Fact Sheets and Information
The fact sheets are intended to provide general information only; they are not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Read our disclaimer.
- General Retirement
- Protecting Retirement Savings
- Private Pensions
- Social Security
- State Public Workers and Retirees
Company Bankruptcy and Pension Freezes
Lump Sum vs. Annuity
Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information
On July 16, 2015, Ellen Bruce, JD, Senior Fellow, Gerontology Institute and former Director of The Pension Action Center submitted comments to the IRS advocating for retirees rights when faced with recoupment and corrective action taken by pension plans.
The IL Secure Choice Savings Program Act creates an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA. The purpose of the program is to promote increased retirement savings participation for employees in the private sector.
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.
On August 19, 2013, the Pension Action Center wrote to the Office of the General Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in response to their request for comments on the implementation of a new program to deal with benefits of missing participants in terminating individual account plans.
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.
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.
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.
Ellen Bruce, director of the Gerontology Institute and its Pension Action Center, testified before the ERISA Advisory Council on June 4, 2013. Her testimony provides insight into the issue of lost pensions and outlines policy considerations and recommendations for addressing this problem.
In recent years, more and more employers are offering employees defined contribution plans instead of defined benefit plans. Although, there has been a shift away from the defined benefit pension plan, it is important for employees to understand the difference and value of both pension plans. Each type of pension plan has both advantages and disadvantages. What may appear as an advantage to one person might seem to be a disadvantage to another person.
Whether you are a participant in a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan, the realm of pension benefits can be tricky and confusing to navigate. Some of the terminology used might be unfamiliar to the average person. This glossary of common terms associated with retirement plans is meant to serve as a helpful resource for plan participants.
When you leave a job where you have participated in a 401(k) plan, you may have a number of different options about what to do with the money in that account. This fact sheet explains those options and offers guidance about the pros and cons of each option.
Read our Newsletter
Giving to the Pension Action Center
Help people understand retirement benefits through a gift to the center.
Pension Action Center
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.