As insurance companies take over pension plans, are your payments at risk?

batucity

How safe is your pension? As COVID-19 shutdowns hobble the U.S. economy, the question has taken on more urgency.

While risks associated with underfunded pensions for state and local government employees have been known for years, a new concern has arisen, pension rights advocates say. It centers on the growing trend of insurance companies taking over pensions for employees of private companies.

“This is what we’ve worried about — when companies sell off their pension plans,” said Karen Friedman, policy director at the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit focusing on workers’ retirement security. “Is it safe to transfer money out of pension plans insured by the [government-backed] Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to insurance companies where the protections for consumers are scant?”

Pension obligations are costly and companies have been eager to jettison them in recent years. Insurers have been happy to take on their assets — such deals have totaled

Read More

Montclair Rolls Out COVID Recovery Plan For Local Businesses

batucity

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Montclair will be taking several steps, including closing some streets and offering limited free parking, as a way to help local business owners cope with the crushing effects of the coronavirus crisis.

According to municipal officials, Montclair’s COVID-19 recovery plan was developed by the township council with input from local business leaders. It follows guidance from the state, the CDC and local health experts.

Some highlights include:

  • Make $150,000 in township grant funding available to township small-businesses, to the BID and to business associations to be used to cover costs for equipment or other necessaries that are related expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 (see details below)

  • Offer the first 15 minutes of parking at meters for free

  • Waive (or refund if already paid) the 2020 sidewalk café permit fee

Montclair officials also said the township will be closing some streets to

Read More