Please let us know about the best jobs that offer pension plans. Jobs with pension plans are not as popular today as they used to be. According to data from the government organization Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the percentage of workers with access to pension plans fell from 38% to 20% between 1980 and 2008. Only 15% of private-sector employees will have a defined-benefit pension by 2021.
Employees clearly benefit from defined benefit plans, such as pensions, where participants are assured of a fixed income after retirement. If you’re looking for a job with a pension, there are a few occupations, employers, industries, and job categories that you may want to consider.
- Between the decade 1980 and 2021, the percentage of employers offering defined benefit pension plans gradually decreased.
- To find a job with a pension, you should search for government and union jobs or target employers that offer this benefit.
- You should note that many private sector employers who once offered jobs with a pension have gradually phased out those benefits; You should always refer to the most recent information when reviewing job offers.
- Some of the best jobs with pensions for you to look into are education, law enforcement, government, and health care.
What Is a Pension?
A pension is a retirement plan that provides you with a monthly income during your retirement. And pensions are defined benefit plans for you, unlike 401(k)s and IRAs, which are defined contribution plans for you.
A 401(k) or IRA is funded by employee contributions (sometimes with additional contributions from the employer) and employer contributions. A defined benefit plan, funded by an employer or labor union, is funded through employee contributions. The difference is that defined contribution plans promise a specific income, while defined benefit plans do not.
If you have a pension, then you will get a fixed monthly income in retirement. The amount of this income you receive may be determined for you at a flat rate or in the form of a formula that takes into account your salary and your years of service with an organization.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) protects retirement plans for you, including pensions. Under ERISA rules, your employer may require employees to earn five years of service in order to become 100% vested in pension benefits. If your employer opts for the seven-year schedule, they must provide at least 20% vesting after three years.
The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) guarantees pension benefits up to an amount determined by Congress. If your employer becomes insolvent in the future, the PBGC steps in and provides partial benefits to you.
Employer Categories That Offer Pensions
Since the creation of the 401(k) in the late 1970s, employer participation in pension plans has declined sharply. Defined contribution plans such as the 401(k) offer employers cost savings, reduced risk, and less government regulation. However, unlike pensions, 401(k)s offer no guarantees regarding income during retirement.
Unsurprisingly, pensions remain a popular benefit among most employees. But if you are looking for a pensionable job, then you have to look carefully. Some industries and employers are more likely to offer you a pension than others.
Government employees are more likely to have access to pension plans than some private sector employees. According to BLS data, 75% of state and some local government employees participate in pension plans.
US federal civilian employees are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which includes a pension plan as one of its benefits to employees. FERS-eligible employees also have access to a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which is similar to a 401(k).
Among private sector workers, those with union jobs are much more likely to receive a pension than those who are not in unions.
If you are looking for a pensionable job, then you may want to focus your search on highly unionized industries. These include jobs in education, government, or law enforcement, mostly in the public sector. Some private sectors, such as utilities, motion pictures, sound recording, transportation, and warehousing, offer pension jobs.
Top Companies That Offer Pensions
Another approach is to look for jobs in the private sector with employers that offer pensions. Note that fewer employers nowadays fit this description. Many private employers that once offered pensions have stopped offering these benefits and replaced them with 401(k)s for new employees.
Some of these private employers were still offering pension benefits, often in addition to 401(k)s:
- 3M: The giant manufacturing conglomerate offers both an employer-funded pension plan and a 401(k) with a matching contribution.
- Coca-Cola: The beverage company offers a 401(k) with an employer match of up to 3.5%, plus the Coca-Cola Company offers a highly rated employee pension plan.
- ExxonMobil: The retirement age of 50 provided by the Exxon company pension is exceptionally young. To offset the SSA benefits that early retirees are not yet eligible to receive, early retirees also receive a shortened supplemental benefit known as a “pre-Social Security pension.”
- Prudential: Insurance giant Prudential Company’s Cash Balance Retirement Plan (also known as the Prudential Company Pension) is open to all employees of Prudential Company and is based on a formula that adds credits for each month of your service.
Best Jobs With Pensions
The best jobs with a pension for you meet certain standards: they offer above-average pay, have a strong business outlook, and give you high job satisfaction. These are among the best jobs with pensions for you:
Elementary, middle, and high school teachers employed by public schools are often members of teachers’ unions, which provide pension plans as part of their compensation packages. According to the BLS report, high school teachers earn an average of $61,820 per year. Between 2020 and 2030, jobs in this industry will increase by 8%.
Registered Nurse Jobs
In some areas, registered nurses can join unions that offer pension benefits and 403(b) plans—the non-profit alternative to 401(k)s—along with teachers. The typical annual salary for registered nurses is $77,600, and employment is projected to expand by 9% over the next ten years.
Police Officer Jobs
Many police personnel belong to unions and get pensions. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for police officers and detectives is $66,020, and there will be 7% more employment available for them between 2020 and 2030.
Through apprenticeships or trade schools, electricians can master their craft. Electrical work is frequently a union job, much like the majority of the other vocations on this list. The average yearly income for electricians is $60,040. Over the following ten years, the BLS predicts a 9% rise in this occupation.
Jobs in the federal, state, and municipal governments frequently include a pension.
This category includes a wide range of occupations, including federal law enforcement, engineers, and administrative employees.
How to Find a Job with a Pension Plan: Some Advice
Here are some suggestions for streamlining your look for a job with a pension:
- Apprenticeship programs may lead to lucrative jobs with potential pension benefits. You can submit an application directly to companies and program sponsors by using the Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Job Finder.
- USAJobs.gov is a wonderful location to start your search for positions with the federal government. For information about positions with state and municipal governments, see the websites of your county, town, and city.
- To locate job posts for roles that provide a pension, use keywords like “pension” and “pension plan” to search the leading employment sites.
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