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I'm inclined to start as I don't want to lose it should the pension fund go under... Yes, I guess there's insurance that might cover that, but is that really safe?

Aren't most pensions insured by US government?
I'd start by asking the company administering it about how it's insured, and how you can find out what would happen if their company suddenly went away or something else happened like happened to other pension plans.
ex Delphi's pensions:
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124826066892471781
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