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Retirement Security (21 - 30 of 1,148 items)
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...
401(K) Plans: Greater Protections Needed for Forced Transfers and Inactive Accounts
GAO-15-73: Published: Nov 21, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2014.
When a participant has saved less than $5,000 in a 401(k) plan and changes jobs without indicating what should be done with the money, the plan can transfer the account savings—a forced transfer—into an individual retirement account (IRA). Savings in these IRAs are intended to be preserved by the conservative investments allowed under Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. However, GAO found t...
Federal Retirement Processing: Applying Information Technology Acquisition Best Practices Could Help OPM Overcome a Long History of Unsuccessful Modernization Efforts
GAO-15-277T: Published: Dec 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2014.
In a series of reviews, GAO found that the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) efforts over two decades to modernize its processing of federal employee retirement applications were fraught with information technology (IT) management weaknesses. Specifically, in 2005, GAO made recommendations to address weaknesses in project, risk, and organizational change management. In 2008, as OPM was on the...
SSA Disability Benefits: Enhanced Policies and Management Focus Needed to Address Potential Physician-Assisted Fraud
GAO-15-19: Published: Nov 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2014.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has policies and procedures in place for detecting and preventing fraud with regard to disability benefit claims. However, GAO identified a number of areas that could leave the agency vulnerable to physician-assisted fraud and other fraudulent claims:SSA relies heavily on front-line staff in the offices of its disability determination services (DDS)—which...
Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed
GAO-15-16: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014.
For tax year 2011 (the most recent year available), an estimated 43 million taxpayers had individual retirement accounts (IRA) with a total reported fair market value (FMV) of $5.2 trillion. As shown in the table below, few taxpayers had aggregated balances exceeding $5 million as of 2011. Generally, taxpayers with IRA balances greater than $5 million tend to have adjusted gross incomes greater th...
Disability Compensation: Review of Concurrent Receipt of Department of Defense Retirement, Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation, and Social Security Disability Insurance
GAO-14-854R: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2014.
GAO’s analysis showed that 59,251 individuals received concurrent payments from Department of Defense (DOD) retirement, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in fiscal year 2013 totaling over $3.5 billion. Current law generally allows military personnel to receive concurrent disability compensation from DOD, VA, and SSDI. There were 1.9...
Pension Plan Valuation: Views on Using Multiple Measures to Offer a More Complete Financial Picture
GAO-14-264: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2014.
Public and private sector defined benefit pension plans are subject to different rules and guidance regarding discount rates—interest rates used to determine the current value of estimated future benefit payments. These differences can result in significant implications:Sponsors of public sector plans generally use discount rates using a long-term assumed average rate of return on plan assets. T...
Individual Retirement Accounts: Preliminary Information on IRA Balances Accumulated as of 2011 [Reissued on October 22, 2014]
GAO-14-878T: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2014.
For tax year 2011 (the most recent year available), an estimated 43 million taxpayers had individual retirement accounts (IRA) with total reported fair market value of $5.2 trillion. About 99 percent of those taxpayers had aggregate IRA balances (including inherited IRAs) of $1 million or less. As shown in the table below, few taxpayers had aggregated balances exceeding $5 million as of 2011. Gene...
Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees
GAO-14-866T: Published: Sep 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2014.
Comparatively few households headed by older Americans carry student debt compared to other types of debt, such as for mortgages and credit cards. GAO's analysis of the data from the Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that about 3 percent of households headed by those aged 65 or older—about 706,000 households—carry student loan debt. This compares to about 24 percent of households headed by t...
401(K) Plans: Improvements Can Be Made to Better Protect Participants in Managed Accounts
GAO-14-310: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
GAO's review of eight managed account providers who, in 2013, represented an estimated 95 percent of the industry involved in defined contribution plans, showed that they varied in how they structured managed accounts, including the services they offered and their reported fiduciary roles. Providers used varying strategies to manage participants' accounts and incorporated varying types and amounts...