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PRC Perspectives Blog

Taking a few steps back

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on February 04, 2009

A new report from the Congressional Research Service shows that we still have a long way to go when it comes to ensuring that American workers are covered by workplace retirement plans.

In fact, we've taken a few steps back. More...

Leveling the playing field

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on January 30, 2009

Today, President Obama signed three executive orders aimed at "leveling the playing field" for workers and the labor movement.  We at the Pension Rights Center have a few ideas of our own on how President Obama can level the playing field when it comes to the nation's retirement income system. More...

A history of pensions in six minutes

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on January 27, 2009

The two stars of this entertaining video give us their unique - and accurate - take on the history of pensions and what led companies to ask for pension funding relief in the financial bailout. More...

What happens to my pension if my employer declares bankruptcy?

Posted by Rebecca Davis on January 23, 2009

I recently came across a helpful Department of Labor fact sheet - Your Employer's Bankruptcy - How Will It Affect Your Employee Benefits? Given the current state of the economy, it's never too early for workers to know what might happen to their benefits if their employer goes bankrupt.  The fact sheet highlights the important fact that, even if an employer declares bankruptcy, its pension assets cannot be touched by the company's creditors to pay off debt. More...

Three companies do "the right thing"

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on January 15, 2009

It isn't every day you that hear a company say that providing a 401(k) match is the "right thing to do" for its employees. Nope, you don't hear it that often - especially during an economic downturn that many have compared to the Great Depression. So, when I heard that Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group reinstated matching contributions to its employees' 401(k) accounts, I took notice. More...

Getting back on track

Posted by on January 13, 2009

At the Pension Rights Center our happiest moments come when people receive their pensions, sometimes after many years of trying. Thanks to the new Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, signed into law on December 23rd, Rose Colon, a former spouse of a railroad retiree, will finally receive her survivor annuity. More...

The match game

Posted by Nancy Hwa on January 09, 2009

With the stock market tanking, people saving for retirement through their company's 401(k) plan have yet another reason to worry: more and more employers are suspending their 401(k) matching contributions. This means that some workers will no longer receive a dollar-for-dollar match from their employer for the money that they themselves contribute to their 401(k). More...

A 401(k) lesson learned

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on January 05, 2009

Some employers may have learned a lesson from the collapse of Enron and its devastating impact on the 401(k) accounts of its workers and retirees.  For years, Enron had matched employee contributions to their 401(k) plans with employer stock, instead of matching their contributions with money that the employees could invest themselves.  Even worse, Enron employees were prohibited from selling the company stock in their 401(k)s until they turned 50.  When the company went bankrupt, the stock lost nearly all of its value.  As a result, Enron employees and retirees lost a great deal of their retirement savings. More...

401(k) regrets

Posted by Joellen Leavelle on December 09, 2008

Some teachers in West Virginia have learned the hard way that traditional pensions end up paying better benefits than 401(k)-type plans. More...

Record profit yields underfunded pension

Posted by Rebecca Davis on November 18, 2008

A recent article in Financial Week revealed a big surprise.  ExxonMobil has the most underfunded defined benefit pension plan of all the S&P 500 companies.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A company yielding record profits has neglected to adequately fund its pension plan. According to the article, the ExxonMobil pension plan was funded at just above 80 percent at the beginning of 2008. More...

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