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Pension Evaluation
Basic Pension Principles
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Divorce & Retirement FAQs
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Experience with Your Plan
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Collection Laws and Exemptions by State
Tax Treatment in Pension Evaluation
Distribution from Qualified Plans
Webutation
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Target-Benefit Plan: "A benefit plan that is similar to a defined benefit plan since contributions are based on projected retirement benefits. However, unlike a defined benefit plan, the benefits provided to participants at retirement are based on the performance of the investments, and are therefore not guaranteed."

Target-Date Fund: "A mutual fund in the hybrid category that automatically resets the asset mix of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents in its portfolio according to a selected time frame that is appropriate for a particular investor. A target-date fund is similar to a life-cycle fund except that a target-date fund is structured to address some date in the future, such as retirement. Its returns are not guaranteed, but depend on how the market performs."

Tax Shelter: "A legal method of minimizing or decreasing an investor's taxable income and, therefore, his or her tax liability. Tax shelters can range from investments or investment accounts that provide favorable tax treatment, to activities or transactions that lower taxable income. The most common type of tax shelter is an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan."

Tax-Deferred Savings Plan: "A savings plan or account that is registered with the government and provides deferral of tax obligations. Tax-deferred savings plans may defer taxable income earned within the account either until withdrawal or until a particular date.
They are used most commonly in retirement savings accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s and RRSPs, but are also available for education savings plans and other accounts. "

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): "An account that does not charge taxes on any contributions, interest earned, dividends or capital gains, and can be withdrawn tax free. Tax-free savings accounts were introduced in Canada in 2009 with a limit of $5,000 per year, which is indexed for subsequent years. The contributions are not tax deductible and any unused room can be carried forward. This savings account is available to individuals aged 18 and older and can be used for any purpose."

Tax-Sheltered Annuity: "A type of annuity that allows an employee to make contributions from his or her income into a retirement plan. The contributions are deducted from the employee's income and, as a result, the contributions and related benefits are not taxed until the employee withdraws them from the plan. Because the employer can also make direct contributions to the plan, the employee gains the benefit of having additional tax-free funds accruing."

Taxable Estate: "The total value of a deceased person's assets that are subject to taxation - minus liabilities and minus the prescribed tax-deductible portion of assets left behind by the deceased."

Taxable Wage Base: "Also known as the Social Security Wage Base, this base is the maximum amount of earned income upon which employees must pay Social Security taxes. Generally, the employee's gross wages will be equal to the taxable wage base. And typically an employee's employer will handle this calculation and withold the correct amount of taxes from each paycheck, but the employee is still responsible for reporting the tax."

Taxes: "An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that is enforced by a level of government in order to finance government activities. "

Taxpayer: "An individual or entity that is obligated to make payments to municipal or government taxation agencies. The term taxpayer generally describes one who pays taxes. Taxes can exist in the form of income taxes as required by Federal and state governments and property taxes imposed on owners of real property (such as homes and vehicles) by municipal governments, along with many other forms.

Teacher Retirement System (TRS): "An organization that is specifically set up for teachers to help with or manage retirement planning. Because there are individual teacher retirement systems set up for each state, there are differences in what they each offer. For the most part, the organization helps arrange retirement benefits for its member and their beneficiaries."

Term Certain Method: "A method of calculating minimum distributions from a retirement account based on the account holder's life expectancy. According to the term certain method, the distribution or withdrawal from the retirement account is based on the holder's life expectancy at the time of the first withdrawal. With each successive year, the account gets steadily depleted as life expectancy reduces by one year. The retirement account would thus be completely depleted once the account holder reaches his or her life expectancy age."

Terminal Year: "The year in which an individual dies, in the context of estate planning and taxation. Terminal year is used in estate planning and taxation because special tax rules and handling of income and assets may apply during the taxpayer's final year. In Canada, the terminal year refers to the portion of the calendar year during which the individual was living, from the first of the calendar year (January 1) up to the person's date of death."

Terminally Ill: "A person who is sick and is diagnosed with a disease that will take their life. This person is usually told by doctors that they only have several months or years to live. Terminally ill people are generally not eligible to buy health or life insurance because of the high liability this situation presents insurance companies. "

Testamentary Trust: "A legal and fiduciary relationship created through explicit instructions in a deceased's will. A testamentary trust goes into effect upon an individual's death and is commonly used when someone wants to leave assets to a beneficiary, but doesn't want the beneficiary to receive those assets until a specified time. Testamentary trusts are irrevocable."

Testamentary Will: "A testamentary will is a traditional will, sometimes referred to as just a will. A will is a legal document that is used to transfer an estate to beneficiaries after the death of the testator (the person that makes the will). Testamentary wills are also used to appoint guardians for minor children, select executors of wills and set up trusts for beneficiaries. Any person over the age of majority and that is of sound mind can legally draft a will."

The Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan): "The pension fund for Japanese public sector employees. The GPIF pension fund is the largest in the world, with approximately $1.3 trillion (122 trillion yen) in assets under management as of 2009. The GPIF contributes to the stability of the Employee's Pension Insurance and National Pension programs."

Three-Year Rule: "Section 2035 of the tax code, which stipulates that assets that have been gifted through an ownership transfer, or assets for which the original owner has relinquished power, are to be included in the gross value of the original owner's estate if the transfer took place within three years of his or her death. If gifted assets do not meet the necessary requirements, the value of the assets is added to the value of the estate at the time of the original owner's death, increasing its value and the estate taxes imposed on it."

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP): "A retirement savings plan created by the Federal Employee's Retirement System Act of 1986 for current or retired employees of the federal civil service. The thrift savings plan is a defined-contribution plan designed to give federal employees the same retirement savings related benefits that workers in the private sector enjoy with 401(k) plans. Contributions to the plan are automatically deducted from each paycheck."

Top Hat Plan: "A form of retirement plan available only to selected company employees - usually key executives. Such plans are different from standard retirement plans in a number of ways:
1) They don't usually offer the same tax benefits of an opt-in plan.
2) Not everybody can participate - even those of equal company stature may have different plans.
Generally, there are two types of top hat plans: a nonqualified deferred compensation plan and a supplemental executive retirement plan. The former allows participants to defer income into the plan during each calendar year, while the latter is funded entirely by the employer."

Traditional IRA: "An individual retirement account (IRA) that allows individuals to direct pretax income, up to specific annual limits, toward investments that can grow tax-deferred (no capital gains or dividend income is taxed). Individual taxpayers are allowed to contribute 100% of compensation up to a specified maximum dollar amount to their Traditional IRA. Contributions to the Traditional IRA may be tax-deductible depending on the taxpayer's income, tax-filing status and other factors.
Other variants of the IRA include the Roth IRA, SIMPLE IRA and SEP IRA."

Transfer On Death (TOD): "A way of designating beneficiaries to receive your assets at the time of your death without having to go through probate. This designation also allows you to specify the percentage of assets each person or entity (your "TOD beneficiary") will receive. Your assets will then be automatically transferred to the designated beneficiaries upon your death."

Transfer Tax: "Any kind of tax that is levied on the transfer of official documents or other property. Transfer tax is paid by the seller of the property. Gift and estate taxes are both transfer taxes.
Transfer tax is also known as "excise tax" in some states."

Triggering Event: "1. A tangible or intangible barrier or occurrence that, once breached or met, causes another event to occur. Triggering events are written into contracts to prevent or ensure that after a given occurrence, the terms of the original agreement are abandoned or changed to suit the party that included the triggering event in the agreement.
2. A certain milestone or event that a participant in a qualified plan must experience in order to be eligible to receive a distribution from a qualified plan."

Trust: "A fiduciary relationship in which one party, known as a trustor, gives another party, the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary.
There are two types of trusts:
1. Living Trust (inter-vivos): A trust that is in effect during the trustor's lifetime.
2. Testamentary Trust: A trust that is created through the will of a deceased person."

Trust Company: "A legal entity that acts as fiduciary, agent or trustee on behalf of a person or business entity for the purpose of administration, management and the eventual transfer of assets to a beneficial party. The entity acts as a custodian for trusts, estates, custodial arrangements, asset management, stock transfer, beneficial ownership registration and other related arrangements. A trust company does not own the assets its customers assign to its management, but it may assume some legal obligation to take care of assets on behalf of other parties."

Trust Fund: "A trust fund is a fund comprised of a variety of assets intended to provide benefits to an individual or organization. The trust fund is established by a grantor to provide financial security to an individual, most often a child or grandchild - or organizations, such as a charity or other non-profit organization."

Trust Property: "Assets that have been placed into a fiduciary relationship between a trustor and trustee for a beneficiary. Trust property may include any type of asset, such as cash, securities, real estate or life insurance policies.
Also be called "trust assets", "principal" or "trust corpus". "

Trust-Owned Life Insurance (TOLI): "Life insurance that resides inside a trust. Trust-owned life insurance is used by many high net worth individuals as the cornerstone of their estate plan. It enables the trust to provide for survivors, cover estate tax liability planning, balance inheritances among heirs and meet charitable objectives."

Trustee: "A person or firm that holds or administers property or assets for the benefit of a third party. A trustee may be appointed for a wide variety of purposes, such as in the case of bankruptcy, for a charity, a trust fund or for certain types of retirement plans or pensions. They are trusted to make decisions in the beneficiary's best interests."

Trustor: "An individual or organization that gifts funds or assets to others by transferring fiduciary duty to a third party trustee that will maintain the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries."

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