Thursday, June 07, 2012

How much longer to get my pension money?

Some Gannett Bloggers have been asking how much time Gannett can take to send pension money to employees who've left the company. A reader who knows about these things sent me the following text:

Timing of Notice of Benefit Claim Decision
You will receive a written or electronic notice informing you of the decision of the Gannett Corporate Benefits Department within 90 days after your claim is received. If special circumstances require, the initial 90-day decision making period may be extended up to a period of 90 additional days. If this happens, the Gannett Corporate Benefits Department will provide you with a written notice of the extension. You will get this notice before the end of the initial 90-day period. The notice will indicate the special circumstances requiring the extension and the expected decision date.


  1. What "decision" do they need to make??...If you've left the company and are requesting your pension, you're either rolling it over into an IRA or want the pay-out...Am I missing something??

  2. Yes, you are.

  3. You can keep your pension in Gannett's federally regulated pension fund, and draw the obligated annuity at the designated age.

    What are anyone else's thoughts on that? I am eligible to remove mine and reinvest it, but Gannett offers only an inaccurately low payout to me, so I haven't.

    Withdrawing it may change the regulations governing the funds from federal to state laws, generally less favorable, but federal guarantee is only some percentage if Gannett goes bankrupt. What percentage?

    Can bankruptcy trustees retrieve company assets from the past "salaries" of the execs who bankrupted it? (That last question is rhetorical, sadly).

  4. I'm aware of leaving it and drawing an annuity...Thanks, but no thanks on that though.

    I'm interested in hearing others experiences in finding their payouts are less than they were originally led to believe.

    In 08 we received the estimated pension amount, which at the time I thought represented what was actually accumulated in the fund...Then earlier this year when we received the updated amount it was aprox. $25K less...The explanation we received was that the 08 amount was what they estimated we'd have at retirement.

    If that's the case, I think the 08 document was poorly worded/explained.

  5. My 2012 paperwork showed a lower amount than expected. This came just after the "special contribution" designed to avoid a class action lawsuit by add a few points of bonus money to older workers.I requested a review of my account. The revised number rendered was about $3K higher than the original figure tendered in January. BTW: I have outbounded my 401K into a self directed brokerage account. The options are better.

  6. Yes it only said estimated eight times in the documents. You can get a social security estimate 12 times a year and it will differ. I think that is because estimates are well estimates. You can get your 401k estimate daily too. But it changes. Estimates seem to lack certainty is seems.

  7. When you go to the checkout counter at the grocery you estimate what you will be spending, so that unless you have a credit card you have enough money. There are so many variables in a pension formula as well as so many different formulas from the old days that they apparently could only do estimates in '08.

    For instance, did you work in the same pension plan for your whole career? Did you get a commission that was paid after the cutoff but was earned earlier in the year. Did you leave the company and come back. Probably a 100 variations.

    So they gave an estimate. It isn't a true, certain, calculation until all the variables are in. I know this right from our HR person. So, an estimate was like going to the grocer and estimating what you would owe (or get paid in this case).

  8. The 401k is not an estimate. It is the actual value of your account, based on the previous day's market close. I woukd recommend everyone check it every couple of weeks. I would also recommend everyone check to see how much of your portfolio is in Gannett shares.

  9. Boggles the mind that anyone could shrug off a multi-year series of statements and assurances as "estimates" when the numbers, the in-writing, accumulated values that people have been banking on for years, suddenly plummet by five- and six-figure amounts. How were the previous statements represented in the corporate-wide pension obligation? Who's administering and how has that changed?


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