One in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. When that happens, people immediately look at the impact it will have on their job and their paycheck. But what about their retirement?
According to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a person who ends up on long-term disability and is no longer on a company’s payroll is prohibited from making contributions to a 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plan.
“You fall off the payroll and your retirement funding comes to a screeching halt. A lot of people don’t realize that,” said Paul Hinson, president of the Pension Advisory Group in Richmond, Texas. “Once they become disabled their pension or retirement plan becomes disabled. It really doesn’t matter the rate of return you are making on investments if you are not getting any funding.”
Hinson’s company devised a new type of insurance that protects retirement plan participants from the threat of disability by ensuring their retirement savings.
Pension Advisory and Pro Financial Services in Chicago, Ill., are offering what they call Retirement Income Assurance Policy, a group long-term disability insurance product.
Under the program, group long-term disability insurance is purchased by an employer to protect employees who participate in the company’s qualified defined contribution plan.
If a 44-year-old worker became disabled, but they were paying in $1,000 a month to retirement savings with a 50 percent employer match, the insurance would keep paying that $1,500 a month into an annuity on behalf of the disabled individual, Hinson said.