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Retirement Security Law Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Retirement Security Law

Defined Contribution Plans And The Challenge Of Financial Illiteracy, Jill E. Fisch, Annamaria Lusardi, Andrea Hasler Feb 2019

Defined Contribution Plans And The Challenge Of Financial Illiteracy, Jill E. Fisch, Annamaria Lusardi, Andrea Hasler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Retirement investing in the United States has changed dramatically. The classic defined-benefit (DB) plan has largely been replaced by the defined contribution (DC) plan. With the latter, individual employees’ decisions about how much to save for retirement and how to invest those savings determine the benefits available upon retirement.

We analyze data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study to show that people whose only exposure to investment decisions is by virtue of their participation in an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan are poorly equipped to make sound investment decisions. Specifically, they suffer from higher levels of financial illiteracy than other ...


State Automatic Enrollment Iras After The Trump Election: Are They Preempted By Erisa?, Kathryn L. Moore Jan 2019

State Automatic Enrollment Iras After The Trump Election: Are They Preempted By Erisa?, Kathryn L. Moore

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

In recent years, a number of states have sought to close the retirement savings funding gap by enacting legislation mandating that employers that do not sponsor a voluntary pension plan for their employees automatically enroll their employees in a state-administered IRA program. This Article focuses on the most serious legal challenge these programs face: ERISA preemption.

The Article begins by providing an overview of the state automatic enrollment IRA programs. It then discusses a regulatory safe harbor created for these programs in 2016 and disapproved under the Congressional Review Act in 2018. It then turns to the question whether, in ...


Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert Jul 2018

Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This working paper surveys the decumulation services offered by investment robo-advisors as a case study with which to examine regulatory and market structure issues raised by automated financial advice. We provide a short introduction to decumulation, describing some of the uncertainties involved in identifying optimal decumulation strategies and sketching a few of the ‘rules of thumb’ that financial advisors have developed in this area in the face of this uncertainty. Next we describe behavioral effects that could inhibit consumers from following an optimal decumulation strategy, concluding that, left to their own devices, consumers are likely to make sub-optimal decumulation decisions ...


“Let Them Eat Cake”: Examining United States Retirement Savings Policy Through The Lens Of International Human Rights Principles, Regina T. Jefferson Jan 2018

“Let Them Eat Cake”: Examining United States Retirement Savings Policy Through The Lens Of International Human Rights Principles, Regina T. Jefferson

Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions

This article uses an international human rights framework to analyze and critique the effectiveness of the United States' retirement system and its underlying policies. The article challenges the ongoing pension reform debate to include considerations outside traditional economic theory, such as income inequality, the dignity of the elderly, and the irreducible mutuality of people. While a human rights analysis will not yield a precise policy prescription for the retirement savings crisis, it will serve as an additional framework within which the government's economic and social policies regarding the treatment of the elderly can be evaluated, expanding the focus and ...


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 ...


2015-2016 Legislative Summary, Assembly Committee On Public Employees, Retirement And Social Security Jan 2017

2015-2016 Legislative Summary, Assembly Committee On Public Employees, Retirement And Social Security

California Agencies

No abstract provided.


Despite Some Gains, Social Security Administration Data Show A Low Level Of Workforce Participation Among Ssi Recipients, Daria Domin, Jaimie Ciulla Timmons, Thinkwork! At The Institute For Community Inclusion At Umass Boston Jan 2017

Despite Some Gains, Social Security Administration Data Show A Low Level Of Workforce Participation Among Ssi Recipients, Daria Domin, Jaimie Ciulla Timmons, Thinkwork! At The Institute For Community Inclusion At Umass Boston

Data Note Series, Institute for Community Inclusion

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a total of 4,961,659 blind and disabled recipients1 between the ages of 18 and 64 received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in 2015. Out of the almost 5 million individuals receiving SSI benefits, only 6.3% worked (n=311,922).

Adults with disabilities between the ages of 40 and 64 were a significant demographic of people who receive SSI, constituting almost two thirds of recipients in 2015 (64%; n=3,167,307). However, only 3.5% (n=111,762) of SSI recipients with disabilities in this age group worked.

In ...


Achieving American Retirement Prosperity By Changing Americans' Thinking About Retirement, Peter H. Huang Jan 2017

Achieving American Retirement Prosperity By Changing Americans' Thinking About Retirement, Peter H. Huang

Articles

There are many decisions that Americans have to make about retirement before, at, and after retirement. For example, Americans have to decide when to start saving for retirement, how much to save, how to invest those savings, when to retire, when to claim social security, and how to take required minimum distributions from 401(k) plans or Individual Retirement Accounts. Different things can go wrong at each of these decisions for different reasons. Many Americans, for various reasons, including insufficient energy, money, motivation, time, and understanding, do no retirement planning. Some Americans do some retirement planning, yet worry they are ...


The Other Securities Regulator: A Case Study In Regulatory Damage, Anita K. Krug Jan 2017

The Other Securities Regulator: A Case Study In Regulatory Damage, Anita K. Krug

Articles

Although the Securities and Exchange Commission is the primary securities regulator in the United States, the Department of Labor also engages in securities regulation. It does so by virtue of its authority to administer the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the statute that governs the investment of retirement assets. In 2016, the DOL used its securities regulatory authority to adopt a rule that, for the first time, designates securities brokers who provide investment advice to retirement investors as fiduciaries subject to ERISA's stringent transaction prohibitions. The new rule's objective is salutary, to be sure. However this Article ...


Closing The Retirement Savings Gap: Are State Automatic Enrollment Iras The Answer?, Kathryn L. Moore Oct 2016

Closing The Retirement Savings Gap: Are State Automatic Enrollment Iras The Answer?, Kathryn L. Moore

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Drawing on insights from behavioral law and economics, automatic enrollment IRAs are intended to address the nation’s retirement savings gap by taking advantage of workers’ inertia. Although automatic enrollment IRAs were initially intended to apply at the federal level, they have gained little traction at the federal level, and states have begun to step into the breach. Between September 2012 and June 2016, five states enacted state automatic enrollment IRA programs.

Studies have uniformly shown that workers are more likely to participate in an automatic enrollment 401(k) plan than in a traditional opt-in 401(k) plan. Proponents of ...


Surviving The Storm 2016: Employee Benefit Compliance & Employment Law Update, George Thompson, Brooks R. Magratten, Mark A. Pogue, Kelli Viera, Cecily Banks, Roger Williams University School Of Law Sep 2016

Surviving The Storm 2016: Employee Benefit Compliance & Employment Law Update, George Thompson, Brooks R. Magratten, Mark A. Pogue, Kelli Viera, Cecily Banks, Roger Williams University School Of Law

School of Law Conferences, Lectures & Events

No abstract provided.


Labor And Employment Law At The 2014-2015 Supreme Court: The Court Devotes Ten Percent Of Its Docket To Statutory Interpretation In Employment Cases, But Rejects The Argument That What Employment Law Really Needs Is More Administrative Law, Scott A. Moss Jan 2016

Labor And Employment Law At The 2014-2015 Supreme Court: The Court Devotes Ten Percent Of Its Docket To Statutory Interpretation In Employment Cases, But Rejects The Argument That What Employment Law Really Needs Is More Administrative Law, Scott A. Moss

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Knowledge Gap In Workplace Retirement Investing And The Role Of Professional Advisors, Jill E. Fisch, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, Kristin Firth Jan 2016

The Knowledge Gap In Workplace Retirement Investing And The Role Of Professional Advisors, Jill E. Fisch, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, Kristin Firth

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The dramatic shift from traditional pension plans to participant-directed 401(k) plans has increased the decision-making responsibility of individual investors for their own retirement planning. With this shift comes increasing evidence that investors are making poor decisions in choosing how much to save for retirement and in selecting among their investment options. Studies question the value of efforts to improve these decisions through regulatory reforms or investor education.

This article posits that deficiencies in workplace retirement savings cannot be adequately addressed until the reasons for poor investment decisions are better understood. We report the results of a study designed to ...


A Closer Look At The Iras In State Automatic Enrollment Ira Programs, Kathryn L. Moore Jan 2016

A Closer Look At The Iras In State Automatic Enrollment Ira Programs, Kathryn L. Moore

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The United States faces a serious retirement savings funding gap. In an effort to fill that gap, a number of states and municipalities have begun to consider, and in some instances adopt, automatic enrollment IRA programs. Indeed, between September 2012 and June 2016, five states enacted state automatic enrollment IRA programs.

This Article takes a closer look at the IRAs in these state programs. It begins by providing an overview of the state laws creating automatic enrollment IRA programs. It then discusses the requirements that the state programs must satisfy in order to qualify as IRAs for purposes of the ...


After Tackett: Incomplete Contracts For Post-Employment Healthcare, Maria Hylton Aug 2015

After Tackett: Incomplete Contracts For Post-Employment Healthcare, Maria Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the recent U.S. Supreme Court retiree health care decision in Tackett v. M & G Polymers and focuses, in particular, on the ostensibly odd silence with respect to a critical contract term — whether the parties in fact agreed that these benefits were vested. Although the union in Tackett insisted these welfare benefits were clearly intended to vest and the employer now asserts they can be modified at any time, the collective bargaining agreement and supporting documents are ambiguous on this question. This paper examines how and why this “silence” persisted for so many decades and concludes that ...


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 ...


From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the past five years, three of the most remarkable bankruptcy cases in American history have come out of Detroit: the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, and of Detroit itself in 2012. The principal objective of this Article is simply to show that the Grand Bargain at the heart of the Detroit bankruptcy is the direct offspring of the bankruptcy sale transactions that were used to restructure Chrysler and GM. The proponents of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” never would have dreamed up the transaction were it not for the federal government-engineered carmaker bankruptcies. The Article’s second ...


Health Care Spending And Financial Security After The Affordable Care Act, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2015

Health Care Spending And Financial Security After The Affordable Care Act, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Health insurance has fallen notoriously short of protecting Americans from financial insecurity caused by health care spending. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) attempted to ameliorate this shortcoming by regulating health insurance. The ACA offers a new policy vision of how health insurance will (and perhaps should) serve to promote financial security in the face of health care spending. Yet, the ACA’s policy vision applies differently among insured, based on the type of insurance they have, resulting in inconsistent types and levels of financial protection among Americans.

To examine this picture of inconsistent financial protection, this Article ...


What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

What Is A Lien? Lessons From Municipal Bankruptcy, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

From the outset of Detroit’s bankruptcy, an unlikely set of issues kept coming up: What exactly is a lien? Who has a property interest or its equivalent in bankruptcy? Did general obligation bondholders have special status, due to Detroit’s promise to use its “full faith and credit” for repayment? What about Detroit’s pension beneficiaries, who could point to a provision in the Michigan Constitution stating that accrued pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. In this Article, I explore these and related issues that have arisen in Detroit and other recent municipal bankruptcy cases.

Part I of ...


Funding Discipline For U.S. Public Pension Plans: An Empirical Analysis Of Institutional Design, Natalya Shnitser Jan 2015

Funding Discipline For U.S. Public Pension Plans: An Empirical Analysis Of Institutional Design, Natalya Shnitser

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Using newly collected data on over 100 state-administered pension plans, this Article shows that previously overlooked differences in institutional design are associated with the striking variation in funding discipline across U.S. public pension plans. As state and local governments grapple with unfunded pension obligations, this Article presents a timely examination of public plan governance across two key dimensions: the allocation of control over funding decisions and the transparency with respect to funding liabilities. It shows empirically that greater constraints on legislative control over funding decisions—typically through the delegation of control to pension-system boards—have been associated with better ...


Newsroom: Yelnosky On State Pension Dispute, Roger Williams University School Of Law Dec 2014

Newsroom: Yelnosky On State Pension Dispute, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Same Sex Marriage In A Post-Perry And Windsor America, Kathryn L. Moore, Allison I. Connelly, Ross T. Ewing Jun 2014

Same Sex Marriage In A Post-Perry And Windsor America, Kathryn L. Moore, Allison I. Connelly, Ross T. Ewing

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

These materials accompanied a presentation at the 2014 Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention entitled Same Sex Marriage in a Post-Perry and Windsor America. The focus of this presentation was on: the legal landscape following major LGBTQ civil rights cases; how these cases would impact families in Kentucky; and any employment or retirement issues.


The Case For Public Pension Reform: Early Evidence From Kentucky, Maria Hylton May 2014

The Case For Public Pension Reform: Early Evidence From Kentucky, Maria Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

Kentucky has managed to effect major changes to some of its pension plans in the face of poor funding ratios that threatened to swamp other budget priorities. At this point it is unclear whether the reforms are deep enough to bring the plans funding levels in line with those of “healthy” states like Wisconsin. It is also unclear whether there is the political will in other jurisdictions to curb costs by moving to defined contribution or hybrid cash balance vehicles. Transparency combined with a fear that pension obligations would soon swamp all other state budget priorities appears to have been ...