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Employee Retirement Plans

What is a retirement plan?

A retirement plan is a savings and investment plan that provides income during a person’s retirement. Retirement income is many times created by employers or the government. A retirement savings plan is a big part in a person’s financial future. It is important that the person understands how the plan works and it works just for them, which is why there are many different retirement plan options. Read below where Experts have provided legal answers on the most commonly as retirement plan questions.

If a place of employment offers Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) retirement plans which pays for the employees portion of medical bills when they retire, but if they become disabled related to work is the employee required to pay their own medical costs? Or, is this discrimination against disabled people?

The employee may have a good case here, but there are some downfalls to this. The retirement payment for those who are fully invested in the plan and eligible to collect upon retirement is different from those who did not complete the full time to collect the retirement, this is an economic reason based on plan contributions, not based on because of the disability.

In the state of Wisconsin can an employee be forced to pay a percentage of their income as their portion to retirement plan with no “opt out” option, if so are they forced to contribute the amount that the administrators decide without the option to contribute less?

The employee can be legally required to participate in the retirement plan and the assigned contribution amounts. There will be no difference that the mandatory deductions that have always been made to pay for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), etc.

Is there a difference between a 401k and pension plans?

There are many differences between the two retirement plans. First, a 401k and a pension is the way the employer makes a payment to the account. A 401k is mainly funded by the employee. A pension is 100% funded by the employer. Based on the plan, the employer will hold back a certain percent of the employee’s income. When the employee retires, they will receive a monthly check based off of what their pre-retirement income.

A 401k and a pension is also how the investments are controlled. In a 401k plan, the employee will get control of their investments. They will normally have multiple funds to choose from and can assign their investments as they want. With a pension plan, the investments are not controlled by the employee; instead they are controlled by the investment manager who invests the pension plan on different funds. Also, a 401k and pension plan is guarantee. With a 401k, the amount of money remaining in the employee’s account is based on their past deposits and the rate of return they have received on their investments. With a pension plan, an employee is guaranteed to receive a paycheck for the rest of their lives following their retirement. With the pension plan, the pension holder will not be able to pass their pension down to their children.

If someone has a 403(b) retirement plan is there a law that states the insurance company can start taking minimal distribution from their retirement plan without any authorization from them?

A distribution under any employee’s 403(b) retirement plan is governed by two places the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Plan itself. The employee may set the Plan to make distributions as they believe is appropriate within limitation set by the ERISA. This information in included in their Summary Plan Description which is available to employees or former employees. Many plans are set up to start distributions by normal retirement age under Social Security is under the age of 65. Many times employees don’t have any control when the distributions are made. That is up to the employer and to set out in the summary plan description. The only rule is that they must follow their own plan stipulations.

If a 65 year old employee has a 10 months in vesting their retirement plan, what can they do if their employer lays them off?

If there is no contract between the employee and the employer, the employee will be considered an “at-will” employee, and the employer can terminated them for any reason unless it is not based on discrimination. If the employee feels they have been discriminated against because of their age, they can file a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds that the employee’s complain is correct the employee will receive a “right to sue” letter. They then can locate an attorney to help them in the filing a suit to recover the damages. They can also consider the anti-discrimination laws for their local state.

There are many different retirement plans and many different rules to each retirement plan. Many times with all the many different plan and stipulations to those plans, many questions arise. Contact an Expert, where there are thousands of Employment Experts that can provide fast and affordable answers to specific questions.
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