NEWS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR MONEY Here come portable pensions
By Contributors: Debra Wishik Englander, Jordan E.Goodman, David Lanchner, Michele Willens

(MONEY Magazine) – Lawmakers think Congress may soon make it easier to take your vested corporate pension benefits with you if you quit your job before retirement. Currently most companies hold on to your money until you reach retirement | age, when you can choose a lump-sum payment or monthly checks. Bills sponsored by Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana and Representatives Edward Feighan of Ohio and Robert Matsui of California would encourage companies to deposit the present value of departing employees' pensions into Individual Retirement Accounts or similar accounts, where the money could compound tax-free. Some consumer groups argue that employees could get a higher retirement income from such accounts than they do from corporate plans. For example, a 35-year-old who will be eligible for a monthly pension of $417 at 65 would get about $7,800 if he were to leave his company today. If he invests that sum in a deferred annuity, he could begin collecting about $725 a month at age 65, according to Tom St. Clair, a Washington, D.C. insurance broker -- about 57% more than his employee pension.