Frozen pension means that the employee will no longer receive the benefits of that plan. It is solely dependent upon the company to award or take away the benefits from the employee. However, what the company cannot do is they cannot take away the benefits which the employee has earned outside the pension plan. That is, the benefits that they have earned before the implementation of the pension.
Frozen pensions are primarily categorized into three parts depending on the level of benefits the person receives. There are soft freezes, hard freezes and partial freezes. Depending on various ways a company or the employer may choose to freeze a pension. Some of them are listed as follows:
- A 100% freeze on the pension. It means that one will no longer be able to avail any of the benefits that come with the pension plan. Even though the employees cannot benefit from the scheme, they will still be able to receive the bonuses which they had earned previously.
- Many a times, due to some reasons, an employer or a company may provide pensions only to selective employees which freeze the benefits of others. This happens mostly in the cases when there are new recruitments.
- Another way of freezing pension can be when an employee is working in the company and as his pension has been frozen, he will not be able to access the benefits for the future years that he will be working for the company. However, he can still figure the benefits during his pay when he chooses to discontinue with the plan.
Frozen pension can refer to either occupational or state pension. Frozen occupational pension refers to the pension which a person has not claimed after leaving their company. While Frozen state pension refers to the time when a person’s pension has been ‘frozen’ or stopped because they no longer live in the same country as they did before.
Whether due to the aforementioned reasons or any other, many companies have frozen their employees’ pensions to cut the cost of expenses. If you find yourself in this position, worry not. Here is what you need to do now:
Since your benefits have been locked, it is time to assess your current situation and control your expenses. Suppose you were expecting to receive $1500, but due to your frozen pension it is now $1200 you need to cover up for the $300. And you can do so by saving and reducing a fair amount of expenditure.
In order to maintain your current standard of living, you can also look for a job.
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