Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape. Here’s what you need to know: What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between …

Good News for Older Workers

Older unemployed workers saw welcome gains in the job market in September as employers expanded their payrolls by a higher than predicted 248,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate for people ages 55 and older fell last month from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent, a bigger drop than the rate for workers overall, the government said. For men ages 55 and older, the jobless rate dipped to 4 percent in September from 4.4 percent the previous month. Last year at this time …

Add Adjusting Your 401(k) to End-of-Summer Plans

Now that we’re past the midyear of 2014, it’s a great time to review your retirement savings plan to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not contributing enough or haven’t rebalanced your portfolio since George W. Bush was in office, you have the remainder of the year to make some adjustments. You probably already know that you can sock away as much as $23,000, which includes $5,500 in catch-up contributions for people 50-plus, in your 401(k) plan. However, if you’re using …

Age Discrimination Claim Valid Despite Waiver, Court Says

Most employers realize that age is not a legal – or valid – reason to terminate an employee. That doesn’t stop some companies from trying to circumvent the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by asking terminated employees to sign waivers that promise never to sue for age discrimination. That’s what happened to Robert Fisk, an underground miner for Colorado’s Mountain Coal Co. Laying off Fisk, an eight-year employee, in 2009, MCC required him to sign a waiver to …

More Workplaces Offer Flexibility for Caregiving, Study Shows

Finally, employers seem to be getting the message that many of their workers have caregiving demands. Increasingly, both nonprofit and for-profit companies are offering workplace flexibility, paid and unpaid leave, and resource and referral services, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers released today by the Families and Work Institute (FWI), along with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study polled 1,051 employers with 50 or more employees. “The findings indicate that the issue of family caregiving is on the radar of …

Pension Plan Tweak May Elude Most

The federal agency that insures private pensions is proposing a rule change that would add greater protection for workers who roll 401(k) money into a traditional pension. Workers for years have been able to transfer money from their employer’s 401(k) to its traditional pension plan to buy themselves a bigger lifetime benefit – if the employer allowed it. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation says its new proposal will remove fear among these workers that the amount they roll over from …