Last month we discussed what you need to be concerned about when you’re 18 months away from retirement. This second post describes what you should be aware of at 12 months out, when educating yourself about pre-retirement issues could spell the difference between a process that’s stress free and one that isn’t.
Locate Proof of Birth
We must have proof of your birth date before any benefits can ever be paid to you. We’ll accept your birth certificate as proof, but we’ll also accept one of the following documents:
- Baptismal certificate;
- Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214);
- New York State driver’s license issued on or after January 1, 2005;
- Passport, or
- Naturalization Papers
If you send us the original, we will return it to you. If you don’t have the original, in most cases, a photocopy of the document is acceptable.
Please provide us with your proof of birth sooner rather than later, in the event you need to contact another party for your information. Also, if you’re thinking about choosing a retirement option that provides a lifetime benefit to a beneficiary, we will need proof of your beneficiary’s birth date too.
Send Us Your DRO
According to New York law, pensions earned during the marriage are considered marital property. As a result, if you are divorced, your retirement benefit could be split between you and your ex-spouse. Please make certain we have a valid domestic relations order (DRO) on file if you agreed to or were ordered by a court to have a portion of your pension benefits paid to your ex-spouse.
If you have any questions about DROs, you can always review our Guide to Domestic Relations Orders.
Counting Down from 12 Months
Your planned retirement date is just a year away. Check back for more Countdown to Retirement posts on pre-retirement issues, reviewing other retirement income, and preparing a post-retirement budget. If you have any pre-retirement questions, please contact us.