By: Financial Hotline
Summer 2021 (Vol. 39, No. 2)
Q: How can I get a Social Security Statement that shows a record of my earnings and an estimate of my future benefits?
A: You can get your personal Social Security Statement online by setting up your “my Social Security” account at www.SSA.gov. Your online Statement gives you secure and convenient access to your earnings records. It also shows estimates for retirement, disability and survivors benefits you and your family may be eligible for. To receive a statement by mail, fill out form SSA-7004 and mail to the address listed on the form. You can also visit a local office or call the SSA at 800-772-1213 for help.
Q: What happens to my pension money if my employer goes out of business?
A: If your plan is insured, you will still get paid as scheduled. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation protects the retirement security of over 34 million Americans in private sector plans. Visit www.PBGC.gov to see if your plan is insured.
Q: My father is retiring, and he contributed to a pension plan for around ten years back about thirty years ago. The company closed a few years ago and he lost track of his paperwork. Is there any way to find out if he is due any benefits?
A: Across the country, there are more than 80,000 people who have not claimed their earned defined benefit pension. If you are looking for an unclaimed pension benefit, call PBGC toll-free at 1-800-326-LOST(5678). Be prepared to provide his name and social security number as well as the name of the company and the dates he worked there.
Q: It is time to start drawing my pension but I am having problems reaching the administrators for my pension plan. Is there anywhere I can turn for help?
A: The U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program currently serves 31 states. Free legal assistance is available to individuals experiencing a problem with their pension, profit sharing or retirement savings plans. For more detailed information go to www. USA.gov/retirement for a list of who to contact. Assistance is provided free of charge. If you are out of the service area, you may be able to find help with your questions by visiting Pension Help America at www.pensionhelp.org
Q: I own a small business with five employees and want to offer a retirement plan. Are there any free unbiased resources online?
A: Get started at the Department of Labor’s website – www.dol.gov The Saving Matters initiative, part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Retirement Savings Education Campaign, provides resources for employers and workers on retirement saving.
Small Business Retirement Savings Advisor - Provides information to help small business owners understand their retirement savings options and determine which program is most appropriate for their needs.
Choosing a Retirement Solution For Your Small Business (PDF) - Provides information on retirement plan options.
Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Retirement (PDF) - Provides information on assessing your retirement needs, tax benefits of workplace savings plans, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan (PDF) - Provides answers for the most common questions about pension plans.