Employees (1 - 10 of 50 items)
Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets
GAO-17-102: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2017.
Federal data collection efforts to date have captured little information on retirement accounts holding unconventional assets—such as real estate, precious metals, private equity, and virtual currency—making the prevalence of such accounts unknown. In tax year 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began requiring that custodians or trustees of individual retirement accounts (IRA)—includin...
Retirement Security: Low Defined Contribution Savings May Pose Challenges
GAO-16-408: Published: May 5, 2016. Publicly Released: May 5, 2016.
An estimated 40 percent of all U.S. households had some retirement savings in a defined contribution (DC) plan, such as a 401(k) plan, in 2013, and account balances varied by household income and race in recent years, according to the most recent data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The 60 percent of all households (and specifically the 44 percent of working households) without any DC...
401(K) Plans: Clearer Regulations Could Help Plan Sponsors Choose Investments for Participants
GAO-15-578: Published: Aug 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 4, 2015.
Employers who sponsor 401(k) plans report using a range of default investment types to automatically enroll employees in their plans based on each type's design and other attributes. From 2009 through 2013, the majority of employers who sponsored 401(k) plans reported using a target-date fund as their default, according to data from three annual industry surveys that GAO reviewed. A target-date fu...
Retirement Security: Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings
GAO-15-419: Published: May 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2015.
Many retirees and workers approaching retirement have limited financial resources. About half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings (such as in a 401(k) plan or an IRA). According to GAO's analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, many older households without retirement savings have few other resources, such as a defined benefit (DB) plan or nonretirement savings, to d...
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...
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...
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...
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...
401(k) Plans: Other Countries' Experiences Offer Lessons in Policies and Oversight of Spend-down Options
GAO-14-9: Published: Nov 20, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2013.
The six countries GAO reviewed can offer U.S. regulators lessons on how to expand access to a mix of spend-down options for 401(k) participants that meet various retirement needs. Five of the six countries generally ensure that participants can choose among three main plan options: a lump sum payment, a programmed withdrawal of participants' savings, or an annuity. In the last several decades, all...
U.S. Postal Service: Health and Pension Benefits Proposals Involve Trade-offs
GAO-13-872T: Published: Sep 26, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2013.
GAO has reported that Congress needs to modify the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) retiree health benefit payments in a fiscally responsible manner. GAO also has reported that USPS should prefund any unfunded retiree health benefit liability to the maximum extent that its finances permit. Deferring funding for postal retiree health benefits could increase costs for future ratepayers and increase the...