Book of the Year, 2008 (Business & Economics, bronze medal), ForeWord magazine
Excellence in Financial Journalism 2009 (Books), New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants
“Having lived through the S&L crisis, I can’t help but wonder what policy makers might have done had they been presented with a concise, cogent description of the gathering of the perfect storm before events unfolded. Fran Hawthorne has written such a book for pension policy makers. Let’s hope they take heed.” — Olena Berg Lacy, Assistant Secretary of Labor, 1993-1998
Pension plans in America no longer represent commitments that financially troubled companies will honor. Neither bankruptcy courts, nor Washington, nor unions have the clout to make them do so. The disposition of these plans is instead left to serve the needs of big investors. Often these investors are a company's best hope of restructuring after bankruptcy. Investors want a lean investment unburdened with financial promises to employees no longer on the payroll. Despite laws passed to discourage the termination of plans, the courts allow it, caving in to the forces garnered to reinvigorate a failing company. Unions are often compelled to choose between the financial welfare of retirees and jobs for active workers.
Pension Dumping explains in shocking detail how terminating the pension plan became a knee-jerk strategy for bankrupt companies that hope to attract big investors to help them reorganize.