Financial Answer Center
- Defined Benefit Plans: Fixed Income for Life?
- Defined Contribution Plans: Brief Descriptions
The three-legged retirement stool concept consists of Social Security, pension and profit-sharing plans, and personal savings. Your employer is responsible for the pension leg. You are responsible for understanding the profit-sharing plans and taking advantage of the tools provided to help you with the personal savings leg. If you are working for a large employer, you most likely have more than one type of retirement plan available to you. These plans, in general, are known as "qualified" plans because they meet Internal Revenue Service guidelines that offer certain tax privileges. As long as you and the company continue to follow IRS guidelines, both parties will enjoy current tax benefits.
While some plans may be fully paid by your company, other plans may require you to make a contribution. Unfortunately, many employees fail to take the time to know how their company plans work. Do you know if you are eligible to receive a monthly benefit from your employer when you retire? Do you know what the formula is based on? Do you know how much you can save in your company's retirement plan? Employees should become familiar with all the features of their company plans.