When evaluating a financial advisor, the most important factor is that they truly understand you as a person and your personal situation. At Rockbridge, we have a dedicated focus in working with clients that are employees of Lockheed Martin. Because of this, we already have an expertise in all employee benefits plans and how each one interacts with other benefits such as Social Security. This allows us to optimize your retirement plan and gives you the reassurance and confidence that you are not leaving anything on the table.
Over the next several weeks, we will be writing our thoughts on different facets of Lockheed Martin employee benefits. We hope that you are able to take away some new information that will help you better save and be prepared for when retirement comes. We are always here to answer your questions as they arise.
Lockheed Martin Retirement Plans
As you well know, there are several different pension and retirement programs offered through Lockheed Martin via Voya. Each one has their own unique benefits and quirks. In addition, between now and 2020, the retirement program landscape will change with the pension benefits being frozen for all employees. We will address each of these items in detail to help eliminate confusion regarding terminology and acronyms.
Salaried Savings Plan (SSP) – This is the company’s 401(k) plan. Employees are allowed to contribute between 1%-25% of their salary with a max contribution of $18,000/year ($24,000/year for employees 50 and over) for 2016. In addition to the employee contribution which is always yours, the company will match 50% of your contributions up to 8%. This means that if you put in 8% of your salary, the company with contribute 4% of your salary toward the plan.
Capital Appreciation Plan (CAP) – For employees that are not part of the Lockheed Martin Pension Plan (hired 1/1/2006 or later), the company will contribute an additional 3%-4% of your salary toward retirement savings. The CAP will transition fully in 2020 to the new Lockheed Martin Retirement Savings Account (RSA) where the employer will automatically contribute 6% of your salary toward retirement.
Retirement Savings Account (RSA) – A new retirement plan benefit that will function for all employees in place of previous pension benefits. LM will contribute an automatic 2% of your salary to this program from 2016-2019, and in 2020, that percentage will merge with the CAP and increase to an automatic 6%.
Pension Benefits – The LM pension plan was discontinued for new employees starting 1/1/2006. Beginning 1/1/2016, the LM pension plan has a locked annuity value for your average pay formula. Any additional raises will not be factored into the pension formula. Beginning 1/1/2020, the pension plan will stop accruing additional years of service. On 1/1/2020, the final pension figure will be 100% fixed.
Lockheed Martin Executive Compensation Plans
In addition to the standard employee plans offered, Rockbridge is well versed in the various executive compensation plans available to highly compensated employees. With each employee having unique supplemental benefits, we plan individually to optimize every available option. We have detailed experience working with the Lockheed Non-Qualified Supplemental Savings Plan (NQSSP), the Non-Qualified Pension Plan (NQPP), Deferred Management Incentive Compensation Plan (DMICP), Long-Term Incentive Cash and Restricted Stock Bonuses as well as other legacy compensation plans.
How Plans Interact in Retirement
Understanding the complexities of each Lockheed Martin retirement plan is important, but even more critical is understanding how these plans function together with outside assets (brokerage accounts) and pensions (Social Security). Using advanced planning software, Rockbridge can make sure your hard earned savings are maximized for your goals.
Outside of pure investment management, one of the most valuable services that Rockbridge provides is goal and decision framing. Unlike simple math problems (1+1=2), retirement decisions are a combination of analytical and emotional decisions. For many retirement questions, there is no right or wrong answer, but Rockbridge can help frame the decisions so that you are able to select the best solution for YOU. Having an unbiased and objective third party look over your entire financial picture will give you the peace of mind that the transition to retirement will go smoothly.
The first step forward is always the most difficult. When you are ready, Rockbridge would be happy to walk you through the path to retirement to make sure you are making the best decisions going forward. We offer complimentary discovery meetings so that you can get to know us and see if we are a good fit. We also offer second-look services to see if your current advisor is maximizing all of your available investment resources. Your life savings and retirement happiness are always worth a second look.