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Author: Ma1colm Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76095  
Subject: 401(k) and Death Benifits Date: 12/24/1999 1:42 AM
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Hi All,

I'm 31 and have in the last couple months been making my first ever contributions to a 401(k) plan. The company I'm working for is in the process of switching plan administrators from Norwest to New England Financial. As part of this I signed the Death benifit designation form, which finaly gets me to the meat of my question. When I was reading through this (and swearing profusly at the lack of a good index fund in the new plan) I discovered that my my wife will only receive an annuity based on 50% of whatever is the current value in holdings when I die. The annuity is for the rest of her life and it doesn't specify how that calculation is made (I'm still waiting for them to return my call about this). What gives? Is this standard? If it's my money when I put it in the investment, should't it all go to my Wife and/or Son? Is there a vehicle for preventing this immediate loss? The scenareo I'm imagining is this -- I die at age 60, and my wife who is 10 years older then I am can only reasonably expect 10 years of these annuity payments. I doubt that it will make up for the 50% hit on my investments. Please let me know if I should be raising the roof over in the HR office about this or would that be tilting at windmills.

Thanks,

Ma1colm
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Author: TMFPixy Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16841 of 76095
Subject: Re: 401(k) and Death Benifits Date: 12/24/1999 9:31 AM
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Greetings, Ma1colm, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I'm 31 and have in the last couple months been making my first ever contributions to a 401(k) plan. The company I'm working for is in the process of switching plan administrators from Norwest to New England Financial. As part of this I signed the Death benifit designation form, which finaly gets me to the meat of my question. When I was reading through this (and swearing profusly at the lack of a good index fund in the new plan) I discovered that my my wife will only receive an annuity based on 50% of whatever is the current value in holdings when I die. The annuity is for the rest of her life and it doesn't specify how that calculation is made (I'm still waiting for them to return my call about this). What gives? Is this standard? If it's my money when I put it in the investment, should't it all go to my Wife and/or Son? Is there a vehicle for preventing this immediate loss? The scenareo I'm imagining is this -- I die at age 60, and my wife who is 10 years older then I am can only reasonably expect 10 years of these annuity payments. I doubt that it will make up for the 50% hit on my investments. Please let me know if I should be raising the roof over in the HR office about this or would that be tilting at windmills.>>

You are fully vested in money you contribute to a 401k plan at all times. If you die, your estate will receive 100% of those funds. I'm not sure what boilerplate language you were reading, but your plan administrator will be able to explain precisely what happens to your 401k plan money in the event of your death.

Regards..Pixy



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Author: Bobbcat Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16852 of 76095
Subject: Re: 401(k) and Death Benifits Date: 12/24/1999 5:37 PM
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Your plan is a "joint and survivor annuity plan".

If you predecease your wife, she should be able to choose either an annuity or to take a lump sum distribution of the entire amount.

If you retire, you will be able to choose a lump sum withdrawal or that the proceeds purchase a joint & survivor annuity.

For your peace of mind, verify with your employer that this is the way your plan works.

*Cat


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