Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by Ben
If you are not eligible for monthly retirement benefits under the PPL Retirement or other defined benefit pension plan, all of your units will be automatically forfeited. The PPL Retirement Plan provides a guaranteed annual income for life if you are terminated without cause or due to retirement. You will pay your benefits through monthly deposits into an account that can grow with interest rates, tax-free!
PPL Retirement Plan
The Retirement Plan
The PPL Retirement Plan is a defined benefit pension plan. If you have made at least 30 years of service and become disabled, you may be entitled to a monthly retirement benefit. There are also some non-qualified retirement plans.
PPL offers two types of retirement plans:
The Traditional Retirement Plan, which provides a fixed monthly benefit for life
The Secure Retirement Plan, which provides a guaranteed minimum monthly income throughout retirement
- Traditional Retirement Plan
The Traditional Retirement Plan is a traditional retirement plan administered by the PPL Human Resources Department. There are no age requirements for eligibility. Eligible employees who have been employed with the Company for at least 30 years during the calendar year in which the pension becomes available will be paid a monthly benefit adjusted each year upward for cost-of-living increases. The benefit will be paid until the employee’s death or until the employee becomes totally and permanently disabled.
- The Secure Retirement Plan
The Secure Retirement Plan is a guaranteed income plan. This plan is designed to provide eligible employees with a secure, stable monthly income with minimal risk of loss of principal. If you become disabled, you may be qualify to a monthly benefit payment. There are no age requirements for eligibility. You can begin participating in the Secure Retirement Plan on the first day of the first month following your termination of employment or at any time before you turn 59 years of age.
You must be a U.S. citizen, national, immigrant, or employee of the U.S. government to participate in the PPL Retirement Plans. Members of the Armed Forces the U.S. Department of the Interior employees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are eligible for retirement benefits. Under the PPL Retirement Plans, as long as they are employees of PPL as of December 31 of the year, they were inducted or appointed to their positions.
When Participation Begins
The Traditional Retirement Plan and the Secure Retirement Plan become available on the last day of the calendar year in which you become age 65 or become disabled, whichever is earlier. Who May Participate Any employee of the U.S. government or the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (except the Pennsylvania General Assembly) serving a term of employment with the PPL during the calendar year in which the plan becomes available may participate in the plans. You may participate in these plans even if you are separated from the service under honorable conditions. You have been reemployed by the U.S. government or the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its political subdivisions, but no later than the first day of the first month following your reemployment.
Some Facts About Service
To qualify for a benefit under the PPL Retirement Plans, you must have performed at least 30 years of “Credited Service” in the Employment History section of your employer’s records. Credited Service is a service credited to your record under the PPL Retirement Plan. To be credited with at least five years of service, you must work a minimum of 1,000 hours in a calendar year.
Contributory Credited Service
Any Employment History section employment may contribute to Credited service, whether you are currently employed or not. This could include employment with the U.S. government or a private business for which a U.S. government agency is paying you. Credited service may be contributed to in any manner or at any time.
You may lose all of your Credited Service if you are separated from service under honorable conditions before reaching age 35, if you are separated from service under other than honorable conditions at age 35 or later, or if you die.
Your Credited Service may be “vested.” If you are an employee, your Credited Service will be vested for months in a plan year (e.g., a calendar year). Your Credited Service will vest whether you are on active duty, on a temporary leave of absence, or not serving at all. You will be credited with additional days of service for each day of active duty performed up to 240 days. The “active duty” exclusion applies to periods of temporary duty (e.g., jury duty) and certain periods of annual leave. If you are a former employee, your Credited Service may be vested to the period you were employed by the Company, regardless of when the service period began.
Leave of Absence
All employees are on a leave of absence from their employment with PPL for any period in which they are absent without official leave or cannot report for work. Employees are requested to use six consecutive days of annual leave per year, except in special circumstances.
If You Are Reemployed
Suppose the Company reemploys you after a period of absence (including unemployment). In that case, your service with the Company will be reckoned from the date your previous period of employment with the Company ended. If you are reemployed with the Company before you turn age 60, you will be allowed to contribute to the plans up to $18,000 in compensation you receive for your reemployment (this amount will be adjusted for cost-of-living increases).
Calculating Your Basic Benefit
Career Average Pay Formula
Your Basic Benefit is based on your Average Career Pay, which is calculated using the following steps:
Step 1: Calculate your Average Base Salary Your Average Base Salary is the sum of your highest 30% of salaries and your highest 10%, divided by 2. If you have a higher salary in another part of your employment history, you can include that in your Total Base Salary in
Step 2: Calculate your Average Bonus Your Average Bonus is the sum of all of the bonuses you received during the same period, divided by the number of years. If you have a higher bonus in another part of your employment history, you can include that in your Total Bonus in Step 3.
Step 3: Calculate your Average Total Compensation. Your Average Total Compensation is your Average Base Salary plus your Average Bonus. If you are eligible for stock options, your Average Total Compensation will include the stock’s underlying value when the option is exercised.
Final Average Pay Formula Benefit
Your Final Average Pay Formula Benefit is calculated by multiplying your Average Total Compensation by the number of months of Credited Service you have and dividing by 12. This is your Total Pay.
For most employees, retirement will occur on your normal retirement date. A normal retirement date is the first day of the month following your 70th birthday.
You may retire from the employment of PPL Energy Plus before your Normal Retirement Date, with a minimum of age 60.
You may postpone your retirement to an earlier date, but not to a date before your Normal Retirement Date. You must be at least age of 55 to qualify.
Your Payment Options
There are two forms of payment available for your retirement benefits: a check and a direct deposit. You may choose to have your payment by direct deposit, which will reduce your administrative costs. When you are receiving a pension from your former employer, you do not need to pay your pension to us directly. Instead, we will reimburse your pension payments to you. Any difference between your pension and our payment will be a reduction of your Social Security benefits, which will be applied to reduce the cost of your monthly retirement check.
They also offer an optional form of payment: an annuity. With an annuity, you and the Company set a value today for a guaranteed payment stream until the end of your life. Once you’ve entered into an annuity agreement, they will send you a check each month, or you can elect direct deposit.
Pre-Retirement Death Benefits
You may elect to receive your retirement benefits in a lump sum while you are employed. If you choose this option, your checks and direct deposits will be sent to you as “lump sum” payments. Your checks and direct deposits will be in an “E” series envelope, with “Payment for Retirement” on the memo line. Before your Normal Retirement Date, you may choose to change your payment option.
Minimum Death Benefit
If you die with an accumulated benefit, your designated beneficiary will receive the minimum death benefit. This is set for you at the time you select your payment option.
Mandatory Tax Withholding and Direct Rollovers
If you choose a direct deposit method of payment, you and the Company may opt to have the full amount of your payment withheld at the source and by the Company for federal and state income tax purposes. Any such amount withheld will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service and the Company collecting the tax from you on your behalf.
You will not receive or accept a refund of any withheld tax. For most employees, your first regular payment will be through a direct deposit of your earnings from the first four pay periods after your reemployment start date. If you select direct deposit, your first payment will be withheld at the source and sent to you at the address where you provide us for direct deposit. Direct rollovers are not available for retirement and disability payments.
Applying for Your Benefit
Note: You may pay any federal income tax due by adding the amount to your paycheck. You can apply for your benefit at any time after you turn 65. To apply for your PPL retirement benefit, you must:
- Be PPL’s employee on the date your coverage began;
- Have been PPL’s employee for at least one day on and after your Reemployment Start Date; and
- Have completed your Reemployment Start Date.
Final Thoughts – PPL Retirement
The employees who do not have access to an available 401(k) plan at their place of employment may still choose to participate in PPL Retirement Plan. The plan is administered by PPL but is not managed by PPL’s investment staff. Instead, the responsibility for investment of Plan assets is contracted out to one or more investment managers. As an employee, the benefit to you is that you receive guaranteed income streams from your retirement investment, regardless of market performance. There is no risk of capital loss due to market decline.