Let me tell you a story. This story is about a client, who was experiencing an exciting life event. He had been with the same employer for over 10 years when he decided to pursue a new opportunity. He handed in his notice and received a stack of termination papers with what he thought was all he needed. Having had a close relationship over the years, this client knew that I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), so he asked me to take a look to make sure everything was in order. To my surprise, I noticed that there was no information regarding his pension. I double checked with him whether the company offered a pension and he confirmed that the company pension was a matching plan where the employer contributes and the employee matches. Astonishingly, there was no record of any pension being deducted from his pay cheques, despite him being eligible after two years of employment. Turns out, the employer had simply over looked (or neglected??) to deduct his pension contribution. On his behalf, I checked with the Human Resources office of his former employer, who confirmed that he was indeed eligible for a pension pay out – so where was it?
I negotiated with the company to ensure that he received the retirement funds to which he was entitled. This was no insignificant amount! Had my client not had the foresight to have me review his termination package, it is unlikely this error would have been uncovered. He was mighty happy to have me in his corner!
Are you experiencing a life event, or do you know someone who is getting married, having a child, divorced, retiring, starting a new job or going back to school?? It can never hurt to discuss life changing events with a Financial Planner. Likely, all will be fine; however, having a professional in YOUR corner could ensure that nothing gets left behind.