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Rebecca Davis's Posts

Getting divorced? Don't forget the pension!

What better time than the week after Valentine's Day to devote a week's worth of blog entries to divorce?  This is the first in a series of blog entries focusing on issues involving divorce and retirement. Enjoy! More...

Military retirement for the 21st century

A few months ago we posted a blog entry about a letter [PDF] we wrote opposing a bill in the Oklahoma state legislature that would limit the ability of former spouses to receive an award of military retirement pay in a divorce settlement. The blog entry received a number of comments - several disagreeing with our position.

Military pensions and divorce: How a bill pending in Oklahoma could affect military pensions everywhere

Earlier this month, the Pension Rights Center, along with the National Women's Law Center, sent a letter to the Oklahoma state legislature urging it to defeat a bill that could dramatically alter the way the state's divorce courts treat military pensions. 

Older Americans Act celebrates an anniversary

Today marks the 44th anniversary of the Older Americans Act, a federal grant program that helps millions of older adults throughout the country.  One of the programs funded by the Older Americans Act is the Administration on Aging's Pension Counseling and Information Program, which supports regional pension counseling projects around the country.  These nonprofit counseling projects provide free legal assistance to individuals who have questions about their pensions and retirement savings plans.  Since their inception, the projects have recovered more than $75 million on behalf of their clients, representing a return of 5-to-1 for every federal dollar invested in the program.

Does it have to be all or nothing?

For the past several months, the PRC has been maintaining a list of companies that have reduced or stopped matches to their 401(k) plans.  When the economy takes a turn for the worse as it has in the past year, companies view cutting 401(k) matches as an easy way to reduce costs.  Recently, Business Management Daily published an article for employers on how to break the news to employees and how to encourage employees to continue saving despite the loss of the match. 


Today the IRS announced new tax "withholding adjustment procedures" for pension plans today, repairing a problem that we raised in a letter to the Treasury Department on April 1. 

News you can use

With tax day approaching, Andrea Coombes of MarketWatch.com has written a helpful column about the Making Work Pay credit, a 2009 tax credit given to all working Americans with earnings under a certain amount. To implement this credit, the I.R.S. has issued new tax withholding tables. However, as she notes, implementing the tax credit through withholding tables are a  "blunt instrument", resulting in some workers having too much taken out of their paychecks or having too little withheld.


Stop scapegoating public workers

Since the beginning of the economic downturn we've seen a lot of stories in the news about the decline in the funding status of pension plans.  Given that pension plans are heavily invested in the stock market, real estate and other assets that have lost significant value in the economic downturn, it would follow suit that the funding levels in these plans have also decreased.

An Exciting Day for PRC

The Pension Rights Center had a very exciting day on Tuesday as we joined with three other groups to unveil a new initiative called Retirement USA. Together with the Economic Policy Institute, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and Service Employees International Union, we presented principles that would provide the basis for a new universal, secure, and adequate retirement system in addition to Social Security.

Retirement plan rules trump divorce decree

The Supreme Court recently ruled that a retirement plan could follow its own rules even if they were inconsistent with the terms of a divorce decree. The decision is an important one, not just because of the legal precedent that it sets, but also because it serves as an important warning to anyone who has a retirement savings plan.

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