Home > An unwelcome visitor and a surprise retirement benefit

An unwelcome visitor and a surprise retirement benefit

May 29th, 2024 at 03:06 pm

It seems we are in instant summer already. And with that, I found an incredibly tiny nymph tick on my calf. I don't think it was engorged but it was attached. I am mailing it to our state ag experiment station where they test ticks for free. It's a miracle I even found it, but I've been wearing a knee brace on my left leg after bruising a tendon at the gym, so as I was taking this tight-fitting brace off, I saw the tick on my leg just below it. The brace, I think, kept it from moving upward, so it decided to just chomp down right there.

I have so many freckles, moles and what have you on my body I shudder to think of whether I otherwise would have found this tick in time. Really makes me want to just skip gardening the entire season. The best time to do this sort of work is early spring, like March-April, before the foliage comes out, and that window has passed.

I've been getting a variety of mail from the Social Security Administration of late due to my switch to Medicare in a few months. Everything is in place, including my Medigap plan with Cigna.

But the notice I got today was quite interesting. It informed that I may have retirement benefits due me from a former employer, and indicated I should get in touch with them if I wished to apply for them.

This was a very interesting job I had with an employer, an insurance trade group. The job was unique in several respects, one of them being that following a group interview, it was the only time in my life I was offered the job on the spot, by the director. It was also the only time in my life I ever got a job where I sent my resume blind, without knowing if they had any openings. It really seemed like it was meant to be! Sadly, I was only with the group for about 2 years before a series of big, unexpected changes happened.

First, the director of the organization announced his surprise retirement just 6 months later, at the age of 56, precipitating a national search for his replacement. I was very disappointed to see him go, as I considered him my advocate and supporter. When he offered me the job, in front of a group of several other people, his 2nd in command protested, saying they should look at more people, but the director overruled him. It was a little awkward to hear that exchange, but I was glad to get the job.

Ultimately a retired major general was hired. I worked with him a short time, and liked him, but he became ill and passed away just a few years after a decision was made for the employer to merge with a sister organization and relocate to the midwest. I was offered a job out there and even flew out to meet my counterpart there, but the whole thing concerning the job was quite vague and I didn't want to upend my life should the job change into something else.

I don't recall anything about a retirement plan, but this was back around 1990 when I was in my early 30s, so maybe I just wasn't paying attention to something seemingly in the distant future. What I don't understand is why the company wouldn't have contacted me sooner, but then, I didn't live at my current address at that time. It wouldn't have been hard to find me by doing an online search, but apparently they don't do that. (This was also the case, I learned, when handling my mother's estate....only by checking the state's unclaimed properties did I discover some refunds due me, although in that case, the assisted living facility DID have my current address and other contact info, but for reasons unknown, chose to report these funds to the state instead of just picking up the phone to call me.)

Getting back to my old employer....The benefit, as indicated on the SSA form I received, is a life annuity paid annually and the estimated amount is $853! I would find it hard to believe this would be a recurring payment since I only worked there 2 years, but there is a different code to use if it's a single payment of a lump sum. I would be tickled if it was recurring. It wouldn't be life-changing but hey! It could still make a difference.

Anyway, I called the employer and got the HR email, to whom I've since sent an inquiry, so am hoping to learn more soon.


4 Responses to “An unwelcome visitor and a surprise retirement benefit”

  1. Lots of ideas Says:

    What a nice surprise.

    Insurance companies tended to be benevolent employees before the 1990’s, with good pension plans.
    Usually they required you to stay 5 years or so to vest, but it’s possible that because your department was transferred, whatever they had set aside for you vested early, and continued to grow. Federal regulations require reporting so they can link people to money!

    I had a vested plan from an insurance company although I got a notice about it every year so I knew I had the benefit.

    I know about the ‘early vesting’ from a college/after college waitress job where the company franchised corporate stores. Even though I kept my job, there were no benefits and our pension contributions were vested and paid out, it was less than $300 and I bought myself a sapphire ring - which I still have. I’ve had more than $300 pleasure wearing it and it’s probably still worth $300.

  2. Dido Says:

    Nice surprise--I hope it turns out to be a recurring payment.

    Ticks are one more reason I do my best to stay out of the garden. (Heat is another.)

  3. patientsaver Says:

    I doubt that where you live within city limits that ticks would be a problem at all in your yard. Would be different if you wading into the brushy overgrowth. They are endemic to the state I live in, but you're in a different environment.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    How terrific! What a great unexpected bonus!

    Sorry about the tick. Been having a problem with them too. Hope it doesn't have any ill effects.

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