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Retirement Security Law Commons

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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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 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 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 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.


Protecting Your Retirement Savings From Potential Creditors, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston Aug 2011

Protecting Your Retirement Savings From Potential Creditors, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston

Pension Action Center Publications

State and federal laws provide strong protections to New England residents to shield their retirement savings from creditors. The particular protections available depend on whether you have filed for bankruptcy, how your retirement savings are kept, and where you live.


Finding A Lost Pension, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation May 2009

Finding A Lost Pension, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute, University Of Massachusetts Boston, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Pension Action Center Publications

Workers may be tempted to shrug their shoulders and write off the pensions as “lost.” Indeed, some pensions may in fact be gone forever. In many cases, though, the pension money is sitting safely in a fund, waiting only for the worker (or a surviving spouse or beneficiary) to come forward to collect it. If you think you may be entitled to money in a pension fund, either as a participant or as a spouse or beneficiary of a participant, it makes sense to try to track it down. This booklet, which is based on the experience of pension counselors ...