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Leaving and your employer-sponsored retirement plan

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there

Your retirement plan offers you several choices when you decide to change jobs or when if you lose your job. While these depend on the rules of your specific plan and the type of pension place the employer has put in place, these general principles apply. The first thing you will need to do is to determine the funds that you have accumulated in your pension fund. This may include amounts you have contributed, the “vested” portion of any amounts your employer has contributed, plus any earnings on those contributions. You will need to think carefully before making any decisions about the money in your retirement plan, as some choices may mean you have pay taxes on the funds you have accumulated. It’s also a good idea to talk with a financial advisor before making a decision.

The options available to you may include:

  • Keeping your funds in the employer’s plan allowing for continued tax-deferred growth
  • Transfer to another registered employer-sponsored plan, an individual annuity or Registered Retirement Savings Plan
  • Purchase government bonds with the funds
  • Take part of all of the money in cash – and pay the required tax.

These options may require approval from the Inland Revenue Department.