How Do I Invest Money in My Pension?

Employees are not able to control investments in a Pension Fund, but you can control a few variables. You cannot direct investments in your pension.

Since a pension is a type of Defined Benefit Plan provided by your employer, the company worries about the investments, and you will receive a fixed monthly payment that is calculated based on your age, salary, and number of years worked for the company.

If the company’s Pension Plan made more money than initially predicted, the company would simply withdraw money and add it to their profits, if it still leaves them enough of a surplus. But it doesn’t mean at all that your pension payments will increase.

The Pension Fund must adhere to guidelines and regulations involving the calculations of an enrolled actuary, and must file IRS Form 5500 (found here). It is important that employees remain aware of the health of their pension fund assets. Reports to pensioners are supposed to be distributed every year.

If there is a problem, the board of the company must be willing to discuss it with the pensioners. If all else fails, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PGBC) insures pension payments up to a limit, but this may not be the entire pension you were expecting.

Pensioners may be able to choose whether their spouse will continue to receive benefits after the pensioner dies, even if that means they take a lower payout up front. Pensions may also offer a number of “years certain” on the payout, which means benefits will be paid for a certain number of years whether or not the pensioner is alive.

Can I Decide How My Money is Invested in My Defined Benefit Plan?
How are My Retirement Benefits Computed?