Tips for Keeping Track of Your Pension: Additional Detail

This page is a supplement to the Keeping Track of Your Pensions fact sheet. Keep Records Pension plans have a duty under the law to maintain records about the pension plan and the individuals entitled to benefits from the plan. Workers should keep back-up records of their own in case there are mistakes in the […]


How many American workers participate in workplace retirement plans?

Annual figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics help paint a picture of the number of Americans who participate in a retirement plan at work.  Typically in any year only half of workers participate in a retirement plan at work.  In 2022 participation by all civilian workers, full and part-time, was 56 percent.   The information […]


Income of Today’s Older Adults

As concern about the adequacy of the nation’s retirement income programs moves to the forefront of public debate, policymakers and the public are looking to statistics to argue for or against the need for reform. Because there is a wide range of data from a variety of sources, the statistics can be confusing. To help […]


Income from Other Sources

Older adults also receive income from other sources, such as earnings from work, assets, and public assistance. Income from Assets Older adults also receive income from savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts (such as 401(k)s and IRAs), and other investments. Income from assets takes the form of interest, dividends, rents and royalties. […]


Sources of Income for Older Adults

Today’s older adults typically have a number of sources of income. For most, the primary source of income is Social Security. Other sources are income from investments and other assets, pensions and other retirement plans, earnings from work and, for a small percentage, public assistance programs and veterans benefits. In 2021, over eight in ten […]


Income from Pensions

In 2021, pension benefits provided income to nearly one third of older adults. Below are some statistics on the median benefits received by older adults. Median Pension Benefit In 2021, one out of three older adults received income from private company or union pension plans, federal, state, or local government pension plans, or Railroad Retirement, […]


Income from Social Security

Nearly nine in ten older adults receives income from Social Security. Below are statistics on the benefits received by older adults, by average, median, and relative importance. Average Social Security Benefits In 2022, the average retiree received an estimated $19,896 a year in Social Security benefits. Couples in which both parties received benefits received $33,518 a […]


Why Pensions Are Important

This fact sheet explains the role pensions play in the overall retirement security of American workers, retirees, and their families. Pensions are Important to Retirement Security Social Security provides only a safety net. Average yearly Social Security payment: $21,968 Annual minimum-wage salary: $15,080 Average portion of pay Social Security replaces: 34.4% Most retirees have little […]


Tips for Keeping Track of Your Pension

Each year, the Pension Rights Center gets calls and e-mails from retirees asking for help. Many are seeking a pension plan that was “lost” because their former company moved or merged. We also hear from workers who need help proving that they worked long enough to qualify for benefits. Other people come to us because their pension […]


How Retirement Plans Can Fix Contribution Mistakes

Employers sometimes make mistakes when they put money into a 401(k), profit sharing plan or other defined contribution plan. If they correct the mistake by making a contribution to the plan, the contribution is called a QNEC or Qualified Non-Elective Employer Contribution. Here are some examples of a QNEC (pronounced cue-neck). Companies sometimes fail to […]


Common Questions about the Butch Lewis Act

1. What is the Butch Lewis Act? The Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act is legislation to help severely financially troubled multiemployer plans meet their benefit obligations to retired participants. It was included as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which President Biden signed into law on March 11, 2021. 2. […]


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. The legislation is aimed at solving a problem that affects many […]