Financial management (11 - 20 of 126 items)
Social Security: Options to Protect Benefits for Vulnerable Groups When Addressing Program Solvency
GAO-10-101R: Published: Dec 7, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2009.
For over 70 years, Social Security has been the foundation of retirement income for American workers and their families and has been instrumental in reducing poverty among the elderly. The Congressional Research Service estimates that if Social Security benefits did not exist, an estimated 44 percent of all elderly people would be poor today. Still, some people who receive Social Security retireme...
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: Financial Challenges Highlight Need for Improved Governance and Management
GAO-09-702T: Published: May 20, 2009. Publicly Released: May 20, 2009.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the retirement future of nearly 44 million people in over 29,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. In July 2003, GAO designated PBGC's single-employer pension insurance program--its largest insurance program--as "high risk," including it on GAO's list of major programs that need urgent Congressional attention and agency action. Th...
Defined Benefit Plans: Proposed Plan Buyouts by Financial Firms Pose Potential Risks and Benefits
GAO-09-207: Published: Mar 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2009.
Some U.S. financial and pension consulting firms have recently proposed alternatives to terminating a defined benefit (DB) pension plan and contracting with insurance companies to pay promised benefits. In their proposals, a plan sponsor would typically transfer the assets and liabilities of a hard-frozen DB plan--one in which all participant benefit accruals have ceased--along with additional mon...
Private Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Can Affect Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Plans
GAO-09-503T: Published: Mar 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2009.
Conflicts of interest typically exist when someone in a position of trust, such as a pension consultant, has competing professional or personal issues. Such competing interests can make it difficult for pension plan fiduciaries and others, in general, to fulfill their duties impartially and could cause them to breach their duty to act solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries....
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Improvements Needed to Address Financial and Management Challenges
GAO-08-1162T: Published: Sep 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the retirement future of nearly 44 million people in more than 30,000 private-sector defined benefit pension plans. In July 2003, GAO designated PBGC's single-employer pension insurance program--its largest insurance program--as "high risk," including it on GAO's list of major programs that need urgent attention and transformation. The progra...
Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs
GAO-08-1104: Published: Sep 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2008.
The Judicial Survivors' Annuities System (JSAS) was created in 1956 to provide financial security for the families of deceased federal judges. It provides benefits to eligible spouses and dependent children of judges who elect coverage within 6 months of taking office, 6 months after getting married, 6 months after being elevated to a higher court, or during an open season authorized by statute. A...
Individual Retirement Accounts: Additional IRS Actions Could Help Taxpayers Facing Challenges in Complying with Key Tax Rules
GAO-08-654: Published: Aug 14, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2008.
Individual retirement accounts (IRA) allow individuals to save for retirement in a tax-preferred way. Traditional IRA contributions, subject to certain limitations, can be deducted from taxable earnings and taxes on earnings are deferred until distribution. In contrast, Roth IRA contributions are made after tax and distributions are tax-free. Faced with a myriad of rules covering IRA contributions...
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Guidance Needed to Better Inform Plans of the Challenges and Risks of Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-08-692: Published: Aug 14, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2008.
Millions of retired Americans rely on defined benefit pension plans for their financial well-being. Recent reports have noted that some plans are investing in 'alternative' investments such as hedge funds and private equity funds. This has raised concerns, given that these two types of investments have qualified for exemptions from federal regulations, and could present more risk to retirement ass...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Need for Improved Oversight Persists
GAO-08-1062: Published: Sep 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2008.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the pension benefits of 44 million private sector workers and retirees in over 30,000 employer-sponsored pension plans. In July 2007, GAO reported that PBGC's governance structure needed improvements, and asked Congress to consider expanding the board of directors to include additional members. GAO also recommended that the board develop poli...