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jane murray

Subsidized Early Retirement

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we have a defined benefit plan with a normal retirement age of 65 and no early retirement age.  can the plan be amended currently to add a fully subsidized early retirement age of 50?  does the IRS restrict the use of a fully subsidized early retirement age that is below a certain age or would age 50 be acceptable?

for example, an employee age 45 participates for 5 years under the plan and terminates at age 50.  after the amendment is made, can the lump sum benefit for this individual be calculated unreduced and fully subsidized at age 50 as opposed to deferred from age 65?

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Maybe, depends on how plan is written to calculate lump sum, usually it is calculated as the PV of the deferred NRB not the immediate annuity. Also be wary of the actuarial reductions on the 415 limit which affect the lump sum. Eliminating the plan's actuarial reduction for early commencement doesn't get rid of the 415 reduction (only the plan rate comparison), but it does buy you 3 years (65 to 62) w/o reduction.

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Thanks cusefan!  if plan is written to calculate lump sum as the present value of the immediate annuity, an age 50 unreduced subsidized benefit would be allowable. this assumes the 415 limits are not exceeded.

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