NCL statement on passing of Pension Rights Center Founder Karen Ferguson

December 30, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, or (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League mourns the death of lifelong pension rights lawyer and crusader who died Dec. 23, 2021. Ferguson founded the Pension Rights Center in 1976 with $10,000 in seed money from Ralph Nader.

Ferguson brought a deep intellect, kindness, and passion to the complicated field of pension rights. This statement is attributable to National Consumers League Executive Director Sally Greenberg:

We mourn the death of Karen Ferguson, who launched the Pension Rights Center when the landmark Employee Rights Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was in its infancy.  Workers and retirees badly needed a voice to combat the powers of corporate interests who would try to reduce or eliminate pension protections and Karen Ferguson and the Pension Rights Center were that voice. Karen was equally comfortable talking to members of Congress as she was sitting down with workers concerned about losing their pensions. She also knew how to get things done and as a result, achieved signal wins — alongside her dynamic colleague Karen Friedman and devoted board of directors — like the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act and the Pension Counseling and Information Program under the Older Americans Act.

The National Consumers League salutes Karen Ferguson’s legacy and mourns her passing.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit