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Pension and Bankruptcy Questions

A pension fund is meant to help an individual and provide him/her with financial support and security post retirement. When an individual files for bankruptcy, there may be uncertainty about which of his/her assets may get affected and what would be safe. It may not be easy finding information about bankruptcy and pensions, resulting in unanswered legal questions. Given below are popular questions about bankruptcy and pension that are commonly asked by people.

In the State of New York, would an Individual’s Pension Income be Affected if he/she Files for Bankruptcy?

Pension and bankruptcy laws may differ from state to state in the US. In some states like New York, the pension income of an individual may not be exempt from collection in a bankruptcy. Though the creditors may not be able to garnish the individual’s pension payment, they may be able to garnish a bank account which holds the pension income. However, according to the Exempt Income Protection Act, the creditors may not be able to garnish a bank account if the amount of the pension in the account is less than $1740.

Would an Individual’s Postal Service Annuity Pension be Protected in a Bankruptcy?

In most situations, a postal service annuity pension may be safe from all creditors in a bankruptcy unless the creditor is a federal government agency or one of its organizations.

Would a Pension Income be Factored into a Means Test when an Individual files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

An individual’s pension income may be taken into consideration when calculating his/her monthly income when he/she files for bankruptcy. This will affect whether or not the individual falls under the median income level which will further help to determine if a means test is required for an individual to qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or not. Hence, the pension income of an individual may be factored into a means test when he/she files for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Would a Person’s Government Pension be considered to Determine the Total Income Available to Fund a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A government pension may be considered as a disposable income in a chapter 13 bankruptcy. It may be used to calculate the total income available to fund the chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Would an Individual’s Social Security Benefits and VA Disability Pension be Affected in a Bankruptcy?

An individual’s social security benefits and VA disability pension may not be affected in a bankruptcy. Social security benefits and VA disability pensions are exempt from collection in a bankruptcy and hence the creditors may not be able to claim them if an individual filed for bankruptcy.

Would an Individual’s Military Veteran’s Pension be Affected in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Military veteran pension funds are exempt from bankruptcy in most situations provided they are not funded for at least a year before an individual files for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

What happens to an Employee’s Pension if a Company Files for Bankruptcy?

In most situations, an individual’s pension would be safe if a company filed for bankruptcy because of the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The ERISA states that the pension plans of employees may be sufficiently funded and the pension amount may be kept separately from other asset’s of the company either in a separate account or in a trust so that it does not get affected in case of a bankruptcy proceeding.

Can a Teacher’s Pension be Garnished to Collect Debt?

In most situations, a teacher’s pension may not be garnished to collect a debt. It may only be garnished to collect taxes and for collection of back child support.

Can an Individual’s Pension be Used to Collect Real Estate Taxes in the state of Pennsylvania?

The different states in the US may have different regulations regarding pensions. In some states like Pennsylvania, an individual’s pension may be not be garnished for debt collection. However, they may be used to collect back state taxes like real estate tax.

Not knowing how one’s pension plans may be affected by bankruptcy can make an individual feel helpless and frustrated. Understanding the provisions of the pension and bankruptcy laws will help individuals know their rights towards a pension fund in case they have to file for bankruptcy or if the company that they work for goes bankrupt. To know how a bankruptcy can impact your pension plans, it may be a good idea to ask an Expert.
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