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Thank you to our 2020 Donors! 

We are incredibly thankful to our donors who came through to help the Pension Rights Center carry on our important mission –especially in a year of challenges. Thanks to all the organizations and individuals who contributed, we raised more than $300,000 for the year! See our full list of supporters. 

Pension Rights Center Celebration of Retirement Superheroes

Date: October 29th, 2019

Event Description: The Pension Rights Center held its 2019 Celebration of Retirement Superheroes at the American Intinstitute of Architects on October 29th. PRC recognized Congressman Richard Neal, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Sentator Rob Portman as Retirement Security Superheroes.

Learn more about the event.

Thank you to our 2018 supporters!

We gratefully acknowledge all of our 2018 donors, big and small. Your donation makes it possible for us to do all the great work we do in protecting and promoting the retirement income security of workers, retirees and their families.
We especially want to recognize our top “super” donors of 2018. Thank you to you all.

See our full list of supporters.

Pension Rights Center Annual Superhero Celebration

Date: November 7, 2017

Event description: The Pension Rights Center held it's annual superhero celebration to honor heroes who are protecting earned retirement benefits for workers, retirees and their families.

Learn more about the event.

Boosting Your Clients' Economic Security:
Do You Know What You Should Know About Pensions?

Date: November 2, 2016

Event description: Retirement benefits earned through employment can play a critical role in poverty prevention for older Americans. Are your staff and providers working directly with clients up to date on the latest ways to support older adults who may have untapped pension or retirement plans?  

Benefit outreach specialists, legal services providers, financial counselors, eligibility assessment counselors, case managers and any other advocates who encounter individuals unable to obtain the pension and retirement savings plan benefits they rightfully earned may feel they lack the expertise to effectively represent these clients.

This presentation was prepared for members of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Securing Economic Justice for Seniors in a Changing Retirement Landscape

Date: October 28, 2016

Event description: As part of the American Bar Association's National Aging and Law Conference, Pension Rights Center staff joined with the Administration on Community Living for the following presentation. To enjoy a middle class lifestyle in retirement, seniors must supplement Social Security with earned retirement income.  But recent changes to the laws governing earned retirement benefits, and new trends stemming from longstanding provisions of the law, are threatening Americans’ retirement security and pushing senior citizens out of the middle class.  Learn about the new challenges that retirees face, and how legal and aging services providers can help their clients meet them.

Retirement and Divorce

Date: October 13, 2016

Event description: The Pension Rights Center provided a legal training for staff of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Program on issues they may face when working with clients who are entitled to a retirement plan benefit and ensuring their rights are represented in divorce proceedings. 

Pension Rights Center 40th Anniversary 

Date: October 6, 2016

Event description: The Pension Rights Center celebrated 40 years of protecting earned retirement benefits for workers, retirees and their families at a reception.

40th anniversary event

Learn more about the event. 

Legal Clinic

Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Event description: The Pension Rights Center is hosting a free legal clinic to assist people who may have questions about their pension or retirement savings plans. Experienced pension attorneys will be available to meet one-on-one with individuals seeking answers to questions about their traditional pension, 401(k), or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. 

Attorneys will be able to assist with questions such as: 

  • Did I earn a pension from a former employer? If so, how do I claim it?
  • I am certain that I qualified for a pension at a job, but the company says that I didn’t (or they say that my pension is much lower than I expected). What can I do?
  • My contributions to my 401(k) plan haven’t been showing up or take months to show up. What are my rights?
  • My pension plan overpaid me for several years. Now it says that I have to pay back the overpayment all at once. What can I do?
  • Will I get benefits from my spouse’s pension when he/she dies?
  • What happens to my pension or 401(k) if I get divorced? If my spouse has a pension or 401(k), what are my rights in divorce?

To register: Call the Pension Rights Center at (202) 296-3776 or send an e-mail to clinic@pensionrights.org.

Download flyer.

Enforcement of ERISA Rights and Responsibilities

Date: October 24, 2014

Event description: At an October 24 conference, attendees learned from architects of ERISA what Congress said in 1974 about the enforcement of participant rights and the responsibilities of plan fiduciaries. Conference participants also examined Supreme Court rulings 40 years later and heard how advocates on all sides view these and other court decisions. A focal point of the conference was an ongoing discussion on whether regulatory or legislative changes are needed with the hope of finding areas of common ground. 

More information

How to help older adults with their retirement plan problems

Date: November 6, 2014

Event description: Retirement benefits earned through employment can play a critical role in poverty prevention for the older adults. Legal services providers, housing and financial counselors, benefit specialists, and other elder law advocates who encounter individuals unable to obtain the pension and retirement savings plan benefits they rightfully earned may feel they lack the expertise to effectively represent these clients.  This workshop aims to help attorneys and other older adult economic security professional staff determine whether their clients are entitled to retirement plan benefits and steps to take when working with these clients to ensure that older adults increase their economic security. Presenters: Emily Spreiser, Legal Program Director and Joellen Leavelle, Outreach Manager.

Register here 

ERISA at 40: What Were They Thinking?

Date: October 25, 2013

Event descriptionEnacted in 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was the result of a decade-long quest to safeguard the retirement savings of American workers. Opposed by business interests and most labor unions, hobbled by turf wars in Congress and the Executive Branch, ERISA overcame long odds, bringing sweeping regulatory changes for employee benefit plans.

At this symposium, key participants in ERISA’s passage joined scholars, economists, lawyers and actuaries to create an oral history of the pension reform law. The symposium explored the political hurdles and policy challenges ERISA’s proponents faced, the consequences of this landmark legislation and the impact of changing economic, social and political conditions.

The Pension Rights Center was a co-sponsor of this event. See the agenda from the event.


19th Annual Funniest Celebrity Contest

Date: September 25, 2013

Event description: The Pension Rights Center is honored to be one of the beneficiaries of the 19th annual Funniest Celebrity Contest. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit http://funniestcelebrity.org

More Information

Protecting Retirement Savings: The Case for Modernizing Advice

Date: July 8, 2013

Event description: The Pension Rights Center, along with  AARP, the AFL-CIOAmericans for Financial Reform, and others held a briefing for congressional staff on the important role fiduciary duty standards play in protecting the interests of American investors and the urgent need for the SEC and DOL to update these rules.

Watch video of the briefing.

Webinar: Finding Lost Pension Plans

Date: June 18, 2013, 12:30 p.m.

Event description: The Pension Rights Center held a webinar on tips and tricks for tracking down a lost pension or retirement savings plan. Participants in this webinar learned about the problem of lost pension plans and the resources available to find these plans.

This webinar was offered free of charge for legal service providers and advocates. Learn about the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Projects.

Watch a recording of the webinar:

Webinar: How Financial Security Impacts Nonprofit Career Decisions

Date: May 7, 2013

Event description: Karen Friedman joined economists and experts from TIAA-CREF and Independent Sector as they discussed the results of a study titled, Financial Security and Careers in the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector, and how a perceived and real lack of financial security can undermine a nonprofit's ability to attract, retain, and develop the most talented individuals and leaders. Fresh ideas and insights were discussed to help nonprofit executives address these concerns. 

Watch a recording of the webinar.

Reception Honoring the Pension Counseling and Information Program: 20 Years of Success

 Date: April 24, 2013

Event description: The Pension Rights Center celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Pension Counseling and Information Program at a reception in Washington, D.C.

See photos and learn more.

Retirement Security for All: A Forum for State Action

Date: September 14, 2012 — 9:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Event description: On September 14, 2012, the Pension Rights Center, the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at the New School, and Dēmos hosted a forum in New York City on expanding pension plan coverage at the state level. The forum brought together state officials with experts from a variety of organizations to discuss proposals for state-administered retirement plans for private-sector workers and to share strategies for moving these proposals forward.

More information

Re-Imagining Pensions: Using Innovative Pension Plan Design to Reduce Risk and Increase Retirement Income

Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 — 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Event description: America's private retirement system has shifted from a world in which employers bore most of the significant risks of retirement to a world in which individuals bear these risks largely on their own.  This conference explored whether employers and individuals might be better off in a middle ground between these two extremes -- in plan designs that share the risks of retirement among individuals and their employers.  Getting there will require thinking outside the box of traditional defined benefit plans and 401(k) individual account plans.

 More information.

Retirement Heist: Overlooked Causes of the Retirement Crisis

Date: Monday, November 7, 2011  –  12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Event description: The decline in employer-sponsored pension and retiree health plans is a troubling trend that has eroded the retirement security of millions of Americans. Stock market losses and low interest rates have weakened pension funding, and employers say that this -- combined with retiree longevity, rising costs and the need to compete globally –  is forcing them to freeze pensions and cut retiree benefits. 

More information.

Pension Rights Center Gala Event: A Celebration of Superheroes

Date: March 30, 2011  –  7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Event description:  On March 30, 2011, the Pension Rights Center held a gala event to celebrate its 35th anniversary. The Center recognized the work of many indivudials by awarding the Robert M. Ball – Lisle C. Carter Superhero Awards and the Helen Quirini Activist Awards, and launched the Michael S. Gordon Fellows Program.

More information.