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US Retirement Plan Overview -- Pensions, 401(k)
Advice and reference info from members. (Updated June 27, 2020.) Questions or comments to: email@example.com
If you received a "Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information" notice from Social Security, it is usually based on outdated information -- as indicated by the "Year Reported" date on the form included in the body of the notice. Here's how to decode it: https://www.hpalumni.org/PotentialBenefitLetter
If you are leaving the company, see our ASAP Checklist for additional information on this topic.
Retirement, pensions, 401(k), etc: These topics are discussed on the HPAA's Finance Forum. Ongoing discussions of US personal finance issues -- such as Social Security and stock -- from an ex-HP/HPE perspective. Join the Finance Forum
Health coverage. The HPAA Benefits Forum provides mutual help on health coverage -- whether HP-subsidized or not: COBRA, retiree plans (including decoding Annual Enrollment each year), Medicare, open-market plans. Plus other company-administered benefits such as discounts.
Classification as "Retired." If you left at 55 or older with at least 10 years of service -- or left after 2010 with age-plus-years-of-service of at least 80 -- HPI and HPE generally classify you as "retired" -- regardless of how you left and whether or not you have any retiree benefits. This is reported to outside payroll and employment verification services.
First step: Which HP-related companies am I a retiree or former employee of? HPInc, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Agilent, Compaq, DEC, DXC, EDS, Keysight, Micro Focus, Tandem... or multiple companies? Given HP's complex history of acquisitions, divestitures, and spinoffs, the company that you are legally a former employee of may not be obvious. Before contacting one of the HP-related companies, check here: Which Company for links to official and unofficial contact information for each company.
Legacy HP retirement plans (which many HPE retirees are also in)...
- HP Deferred Profit Sharing Plan. You may have a benefit if eligible before November 1, 1993. No further contributions made after that date. The DPSP is a defined contribution plan.
- HP Retirement Plan. You may have a benefit if employed by HP on or before December 31, 2002. Existing participants have stopped accruing additional benefits. The RP is a defined benefit plan.
For details on the legacy HP "DPSP" and "RP" retirement
plans -- including a thorough discussion of the key
question: Should you take a lump-sum or a monthly
Service at predecessor companies. Of HP's many predecessor companies, only HP and DEC had retiree healthcare programs. Only HP, DEC, and EDS had pension plans. Over the years, HP, DEC, and EDS set aside money in dedicated trust funds to pay for those programs. Compaq, Tandem, Autonomy, Palm, etc. did not have retiree healthcare or pensions among their benefits programs. Their employees did not have those expectations and there were no corresponding trust funds to pass on to an acquiring company. Therefore, employees of those companies do not get credit under HP's retiree healthcare or pension programs for service at the predecessor company. (Predecessor service does count for FTO.) Details: DEC Benefits EDS Benefits
2015: HPI/HPE Breakup.
"Overall, HP's pension plans are well funded and we continue to make contributions to pensions based on local funding requirements. HP is committed to maintaining funding in accordance with relevant pension funding rules, and this will not change following the business separation. Keep in mind any vested HP pension benefits you maintain are obligations of the pension plan itself, rather than HP. [Emphasis added] HP has made contributions to fund these benefits in a separate trust over time, and pension benefits are subject to minimum funding requirements that will continue even after the separation."
--Posted March 17, 2015 under "Retiree News" on the official HP Continuum password-protected retiree website operated by HPInc.
Rest assured, you will not lose any retirement benefit value as a result of the separation, and you will not need to take any action. If you still have benefits remaining in an HP pension plan or the HP 401(k) Plan, the value, timing, and method of your payments will not change, and you will not need to take any action. For more details about how your individual retirement benefits will be affected by the separation, watch for a personalized retirement announcement that will be mailed to your home in early September.
--From HP's August 27, 2015 message to US retirees
Future of retiree healthcare: HP never made any explicit commitment to provide retiree healthcare in the entire history of the company. Of the many Hewlett-Packard predecessor companies, only DEC had retiree healthcare. Prices paid by retirees will continue to rise due to the cap put in place in 2010. Details
Employee stock: With any employer, no one but you really cares about your employment-related stock. Due to the HP Breakup, you may have stock in up to seven HP-related companies. It may not all be held in the same place. With each spinoff, the cost basis for your shares changed. Many find stray accounts -- or need to retrieve stock or dividends turned over to a state as "unclaimed." You could pay taxes twice on the same income. Your heirs may not find it all. An HP Alumni team developed a step-by-step process to find it, protect it, and help you avoid double taxation. Employee Stock
Other benefits issues -- such as Social Security, Pension, 401(k), Stock, Medicare, annual enrollment, COBRA, troubleshooting retiree health coverage, etc:. HPAlumni Benefits Menu
For more mutual help on this topic and many others, join the independent HP Alumni Association. If you were formerly a regular, direct employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join HPAlumni via email. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.
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