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Pension laws

As ERISA celebrates its 35th anniversary it is clear that there is still more to do

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Labor Day marks the 35th anniversary of a law hailed by its principal sponsor Senator Jacob Javits as "the greatest development in the life of the American worker since Social Security." Thanks to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, millions of retirees are receiving the secure lifetime pensions that are making it possible for them to live comfortably in retirement. More...

Can we call you, Al?

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When writer-comedian Al Franken was sworn in as Minnesota's junior Senator on July 7, I was intrigued to hear that he will be serving on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (also known as the Senate HELP Committee). Not surprisingly, this is one of the committees that we deal with the most, and I wondered what kind of positions Senator Franken would take on retirement income issues. More...

Success!

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Today the IRS announced new tax "withholding adjustment procedures" for pension plans today, repairing a problem that we raised in a letter to the Treasury Department on April 1.  More...

Mother Jones for Mother’s Day

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With Mother's Day approaching, it seems only fitting that I put in a plug for the current edition of Mother Jones magazine. Its cover asks, "Who Ran Away With Your 401(k)?" and the issue is required reading for anyone interested in the future of retirement income.   More...

Unequal Pay = Unequal Pensions

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Today, April 28, is Equal Pay Day, in recognition of the fact that on average women earn less than men. For women, as former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder once noted, this discrimination throughout their lives "strikes its cruelest blow at the end."

The Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act of 2009 will not only help close the wage gap for women who have experienced pay discrimination in the workplace, but it will also help close the pension gap. More...

Pension information for automotive industry retirees

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Are you a retiree from the auto industry?  The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that guarantees pensions, has provided helpful information for retirees o More...

Time to Fix a Fiscal Mistake

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Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Roth alternative in the Thrift Savings Plan for government employees. Roths are the antithesis of sensible tax and budget policy. Rather than expanding them to federal employees, Congress should scrap them.

As most of us know, there are now two choices in both IRAs and 401(k)s. With a traditional IRA or 401(k), the contribution is not taxed when made, but distributions from the retirement plan are taxable. In both Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s, the contribution is taxed in the year that it is made, but distributions are tax-free.

The advantage of either alternative is the same -- the elimination of tax on investment income. The difference is when the money is taxed.  This may seem like a minor difference, but the amount of money that you can accumulate tax-free can be greater in a Roth. More...

Getting back on track

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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...

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