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Full-Text Articles in Retirement Security Law

My Company Is Freezing The Pension Plan: What Does This Mean?, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston Apr 2017

My Company Is Freezing The Pension Plan: What Does This Mean?, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Pension Action Center Publications

As employers move away from traditional defined benefit pension plans in favor of defined contribution 401(k) plans, the number of frozen pension plans is rapidly increasing. While most companies would like to rid themselves of their pension plan liabilities, more often than not, employers deem it too costly to terminate their existing plans and pay out all accrued benefits to participants and beneficiaries. As a result, instead of terminating their existing pension plans, many employers are electing to “freeze” their plans. Pension plans may be frozen using a “hard freeze” or a “soft freeze”. While both types of plan ...


Lump Sum Vs Annuity Payments: Which Is Right For Me?, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston Apr 2017

Lump Sum Vs Annuity Payments: Which Is Right For Me?, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Pension Action Center Publications

As employers are looking to reduce pension plan liabilities, more and more participants are being given the option to receive a one-time lump sum payment from their pension plan in lieu of receiving monthly annuity payments for life. Deciding on which form of pension benefit to take is a very important decision that requires careful consideration. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. While a lump sum may make sense for one person, it may be a serious mistake for another. And it is a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. Anyone who ...


Marital History And Retirement Security: An Empirical Analysis Of The Work, Family, And Gender Relationship, Lauren A. Martin Palmer Dec 2015

Marital History And Retirement Security: An Empirical Analysis Of The Work, Family, And Gender Relationship, Lauren A. Martin Palmer

Graduate Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation investigates the relationship between marital history and individuals’ retirement resources, namely Social Security, employer-sponsored pensions, and non-housing wealth. Prior research provides a foundation for understanding marriage’s positive relationship to retirement security, and suggests that marriage is financially beneficial and can even lessen some external factors that would otherwise damage a family’s financial situation. Yet changing demographics, with fewer people in first marriages and rising numbers of individuals experiencing divorce and choosing to remain unmarried, suggest our understanding of this relationship for today’s retirees may be limited. The purpose of this research is to identify which ...


Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Passed Jan. 4, 2015), Emily G. Brown Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd Nov 2015

Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Passed Jan. 4, 2015), Emily G. Brown Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd

Ellen Bruce

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act, passed on January 4, 2015, creates an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA. The purpose of the program is to promote increased retirement savings participation for employees in the private sector. This fact sheet answers some basic questions about how this new program will affect workers and their employers in Illinois.


Hardship Withdrawals And Loans: Some Words Of Caution, Emily G. Brown Jd, Jeanne Medeiros Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd Nov 2015

Hardship Withdrawals And Loans: Some Words Of Caution, Emily G. Brown Jd, Jeanne Medeiros Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd

Ellen Bruce

As defined benefit pension plans become more and more rare, the responsibility of saving for retirement falls increasingly on individuals. Many studies have been published about the average or median balances in retirement savings accounts and virtually all of them have reached the same conclusion - most Americans aren’t saving enough money to last them through their retirement years. In this fact sheet we will take a look at one of the factors that contributes to this problem, that is, the availability of loans and hardship withdrawals from 401(k) retirement accounts, which can lead to lower account balances overall ...


Finding A Financial Planner, Emily G. Brown Jd Jun 2015

Finding A Financial Planner, Emily G. Brown Jd

Pension Action Center Publications

This fact sheet provides information on how to find the right financial planner to help you meet your retirement planning goals. This fact sheet suggests things to consider prior to picking a financial planner and answers questions like:

  • What do financial planners do?
  • How do you know if you need a financial planner?
  • How do you find the right financial planner?
  • What type of professional title does a financial planner have?


401(K) Plan Expenses, Anne Becker, Jeffrey Arnold Jun 2015

401(K) Plan Expenses, Anne Becker, Jeffrey Arnold

Pension Action Center Publications

Under a 401(k) plan, your benefit is your vested account balance. This account balance reflects the contributions you make to the plan, the contributions your employer makes to the plan on your behalf (if any), and investment gains and losses.

Many 401(k) plan participants are responsible for choosing how to invest their account balances. If you direct the investment of your 401(k) plan account balance, it is important to understand that fees and expenses may substantially reduce the growth of your 401(k) plan account balance over the course of your working life. The Department of Labor ...


Your Former Employer’S 401(K) Plan, Jeanne Medeiros Jd May 2015

Your Former Employer’S 401(K) Plan, Jeanne Medeiros Jd

Pension Action Center Publications

When you leave a job where you have participated in a 401(k) plan, you may have a number of different options about what to do with the money in that account. This fact sheet explains those options and offers guidance about the pros and cons of each option.

Here are some frequently asked questions answered in this face sheet:

Q. Can I leave my money in my former employer’s plan?

Q. What are my other options?

Q. If I decide to withdraw the account balance from my former employer’s plan, how do I do that, and how ...


Protect Your Retirement Income: Documents To Keep And Questions To Ask, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston May 2015

Protect Your Retirement Income: Documents To Keep And Questions To Ask, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Pension Action Center Publications

No matter what kind of pension or retirement plan your employer offers, you should keep certain documents indefinitely to ensure that you receive the retirement benefits you have earned.

This fact sheet was produced as part of the Pension Action Center’s investor education program, made possible thanks to a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education, and support from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Passed Jan. 4, 2015), Emily G. Brown Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd Apr 2015

Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Passed Jan. 4, 2015), Emily G. Brown Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd

Pension Action Center Publications

The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act, passed on January 4, 2015, creates an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA. The purpose of the program is to promote increased retirement savings participation for employees in the private sector. This fact sheet answers some basic questions about how this new program will affect workers and their employers in Illinois.


Pension Action Center: Protecting Your Retirement, Louise Cataldo, Michele Tolson Apr 2015

Pension Action Center: Protecting Your Retirement, Louise Cataldo, Michele Tolson

Office of Community Partnerships Posters

The Pension Action Center (PAC) is a one-of-a-kind organization serving New England and Illinois that touches the lives of thousands of low- moderate income people, who often have nowhere else to turn when they need help understanding and obtaining their retirement benefits.


Hardship Withdrawals And Loans: Some Words Of Caution, Emily G. Brown Jd, Jeanne Medeiros Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd Mar 2015

Hardship Withdrawals And Loans: Some Words Of Caution, Emily G. Brown Jd, Jeanne Medeiros Jd, Ellen Bruce Jd

Pension Action Center Publications

As defined benefit pension plans become more and more rare, the responsibility of saving for retirement falls increasingly on individuals. Many studies have been published about the average or median balances in retirement savings accounts and virtually all of them have reached the same conclusion - most Americans aren’t saving enough money to last them through their retirement years.

In this fact sheet we will take a look at one of the factors that contributes to this problem, that is, the availability of loans and hardship withdrawals from 401(k) retirement accounts, which can lead to lower account balances overall ...


Pension Action Center, Pension Action Center, University Of Massachusetts Boston Apr 2014

Pension Action Center, Pension Action Center, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Office of Community Partnerships Posters

The Pension Action Center, (PAC) strives to improve retirees’ and workers’ standard of living in retirement through individual case advocacy; referrals to appropriate programs and professionals; and issue analysis and reform of public policy. The center, which is part of the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston, focuses on the experience of participants in retirement plans throughout its work. The PAC is a one-of-a-kind organization in New England that touches the lives of thousands of people.


Financial Security Scorecard: A State-By-State Analysis Of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees, Christian Weller, Nari Rhee, Carolyn Arcand Mar 2014

Financial Security Scorecard: A State-By-State Analysis Of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees, Christian Weller, Nari Rhee, Carolyn Arcand

Christian Weller

As Americans increasingly worry about their retirement prospects, states play an important and growing role in retirement security policy. States already manage long-term care programs for the elderly through Medicaid. Concerned about the impact of future elder poverty on state and local budgets and their local economies, a number of states are exploring the creation of low-cost and low-risk retirement savings plans for private sector workers who lack access to pensions or 401(k)s on the job. Some states have developed programs to help older workers find work.

This report presents the Financial Security Scorecard, designed to inform state-level ...


Financial Security Scorecard: A State-By-State Analysis Of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees, Christian Weller, Nari Rhee, Carolyn Arcand Mar 2014

Financial Security Scorecard: A State-By-State Analysis Of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees, Christian Weller, Nari Rhee, Carolyn Arcand

Public Policy and Public Affairs Faculty Publication Series

As Americans increasingly worry about their retirement prospects, states play an important and growing role in retirement security policy. States already manage long-term care programs for the elderly through Medicaid. Concerned about the impact of future elder poverty on state and local budgets and their local economies, a number of states are exploring the creation of low-cost and low-risk retirement savings plans for private sector workers who lack access to pensions or 401(k)s on the job. Some states have developed programs to help older workers find work.

This report presents the Financial Security Scorecard, designed to inform state-level ...


Letter Regarding Pbgc Request For Information On Missing Participants In Individual Account Plans, Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 120, June 21, 2013, Ellen A. Bruce, Brian Reilly Feb 2014

Letter Regarding Pbgc Request For Information On Missing Participants In Individual Account Plans, Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 120, June 21, 2013, Ellen A. Bruce, Brian Reilly

Ellen Bruce

On August 19, 2013, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Office of the General Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in response to their request for comments on the implementation of a new program to deal with benefits of missing participants in terminating individual account plans.


Putting Retirement At Risk: Has Financial Risk Exposure Grown More Quickly For Older Households Than Younger Ones?, Christian Weller, Sara Bernardo Jan 2014

Putting Retirement At Risk: Has Financial Risk Exposure Grown More Quickly For Older Households Than Younger Ones?, Christian Weller, Sara Bernardo

Gerontology Institute Publications

Financial markets have been characterized by boom and bust cycles since the 1980s, while the responsibility for managing retirement wealth has increasingly shifted onto individual households at the same time. Policymakers and experts have expressed concern over rising risk exposure among older households, who appear to be increasingly exposed to the growing financial risks just as they near retirement. We consider household data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances from 1989 to 2010 to analyze the correlation between age and risk exposure. We test if older households’ risk exposure has indeed grown over time, if it has ...


Fact Sheet: What Influences Plans To Work After Ages 62 And 65?, Maximiliane E. Szinovacz, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston Sep 2013

Fact Sheet: What Influences Plans To Work After Ages 62 And 65?, Maximiliane E. Szinovacz, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Gerontology Institute Publications

Timing of retirement and, implicitly, plans to work in later life have great policy relevance. They affect Social Security expenditures, employers’ pension expenditures, as well as labor force supply and demand. In light of the recent recession, it is particularly important to explore whether economic downturns and workers’ financial status influence their later-life work plans. To answer this question, we analyzed data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which included questions about expectations to work full-time after age 62 and age 65.


Letter Regarding Pbgc Request For Information On Missing Participants In Individual Account Plans, Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 120, June 21, 2013, Ellen A. Bruce, Brian Reilly Aug 2013

Letter Regarding Pbgc Request For Information On Missing Participants In Individual Account Plans, Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 120, June 21, 2013, Ellen A. Bruce, Brian Reilly

Pension Action Center Publications

On August 19, 2013, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Office of the General Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in response to their request for comments on the implementation of a new program to deal with benefits of missing participants in terminating individual account plans.


Testimony Before The Erisa Advisory Council, Ellen A. Bruce Aug 2013

Testimony Before The Erisa Advisory Council, Ellen A. Bruce

Ellen Bruce

I am the director of the Pension Action Center of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In that capacity, I run the New England Pension Assistance Project (NEPAP), a U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA)-funded pension counseling project, and the Illinois Pension Assistance Project (IPAP) funded by the Retirement Research Foundation. Both of these projects represent low- and moderate-income plan participants who are having difficulty claiming their employer-sponsored retirement income. The AoA funds six pension counseling projects covering 29 states; all of which represent clients in much the same way we do at the Pension Action ...


Gender And Marital Status Differences In Retirement Planning, Maximiliane E. Szinovacz, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston Aug 2013

Gender And Marital Status Differences In Retirement Planning, Maximiliane E. Szinovacz, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Gerontology Institute Publications

During the past decades, women have increasingly joined the labor force and worked in their later years. Yet women, especially married women, often have shorter work histories than their male counterparts due to taking time off for child care or care for ailing relatives. Are they also different in their retirement expectations? To answer this question, we explore gender and marital status differences in retirement plans.


Testimony Before The Erisa Advisory Council, Ellen A. Bruce Jun 2013

Testimony Before The Erisa Advisory Council, Ellen A. Bruce

Pension Action Center Publications

I am the director of the Pension Action Center of the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In that capacity, I run the New England Pension Assistance Project (NEPAP), a U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA)-funded pension counseling project, and the Illinois Pension Assistance Project (IPAP) funded by the Retirement Research Foundation. Both of these projects represent low- and moderate-income plan participants who are having difficulty claiming their employer-sponsored retirement income. The AoA funds six pension counseling projects covering 29 states; all of which represent clients in much the same way we do at the Pension Action ...


Letter Regarding Irs Form 8955-Ssa Participant Notice Requirement, Mia Midenjak, Ellen A. Bruce May 2012

Letter Regarding Irs Form 8955-Ssa Participant Notice Requirement, Mia Midenjak, Ellen A. Bruce

Ellen Bruce

On April 27, 2012, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Internal Revenue Service to advocate for the pension rights of American workers and retirees. The Pension Action Center’s letter was prompted by a request from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) that plans be relieved of their legal obligation to notify departing workers of their right to a pension.


Letter Regarding Irs Form 8955-Ssa Participant Notice Requirement, Mia Midenjak, Ellen A. Bruce Apr 2012

Letter Regarding Irs Form 8955-Ssa Participant Notice Requirement, Mia Midenjak, Ellen A. Bruce

Pension Action Center Publications

On April 27, 2012, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Internal Revenue Service to advocate for the pension rights of American workers and retirees. The Pension Action Center’s letter was prompted by a request from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) that plans be relieved of their legal obligation to notify departing workers of their right to a pension.


Protect Your Pension: Important Documents You Should Keep, Mia Midenjak Apr 2012

Protect Your Pension: Important Documents You Should Keep, Mia Midenjak

Pension Action Center Publications

No matter what kind of pension or retirement plan your employer offers, you should keep certain documents indefinitely to ensure that your retirement benefit is paid correctly. Based on our experience with finding lost retirement income and assisting workers and retirees to get the benefits they have earned, we recommend that you save the following information.


Summary Of Mass State Pension Reform Law Chapter 176 Of The Acts Of 2011, Ellen A. Bruce Apr 2012

Summary Of Mass State Pension Reform Law Chapter 176 Of The Acts Of 2011, Ellen A. Bruce

Ellen Bruce

Massachusetts passed significant changes to its public pension system meant to create cost savings for the state and to encourage employees to work longer. Most of the changes apply only to people hired after April 2, 2012. This summarizes the most important changes.


Summary Of Mass State Pension Reform Law Chapter 176 Of The Acts Of 2011, Ellen A. Bruce Dec 2011

Summary Of Mass State Pension Reform Law Chapter 176 Of The Acts Of 2011, Ellen A. Bruce

Pension Action Center Publications

Massachusetts passed significant changes to its public pension system meant to create cost savings for the state and to encourage employees to work longer. Most of the changes apply only to people hired after April 2, 2012. This summarizes the most important changes.


The Pension Factor: Assessing The Role Of Defined Benefit Plans In Reducing Elder Hardships, Frank Porell, Beth Almeida Dec 2011

The Pension Factor: Assessing The Role Of Defined Benefit Plans In Reducing Elder Hardships, Frank Porell, Beth Almeida

Frank Porell

Traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plans have long been an important source of income for elder households seeking to maintain a middle-class standard of living after a lifetime of work. Under traditional DB plans, retirees receive a guaranteed, regular stream of income after retirement that continues until death. The monthly pension benefit is typically based on years of service to the employer, age, and salary history. Retirees also have the option to elect a joint-and-survivor benefit, to ensure that pension payments continue to a surviving spouse. DB plan participation rates among private sector American workers have sharply decreased from about ...


Fun With Numbers: Disclosing Risk To Individual Investors, Christian A. Weller Dec 2011

Fun With Numbers: Disclosing Risk To Individual Investors, Christian A. Weller

Christian Weller

This paper discusses the need for better information on investment risks. The information should be relevant, concise, and accessible to individual investors. More and better information on factors that are likely to influence an investment’s performance and investors’ decisions should eventually lead to better investment decisions – more savings and higher retirement incomes. This paper presents a number of ways to disclose risk to individual investors. There are three numerical and three visual representations to risk. The discussion centers on the pros and cons of each risk representation. All risk descriptions show relevant information, are concise, and more or less ...


States To The Rescue: Policy Options For State Government To Promote Private Sector Retirement Savings, Christian A. Weller, Amy Helburn Dec 2011

States To The Rescue: Policy Options For State Government To Promote Private Sector Retirement Savings, Christian A. Weller, Amy Helburn

Christian Weller

We provide an overview of retirement plan proposals that could be implemented at the state level. All aim to increase participation in retirement savings, mainly by lowering the cost of doing so and possibly by offering some employer or government matches to employee contributions. The proposals vary widely on how much risk employees are exposed to. Some proposals leave most of the risks of saving for retirement – investment, market, and longevity risk – with the employee, while others try to eliminate them all. The tools of risk management range from well-diversified index funds and default investments to required offers of annuity ...