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Retirement Security (121 - 130 of 1,150 items)
Private Pensions: Additional Changes Could Improve Employee Benefit Plan Financial Reporting
GAO-10-54: Published: Nov 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2009.
The Department of Labor (Labor) collects information on fees charged to 401(k) plans primarily through its Form 5500. Labor issued final regulations in November 2007, making changes to, among other things, Schedule C of the Form 5500. Labor put emphasis on reporting the indirect compensation paid to service providers and between service providers, in an effort to capture all of the costs that plan...
Private Pensions: Sponsors of 10 Underfunded Plans Paid Executives Approximately $350 Million in Compensation Shortly Before Termination
GAO-10-77: Published: Oct 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2009.
When sponsors terminate underfunded plans during bankruptcy, it can deplete resources of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which protects the pensions of almost 44 million American workers and retirees who participate in over 29,000 defined benefit pension plans. In 2009, PBGC reported an estimated deficit of over $30 billion. GAO was asked to determine what pay and other compensati...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Workers and Retirees Experience Delays and Uncertainty when Underfunded Plans Are Terminated
GAO-10-181T: Published: Oct 29, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2009.
Under the single-employer insurance program, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) may become the trustee of underfunded plans that are terminated and assume responsibility for paying benefits to participants as they become due, up to certain legal limits. From its inception in 1974 through the end of fiscal year 2008, PBGC has terminated and trusteed a total of 3,860 single-employer pla...
401(k) Plans: Several Factors Can Diminish Retirement Savings, but Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Increasing Participation and Savings
GAO-10-153T: Published: Oct 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2009.
Over the past 25 years, the number of defined benefit (DB) plans has declined while the number of defined contribution (DC) plans has increased. Today, DC plans are the dominant type of employer-sponsored retirement plans, with more than 49 million U.S. workers participating in them. 401(k) plans currently cover over 85 percent of active DC plan participants and are the fastest growing type of emp...
Retirement Savings: Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Some Workers, but Proposals to Broaden Retirement Savings for Other Workers Could Face Challenges
GAO-10-31: Published: Oct 23, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2009.
Although employer-sponsored retirement plans can be an important component of income security after retirement, only about half of all workers participate in such plans. To foster greater participation among workers who have access to such plans, Congress included provisions that facilitate plan sponsors' adoption of automatic enrollment policies in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. To foster gr...
Railroad Retirement Board: Review of Commuter Railroad Occupational Disability Claims Reveals Potential Program Vulnerabilities
GAO-09-821R: Published: Sep 9, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2009.
In fall 2008, a series of news reports revealed the relatively high number of workers at one commuter railroad--the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)-- who have applied for and been approved for occupational disability benefits by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). According to RRB officials, a number of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Social Security Administrat...
Retirement Savings: Better Information and Sponsor Guidance Could Improve Oversight and Reduce Fees for Participants
GAO-09-641: Published: Sep 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 2009.
American workers increasingly rely on defined contribution (DC) plans like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA) for retirement income. Together with other DC plans--401(a), 403(b), and 457 plans--these accounts hold about $7.1 trillion. As workers accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees that may significantly decrease retirement savings over the course...
401(k) Plans: Policy Changes Could Reduce the Long-term Effects of Leakage on Workers' Retirement Savings
GAO-09-715: Published: Aug 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2009.
Under federal regulations, 401(k) participants may tap into their accrued retirement savings before retirement under certain circumstances, including hardship. This "leakage" from 401(k) accounts can result in a permanent loss of retirement savings. GAO was asked to analyze (1) the incidence, amount, and relative significance of the different forms of 401(k) leakage; (2) how plans inform participa...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: More Strategic Approach Needed for Processing Complex Plans Prone to Delays and Overpayments
GAO-09-716: Published: Aug 17, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2009.
As the insurer of over 29,000 private sector defined benefit plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) may be required to assume responsibility for the plans of a growing number of companies filing bankruptcy due to the recession. Concerns about PBGC's benefit determination process, reductions in benefits due to guarantee limits, and workers' retirement security overall led the chairm...
Private Pensions: Alternative Approaches Could Address Retirement Risks Faced by Workers but Pose Trade-offs
GAO-09-642: Published: Jul 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 2009.
Recent losses in the stock market and poor economic conditions underscore that many U.S. workers are at risk of not having an adequate income in retirement from pension plans. The dramatic decline in the stock market has diminished pension savings and reportedly led to low levels in older Americans' confidence in their ability to retire. Even before the current economic recession, research indicat...