Ben was born in 1960 and has remained steadily employed since getting his first job at age 17. For the last 28 years, he has been a long-haul driver for a trucking company. He enrolled in a defined benefit pension plan when he was hired, and once he reaches the 30-year employment mark, he can retire with full benefits. After many years of working away from home for weeks at a time, Ben is looking forward to spending more time with his family. Yet, he worries that he might be in a bad accident someday, leaving his wife, who just turned 61, in dire financial straits. His manager has told him that if he wants to continue working after 30 years, he could switch to a local delivery route or a desk job in the office. With those options, he can keep working until he is able to claim his full Social Security benefit. Ben is glad that he has options, but does not know what he wants to do. He thinks that maybe he will work for a few years after giving up his job as a long-haul driver, but is not sure that he wants to work at a desk job until he reaches his Social Security retirement age.
1. If Ben continues working until he reaches age 64, would he be able to claim Social Security benefits, and if so, what percentage of his full benefit would he receive?
2. If Ben was in an accident and passed away before retiring and claiming his benefit, would his wife receive any Social Security benefits? Why or why not?
3. Ben is enrolled in a defined benefit pension plan with his employer. How does that plan differ from a defined contribution
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