telling me something about their rules changing or some such. During my annual appointment with TIAA-CREF, the rep asked me if I could get this pension in a lump sum and roll it over into my 403(b).

Well, I called the company--and they said no. Not only that, I have never received any kind of a statement telling me how much money is in this pension account. This pension goes back to 2001, and yeah, I should have asked questions long before this.

Has anyone ever heard of such a situation? Don't they HAVE to tell me about my own damn pension? All they've told me is I'll get it when I'm in my 60s.

Any ideas on this, folks?

That is the problem I think.
Send them an "official" letter. Request proof that they received it.
In it ask what you want to know.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Me with another question: Is this legal?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 06:17:41 AM »
I don't think they're obligated to allow rollovers, but I think they have to at least tell you the expected payout.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Me with another question: Is this legal?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 08:20:01 AM »
I have a small pension from a Megacorp where I used to work.

I am not allowed to roll it over.

They will provide an estimate of the NPV if a certified letter is sent to the appropriate place (not normal HR); it took 2-4 weeks to come back.

To get an estimate of benefits that I will receive at retirement, there was yet another person to talk to.  I wheedled the formula out of them, instead, and set up my own spreadsheet.

If you live in a community property state, there will be a way to get the NPV; they don't have a choice on that, because the pension value can be an asset in a divorce.  That's the only reason I jumped through the hoops to get the NPV.

lisa_mustache

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Re: Me with another question: Is this legal?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 09:38:11 AM »
My husband has a small TIAA-CREF account from way back when, and they said the same thing.  They can pay out small quarterly amounts, that he can then roll-over or pay taxes on, but they won't do a full disbursement.  It's only like $16k, but it is invested suuuuuuper conservatively, so I wish we could get it and stick it in our Vanguard index fund instead. 

Sigh...I suppose we should jump through the hoops and start the quarterly stuff. 

Thanks for the kick in the pants!

WootWoot

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Re: Me with another question: Is this legal?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 11:02:44 AM »
Forgive me, but my brain is a sieve.

I went through my papers, and found a note from Fall 2015 stating that "because I had less than 10 years of service, I can't claim benefits or roll over till August after my 65th birthday" (this was via an email).

Also, a sticky note attached says "Payout is estimated at about $50-$60 a month at age 65 as per website."

Obviously I must have logged on to some site or contacted someone to get the above info. So I guess it is less snaky than I thought. I do think it's ridiculous that I can't roll this over.

A letter in my file says there is a "free pension estimator," and I can get a Summer Plan Description if I want it.

Sorry to bother you guys about this one. I've been under a tremendous amount of stress lately and can't remember stuff. Yesterday I went out for a walk at lunch and left my handbag on my office chair. Took my phone and Bluetooth and left everything else. Luckily I work in an area that is not accessible to the public and my coworker can be trusted. Though I did check my wallet afterward.