View past issues of our newsletter Pension Notes
When employees are in a defined benefit pension plan, they need to keep an eye on two things that affect their pension: benefit accrual and vesting credit accrual.
The Pension Action Center at the Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston was a partner with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in the development of this booklet.
On April 27, 2012, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Internal Revenue Service to advocate for the pension rights of American workers and retirees. The Pension Action Center’s letter was prompted by a request from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) that plans be relieved of their legal obligation to notify departing workers of their right to a pension.
Although much has been made of the Massachusetts State Retirement System's funding and abuses, little has been written about the benefits its provides. A retirement system should be judged first on whether it meets its goal of providing for workers in retirement.
This 2009 study looked at the impact of defined benefit plan pensions and concluded:
“Rates of poverty among older households without DB [defined benefit] pension income were approximately six times greater than the rate among older households with DB pension income.”
No matter what kind of pension or retirement plan your employer offers, you should keep certain documents indefinitely to ensure that your retirement benefit is paid correctly. Based on our experience with finding lost retirement income and assisting workers and retirees to get the benefits they have earned, we recommend that you save certain documents. This fact sheet outlines what these important documents are.
State and federal laws provide strong protections to New England residents to shield their retirement savings from creditors. The particular protections available depend on whether you have filed for bankruptcy, how your retirement savings are kept, and where you live.
Massachusetts passed significant changes to its public pension system meant to create cost savings for the state and to encourage employees to work longer. Most of the changes apply only to people hired after April 2, 2012. This summarizes the most important changes.