Karen Ferguson, director, Pension Rights Center
Why she's a hero: Ferguson -- who founded the Washington, D.C., nonprofit in 1976 with $10,000 in seed money from Ralph Nader -- has fought to protect employee pensions from multiple threats.
Two of her watchdog group's successful crusades: strengthening the rights of widows and divorcees, and reining in plan changes that halved benefits for older workers.
A 1990s campaign led to free pension-counseling programs, now available in 30 states. "The most satisfying part of what we do is pension counseling: helping someone get the benefits they've earned and are wrongly denied," she says.
Her current passion: Establishing a new retirement savings plan -- one supplementing Social Security -- that would provide lifetime income and be funded jointly by employers and employees.
Economic self-sufficiency for women and protection against con artists are the missions of these two Money heroes.
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