Pensions and investments are financial tools people use to prepare for retirement. Not all employers offer pensions, but those who do, will contribute money to the pension plan while the employee is still working. Once the employee retires from the company and reaches a certain retirement age, the money will be paid as a monthly check.
Most pension plans have been replaced with 401(k) retirement plans. This type of investment offers the employee various options to invest for their future. Since most 401(k) investment plans do not provide a way to invest that promises a guaranteed income, some employers offer an option within a 401(k), called a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC). This option allows the employee to invest in it, thereby creating a guaranteed income.
An individual retirement account (IRA) is another type of retirement investment that gives people a tax break for investing money into the account for their retirement. Of course, there are rules regarding all types of investments and when they will become accessible. It is a good idea to consult a qualified financial advisor to find the right investment vehicle for your needs.
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Legal Issues to Consider Regarding Retirement Investments
Along with retirement investments, come legal issues. Investment fraud scams are commonplace, and the elderly are often the targets of these criminal acts. These scams are often tied to other transactions, in particular, mortgage and home ownership transactions.
For individuals who are mentally incompetent, have a debilitating condition, or are unable to make sound financial decisions, a power of attorney may be necessary. Other legal issues to consider in regard to retirement investments include:
- Denial of pension benefits;
- Distribution of pensions upon divorce;
- Transfer of personal retirement accounts for familial beneficiaries; and/or
- Pension fraud.
What If I Have a Legal Claim Involving Pensions?
If you have encountered a legal issue involving your pension, you should consult an attorney. Pension claims can be legally complex and labor intensive. For a claim involving your pension, consider taking the following steps:
- Gather all pertinent documents related to your claim. For instance, contracts, pension payments and receipts, checks, and any other related documents that you can give your attorney.
- Some disputes over pension plans are due to an administrative error. Be sure to thoroughly review your plan and note any discrepancies.
- Be alert for any instance of fraud or misrepresentation.
Your attorney will be able to further advise you on your next steps in the legal process. If any instance of fraud is involved, not only are civil claims possible, but criminal charges may follow.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Pensions or Investments?
Pension and investment matters can be complex, with various legal issues that may arise. An experienced employment attorney will be able to assist you with any claim you may have involving your pension or other retirement plan with your employer. Your attorney will be able to build your case, and represent your best interests in any upcoming legal proceedings.