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Pension Evaluation
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Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SARSEP): "A plan offered by small companies - typically those with fewer than 25 employees - that allows employees to make pretax contributions to their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) through salary reduction."

Same Property Rule: "A regulation relating to IRA rollovers stipulating that whenever a financial asset is withdrawn from a retirement account or IRA (for the purpose of funding a new IRA, for example), it must be rolled over into the same property (or format) of an IRA. Unless the party involved is over 59.5 years of age, failure to comply with this rule will result in the IRS taxing the withdrawn asset as ordinary income."

Saver's Tax Credit: "A non-refundable tax credit available to lower income individuals and households that contribute to qualified retirement savings plans. This includes employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k), SIMPLE and SEP plans, or the governmental 457 plan, along with contributions to Traditional and Roth IRAs. The amount of the credit will depend on the adjusted gross income of the individual or household and the size of the contribution."

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees Of Small Employers (SIMPLE): "A retirement plan that may be established by employers, including self-employed individuals. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SIMPLE. The employer makes either matching or non-elective contributions to each eligible employee's SIMPLE IRA and employees may make salary deferral contributions"

Savings Rate: "The amount of money, expressed as a percentage or ratio, that one deducts from his/her disposable personal income to set aside as a nest egg or for retirement. The cash accumulated is typically put into very low-risk investments (depending on various factors such as expected time until retirement), like a money market fund or a personal IRA comprised of non-aggressive mutual funds, stocks and bonds."

SBO-401(K): "A tax-deferred, government-registered retirement savings plan that is specially designed for small business owners (SBOs). Eligible participants for an SBO-401(k) are businesses that employ the business's owners and their spouses. The business must not have any other eligible employees."

Secondary Beneficiary: "A person or entity that inherits assets under a will, trust or insurance policy if the primary beneficiary dies before the grantor. A secondary beneficiary would also be considered a "contingent beneficiary"."

Securities Industry Regulatory Authority (SIRA): "The former name of a regulatory body consisting of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange Regulation. The Securities Industry Regulatory Authority was formed to govern business practices between securities brokers and the investing public. SIRA aims to reduce the cost inefficiencies of these two regulators operating separately."

Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA): "A retirement account in which the individual investor is in charge of making all investment decisions. The self-directed IRA provides the investor with greater opportunity for asset diversification outside of the traditional stocks bonds and mutual funds, as real estate, private tax liens and notes can be purchased. All securities and investments are held in an account administered by a custodian or trustee."

Self-Directed RRSP: "A type of RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) whose owner determines the asset mix held in the trust. An RRSP is a Canadian retirement savings vehicle to which contributions are tax deductible on an annual basis, up to a certain amount. With a self-directed RRSP, an investor can determine the portfolio of investment products in his or her RRSP. Investments that are not RRSP eligible, however, are sill not allowed in a self-directed RRSP.

Separate Return: "A separate Form 1040, or a variant thereof, filed by a married taxpayer who is not filing jointly. A separate return is usually filed either by a married couple who are divorcing or by a married couple where one spouse has much higher income and deductions than the other. "

Sequence Risk: "The risk of receiving lower or negative returns early in a period when withdrawals are made from the underlying investments. The order or the sequence of investment returns is a primary concern for those individuals who are retired and living off the income and capital of their investments."

SIMPLE IRA: "A retirement plan that can be used by most small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. SIMPLE stands for "Savings Investment Match Plan for Employees"; IRA stands for "individual retirement account." Employers can choose to make a mandatory 2% retirement account contribution to all employees or an optional matching contribution of up to 3%. Employees can contribute a maximum of $12,000 annually in 2013; the maximum is increased periodically to account for inflation."

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) – Simplified Employee Pension IRA: "A retirement plan that an employer or self-employed individuals can establish. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SEP plan and makes contributions to each eligible employee's SEP IRA on a discretionary basis."

Social Security: "A United States federal program of social insurance and benefits developed in 1935. The Social Security program's benefits include retirement income, disability income, Medicare and Medicaid, and death and survivorship benefits. Social Security is one of the largest government programs in the world, paying out hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
Based on the year someone was born, retirement benefits may begin as early as age 62 and as late as age 67. The amount of income received is based on the average wages earned over the worker's lifetime, with a maximum calculable amount of $102,000 as of 2008. Spouses are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits, even if they have limited or non-existent work histories."

Social Security Act:" A law enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to create a system of transfer payments in which younger, working people support older, retired people. Under the act, the government began collecting the Social Security tax from workers in 1937 and began making payments in 1940.

Social Security Administration (SSA): "A U.S. government agency created in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the SSA administers the social insurance programs in the United States. The agency covers a wide range of social security services, such as disability, retirement and survivors' benefits. Previously operating under the Department of Health and Human Services, the SSA has operated as a wholly independent agency since 1994."

Social Security Benefits: "The monetary benefits received by retired workers who have paid in to the Social Security system during their working years. Social Security benefits are paid out on a monthly basis to retired workers and their surviving spouses. They are also paid to those who are permanently and totally disabled according to the strict criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration."

Social Security Number (SSN): "A nine-digit number assigned to citizens, some temporary residents and permanent residents in order to track their income and determine benefit entitlements. The Social Security number was created in 1936 and while the original intention was just to track earnings and benefits, it is now also used to identify individuals and sometimes track their credit record.

Social Security Tax: "The tax levied on both employers and employees used to fund the Social Security program. Social Security tax is usually collected in the form of payroll tax or self-employment tax. The Social Security tax pays for the retirement and disability benefits received by millions of Americans each year."

Social Security Trust Fund: "An account used by the United States federal government to record excess contributions paid into the Social Security system. The Social Security Trust Fund is used when contributions made by workers and employers exceed the amount currently needed to fund the Social Security system and those retired workers currently collected Social Security benefits. The monies held within the fund are invested in interest-bearing federal securities in order to increase while being held in trust."

Special Needs Trust: "A legal arrangement and fiduciary relationship that allows a physically or mentally disabled or chronically ill person to receive income without reducing their eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare or Medicaid.
It covers the percentage of a person's financial needs that are not covered by public assistance payments. The assets held in the trust do not count for the purposes of qualifying for public assistance, as long as they are not used for certain food or shelter expenditures. Assets originally belonging to the disabled individual that are placed into the trust may be subject to Medicaid's repayment rules, but assets provided by third parties such as parents are not.
Also called "supplemental needs trust"."

Spending Phase: "The period in a person's life following retirement in which earning income has come to a stop and the person is living off government subsidy, retirement plans, investments and/or money saved for retirement."

Spousal Beneficiary Rollover: "A transfer of retirement fund assets to the spouse of the deceased. The transfer is generally done in one of two ways. The first way is for the retirement account to remain intact and simply be renamed to reflect the new owner. The second way is to transfer the funds to the spouse's account."

Spousal IRA: "A type of individual retirement account that allows a working spouse to contribute to a nonworking spouse's retirement savings. A spousal IRA creates an exception to the provision that an individual must have earned income to contribute to an IRA. The working spouse's income, however, must equal or exceed the total IRA contributions made on behalf of both spouses.

State Medicaid Program: "Health initiatives managed by state governments in conjunction with the federal Medicaid program that help qualified low-income individuals and families pay for the costs associated with healthcare. State Medicaid programs use federal funding along with their own state funding to provide needed health services for eligible individuals, where eligibility is based on numerous factors, including income, assets, age, disability and citizenship."

Statement of Changes in Net Assets Available For Pension Benefits: "An income statement that identifies any transactions that alter the net assets that are available for pension benefits. Pension fund statements list additions and deductions from the available asset list on the "statement of changes". The largest adjustments typically involve changes in the fair value of investments and pension benefits."

Statement Stuffer: "A type of sales brochure included in a customer's account statement. Most statement stuffers include some sort of short application and information about other financial services that the customer can obtain. Statement stuffers provide a convenient and cheap form of marketing additional products and services to financial customers."

Stretch IRA: "An estate planning concept that is applied to extend the financial life of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) across multiple generations. A stretch IRA strategy allows the original beneficiary of an IRA to distribute assets to a designated second-generation beneficiary, or even a third- or fourth-generation (or more) beneficiary. By using this strategy, the IRA can be passed on from generation to generation while beneficiaries enjoy tax-deferred and/or tax-free growth as long as possible. The term "stretch" does not represent a specific type of IRA; rather it is a financial strategy that allows people to stretch out the life – and therefore the tax advantages – of an IRA.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): "The threshold prescribed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for determining eligibility for Social Security benefits. Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is a specified dollar amount. It is updated each year to reflect inflation, and it represents the minimum level of employability which will render a person productive and, therefore, ineligible for Social Security benefits. The SSA employs higher threshold levels of SGA for persons with specific disabilities, such as blindness."

Substantially Equal Periodic Payment (SEPP): "A plan that allows individuals who have invested in an IRA or another qualified retirement plan to withdraw funds prior to the age of 59.5 and avoid income tax and early-withdrawal penalties. Typically, an individual who removes assets from a plan prior to age 59.5 will face taxes on any income generated by the fund - interest income or capital gain - and will also be subject to a 10% penalty. With substantially equal periodic payments, the funds are placed into an SEPP plan that pays the individual annual distributions for five years or until he or she turns 59.5, whichever comes last.

Succession: "The action of one party, person or product being replaced by another that has become obsolete, incapacitated, retired or deceased. Ideally, a successor will fill the role of its predecessor, being fully compatible with all other entities in place and perfectly functional without any interruption in service."

Superannuation: "An organizational pension program created by a company for the benefit of its employees. "

Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP): "A non-qualified retirement plan for key company employees, such as executives, that provides benefits above and beyond those covered in other retirement plans such as IRA, 401(k) or NQDC plans. There are many different kinds of SERPs available to companies wishing to ensure their key employees are able to maintain their current standards of living in retirement."

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP): "This is a plan where investors make regular, equal payments into a mutual fund, trading account or retirement account, such as a 401k. By using a systematic investment plan (SIP), investors are benefitting from the long-term advantages of dollar-cost averaging and the convenience of saving regularly without taking any actions except the initial setup of the SIP."

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