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Enron

Defending Your 401(k)

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If you think your company may go bankrupt, more than your job is at risk. Your retirement account may also be in jeopardy.

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Owning your company's stock, toxic or not?

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Buying stock that then falls sharply is painful, especially for investors who also happen to be company employees.

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New I.R.S. rules clarify when participants can sell company stock in 401(k) plans

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Dow Jones Newswires reports that the Internal Revenue Service has released rules clarifying when participants in 401(k) plans can sell company stock held in their accounts.  More...

Does it have to be all or nothing?

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For the past several months, the PRC has been maintaining a list of companies that have reduced or stopped matches to their 401(k) plans.  When the economy takes a turn for the worse as it has in the past year, companies view cutting 401(k) matches as an easy way to reduce costs.  Recently, Business Management Daily published an article for employers on how to break the news to employees and how to encourage employees to continue saving despite the loss of the match.  More...

The test of time

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In my work here at the Pension Rights Center, one of my responsibilities is to update the list of companies that have suspended matching 401(k) contributions. This week I've had to add more than 15 companies to this list. Even worse, some of these companies are suspending matching 401(k) contributions and freezing their traditional pensions, leaving more and more workers out in the cold. More...

A 401(k) lesson learned

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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...

How does the Wall Street meltdown affect my pension?

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In the past few days, large companies on Wall Street have been closing left and right, making the people who work at these companies jittery about many issues, including their retirement security.

The good news for these employees is that the money in their pension and 401(k) plans is protected from creditors, so that even when a company goes into bankruptcy, they don't have to worry about their retirement money being used to pay back debts instead. More...

Does Gannett's pension freeze leave its employees in the cold?

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You may have read that last week newspaper publisher Gannett announced that it will freeze its pension plan for all employees as of August 1, 2008. The company announced the freeze and details of its plan to “enhance” the company 401(k) in a memo sent to employees.

Gannett is just one of many employers that we have added to our growing list of companies that have changed their defined benefit plans. More...

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