What Happens to Your Pension When You Quit?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Keeping or Rolling Over Your Pension

When you leave a job, you typically have two main options for your pension:

  1. Keep the Pension Where It Is: You can leave your pension funds in your former employer’s plan. This choice might be beneficial if you’re satisfied with the plan’s investment options and fees.
  2. Roll It Over to an IRA Annuity: This involves moving your pension funds into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) annuity. This option offers more control and potentially a wider range of investment choices.

Opting for a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB)

Choosing a GLWB with your IRA annuity can be advantageous if you prefer a guaranteed income. The benefits include:

  • Accurate Forecast of Retirement Income: GLWB lets you know exactly how much income you will receive in retirement, providing financial security.
  • Control Over Money: You have the flexibility to make changes to your investment choices within the annuity.
  • Interest Earnings: The possibility of earning interest on your annuity balance can help grow your retirement savings.
  • Liquidity: Some plans offer options to withdraw some of your funds without penalties.
  • Death Benefit for Beneficiaries: In the event of your death, your beneficiaries can receive a specified death benefit.

Pension Options Comparison

OptionControl Over FundsInvestment ChoicesGuaranteed IncomeLiquidityDeath Benefit
Keep PensionLimitedDepends on PlanYes (Based on Plan)LimitedVaries by Plan
IRA Annuity without GLWBHighWide RangeNoHighDepends on Policy
IRA Annuity with GLWBHighWide RangeYesModerateYes


Choosing between keeping your pension with your former employer or rolling it over to an IRA annuity, with or without a GLWB, depends on your preference for guaranteed income, control over your investments, and other financial needs. Assessing these options carefully will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your retirement goals. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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