Consider Carefully in Choosing Between a Lump Sum and an Annuity

If your retirement plan includes a pension, consider carefully in choosing between a lump sum and an annuity

A number of large employers offer the option to cash out pensions to retirees and former employees, providing a lump sum payment rather than an annuity.

This option can be beneficial for some people, and tempting for many others. Individuals should carefully consider their options before opting for a lump sum payment. Choosing a lump sum payment is a permanent decision that cannot be reversed, and it is not appropriate for everyone. Littman Krooks retirement planning

A lump sum payment may be beneficial for if an individual is in poor health and does not expect to live long enough to benefit from the guaranteed income provided by the pension. The lump sum payment can assist with their increased medical and living expenses. A lump sum payment can also be beneficial for those who have not saved enough for their retirement and therefore needs access to funds for basic living expenses.

For most, though, having a guaranteed income from the pension is the best option. When retirees take the lump sum, they become responsible for investing the proceeds and making sure it lasts throughout retirement. Opting to receive a pension places the responsibility to invest retirement funds on the financial company. In addition, the lump sum payout is calculated based on average life expectancy — those who live longer will lose out if they take a lump sum payment. Further, leaving the pension in place may have certain advantages in long term care planning in the event the retiree needs nursing care.

Taking the lump sum can also be detrimental from a tax perspective. Unless the lump sum is directly rolled into an IRA, it is counted as income for the year, which could push the individual into a higher tax bracket. To determine if a lump sum payout is the best option for you, meet with your accountant, financial advisor, and experienced elder law attorney at Littman Krooks LLP.

 

Learn more about our services by visiting www.elderlawnewyork.com.


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