Should retirees take the pension, or 'the lump?'

Given the choice, should a soon-to-be-retiree take the monthly company pension or the whole pension amount at once – known as "the lump?"

Entire taverns can be polarized by this question.

The guys down at Buster's Hideaway are staunch in their belief that taking the lump will separate them and their money from their soon-to-be former employers -- a good thing in their view because they fear that their employers might renege on their monthly obligations.

I have a brother-in-law who is among those at Buster's facing this decision and he would really like to go for the lump – he's none too trusting of the company he's worked for more than 30 years. But he can't get beyond the nagging fear that he'll take the money and lose it.

At the risk of overstepping my familial bounds, I researched and wrote about the question for Bankrate.com, where I'm a contributing editor. In my Bankrate report. I tried to present both sides of the question fairly because that's the journalistic thing to do. But I'll tell you here, if my husband and I had to make that decision, I'd be lobbying hard for the monthly pension – despite the fact that my husband is an accountant for an insurance company and an expert in financial management.