Pensions

Part of your retirement plan mix

Traditional pension plans, also known as qualified defined benefit plans, generally entitle workers to receive monthly benefits from a plan after they retire. These benefits are usually based on your age at retirement, years of service and average earnings with a company. The normal form of benefit is a single life annuity. That is, an annuity that makes monthly payments to you while you're alive and stops upon your death.

If you're not married at retirement, federal law requires that your benefit be paid as a single life annuity, unless you elect a different payment option. Federal law also states that your benefit be paid as a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (QJSA) unless you elect another payment option if you are married when you retire. The QJSA is an annuity that pays monthly benefits to you while you're alive and continues to pay at least 50 percent of your benefit to your spouse upon your death.

Depending on your plan's provisions, you may have other payout options. Any optional form of benefit offered by your plan must be at least as valuable, actuarially speaking, as the single life annuity. You'll want to select a payment option that will provide you with sufficient retirement income. In addition, if married, you'll want to be sure that your spouse will have sufficient income in the event that he or she outlives you.

Be sure you understand all of the options and features available to you under your employer's plan. For example, some pension plans have:

  • A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) feature that allows the monthly benefits to be periodically increased to keep pace with the rate of inflation
  • Special provisions specifying that if a pensioner initially selects a QJSA payout and the spouse dies first, that pensioner can then retroactively select a single life annuity payout
  • Health coverage

Ask one of our CFS Financial Advisors about the role a pension can play in your retirement plan. Contact a CFS Financial Advisor at Denali today.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/ SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Denali Federal Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

For specific tax advice, please consult a tax professional.


Qualified retirement plans

Several different qualified retirement plans are provided by employers. Speak to a CFS Financial Advisor at Denali today to help maximize your benefit.

Learn More

Government retirement plans

Our CFS Financial Advisors can help roll your government retirement plan into a larger retirement strategy. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

Learn More

Comprehensive retirement planning

Your future is now. Start planning for retirement at any stage of your life. Find out how our CFS Financial Advisors can help you start planning today.

Learn More

Wealth management

You’ve planned, saved and are putting away for your retirement. Let our CFS Financial Advisors help you with your wealth management strategy.

Learn More

Have a question? Don't wait on hold.

Paddling on a lake in the morning mist

Retirement planning: the basics

You may have a very idealistic vision of retirement–doing all of the things that you never seem to have time …

Generations of a family splashing their feet in a lake

Asset protection in estate planning

You’re beginning to accumulate substantial wealth, but you worry about protecting it from future potential creditors. Whether your concern is …