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May 15, 2014

Connecticut takes a leap toward a secure retirement for private-sector workers

The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation laying the groundwork for the creation of a new state-administered retirement savings plan for private-sector workers who do not have an employer-provided pension or retirement savings plan. In a press release, Karen Friedman, PRC executive vice president and policy director and a native of West Hartford said, “I am proud of my home state for taking a bold step toward expanding retirement coverage for millions of hard-working Connecticut residents.” 

Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts in passing legislation to expand retirement coverage for private-sector workers. To learn how other states are addressing the needs of private-sector workers who lack access to retirement plans at work, read our fact sheet, State-based retirement plans for the private sector.
More: PRC press release: Connecticut takes a big step toward retirement security for its residents | PRC fact sheet: State-based retirement plans for the private sector | PRC legislative summary

Counseling projects win victories for clients just in time for Older Americans Month

Every May we take the time to celebrate older Americans – and the many successes of the Pension Counseling and Information Program. Primarily funded through the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Program has recovered more than $190 million in retirement benefits for workers, retirees, and their families in 30 states since it was launched in 1993. Throughout the month we will highlight some of the Program’s many successes, including victories for Vicki and Bill.

We’re also sharing Carol Cascio’s unusual story. Carol, a client of the Mid-Atlantic Pension Counseling Project, was the subject of a recent New York Times article on underfunding in multiemployer pension plans. As a direct result of the article, Carol will receive the survivor benefit she had counted on – not from the pension plan, but due to the generosity of a benefactor who read the article and was moved to help Carol.
More: Carol’s story | Vicki’s story | Bill’s story | Learn more about the Pension Counseling and Information Program | New York Times: Thought Secure, Pooled Pensions Teeter and Fall 

A big win for Saint Peter’s University Hospital retirees

"Church pension plans" are exempt from the federal private pension law. This means that participants in these plans are denied pension insurance and other important protections. We have been working with current and future retirees of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a nonprofit hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, to challenge the hospital’s claim that its pension plan is a church plan. In April, a federal district court in Kaplan v. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System ruled that the Saint Peter’s plan was not “church plan” because it was not established by a church. In his ruling, the Honorable Michael A. Shipp denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that had been filed by the hospital. Although this is just the first step in what is likely to be lengthy process, it is a huge victory for Saint Peter’s retirees.  Five cases raising similar legal issues are pending in other courts. Participants have won a preliminary victory in one of these cases and have lost in another.
More:  PRC press release: Decision in Saint Peter’s “Church Plan” Case a Victory for Workers and Retirees; Lawsuit against Hospital Can Proceed | PRC fact sheet: The facts about church pension plans

PRC in the News

Below are just a few of the articles we've been quoted in. Check out the PRC in the News section of our website for more.

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