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Offices, Department of the Treasury, Executive (1 - 10 of 32 items)
401(K) Plans: Effects of Eligibility and Vesting Policies on Workers' Retirement Savings
GAO-17-69: Published: Oct 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2016.
GAO's nongeneralizable survey of 80 401(k) plans ranging in size from fewer than 100 participants to more than 5,000 and its review of industry data found that many plans have policies that affect workers' ability to (1) save in plans (eligibility policies), (2) receive employer contributions, and (3) keep those employer contributions if they leave their job (vesting policies). Thirty-three of 80...
401(K) PLANS: DOL Could Take Steps to Improve Retirement Income Options for Plan Participants
GAO-16-433: Published: Aug 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
Workers relying in large part on their 401(k) plan in retirement may not always have a feasible way to make their savings last throughout retirement. Responses to GAO’s non-generalizable questionnaire from 11 401(k) plan record keepers—entities that manage participant account data and transactions for plans—showed that most plans covered by the questionnaire had not adopted products and serv...
Private Pensions: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits
GAO-15-74: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015.
Little public data are available to assess the extent to which sponsors of defined benefit plans are offering participants immediate lump sums to replace their lifetime annuities, but certain laws and regulations provide incentives for use of this practice. Although the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has primary responsibility for overseeing pension sponsors' reporting requirements, it does not re...
Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage and Work Patterns May Increase Economic Vulnerability for Some Retirees
GAO-14-33: Published: Jan 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2014.
Over the last 50 years, the composition and work patterns of the American household have changed dramatically. During this period, the proportion of unmarried and never-married individuals in the population increased steadily as couples chose to marry at later ages and live together prior to marriage. At the same time, the proportion of single-parent households more than doubled. These trends were...
Automatic IRAS: Lower-Earning Households Could Realize Increases in Retirement Income
GAO-13-699: Published: Aug 23, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2013.
Households without employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) pension plans or individual retirement accounts (IRA) had lower incomes and tax rates than households with those plans, and are also likely to have limited additional resources to draw upon in retirement, according to GAO estimates. The median adjusted gross income for households without DC plans or IRAs was $32,000, compared to $75,0...
Thrift Savings Plan: Adding a Socially Responsible Index Fund Presents Challenges
GAO-12-664: Published: Jun 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2012.
Officials at the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and the other public retirement plans that had considered socially responsible investment (SRI) associated a number of common challenges with SRI adoption. While none of these plans were identical to TSP in scope or demographics, many plan officials shared similar challenges and concerns with TSP. For example, they identified participant demand, SRI scree...
Retirement Security: Women Still Face Challenges
GAO-12-699: Published: Jul 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2012.
Over the last decade, working womens access to and participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans have improved relative to men. Indeed, from 1998 to 2009, women surpassed men in their likelihood of working for an employer that offered a pension plan, largely because the proportion of men covered by a plan declined. Furthermore, as employers have continued to terminate their defined be...
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Recent Developments Highlight Challenges of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Investing
GAO-12-324: Published: Feb 16, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2012.
While plan representatives GAO contacted generally stated that their hedge fund and private equity investments met expectations in recent years, a number of plans experienced losses and other challenges, such as limited liquidity and transparency. National data indicated that hedge fund and private equity investments were significantly affected by the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and plans and expe...
401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest
GAO-11-119: Published: Jan 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2011.
Recent volatility in financial markets highlights the need for prudent investment decisions if 401(k) plans are to provide an adequate source of retirement income. While plan sponsors and participants may receive help in assessing their investment choices, concerns have been raised about the impartiality of the advice provided. GAO was asked to describe circumstances where service providers may ha...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Survey Results of the Nation's Largest Private Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors
GAO-09-291: Published: Mar 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2009.
The number of private defined benefit (DB) pension plans, an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, has declined substantially over the past two decades. For example, about 92,000 single-employer DB plans existed in 1990, compared to just under 29,000 single-employer plans today. Although this decline has been concentrated among smaller plans, there is a widespread concer...