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What is a surplus account and how does it work?

A surplus account, otherwise referred to as a forfeiture account, is an account relevant for group pension plans. Pension plans provide specific vesting (entitlement to a share in a pension fund) provisions which indicate how long an employee needs to be with the company before they become vested in the employer’s contributions to the plan. If an employee terminates employment before vesting, the employer portion of the contributions to the plan on behalf of that member is redirected to the surplus account. These forfeiture amounts may be applied against future contributions of the plan only if the plan is up-to-date with all contributions and any reporting requirements.

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