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Pennsylvania - Quitting; what happens to Pension, 401K, and vacation time?

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  • Pennsylvania - Quitting; what happens to Pension, 401K, and vacation time?

    Deleted by op.
    Last edited by glwgal; 05-19-2011, 10:31 AM.

  • #2
    Vacation: In PA, it depends on the specific company. PA law requires only that the company follow whatever their policy is. If there is a written company policy that earned but unused vacaation shall be paid out, then the state will expect them to follow that policy. If there is a policy stating that it will only be paid out in certain circumstances, then it only needs to be paid out in those circumstances. And if there is no policy either way, then it need not be paid out.

    401k: Your 401k plan document will specify the schedule under which your funds can be transferred, and what options you have. You will be send information from the plan administrator giving you a description of your options and telling you what you need to do, to access each specific option. The amount you have in the account will to a certain degree affect this. There will be a particular dollar amount which will be either $1500 or $5000 most likely (it changed a few years ago and I haven't dealt directly with 401k's since 2006, so I don't remember whether all plans had to ultimately change or if they could use either) and if you have less than that amount in your account, the plan can force you to cash it out if you do not give them alternate instructions within - I think it's 90 days, it might be 60. If you have more than the designated amount in your account, you will be able to leave your funds where they are if you want to, indefinitely. With the sole exception indicated above (you have less than the designated amount in your account and give them no instructions in the designated time) they CANNOT take any action until they receive your written instructions. They may require that your instructions be on the form they provide. Keep in mind that not all plans allow for immediate distribution, and you may not receive anything until the appropriate time for distribution. However, if you do not receive anything shortly after you leave, you are free to contact them and ask when you might expect it. The options you can expect are: Cashing it out (you will pay a penalty and tax); leaving it where it is; transferring it to another qualified plan. There may well be others; most if not all plans have at least these three.

    Pensions: I know there are others here with more pension (as opposed to 401k) experience than I have so you may get additional answers. However, true pensions (as opposed to 401k) are subject to both Federal law and the plan document. I seem to remember from way, way back when I last worked directly with pension plans (to give you an idea when that was, I know of at least one regular responder on this board who was still in nursery school at the time) that you CANNOT access a pension plan except in very limited situations which do not apply here, until you are at minimum 55 years of age, but I will not swear that this is still true. You will need to look at the plan document of the pension plan to see under what circumstances you can access it. Unlike 401k plans, pensions are not transferrable to another account.

    There are no legal guidelines for notices. You may give as much or as little as you wish. However, the flip side of the coin is that the employer is free to determine for themselves under what circumstances you are or are not rehireable - it is not determined by law either.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Deleted by op.
      Last edited by glwgal; 05-19-2011, 10:30 AM.

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      • #4
        No, you won't lose your pension; you just won't be able to access it until you are of retirement age. You'll be contacted at the appropriate time. It's barely possible that if it's under a designated amount, it might be cashed out later, but you will receive the cash if that happens

        Everything YOU put into the 401k is yours. What, if anything, the employer put in may or may not be yours depending on the vesting schedule.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Quit; No Vacation Time

          Deleted by op.
          Last edited by glwgal; 05-19-2011, 10:30 AM.

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          • #6
            You might take your employee handbook to an employment or contract attorney in your state to see if it might rise to the level of a binding contract.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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            • #7
              You also might try the state DLI first. At least on the vacation issue.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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