Pension Maximization

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DEFINITION of 'Pension Maximization'

A retirement strategy for couples that involves purchasing a single life annuity on the older spouse rather than a dual or joint life with last survivor annuity that covers both people. The increased income received from the annuity will be used to fund the couple's retirement up until the older spouse dies.

Should the older spouse die first, the surviving spouse will use the life insurance proceeds to purchase a single annuity to fund the remainder of his or her retirement. At this point, the higher age of the surviving spouse will allow for more annuity income than he or she would have received at the beginning of the pension maximization process.

BREAKING DOWN 'Pension Maximization'

The basis of this strategy is that the extra money received from the single life annuity on the older spouse yields sufficient income for the couple to live on and also to fund a life insurance policy on the older spouse.

However, there are many important factors to consider before attempting this strategy, including the health of both spouses, other income, tax implications and the specific terms of the couple's pension or medical plan. Plans should be discussed with a licensed insurance professional or financial planner.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is pension maximization?

    Pension maximization refers to a strategy for choosing a payout option at the time of your retirement. Employees near retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I leave my pension to my spouse when I pass away?

    In most cases, an individual with a pension plan should have the option to leave at least a portion of his or her pension ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the best ways to sell an annuity?

    The best ways to sell an annuity are to locate buyers from insurance agents or companies that specialize in connecting buyers ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

    Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do you calculate penalties on an IRA or Roth IRA early withdrawal?

    With a few exceptions, early withdrawals from traditional or Roth IRAs generally incur a tax penalty equal to 10% of the ... Read Full Answer >>

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