If your employer offers you a pension plan, or some other benefit, it is reasonable to factor this in to your financial plans, especially when it comes to your estate planning and ongoing care both now and later in life. Unfortunately, when times get tough in the economy, either for an individual employer or for the economy in general, pensions and other benefits often receive unfair treatment that may affect your retirement. Still, you may have some tools you can use to protect yourself.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or the ERISA, regulates practices around voluntary benefits offered by employers. Whether it is a pension, a scholarship, health insurance or some other benefit, if an employer chooses to make it available to its employees, the ERISA helps ensure that the employer does not remove the benefit unfairly or operates the benefit in a way that harms the employee.
This is especially important when it comes to pension plans and other financial benefits that involve investing. While investing always involves assuming some risk, some employers choose to operate a pension in ways that do not represent the best interests of employees. If you suspect that your employer is not operating your pension properly, or if an employer attempts to avoid providing you with the full benefits that you deserve, ERISA may provide the leverage you need to compel proper dispensation.
Pursuing a pension concern is often a lengthy and complex matter, and one that may complicate your relationship to your employer significantly. Make sure to consider all the legal tools and guidance that you have available to keep your future protected and ensure that your employer treats you with the respect and dignity that you deserve.