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If you roll over the pension to an IRA, the money is yours, and if you die, your heirs will inherit it. If you decide to wait until 55 or 65, and get run over by a truck, no one will collect a dime if you are single. For some, the ability to have the money to pass on to kids is a factor.

Three added wrinkles in this regard.

When money is removed from an inherited traditional IRA, income taxes have to be paid. Except for a spouse, and sometimes for a spouse, there are rules and regulations about how quickly money must be withdrawn. An example, IIRC, is that 72(t) SEPP distributions must continue. I assume that the rules are somewhat different for a Roth IRA, since it gets a different tax treatment.

If you wait and get hit by a bus, a surviving spouse may not be given any choice about annuity or lump-sum payments (even if you would have had such a choice at that later age). Spouse may also get a greatly reduced annuity payment.

If you die divorced and single, the pension benefit may still go to the divorced spouse. Some people would be pissed off about that.
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