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Employee Benefits Security Administration

10 Common Causes Of Errors In Pension Calculation

  • All relevant compensation, such as commissions, overtime, and bonuses, (if these were to be included in your plan) was not included in calculating your benefits.
  • The calculation was not based on all your years of service with the company, or all work within different divisions.
  • The plan administrator used an incorrect benefit formula, such as wrong interest rate.
  • Plan used wrong social security data in calculating your benefits.
  • Basic information such as birthdate, and, or social security number was incorrect.
  • Your company merged with another company, or went out of business, and there is confusion over which pension benefits you qualify for.
  • Assets in your account were improperly valued.
  • Your employer failed to make required contributions on your behalf.
  • Basic mistakes were made in the mathematical calculations.
  • You failed to update your personnel office with changes (marriage, divorce, death of spouse) that may affect your benefits.

Consumer Tips For Safeguarding Your Pension

  • Know your pension plan. Obtain and review your Summary Plan Description (SPD), the rulebook for your pension.
  • Review your individual benefit statement and individual account information. Know what your accrued and vested benefits are.
  • Maintain a pension file. Keep records of where you've worked, dates you've worked there, your salary and any plan documents or benefit statements you've received.
  • Notify your plan administrator of any changes that may affect your benefit payments (i.e., marriage, divorce, death of a spouse).
  • Know the person in your company who has information about your pension plan and can give you plan documents.
  • Know how the merger or acquisition of your company will affect your pension benefit.
  • Know your pension rights. Request information on your pension rights and how to protect your pension. Call 1-866-444-3272 for publications.
  • Contact the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration if you have any additional questions about your rights under the law.