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US Retirement Plan Overview -- Pensions, 401(k)

Advice and reference info from members. (Updated November 17, 2019.) Questions or comments to: info@hpalumni.org

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you received a "Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information" notice from Social Security, it is usually based on outdated information -- as indicated by the "Year Reported" date on the form included in the body of the notice.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

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-HPInc/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" -- even if WFRed.  This is reported to outside payroll and employment verification services. To determine if you have any retiree benefits, contact the appropriate company: HP contacts   Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) contacts

First step: Which Company am I a retiree or former employee of? HP Inc, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Compaq, DEC, DXC, EDS, 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 

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. .

- 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.

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 pension?
-- see Legacy Retirement Plans

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. (Note that qualifying years-of-service may vary for different types of benefit. For example, predecessor service counts to determine 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 HP Inc.

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


Related topics...

Future of retiree healthcare: HP never made any explicit commitment to provide retiree healthcare in the entire history of the company. Of HP's 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. 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 prevent 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. No charge, thanks to HPAA members.


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