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Signs Your Pension Plan is in Trouble (Wall Street Journal)

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If your pension plan is underfunded, you could be at risk of losing some of your benefits. That isn’t news. But did you know that your pension can be at risk even if the plan is relatively healthy? Ellen Schultz outlines four red flags to look for, and shares how to protect yourself. First, consider the health of your employer. Employers who are looking to cut costs may freeze a pension program, especially if employees don’t stand up for themselves. Other questions to ask: Does your plan offer lump-sum payouts? Has your company recently changed hands? Is your employer religious, and would the company qualify for a “church plan,” which are exempt from federal pension rules, including those that require employers to fund the plans and insure them with the PBGC.