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
11/28/22

Why Pensions Are Important

Statistics
11/28/22

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:

Comments & Letters
05/04/22

PRC, National Women’s Law Center, and WISER comments to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board on new TSP recordkeeping system

PRC, National Women’s Law Center, and WISER offered comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board and the ways in which the Thrift Savings Plan’s new recordkeeping system will impact the rights of participants and beneficiaries. Read the full comments here.

Blogs & Newsletters
04/06/22

Don’t Put Your Retirement Assets at Risk–Avoid Becoming a ‘Money Mule’

By David Brandolph Everyone needs to know about a type of financial scam that’s been exploding in frequency and could cause victims to lose their life savings, including their retirement nest egg. The scam uses “money mules” to hide or launder illegally obtained money. Money mules are people recruited by fraudsters to receive funds coming […]

PRC In the News
03/14/22|Money Talks News

The Average Retirement Income in 2022

How are you going to pay for retirement? How is everyone else doing it? What is the average retirement income for 2022? Has it changed a lot from past years as we emerge from the pandemic? Are you anywhere close to average?

Press Release
02/16/22

Consumer Groups and Others to Launch Retirement-Security-For-All Call for Action

For Immediate Release Tomorrow, February 17th, the consumer advocacy organization the Pension Rights Center and other like-minded groups will be celebrating PRC’s 46th anniversary. They will also be celebrating the birthday of the Center’s late founder, Karen Ferguson, who died in late December. On this special day, PRC will be joined by Social Security Works […]

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 […]

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