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I am planning to retire in about 3 months, and my
employer offers a pension to me. I need to determine
if it is wise to take the Single Life Only option
where I would receive the maximum pension money.

The alternative seems to be to take the Joint and
Survivor option that will provide a lifetime income
for my spouse of about $30,000 when I die. The
pension difference between the 100% (Single Life)
option, and the Joint Survivor option is about
$5,000/year to me.


I would need more information to be more definite, but a Lump Sum Distribution of a FMV $600,000 pension would be taxed at about 26% with 5 year averaging, and a lower percentage if it is less $s and/or if you were a participant prior to 1974. The $30,000 pension might, along with other income and SS, put you into the 28% or even 31% tax bracket for these funds. You may prefer investing your own funds versus a fixed pension income, and leaving some of it to children as a pension will stop when both you and your spouse die, or just you die on a single life option. It is worth considering, at least. Ed
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