Early Retirement & my Pensions

by Rosemarie K
(Middletown, CT)

I am taking early retirement due to a lay off. I'll be age 57 or 58 depending on the final date of employment.

The company I currently work for bought a line of business from my previous employer and my employment continued with the new company. My pension stayed with the previous company.

I meet the rule of 70 easily with 34+ years of service.

Can I touch the pension that was left behind without penalty because I'm taking early retirement?

Wendy: I retired at age 55, under the rule of 70, too! However, I remained employed with the employer.

I don't think anybody can answer this except the old employer/retirement plan documents. Do you have a copy of the retirement plan itself? Is there a phone number to call when you are ready to apply? Try to Google the name of the old employer and "retirement" to see if anything comes up.

I was the Retirement Plan Manager for my employer and the "deferred retirement" eligibility can be different from the normal retirement eligibility. That's why you need help from the plan document or someone who administers it. If you are lucky, they locked in the eligibility and all remains the same. IF not, they may say you are eligible at age 60, for example.

Finally, if nothing else, read this page. The PBGC hosts all the lost pensions... yours isn't really "lost" but if the employer didn't hire a company to administer the pension benefits, the pensions likely were transferred to PBGC. If so, they have the answers for you!

Please comment back when you get answers.. I am curious if you can start your benefit now, and who is the administrator: PBGC or another company.

Best Wishes!

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