December’s interest rates affecting those retiring before April 1st, 2020, have seen little change from last month. This is good news and in-line with our expectations for those of you looking to retire at the end of the first quarter in 2020. Stable interest rates mean pension lump sum values will remain stable as well, especially for Heritage Employees who see a larger impact from interest rate movements. Our forecast for January is that rates will show a slight drop, causing lump sums to increase slightly.
In other news, with the recent reports surrounding the Coronavirus and the fear it has caused in the marketplace we believe addressing this issue now is appropriate as the impact it will have is likely to lead to lower rates in the future. This event is currently unfolding and there is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will ultimately be. We can however safely say that when turbulence occurs in equity markets it generally pushes bond rates lower across the board – So far, this situation has been no different.
If rates do continue to be pushed down from this or other news, we believe it is likely that those of you filing for your pension in the coming months should take the “wait and see” approach and postpone submitting pension election paperwork until early March at the earliest. Waiting until March will provide you the benefit of hindsight and will allow you to make your decision with significantly more real-time data.
We have processed hundreds of pension elections for BP Employees over the past 15 years. Having experienced professionals with the background and in-depth understanding of your BP Pension plan can greatly increase the benefit you receive from it.
If you would like assistance with how this could affect you, please email myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our office directly to have one of our BP Retirement Plan Specialists assist you with determining how expected changes in interest rates may impact you.
Tyler E Ryan
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