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I believe you are misinformed - and you parrot a talking point of those who seek to eliminate pensions in favor of 401(k) plans only. First, the "pension" benefit, once accrued is ALWAYS a benefit to be paid to the participant at the appropriate time. In other words, it is TOTALLY irrelevant that it isn't "portable." It's a FIXED benefit at the time of termination of employment, and even though it is not payable until some tie in the future, it doesn't "go away." See Internal Revenue Code Section 411(d)(6) and the regulations. So, why is "portability" relevant. I think it's not.

Additionally, some are "portable" if they allow for a lump sum distribution at time of termination. you take an actuarially determined hit (based on years to normal retirement age and current interest rates), but it is possible. I generally DON'T recommend it (or recommend the option to my clients, for a variety of reasons.

So, who cares that it's not "portable"? Once vested (and the rules on that vary based on plan design - but don't exceed various minimums)it's a benefit you will ALWAYS have - regardless of where you go.

I worked at KeyCorp - leaving in 1999 and STILL have a vested benefit under their pension plan - which will provide me a benefit when I turn age 65 - NO QUESTIONS ASKED - for the rest of my life.

The ONLY issue is one of keeping track of it, and knowing when you can get it. Not a problem, really....
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