The Pension Action Center strives to improve retirees’ and workers’ standard of living in retirement through individual case advocacy; referrals to appropriate programs and professionals; and issue analysis and reform of public policy. The center, which is part of the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston, focuses on the experience of participants in retirement plans throughout its work. Because of its clear focus, the center is a one-of-a-kind organization in New England that touches the lives of thousands of people.
- provide comprehensive assistance on private or public pension issues at no cost;
- unravel complex pension plan documents and calculate benefit amounts;
- digs in to search for lost pensions, spending the necessary time that others just cannot give;
- have recovered over $42 million in pension benefits that were earned but, for whatever reason, were not paid.
The New England Pension Assistance Project has been operating for over 17 years and is one of six pension counseling projects funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging. The Illinois Pension Assistance Project began serving clients in July, 2012, and is funded by a grant from The Retirement Research Foundation.
In addition to helping more than 6,400 people, the Pension Assistance Project’s work helps to inform the Pension Action Center’s issue analysis and policy reform agenda.
Through its pension counseling experience, the Pension Action Center identified the issue of “lost pensions". A pension becomes lost because a company has moved, been acquired, or merged. Working in collaboration with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Pension Action Center authored a widely distributed self-help guide for individuals, “Finding a Lost Pension".
An ongoing concern of the Pension Action Center is women and retirement income. The center successfully worked to have Massachusetts state law amended to make the choice of providing a survivor benefit the actuarial equivalent of other pension payout options state employees have. This work went a long way to insure that spouses of state employees maintain financial independence and avoid poverty.
The National Pension Lawyers Network (NPLN) is an important program of the Pension Action Center, because many pension plan participants have difficulty securing legal counsel. NPLN is made up of lawyers from across the country, who will represent workers, retirees, and their families in pension matters on a regular fee, reduced fee or pro bono basis.
Questions About Your Pension?
UMass Boston’s Pension Action Center can help. Call us toll-free at 888.425.6077 or request help online. Read More