Ask Terry Questions Share pension with spouse?

Share pension with spouse?

By Terry Savage on March 23, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Which Option would you recommend. I am married, and my husband has a good pension, he doesn’t need my pension if I die.
1. Monthly payments of $1,196.63 until I die. (I’m turning 65 and in good health) he gets nothing from this pension.
2. Lump sum $111,699.24 and place it in my husbands pension program, and I wait till he retires. (He is 62 and retiring at 66)
3. Lump sum $111,699.24 and place it with a financial group for monthly payments now under my name, but when I die he would be the beneficiary of whats left.

Terry Says

Whoa — where are you getting these “choices”?  I think someone is trying to sell you something!

First, are you really sure your husband wouldn’t need a piece of your pension after your death — especially, if as a family you wind up spending more than expected on long term care?  (Please consider a combo life/LTC policy — column on that coming soon. But here’s a link to my most recent one on that subject.)  If you don’t need the care, your spouse will be the beneficiary at your death.

I have no idea how you would “put your money in your husbands pension program.”  That doesn’t seem right at all!  A pension is an INDIVIDUAL retirement plan.  Don’t even go down that trail — it’s a dead end.

And, aha, now we are getting to the crux of the situation.  Someone is trying to sell you an annuity, with a beneficiary.  And the salesperson is going to get a big commission!   If  you want to look at a joint life time annuity and see how much money you could receive every month go to   There you can input your age, state of residence and the amount you have to invest.  Then you will see how much you could get every month.  compare that to your monthly pension check from your employer — either as an individual, or jointly with your spouse as beneficiary.

You don’t need anyone to sell something to you.  The choice will be obvious.  But please do think about the possibility that he might need your pension down the road.  If he truly won’t, then enjoy your larger check — and live a long time!  (And if you’re given the choice of being a joint beneficiary of HIS pension fund, be sure you agree to take it!!)

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