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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974A Political History$
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James Wooten

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242739

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242739.001.0001

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Policy-Making for Private Pensions

Policy-Making for Private Pensions

The Genesis and Structure of a Policy Domain

(p.17) 1 Policy-Making for Private Pensions
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

James A. Wooten

University of California Press

This chapter states that a pension plan is a financial intermediary. A pension plan is also a contractual arrangement that employers and unions use to manage employees. It also transfers claims to income from an employee’s working years to his or her retirement years. New patterns of business organization gave rise to what may be called the employee’s pension problem. A pension plan creates financial claims on behalf of employees. The Social Security Act of 1935 had a profound effect on private pension plans because it profoundly changed the employer’s pension problem. The tax rules for retirement plans reduced a high earner’s tax liability. The differences between single-employer and multiemployer pension plans are reviewed. Officials in Congress and the executive branch agreed that federal policy should accommodate pension and welfare-benefit plans.

Keywords:   pension plan, Social Security Act, tax rules, retirement plans, federal policy, welfare-benefit plans

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