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February 25, 2015

Pension Rights Center applauds release of consumer protection rule

At an event hosted by AARP, President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Labor is taking critical steps toward protecting the retirement money that millions of American workers and retirees have invested in 401(k) plans and IRAs. The Department has sent a proposed regulation to the Office of Management and Budget that would require brokers to give their clients unbiased advice. In a statement supporting the release of the rule, Karen Friedman, the Center’s executive vice president and policy director, noted that “there is a dire need to ensure that all professional advisers and brokers who recommend investments for retirement money put their clients’ interests first.” The Center has joined with other organizations to launch SaveOurRetirement.org, a website dedicated to ensuring that all Americans get reliable investment advice. Read Karen Friedman's blog entry about President Obama's announcemnt.

More: Pension Rights Center Applauds Labor Department’s Release of Proposed Rule on Conflicted Investment Advice to OMB | President Obama calls for new consumer protections

Lawyer referral service has a new (old) home

New fact sheet and calculator help certain retirees predict possible pension loss

The National Pension Lawyers Network is a referral service linking people who need an attorney with lawyers who can help them enforce their retirement rights. Started by the Pension Rights Center in 1986, NPLN was later transferred to the Pension Action Center, which administered it for 18 years. NPLN is once again operated by the Pension Rights Center. The Network currently consists of nearly 600 lawyers who are available to represent workers, retirees, and their families in pension, 401(k), and other retirement plan matters on a regular-fee, reduced-fee, or pro bono basis.

More: Join NPLN | Request assistance from an NPLN attorney

PRC co-sponsors Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's 40th anniversary event

The Pension Rights Center and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to co-sponsor a January 12 event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the PBGC and the federal private pension law. The event featured Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and many of the country’s foremost pension experts, including Center board member Regina Jefferson. In her opening remarks PRC director Karen Ferguson praised the PBGC for its success in helping to achieve the law's objective of ensuring that reasonable pension expectations are met.  

MoreRemarks by Karen Ferguson at the PBGC's 40th anniversary forum | PBGC Celebrates 40 Years of Protecting Pension Benefits of the Nation’s Workers and Retirees 

New England Pension Assistance Project in the news

The work of the New England Pension Assistance Project was recently highlighted in the first annual report of the PBGC’s Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate and in the Boston Globe. Both the report and the article describe challenging cases won through the hard work and persistence of the project’s staff. The New England Pension Assistance Project has recovered more than $50 million for 7,500 clients. The New England Pension Assistance Project is part of the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program, which serves 30 states.

More: PBGC report highlights importance of pension counseling | Persistent UMass center helps retirees track down pensions | Pension Counseling and Information Program

PRC board chair calls for expansion of Social Security

In a new book, Nancy Altman, chair of the Center’s board of directors, makes the case for why NOW is the time to expand Social Security. In Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All, she argues that Social Security can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and help end the upward redistribution of wealth that has resulted in perilous levels of inequality. The book, co-authored with Eric Kingson, concludes that not only can we afford to increase Social Security benefits, we can’t afford not to.

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.
Obama Attacks Advisors Selling Snake Oil, Lauds New DOL Fiduciary Rule
Supreme Court to hear case that could impact your 401(k) fees
State private retirement programs get help from president
Pension plans, once inviolable promises to employees, are getting cut
Court Watchers Looking at Plan Fees, Retiree Benefits, Church Plans in 2015

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