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The History of the Women's Pension Project

Since its inception in 1981, the Women’s Pension Project has successfully worked to protect women’s retirement security. Provisions in five federal laws benefiting millions of homemakers and working women are the direct result of Project activities. The Project has provided help to thousands of women who had nowhere else to turn for help with their pension problems.

A recent success of the Women’s Pension Project is the inclusion of provisions in the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 that enable surviving former spouses in the Railroad Retirement System to receive court-awarded survivor benefits. The Pension Protection Act also included provisions that will help widows and divorced women receive benefits from private pension plans.

The Women’s Pension Project led the creation of the Women's Pension Coalition, a group of like-minded women’s and retiree organizations dedicated to improving retirement security for American women. The Coalition is currently working on a set of legislative measures to benefit working women and divorced and widowed homemakers. 

In addition to legislative reforms, the Project has commented on proposed government regulations and published books, fact sheets, and pamphlets. Selected chapters of the Project’s widely-acclaimed book, Your Pension Rights at Divorce: What Women Need to Know, are available in the PRC Books section of this web site.