Retirement Plans

Defined Benefit Plan

A Defined Benefit Plan, often referred to as a traditional pension plan, is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that promises employees a specific monthly benefit upon retirement. The benefit amount is typically based on factors such as an employee’s years of service and salary history, providing retirees with a predictable and guaranteed income stream during their retirement years.

Design Elements

Benefit Formula

This defines how the retirement benefit is calculated, usually based on factors like years of service and salary history. Common formulas include flat dollar amounts per year of service or a percentage of the average salary over a specific period.

Eligibility and Vesting

The plan outlines when employees become eligible to participate and when they become vested, which means they have earned the right to the promised benefits. Vesting periods can vary but are typically based on years of service.

Contribution Structure

Employers are responsible for contributing funds to the plan to cover future benefit payments. These contributions are determined by actuaries and should be sufficient to meet the plan’s obligations.