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Retirement Security (31 - 40 of 1,148 items)
Railroad Retirement Board: Total and Permanent Disability Program at Risk of Improper Payments
GAO-14-418: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
The Railroad Retirement Board's (RRB) policies and procedures for processing total and permanent (T&P) disability benefit claims do not adequately ensure that claimants meet program eligibility requirements. To find a railroad worker eligible for T&P benefits, RRB makes an independent determination of disability using the same general criteria that the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses to...
Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices Identified
GAO-14-420: Published: Jun 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
GAO identified at least 38 companies that offered individuals lump-sum payments or “advances” in exchange for receiving part or all of their pension payment streams. Eighteen of these companies were concentrated in one state, and 17 offered a range of other financial products in addition to pension advances. The 38 companies used multistep pension advance processes that included various other...
Private Pensions: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information
GAO-14-441: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
In a two-phase online GAO survey, stakeholders identified problems with the usefulness, reliability, and comparability of data from the Form 5500 (see table). Despite longstanding concerns with the Form 5500—the annual report that employee benefit plans file with the federal government—agency officials have made only minimal changes over the last 3 years.Key Challenges Identified with Form 550...
Retirement Security: Oversight of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
GAO-14-312: Published: May 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2014.
Oversight of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust (Trust) includes both regular reporting and communications with the Railroad Retirement Board (Board), and periodic performance audits that the Trust has opted to commission; however, no written requirement for such audits exists. The Trust's mandatory annual management report includes financial and descriptive information, including a...
Retirement Security: Challenges for Those Claiming Social Security Benefits Early and New Health Coverage Options
GAO-14-311: Published: Apr 23, 2014. Publicly Released: May 27, 2014.
Several work-related factors may cause people to claim Social Security benefits early and suggest they may face challenges in continuing to work at older ages. For example, those who worked in physically-demanding blue collar jobs were 55 percent more likely to claim benefits prior to their full retirement age compared to those in all other occupations after controlling for other factors (see figu...
Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update
GAO-14-334R: Published: Mar 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2014.
To encourage private-sector employers to sponsor new pension plans and U.S. workers to save for retirement, federal law authorizes a variety of tax incentives, such as the ability to defer taxes on contributions to qualified plans until the funds are distributed, up to certain limits. Since 2000, the dollar amount of these limits has increased over time. However, from 2009 through 2011, the number...
Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage, Work, and Pensions May Increase Vulnerability for Some Retirees
GAO-14-272T: Published: Mar 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2014.
The decline in marriage, rise in women's labor force participation, and transition away from defined benefit (DB) plans to defined contribution (DC) plans have resulted in changes in the types of retirement benefits households receive and increased vulnerabilities for some. Since the 1960s, the percentage of unmarried and single-parent families has risen dramatically, especially among low-income,...
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...
Social Security Death Data: Additional Action Needed to Address Data Errors and Federal Agency Access
GAO-14-46: Published: Nov 27, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 27, 2013.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives death reports from multiple sources, including state vital records agencies (states), family members, and other federal agencies to create its set of death records. In accordance with the Social Security Act (Act), SSA shares its full set of death data with certain agencies that pay federally-funded benefits, for the purpose of ensuring the accurac...
Private Pensions: Clarity of Required Reports and Disclosures Could Be Improved
GAO-14-92: Published: Nov 21, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2013.
Sponsors of private sector pension plans are required to submit various reports to federal agencies and disclosures to participants depending on the plans' type, size, and circumstances. GAO identified more than 130 reports and disclosures stemming from provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code, as administered largely by t...