It would be difficult to make the case that the bounty of material available at the U.S. Department of Labor website makes for addictive, page-turning reading, but there’s no denying that it is helpfully informational and well-organized. Here, for example, via its Employee Benefits Security Administration, are some thumbnail basics having to do with pensions.
10 Common Causes Of Errors In Pension Calculation
All relevant compensation, such as commissions, overtime, and bonuses, (if these were to be included in your plan) was not included in calculating your benefits.
The calculation was not based on all your years of service with the company, or all work within different divisions.
The plan administrator used an incorrect benefit formula, such as wrong interest rate.
Plan used wrong social security data in calculating your benefits.
Basic information such as birthdate, and, or social security number was incorrect.
Your company merged with another company, or went out of business, and there is confusion over which pension benefits you qualify for.
Assets in your account were improperly valued.
Your employer failed to make required contributions on your behalf.
Basic mistakes were made in the mathematical calculations.
You failed to update your personnel office with changes (marriage, divorce, death of spouse) that may affect your benefits.
Consumer Tips For Safeguarding Your Pension
Know your pension plan. Obtain and review your Summary Plan Description (SPD), the rulebook for your pension.
Review your individual benefit statement and individual account information. Know what your accrued and vested benefits are.
Maintain a pension file. Keep records of where you’ve worked, dates you’ve worked there, your salary and any plan documents or benefit statements you’ve received.
Notify your plan administrator of any changes that may affect your benefit payments (i.e., marriage, divorce, death of a spouse).
Know the person in your company who has information about your pension plan and can give you plan documents.
Know how the merger or acquisition of your company will affect your pension benefit.
Know your pension rights. Request information on your pension rights and how to protect your pension. Call 1-866-444-32721-866-444-3272 for publications.
Contact the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration if you have any additional questions about your rights under the law.