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You need to look at this VERY CLOSELY especially since
you have a lot of years in the company. My company
just switched to a cash balance plan and (with 15
years in the company) I was one of the losers. There
was no choice on my part to select the old plan since
I am not "retirement eligable within 5 years". A good
article on the topic that I found is:

The kicker was that the "cash balance account" is based
on the 1 year treasury bond rate + 1% (which is 5.5%
for 1999) and employees have NO OPTION to invest it
more aggressively.

I had a financial planner review my retirement
planning given the new numbers to see if I could still
retire at age 55 (which was my plan under the old
system). Due to the size of my 401K and the fact that
it is making good money in stocks, the answer was
still "YES" but lots of co-workers with smaller
accounts are stuck.

Despite the good news in the above paragraph, I still
"cry" to think that my retirement portfolio went from
100% stocks to 20% bond/80% stock due to this new plan
when I have 19 years before retirement age 55. This is
way too conservative for me!
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