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Professor Norman Stein Discusses the Dangers of Retirement, Pensions in the New York Times and Breitbart

Professor Norman Stein

February 10, 2015

Professor Norman Stein discussed retirement difficulties in a Feb. 6 New York Times article regarding retirement-aged professionals electing to continue work as consultants in order to bridge the gap to full retirement. 

According to the New York Times article, more and more eligible retirees are choosing to work as consultants to help them phase into retirement.  The propensity to seek other work before full retirement stems from employers' reluctance to offer retirement-aged employees phased out retirement where schedules and work gradually decrease over time, the Times reported. 

Corporations are reluctant to offer phased retirement because it requires navigating complex tax and labor laws that govern regular employees, Stein, an expert in retirement and pension law, told the Times. However, a company might avoid these pitfalls by working with another company interested in individuals who are looking to bridge the gap into retirement by consulting. “The employer can avoid these concerns by working with a temp company to hire a part-time older worker,” he said.  Such an arrangement could help make the case that phased retirement is the way to go,  “[i]t may send a signal to the private sector that phased retirement is good.” Stein said.  

Stein's remarks on retirement coincided with his reaction in a Feb. 8 article on Breitbart to the U.S. Labor Department's flagging of 235 multi-employer-pension funds as "endangered," meaning they lack the requisite assets to pay at least 80 percent of their promised benefits. Stein claimed that, under U.S. law, these are the lists of plans where funds are at risk because of insufficient funding levels.