Employee retirement plans (1 - 10 of 26 items)
Private Pensions: Timely Action Needed to Address Impending Multiemployer Plan Insolvencies
GAO-13-240: Published: Mar 28, 2013. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 2013.
The most severely distressed multiemployer plans have taken significant steps to address their funding problems and, while most plans expected improved financial health, some did not. A survey conducted by a large actuarial and consulting firm serving multiemployer plans suggests that the large majority of the most severely underfunded plans--those designated as being in critical status--either ha...
Private Pensions: Changes Needed to Better Protect Multiemployer Pension Benefits
GAO-11-79: Published: Oct 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2010.
Thirty years ago Congress enacted protections to ensure that participants in multiemployer pension plans received their promised benefits. These defined benefit plans are created by collective bargaining agreements covering more than one employer. Today, these plans provide pension coverage to over 10.4 million participants in approximately 1,500 multiemployer plans insured by the Pension Benefit...
Private Pensions: Long-standing Challenges Remain for Multiemployer Pension Plans
GAO-10-708T: Published: May 27, 2010. Publicly Released: May 27, 2010.
Multiemployer defined benefit pension plans, which are created by collective bargaining agreements covering more than one employer and generally operated under the joint trusteeship of labor and management, provide pension coverage to over 10.4 million participants in the 1,500 multiemployer plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Changes to the structure of the multiempl...
Troubled Asset Relief Program: Automaker Pension Funding and Multiple Federal Roles Pose Challenges for the Future
GAO-10-492: Published: Apr 6, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 2010.
Over $81 billion has been committed under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to improve the domestic auto industry's competitiveness and long-term viability. The bulk of this assistance has gone to General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, who sponsor some of the largest defined benefit pension plans insured by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). As part of GAO's statutorily man...
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....
Private Pensions: Fulfilling Fiduciary Obligations Can Present Challenges for 401(k) Plan Sponsors
GAO-08-774: Published: Jul 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2008.
American workers increasingly rely on 401(k) plans for their retirement security, and sponsors of 401(k) plans--typically employers--have critical obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). When acting as fiduciaries, they must act prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries. The Department of Labor (Labor) is responsible for prot...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Plan Freezes Affect Millions of Participants and May Pose Retirement Income Challenges
GAO-08-817: Published: Jul 21, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2008.
Private defined benefit (DB) pension plans are an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans. However, from 1990 to 2006, plan sponsors have voluntarily terminated over 61,000 sufficiently funded single-employer DB plans. An event preceding at least some of these terminations was a so-called plan "freeze"--an amendment to the plan to limit some or all future pension accruals f...