Investments (1 - 10 of 22 items)
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Plans Face Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-11-901SP: Published: Aug 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2011.
Millions of Americans rely on retirement savings plans for their financial well-being in retirement. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in assets such as hedge funds (privately administered pooled investment vehicles that typically engage in active trading strategies) and private equity funds (privately managed investment pools that typically make long-term investments in private companies)...
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...
State and Local Government Pension Plans: Governance Practices and Long-term Investment Strategies Have Evolved Gradually as Plans Take On Increased Investment Risk
GAO-10-754: Published: Aug 24, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2010.
Recent market declines have significantly diminished the asset value of state and local pension plans. Reported unfunded liabilities for these plans are estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars. As a result, in the long term, these governments may need to make significant fiscal adjustments such as modifying employee benefits, or increasing contributions to plans. They may also alter inves...
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Plans Face Valuation and Other Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-10-915T: Published: Jul 20, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2010.
Millions of Americans rely on private or public defined benefit pension plans, which promise to pay retirement benefits that are generally based on an employee's salary and years of service. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in "alternative" assets such as hedge funds and private equity. This has raised concerns, given that these two types of investments have qualified for exemptions from s...
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...