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Learn the Issues

The Pension Rights Center’s policy activities target shortcomings in the nation’s retirement programs and develop realistic reform measures. We testify frequently before congressional committees, comment on proposed agency regulations, publish analyses of pending legislation, and advise policymakers, and national and grassroots organizations. More than a dozen federal laws and regulations are directly traceable to Center initiatives. As a result, millions of retirees, widows, and divorced women are now receiving pensions.


"Composite Bill" Legislative Summary

"Composite Bill" Legislative Summary

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions recently held a hearing on a “Discussion Draft to Modernize Multiemployer Pensions.”  The draft is commonly referred to as “the composite bill” even though it has not yet been introduced into Congress as a stand-alone piece of legislation.


Proposed regulations on state-based retirement plans for private-sector workers (January 2016)

The Pension Rights Center submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed regulations that would allow the creation of certain state-legislated retirement savings plans that would be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Summary of the pension cutback provisions in Multiemployer Pension Reform Acf

Summary of the pension cutback provisions in the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014

In December 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the 2015 Omnibus spending bill, which included provisions of the Mult


Legislation (View All)

Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2021

The bipartisan Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2021 (S. 1730), reintroduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) on May 20, 2021, will make it possible for countless former employees to find their old employers and claim their retirement benefits. 


Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020

On October 27, 2020 House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 (H.R. 8696), a bipartisan bill with some important provisions for retirement plan participants.


Summary of CARES Act provisions relating to retirement plans

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, Public Law 116-136) in response to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Act includes several items designed to ease employees’ access to their retirement funds and certain provisions allowing employers to delay contributions to their pension plans.


Regulations (View All)

Comments to the Labor Department on the Effectiveness of ERISA Disclosures.

The Pension Rights Center submitted comments to the Labor Department in response to a Request for Information on the Effectiveness of ERISA Disclosures. The Center suggested ways that required disclosures could be improved without eliminating crucial participant information.


PBGC Expanded Missing Participants Program

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued a final rule on December 22, 2017 to expand its Missing Participants Program for terminated single-employer pension plans to additional types of plans.


Comments to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Pension Advance Loans (October 13, 2016)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information on financial products that present consumer protection issues but are not included in the Bureau’s proposed rule on payday loans. The Pension Rights Center submitted comments on pension advances, a type of loan designed to skirt federal and state laws on disclosure and interest rates.


Court Cases (View All)

Court Overturns Cash Balance Ruling

Overturning a 2003 federal district court ruling, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that IBM did not discriminate against older employees when it adopted its cash balance plan.


Former Employees Can Sue Retirement Plans

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit decided a case that preserves the right of former employees, including retirees, to sue their retirement plans even if they have already taken full distributions from the plan. The case is Harzewski v. Guidant Corporation [PDF].


Pension Plan Must Give Benefits to Surviving Spouse

An ex-spouse who files a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) with a pension plan following the death of her ex-husband is entitled to benefits. In Marker v. Northrop Grumman Space & Missions Systems Corporation Salaried Pension Plan, the U.S.