General Information About Retirement

There Are Many Different Sources of Income in Retirement

Social Security benefits are a critically important source of retirement income for most older Americans, but they were never intended to provide enough money for them to live comfortably. It was assumed that older individuals would also have income from savings and a workplace retirement plan.

There Are Many Types of Workplace Retirement Plans

The two main categories are pensions, often called defined benefit plans, and retirement savings plans, called defined contribution plans, such as  401(k) plans and 403(b) plans.  How your retirement plan works, what your benefit will look like when you retire, whether you can pass your benefit on to your children, and whether you need to contribute your own money into the plan will all depend in large part on whether your plan is a pension plan or a retirement savings plan.

In addition to the type of plan you have, the kind of employer you have will also affect how your retirement plan works. For instance, the laws regulating your retirement benefits differ depending on whether you worked for a government, a private employer, or a religious organization.  They also can differ if your plan is offered by more than one employer.


The resources below explain how the different types of retirement plan work, key concepts and terms that often come up when people talk about retirement, and helpful information that can apply to many different types of retirement plans. You will also find important facts and figures about retirement benefits in the United States.

General Information About Retirement Highlights:

Statistics
04/21/21

Why Pensions Are Important

Statistics
03/22/21

Income of Today’s Older Adults

Statistics
07/12/17 |Pension Rights Center

How many American workers participate in workplace retirement plans?

The Latest on General Information About Retirement:

Blogs & Newsletters
10/15/21

Watch Out for 401(k) Fees

By Jane Smith The Pension Rights Center has long warned consumers to be aware of the fees charged by 401(k) plans. That message was reinforced by syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary in her article “Your 401(k) is pocketing fees on your investment. Many people don’t realize it.” Singletary told her readers “It’s important that you understand that the […]

Press Release
10/04/21

The Pension Rights Center urges the IRS to protect retirement spousal rights

For Immediate Release                   Contact: Karen Friedman, 202-320-6518 The Pension Rights Center (PRC) sent a comment letter to the IRS in opposition to efforts to weaken spousal rights to retirement benefits. The Pension Rights Center has been a leading consumer voice working to protect the retirement security of workers, retirees […]

Comments & Letters
09/30/21

PRC Comments to the IRS on Notice 2021-40, Physical Presence Requirement for Spousal Consent

PRC submitted comments to the IRS on Notice 2021-40, Physical Presence Requirement for Spousal Consent.

Blogs & Newsletters
04/28/21

Retirement Plan Literacy—Answers to Common Questions: Part III

By David Brandolph In this, the third part of our April financial literacy month series, we answer one more of the top five questions that the Pension Rights Center commonly gets from people looking for a comfortable retirement. Part I of the series can be found here; Part II here. Unless stated otherwise, answers relate to company or […]

Blogs & Newsletters
04/23/21

Retirement Plan Literacy—Answers to Common Questions: Part II

By David Brandolph In this, the second part of our April financial literacy month series, we answer two more of the top five questions that the Pension Rights Center commonly gets from people about their retirement benefits (Part I can be found here). Unless stated otherwise, answers relate to company or union sponsored private-sector retirement plans. Being […]

Blogs & Newsletters
04/16/21

Retirement Plan Literacy – Answers to Common Questions

By David Brandolph April is financial literacy month. That is why you are likely to see publications offering articles with financial planning recommendations such as: set goals, track spending, boost savings, and understand concepts such as “diversification” and “compound interest.” Some articles may suggest that you can “become a millionaire” by the time you reach […]

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