Helpful Information for AT&T Retirees

This page is dedicated to providing helpful information for anyone who has retired from AT&T regardless of the circumstances of your retirement.  What does that mean?  That means, whether you’ve retired of your own decision and you qualify for retiree benefits, or you’ve been retired from AT&T because you’ve be surplussed & laid off but qualify for retirement benefits — this is your spot.

So many of you have asked me for insights, information or help with a bunch of different topics — from pensions and 401K handling to questions about retiree discounts on AT&T products and services and everything in between.

The purpose is to just offer the information I have and my interpretation or opinion on it, and I always provide links to additional information where I have that.  If links become outdated, please let me know and I’ll try to chase down new or better information.  Your feedback is always helpful!

 Social Security

** SSA Social Security Administration:  https://www.ssa.gov/

Contact Social Security :  https://www.ssa.gov/agency/contact/

How To Get Detailed Earnings Statement:  https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-02507

Form SSA-7050 Request SSA Earnings Information:  https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-7050.pdf

An Increase In 2018 Social Security Benefits :  https://blog.socialsecurity.gov/social-security-benefits-t…/

2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustment COLA Information:  https://www.ssa.gov/cola/

Press Release 2018 Social Security COLA:  https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/#/post/10-2017-1

2018 Social Security Benefit Payments Schedule :  https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10031-2018.pdf

Transitioning To Medicare

DOL Department of Labor ~ Retirement Toolkit
Transition To Social Security, Medicare & Other Resources
:  https://www.dol.gov/…/publications/retirement-toolkit.pdf

USA Understanding Medicare :  https://www.usa.gov/medicare

NAIC State Insurance Departments:  http://naic.org/state_web_map.htm
State Insurance Departments can provide information
about Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)
policies and other private health insurance.

SHIP
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs:  https://www.shiptacenter.org/
SHIPs offer local, personalized counseling and assistance
to people with Medicare and their families.

Financing Your Retirement –

If you decide to formally retire, you have many decisions to make.  The best advice is  to do your own research, and figure out how best to plan.  Some folks may be able to do all the planning themselves because they have a background in finance, investing, social security, taxes, estate planning, etc.  Others may have a planner with whom they are very happy. Some may have a planner but not really know if they’re doing the best job for them, and others may have no retirement planning help at all.

Regardless of which category you may fall into, don’t panic…. and don’t make any quick decisions.  You usually have a bit of time to figure things out.

Best to map out what information you have, what information you need and where to get it.  Then decide if you need help sorting it out and making a plan.

I see so many people on various groups online instruct others to “pull your pension cash balance – it’s the smartest thing to do” when that is not necessarily the case for everyone. For some, yes, many even. But not for everyone.

If you decide to formally retire, you have many decisions to make.  The best advice is  to do your own research, and figure out how best to plan.  Some folks may be able to do all the planning themselves because they have a background in finance, investing, social security, taxes, estate planning, etc.  Others may have a planner with whom they are very happy. Some may have a planner but not really know if they’re doing the best job for them, and others may have no retirement planning help at all.

Regardless of which category you may fall into, don’t panic…. and don’t make any quick decisions.  You usually have a bit of time to figure things out.

Best to map out what information you have, what information you need and where to get it.  Then decide if you need help sorting it out and making a plan.

I see so many people on various groups online instruct others to “pull your pension cash balance – it’s the smartest thing to do” when that is not necessarily the case for everyone. For some, yes, many even. But not for everyone.

Some may benefit from taking 401k distributions as early as 55 with no penalty!

Others would be better off collecting unemployment for 6 months, then starting their pension or 401k distributions.

Do you know if it makes more sense to take your cash balance or the annuity and why?  And if you decide on the annuity, is it better to take the employee only payout or opt for the lower payout but with spousal benefits?  There is even a better way….

Whatever you decide to do – make sure you DOCUMENT IT, and keep the documents (print outs, PDFs, etc.) somewhere safe.  Epecially if you choose the pension annuity with spousal-survivor benefits – your spouse may need to be able to PROVE this was the choice, with paperwork/documentation, in order to claim the survivor benefits. Doin’t assume that AT&T or Fidelity is going to have all the paperwork…. and you’ll be gone, you spouse, who was NOT the employee will have a difficult time navigating the world of retiree benefits. So don’t cheat yourself, or your spouse – have a plan, have a good planner and get your documents in order.

Check out the “finances” section of this website for helpful articles on things to know about finances upon leaving a job, retiring, etc.  You can also request a no-cost review of your plan with an expert in retirement planning, lowering taxes in retirement and the AT&T pension and 401K plans. Click Here to set up an appointment with our expert.