Sunday, January 15, 2006

pension rights for women

A relatively new law protects women; the REA (Retirement Equity Act) went into effect in 1985. In the past, many women lost a share of the husband's pension through widowhood when the husband had failed to provide for the wife as a survivor. Often a widow received nothing from her husband's pension if he died before the date of early retirement. Under the new REA, survivors' benefits continue if a worker dies and a spouse survives. The husband must have the spouse's written consent notarized and witnessed-to eliminate her from survivors' benefits. Also, if a worker leaves employment and returns within five years, the pension credits earned before the break are not lost. This is helpful to people who must take off a few years to care for young children or aging parents.
Averyt, A. C. Successful Aging. New York: Ballantine Books, 1987.

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