Financial instruments (1 - 8 of 8 items) in Custom Date Range
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...
Delphi Pensions: Key Events Leading to Plan Terminations
GAO-13-854T: Published: Sep 11, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 2013.
The termination of the six defined benefit plans that were sponsored by the Delphi Corporation (Delphi) and the provision of benefit protections to some Delphi employees, but not others, culminated from a complex series of events involving Delphi, the General Motors Corporation (GM), various unions, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)...
Retirement Security: Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, but Regulation Varies across States
GAO-13-75: Published: Dec 10, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2013.
Annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawals can help older Americans ensure they do not outlive their assets, but do present some risks to consumers. Two such products, variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (VA/GLWB) and contingent deferred annuities (CDA), share a number of features but have some important structural differences. For example, both provide consumers wi...
401(k) Plans: Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments
GAO-11-359T: Published: Mar 16, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
Securities lending can be a relatively straightforward way for plan sponsors and participants to increase their return on 401(k) investments. However, securities lending can also present a number of challenges to plan participants and plan sponsors. GAO was asked to explain how securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment works in relation to 401(k) plan investments, who bears the risks, a...
401(K) Plans: Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood
GAO-11-291: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
401(k) plan sponsors are responsible for offering an array of appropriate investment options, and participants are responsible for directing their investments among those options. While participants expect to be able to switch investment options or withdraw money from their accounts, during the recent economic downturn, some 401(k) plan sponsors and participants found that they were restricted fro...
Defined Contribution Plans: Key Information on Target Date Funds as Default Investments Should Be Provided to Plan Sponsors and Participants
GAO-11-118: Published: Jan 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2011.
To promote the adoption of appropriate default investments by retirement plans that automatically enroll workers, in 2007 the Department of Labor (DOL) identified three qualified default investment alternatives. One of these options--target date funds (TDF)--has emerged as by far the most popular default investment. TDFs are designed to provide an age-appropriate asset allocation for plan particip...
Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on the Risks of Investing in Employer Securities and the Benefits of Diversification
GAO-02-943: Published: Sep 6, 2002. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 2002.
The financial collapse of large firms and the effects on workers and retirees has raised questions about retirement funds being invested in employer securities and the laws governing such investments. Pensions are important source of income of many retirees, and the federal government has encouraged employers to sponsor and maintain pension and savings plans for their employees. The continued grow...
Private Pensions: Key Issues to Consider Following the Enron Collapse
GAO-02-480T: Published: Feb 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2002.
The collapse of the Enron Corporation and the resulting loss of employee retirement savings highlighted several key vulnerabilities in the nation's private pension system. Asset diversification was a crucial lesson, especially for defined contribution plans, in which employees bear the investment risk. The Enron case underscores the importance of encouraging employees to diversify. Workers need cl...