“A Major American Institution…Built upon Human Disappointment”

James A. Wooten

in The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242739
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931398 | DOI:
“A Major American Institution…Built upon Human Disappointment”

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Richard Nixon’s administration took up pension reform as part of the presidential transition process. Current law required the managers of a plan to file a description of the plan and annual reports with the Labor Department. The reception of a long-awaited study of pension funding by the Pension Research Council reveals the increasing polarization within the policy community. It is stated that “It is a rare thing to find a major American institution—private pension plans—built upon human disappointment—a shocking thing, and something which should move us all to act with determination to make that institution deliver upon its promises.” Treasury focused on “the incidence of vesting by age group” because this approach clearly identified the workers who were most threatened by forfeiture risk. Harrison Williams blamed the president for having Senator Long kill the bill, a charge repeated by Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern.

Keywords: pension reform; Richard Nixon; Pension Research Council; pension funding; Harrison Williams; George McGovern; policy community

Chapter.  16438 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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