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401(k) Vs. Pension Plans: Which Is the One for You?

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If you’re looking to live a secure and comfortable retirement, having a financial cushion is essential.

It’s important to set saving and investment goals as early as possible and then identify the right investment opportunities for the job.

Retirement plans come in all shapes and sizes, so choosing the right one for yourself can be challenging.

To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ll take a closer look at differences between the two most widely used retirement investment plans: 401(k)s and pension plans.

Duration of Employment

To become eligible for a pension, you typically need to work for an extended amount of time for the employer.

The money you receive as part of your pension typically depends on the salary you receive and how long you’ve served at the company.

Conversely, 401(k) investments can start from day one. Most employers have policies in place that allow employees to set up their accounts.

In the vast majority of cases, employers match the contribution, helping you increase your retirement savings.

Level of Control

When it comes to pensions, you have no control over how they should be invested and might not even have control over the payout.

In some cases, pension plans rely on relatively aggressive return assumptions which don’t always pan out. In such cases, retirees might get lower payouts on a pension.

With a 401(k), employees get to choose how they invest the money. You can choose different mutual funds and commodities, such as gold and silver IRA accounts.


When you leave an organization before you’re eligible to receive pensions, you essentially forfeit the plan. You don’t get any payout, and it’s difficult to transfer the plan if you go to another company.

With a 401(k), you have more flexibility. For instance, you can take the 401(k) with or roll it with your new employer or a personal retirement fund (IRA).

While pension plans might seem more desirable because they come entirely from the employer’s contribution, there are several downsides that limit your control and flexibility of the final payout.

Orion Metal Exchange allows you to create a precious metals IRA account to plan your retirement. We help you invest in gold and silver to make money and will enable you to diversify your investment portfolio.

Find out more about your investment options by getting in touch with us here.

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