vdawg2010

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Does anyone know of Positions that offer pensions still? Or was that a thing of the past?
 

chessknt87

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Just invest intelligently and get a job that pays well. Much more flexibility and reliability than looking for jobs with pensions that may or may not be honored if the hospital goes under.
 
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gutonc

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Does anyone know of Positions that offer pensions still? Or was that a thing of the past?
Outside of the VA, no. Not a reason to work at the VA per se, but if your career interests align with the VA system, it's a nice little bonus.

Otherwise, either utilize whatever 401k/403b matching program your employer offers or just aggressively save/invest (and check out what's going on at whitecoatinvestor.org) for yourself.
 
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vdawg2010

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Does anyone know how many years you have to work at the VA to get any part of the pension? Just curious...
 

gutonc

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Does anyone know how many years you have to work at the VA to get any part of the pension? Just curious...
A bunch. The last time I paid attention to it was over 10 years ago and it was somebody with 30 years at the VA.
 
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vdawg2010

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I think if i'm reading the website calculation correctly, its minimum of 5 years. and its basically 1% of your salary for each year that is paid as pension on retirement. so if you were making 200k as a hospitalist at the VA and retired from them after 5 years, you would get a pension of 10k yearly until your death?
 

gutonc

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I think if i'm reading the website calculation correctly, its minimum of 5 years. and its basically 1% of your salary for each year that is paid as pension on retirement. so if you were making 200k as a hospitalist at the VA and retired from them after 5 years, you would get a pension of 10k yearly until your death?
Sure, why not? You can math as well as I can I assume.

But when people talk about a pension, in general, they're talking about a large fraction of what they were making when they retired...like in the 70-90% range, not the 5% range. If that's what the VA is paying these days, then F*** that.
 

Raryn

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Does anyone know of Positions that offer pensions still? Or was that a thing of the past?
Kaiser and the VA are the only ones I know of. Kaiser is 2% of salary/year for the first 20 years you work for them then 1% thereafter. So if you work there 30 years, you get 50% of your salary for life. That's in addition to the generous 401(k) match and such.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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Kaiser and the VA are the only ones I know of. Kaiser is 2% of salary/year for the first 20 years you work for them then 1% thereafter. So if you work there 30 years, you get 50% of your salary for life. That's in addition to the generous 401(k) match and such.
Will the pension be based on your latest salary? starting salary? highest? average?
 

Raryn

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gutonc

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Will the pension be based on your latest salary? starting salary? highest? average?
Typically it's going to be highest or average. But it's not like these jobs top out at $500k or anything.
 
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vdawg2010

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Kaiser is a strong system but if somehow it goes bankrupt, your pension is gone too after 20+ years of thinking it would be there!
 
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bronx43

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Kaiser is a strong system but if somehow it goes bankrupt, your pension is gone too after 20+ years of thinking it would be there!
Bingo. There is no reason to give up income potential for a "guaranteed" pension even if it is the biggest health care corporation in the US. There is a non-insignificant chance that the US will go to universal coverage within 15-20 years.
 
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vdawg2010

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Yeah sounds reasonable. But what does Universal Coverage have to do w pension?
 

Raryn

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Kaiser is a strong system but if somehow it goes bankrupt, your pension is gone too after 20+ years of thinking it would be there!
Bingo. There is no reason to give up income potential for a "guaranteed" pension even if it is the biggest health care corporation in the US. There is a non-insignificant chance that the US will go to universal coverage within 15-20 years.
I'm not employed by Kaiser but have friends and relatives who are, and have gone to a Kaiser recruitment dinner in the past. Based on information from all of those sources, Kaiser supposedly has their pensions fully funded in advance, and if it were to go bankrupt today has enough firewalled money to provide for all current employees at their current level of benefits for the next 60 years or something.
 

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Gpan

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I'm not employed by Kaiser but have friends and relatives who are, and have gone to a Kaiser recruitment dinner in the past. Based on information from all of those sources, Kaiser supposedly has their pensions fully funded in advance, and if it were to go bankrupt today has enough firewalled money to provide for all current employees at their current level of benefits for the next 60 years or something.
What are they supposed to say? especially at the recruitment dinner ?
"oh shoot we don't know, if we go bankrupt oh well, better luck with the next employment. You''re only 58 years old, not old at all, wink wink..high five. Now about that contract :)"
 

medrest

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I would not rely much on pension plans. Earn and save as much as possible. Increase your assets. Live a simple but happy life.
 

Mad Jack

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Yale-New Haven Hospital offers pensions, but I don't know if the employees of NEMG fall under that umbrella. Literally everyone else in the hospital gets a pension though, so I wouldn't be surprised. They will likely be phasing out the pension in future years, however, and have already moved half of it to a free guaranteed percentage of your pay dropped into your 403b per year, which honestly will offer better performance than a pension plan in the long run anyway.
 

obiwan

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Does anyone know of Positions that offer pensions still? Or was that a thing of the past?
The hospitalists for UTSW have a pension plan in addition to a couple of other retirement plans including 403b
 

CptNemo

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The other thing to remember is that pensions are not 100% free.

For the VA, you now pay 4.4% of your salary to the FERS pension program (it used to be 0.8% if you were hired several years ago).
The multiplier is 1% x years served vs. 1.1% x years served if you retire after 62 with 20 or more years of service.
So after 30 years, it would be 33.3% of your salary (calculated as the average of your top 3 years)

For the University of California, you pay 7% of your salary to the UCRP pension program.
The multiplier is a bit more complicated, but maxes out at 2.5% at 65 years of age (at the time of retirement).

I'm not sure how Kaiser works in terms of paying into the program... haven't worked there full time.

Out of all of these, I would trust the federal government to stick around the longest... if they stop honoring their pensions, we'll have bigger problems to worry about than not getting our pension checks. Conversely, I could totally see CA going bankrupt.
 
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vdawg2010

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good points cpt.

so what is the difference in obtaining a pension versus funding via 401k, 402b where the employer matches like 7% etc if one were to retire at
65yrs and live till like 90yrs? It sounds like a pension would be better if you can manage to stay employed with the same place long enough.


The other thing to remember is that pensions are not 100% free.

For the VA, you now pay 4.4% of your salary to the FERS pension program (it used to be 0.8% if you were hired several years ago).
The multiplier is 1% x years served vs. 1.1% x years served if you retire after 62 with 20 or more years of service.
So after 30 years, it would be 33.3% of your salary (calculated as the average of your top 3 years)

For the University of California, you pay 7% of your salary to the UCRP pension program.
The multiplier is a bit more complicated, but maxes out at 2.5% at 65 years of age (at the time of retirement).

I'm not sure how Kaiser works in terms of paying into the program... haven't worked there full time.

Out of all of these, I would trust the federal government to stick around the longest... if they stop honoring their pensions, we'll have bigger problems to worry about than not getting our pension checks. Conversely, I could totally see CA going bankrupt.
 

CityLights

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good points cpt.

so what is the difference in obtaining a pension versus funding via 401k, 402b where the employer matches like 7% etc if one were to retire at
65yrs and live till like 90yrs? It sounds like a pension would be better if you can manage to stay employed with the same place long enough.
Your question asks about the basic difference between a defined contribution plan (401k, 403b) and a defined benefit plan (pension). They are very different plans and google should lead you to good sources.

Besides the VA, county hospitals and University health systems often offer pensions to physicians.
 
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vdawg2010

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Wow so if I worked as a Hospitalist for 30 years at the VA, my pension would only be 75k each year (assuming 225k salary each yr) after retirement??



The other thing to remember is that pensions are not 100% free.

For the VA, you now pay 4.4% of your salary to the FERS pension program (it used to be 0.8% if you were hired several years ago).
The multiplier is 1% x years served vs. 1.1% x years served if you retire after 62 with 20 or more years of service.
So after 30 years, it would be 33.3% of your salary (calculated as the average of your top 3 years)

For the University of California, you pay 7% of your salary to the UCRP pension program.
The multiplier is a bit more complicated, but maxes out at 2.5% at 65 years of age (at the time of retirement).

I'm not sure how Kaiser works in terms of paying into the program... haven't worked there full time.

Out of all of these, I would trust the federal government to stick around the longest... if they stop honoring their pensions, we'll have bigger problems to worry about than not getting our pension checks. Conversely, I could totally see CA going bankrupt.
 

Doc_Mcstuffins

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At VA, you aren't making 225K at end of your career as a hospitalist. Remember its federal government, you take a pay cut to work there. Friend who worked for VA in DC/Baltimore area started at 165K, after 5-10 years, you can expect to be around 180-190K but it levels out soon after that. Don't get me wrong, making 190-200K at the VA after 10 plus years is still a good job but there is a ceiling to how much you can make and unless you become hospitalist director or other higher leadership position, my friend said you aren't making over 220-225K that easily. Pulm/critical care make about 230K for reference and this is in a high cost living area.
 

Raryn

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Wow so if I worked as a Hospitalist for 30 years at the VA, my pension would only be 75k each year (assuming 225k salary each yr) after retirement??
On top of pension, you'll have your 401(k) equivalent, SS, and your own personal savings as well. The pension is just a cherry on the cake.