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I can't touch retirement money I earned, through no fault of my own

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

I'm an average married middle-aged woman who has worked hard since the early age of 14. We pay our bills on time, pay our taxes, raised our sons and live on needs rather than wants. We don't have a lot of money, but what we do have we earn and have managed to stay afloat even in today's economy.

I was fortunate to be able to work full-time for a municipality for the past year and enjoy the benefits that come with that. The benefits were affordable health insurance, life insurance and mandatory contribution to a pension plan maintained by the N.H. Retirement System (NHRS). The mandatory contribution is set at 7 percent of an employee's gross income

Recently I was reduced to part-time hours with the loss of benefits. In defense of this action, I was initially hired part-time and due to circumstances beyond my control I was
returned back to this. I filled out paperwork to get my portion of the contributions to the pension plan controlled by NHRS back. For some people this wouldn't seem like a lot of money but
for me it is a lot of money. My plan was to open an IRA with my local bank and continue to make contributions as I could.

Then I find out that I cannot get my money back! I cannot have my money back until I retire or if I lose my job.

I also cannot make contributions to this pension plan. It'll just sit there being controlled by the NHRS.

Putting money into the pension plan controlled by NHRS is mandatory, having my hours reduced to part-time was not by my choice, I can no longer put money into this pension plan due to being part-time yet I also cannot have my money back. I am only expecting to have the back the 7 percent of my last year's pay returned to me.

I quote: "As you might expect, we have seen an increase in these inquiries as more employers transition full-time workers to part-time status. Our handling of these requests are governed by Internal Revenue Code requirements, RSA 100-A and applicable administrative rules."

Am I wrong? This is money I earned over the past year and now I am being denied the return of it. Yes it will earn interest sitting there. I won't lie about that. But I would prefer to have control over the money I earn.
Mary Pelchat