The Pension Rights Center, a consumer organization that promotesretirement security, says that it will ask Congress to call a haltto companies' pension buyouts until policymakers can examinewhether such transactions pose risks to employees and retiredworkers.

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The center's call for a moratorium follows Verizon'sannouncement earlier this week that it had transferred $7.5 billionof its pension obligations, covering about 41,000 retirees, toPrudential Financial, which will take over making the pensionpayments. A number of other companies, including General Motors andFord, have announced plans this year to move pension obligations,and risk, off their balance sheets by offering plan participantslump sums.

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The center argues that insurance company annuities could be lesssecure than a company pension backed by the federal Pension BenefitGuarantee Corp., while lump sum payments mean participants mustcalculate how to make their money last.

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See the Pension Rights Center release here. For more on this topic, see Verizon Transfers $7.5 Billion on Pension Obligationsand GM Seen Fueling Pension Deals.

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