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April 3, 2012

Policy conference highlights new retirement plan designs
Policy conference highlights new retirement plan designs

In February, the Pension Rights Center joined with Covington & Burling and the Urban Institute to sponsor Re-Imagining Pensions, a high-profile conference on Capitol Hill. In her opening remarks, Karen Friedman, the Center’s executive vice president and policy director, explained that the purpose of the conference was “to come up with new forms of retirement plans that will appeal to employers and also do well by employees, retirees, and their families.” 

The conference featured eight designs for new voluntary retirement plans, including one presented by the Center’s director, Karen Ferguson. The Center’s “Retirement Security Funds” proposal incorporates a novel approach to risk-sharing, a unique benefit formula, a new structure, and other features to increase retirement security.

Panelists included Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury J. Mark Iwry, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Director Joshua Gotbaum. Learn about the plans presented and watch a slide show and videos on the conference webpage.

Legal conference features ERISA architects and government plan experts
Legal conference features ERISA architects and government plan experts

The Pension Rights Center held its annual three-day National Training Conference for the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program. At the conference, attendees shared stories of clients they had helped, learned how to tell a story to the media from award-winning journalist Ellen Schultz, and heard presentations by leading experts on pension litigation, bankruptcy, government plans, and the rights of spouses under the military retirement system. Pension counselors were also treated to an informative and entertaining session titled “ERISA: What Were They Thinking?” featuring three of the principal drafters of the nation’s private pension law: PRC Fellows Frank Cummings, Bob Nagle, and Henry Rose. Video from that session is available on the Center's YouTube page.

The pension counseling program has recovered more than $140 million for clients since its inception in 1993. In the past four months alone, articles highlighting the work of the counseling projects have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Chicago Tribune, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, and more.

PRC testimony supports state-administered retirement plans for private-sector workers

Momentum is growing for the idea of state-administered retirement plans for private-sector workers. Recently, Karen Friedman testified in support of this concept before the Committee on Aging in the Connecticut General Assembly and spoke about a California proposal to the Los Angeles Trustees Network.

Blog entries provide a PRC perspective on the news

Don’t miss the latest PRC Perspectives blog entries on a new survey showing that younger workers value defined benefit pension plans, state-administered retirement plans for the private sector, American Airlines’ decision to freeze its employees’ pensions rather than terminate them, and the Mega Millions lottery. If you aren’t subscribed to our blog, sign up to get PRC Perspectives delivered to your inbox.

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  Pension Rights Center
1350 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 206 | Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 296-3776