Investment planning (11 - 20 of 28 items)
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...
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....
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...
PBGC Assets: Implementation of New Investment Policy Will Need Stronger Board Oversight
GAO-08-667: Published: Jul 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2008.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the retirement future of over 44 million people. As a federal guarantor of private defined benefit plans, PBGC finances its operations through insurance premiums, investment income, and funds from terminated pension plans. PBGC is governed by a board of directors comprised of the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Treasury, who are responsib...
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...
Private Pensions: GAO Survey of 401(k) Plan Sponsor Practices (GAO-08-870SP, July 2008), an E-supplement to GAO-08-774
GAO-08-870SP: Published: Jul 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2008.
American workers are increasingly reliant on 401(k) plans for their retirement security, and sponsors of 401(k) plans have critical obligations under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). To administer these plans, the sponsor--typically the employer offering the 401(k) plan--selects plan features and other characteristics, including the types of investment options offered...
Private Pensions: 401(k) Plan Participants and Sponsors Need Better Information on Fees
GAO-08-95T: Published: Oct 24, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2007.
According to Labor's most recent data, there are an estimated 44 million active participants in 401(k) plans. As participants accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees, associated with 401(k) plans. Over the course of the employee's career, fees may significantly decrease retirement account balances. For plan sponsors, understanding the fees they are being charged helps...
Private Pensions: Increased Reliance on 401(k) Plans Calls for Better Information on Fees
GAO-07-530T: Published: Mar 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 2007.
Over the past two decades there has been a noticeable shift in the types of plans employers are offering employees. Employers are increasingly moving away from traditional defined benefit plans to what has become the most dominant and fastest growing type of defined contribution plan, the 401(k). As more workers participate in 401(k) plans, they bear more of the responsibility for funding their re...
Private Pensions: Changes Needed to Provide 401(k) Plan Participants and the Department of Labor Better Information on Fees
GAO-07-21: Published: Nov 16, 2006. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2006.
American workers are increasingly relying on 401(k) plans, which allow pre-tax contributions to individual accounts, for their retirement income. As workers accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees that may significantly decrease their retirement savings. Because of concerns about the effects of fees on participants' retirement savings, GAO examined (1) the types of fee...
401(k) Pension Plans: Many Take Advantage of Opportunity to Ensure Adequate Retirement Income
HEHS-96-176: Published: Aug 2, 1996. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1996.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on 401(k) pension plans, focusing on: (1) the proportion of workers covered by 401(k) pension plans; (2) workers' contributions to their 401(k) pension plans; and (3) how workers invest their pension account balances.GAO found that: (1) half of all workers and nearly two-thirds of workers nearing retirement age are covered by a pension...