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Author: millerpim Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76398  
Subject: Are Pension Plans Secret? Date: 7/27/2000 9:53 AM
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My company (read: president/ceo) has revamped our pension plan, to which it contributes 6% of each employee's annual salary twice a year. At a so-called pension plan meeting--presented by some insurance agent who didn't give anyone his full name or business card--employees were given a 5-year rate of return chart and asked to select from this menu certain investments.

Now that I'm partially vested in this plan, I asked my employer for a prospectus on each fund. I can't seem to get one. I looked up the investment firm (Mass. Mutual) on the Web and discovered it doesn't have a record of me or my S. S. #. I did find, however, two of the investments I had selected. The other two are not listed. The two listed invest in mutual funds. Yes, it's a mutual fund that buys mutual funds and charges a 1% management fee, which I figure is probably in addition to mgt. fees paid in the underlying funds.

I'm not saying there is something "fishy" going on. I simply want to track my investment portfolio and rate its performance. But if there is something fishy going on, how would I find out?

Doesn't the company have to give me a prospectus?

Now I hear my company plans to revamp the pension plan program again because we have an in-house insurance agent through whom it can receive commissions.

How much am I legally entitled to know about my company's pension plan and my status? If I can't get this information from my employer, where else can I get it? I am really at a loss here. Thank you.

elizabeth@pimn.org
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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: 23718 of 76398
Subject: Re: Are Pension Plans Secret? Date: 7/27/2000 10:09 AM
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Greetings, Elizabeth, and welcome. You asked:

<<I'm not saying there is something "fishy" going on. I simply want to track my investment portfolio and rate its performance. But if there is something fishy going on, how would I find out?>>

From what you wrote, I think it's more a case of lousy plan administration rather than something nefarious going on. Were I you, I would loudly and persistently demand an explanation from your HR/benefits administrator and plan custodian.

<<Doesn't the company have to give me a prospectus?>>

Yes, a clear description of all options and their risks is to be made available to all plan participants.

Now I hear my company plans to revamp the pension plan program again because we have an in-house insurance agent through whom it can receive commissions.

<<How much am I legally entitled to know about my company's pension plan and my status? If I can't get this information from my employer, where else can I get it? I am really at a loss here.>>

Keep complaining. Also, to get a full understanding of your rights and your plan's/employer's obligations to you, visit the Department of Labor Pension & Welfare Benefits Administration site at http://www.dol.gov/dol/pwba/public/pubs/main.htm where you will find a whole host of publications outlining your rights.

Regards..Pixy

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