Pension Plan Safeguards

September 20, 1967

Report Outline
Regulation of Private Pension Plans
Public Aspects of Private Pensions
Growth and Impact of Pension Plans

Regulation of Private Pension Plans

Battle lines are being drawn by the federal government and the business community for a confrontation over regulation of private pension plans. Such business spokesmen as the U. S. Chamber of Commerce flatly deny that there is need for further government regulation. But the Johnson administration and some members of Congress insist that tighter regulation is required, and they are moving in that direction.

At the root of the controversy is the probability that perhaps as few as one in five of the more than 25 million persons now covered by private pension plans will ever receive any pension benefits. Most of the plans have provisions so restrictive that an eligible employee can disqualify himself for ultimate benefits in a variety of ways, and he often does so. The principal objection of business and industry to additional regulation is that it would hamper the tailoring of individual plans to fit the specific needs of particular companies and would undoubtedly cost the employers more money. Some opponents even view the push for reform as an effort to convert private pension plans into “a second system of Social Security, paid for out of private money.”

Those favoring tighter rules for pension plans contend that the worker needs more protection and that the federal government's stake in the matter is so great that it should afford that protection. It may be said that the government, by allowing certain tax deductions, now pays about 30 per cent of the cost of maintaining most pension plans. And, even though a pension plan represents a private agreement between employer and employee, it serves a definite social purpose by providing a supplement to the basic public retirement program, Social Security.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Pensions and Retirement
Feb. 17, 2006  Pension Crisis
May 31, 2002  Retirement Security
Nov. 05, 1993  Paying for Retirement
Jul. 21, 1989  Future of Employee Benefits
Mar. 28, 1986  Pension Problems
Mar. 06, 1981  Retirement Income in Jeopardy
Nov. 11, 1977  Mandatory Retirement
May 21, 1976  Pension Problems
Sep. 20, 1967  Pension Plan Safeguards
Feb. 24, 1961  Retirement Age
May 04, 1949  Service Pensions for War Veterans
Jan. 10, 1936  The Bonus and Veterans' Pensions
Regulation and Deregulation
Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security