Pension Benefit Overpayments – What is Recoupment?

Overview I received a letter from my pension plan stating that it has been overpaying me. The letter says that the plan is going to reduce my monthly payments and that I will also have to pay an additional amount to the plan. What can I do? Believe it or not, sometimes pension plans make […]


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 […]


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. […]


What the Butch Lewis Act Will and Will Not Do

On March 11, 2021, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, President Biden signed the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Relief Act into law. The law will preserve and restore the pensions of more than one million retirees and workers in an estimated 200-225 severely underfunded multiemployer pension plans.[i] It is the result of many years […]


Understanding Survivor Benefits in Private Retirement Plans

For married participants in retirement plans, a top concern is making sure that a spouse will receive their retirement benefits if they die. Luckily, most pension plans and many other retirement plans in the United States provide a survivor benefit to widowed spouses of retirement plan participants. In some cases, a survivor benefit can also be left […]


The Labor Department’s Notice-and-Access Disclosure Rule: The Basics

The Labor Department has issued a new rule for electronic delivery of plan disclosures to retirement plan participants, called “notice-and-access.”[1] The rule is effective July 27, 2020.[2]  The new rule replaces prior guidance on electronic delivery of disclosures to participants, with the exception of a 2002 electronic disclosure rule.[3] The 2002 electronic disclosure rule remains […]


The Labor Department’s new disclosure rule: What could it mean for you?

The Labor Department issued a new rule, effective July 27, 2020, that describes a new form of electronic disclosure for retirement plan information called “notice-and-access.”  This new scheme of disclosure will put the burden of finding retirement plan information on to the participants in the plan. Rather than receiving your retirement plan information on paper […]


The Top 10 Worst Things about the Department of Labor’s New “Notice-and-Access” Rule for Retirement Plans

The US Department of Labor has adopted a new rule that will allow retirement plans to use an automatic “notice-and-access” disclosure system that will result in millions of workers and retirees no longer receiving critical information about their retirement plan and benefits. The new rule will effectively upend the commonsense rule now in place.[i] Currently, […]


Disclosures you may receive from your retirement plan

Retirement plan participants receive multiple communications from their plans. Some disclosures are sent automatically, such as each year, every quarter or when joining a plan. Other disclosures are sent when “triggering” events occur, such as termination of employment or divorce. Certain plan documents and reports are available upon request. Beneficiaries, such as spouses, can generally […]


Pension Rights Center Concerns about Proposed DOL Electronic Disclosure Rule

This Is No Time to Deny Workers and Retirees Vital Information about their Retirement Plans The Department of Labor, the agency charged with protecting people’s rights to retirement benefits, wants to adopt a new rule that would undermine workers’ and retirees’ rights by making it far less likely they  get the information they need to plan their retirement and watchdog their pension […]