Balancing Act
Entrepreneur (05/03) p.19; Penttila, Chris

The Bush Administration's proposed pension rules will allow big companies to save millions by instituting cash-balance pension plans. With cash-balance plans, benefits remain the same regardless of the length of employment, while benefits in traditional pension plans gradually increase for those who stay put. The law protects the pensions of workers who are set to retire within a few years, but former U.S. Senate Finance Committee benefits counsel Jeff Gates insists that baby boomers could see their pensions shrink by as much as 50 percent. Though a number of companies have added credits to their cash-balance plans to minimize losses among older employees, Hertz, Schram & Saretsky Pensions and Employee Benefits Senior Litigation Counsel Eva T. Cantarella says businesses that have not are being hit with charges of age discrimination.

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