Pension plans (1 - 10 of 15 items)
Retirement Security: Low Defined Contribution Savings May Pose Challenges
GAO-16-408: Published: May 5, 2016. Publicly Released: May 5, 2016.
An estimated 40 percent of all U.S. households had some retirement savings in a defined contribution (DC) plan, such as a 401(k) plan, in 2013, and account balances varied by household income and race in recent years, according to the most recent data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The 60 percent of all households (and specifically the 44 percent of working households) without any DC...
Private Pensions: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits
GAO-15-74: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015.
Little public data are available to assess the extent to which sponsors of defined benefit plans are offering participants immediate lump sums to replace their lifetime annuities, but certain laws and regulations provide incentives for use of this practice. Although the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has primary responsibility for overseeing pension sponsors' reporting requirements, it does not re...
Pension Plan Valuation: Views on Using Multiple Measures to Offer a More Complete Financial Picture
GAO-14-264: Published: Sep 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2014.
Public and private sector defined benefit pension plans are subject to different rules and guidance regarding discount rates—interest rates used to determine the current value of estimated future benefit payments. These differences can result in significant implications:Sponsors of public sector plans generally use discount rates using a long-term assumed average rate of return on plan assets. T...
Retirement Security: Oversight of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
GAO-14-312: Published: May 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2014.
Oversight of the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust (Trust) includes both regular reporting and communications with the Railroad Retirement Board (Board), and periodic performance audits that the Trust has opted to commission; however, no written requirement for such audits exists. The Trust's mandatory annual management report includes financial and descriptive information, including a...
Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update
GAO-14-334R: Published: Mar 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2014.
To encourage private-sector employers to sponsor new pension plans and U.S. workers to save for retirement, federal law authorizes a variety of tax incentives, such as the ability to defer taxes on contributions to qualified plans until the funds are distributed, up to certain limits. Since 2000, the dollar amount of these limits has increased over time. However, from 2009 through 2011, the number...
Retirement Security: Trends in Marriage and Work Patterns May Increase Economic Vulnerability for Some Retirees
GAO-14-33: Published: Jan 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2014.
Over the last 50 years, the composition and work patterns of the American household have changed dramatically. During this period, the proportion of unmarried and never-married individuals in the population increased steadily as couples chose to marry at later ages and live together prior to marriage. At the same time, the proportion of single-parent households more than doubled. These trends were...
Private Pensions: Clarity of Required Reports and Disclosures Could Be Improved
GAO-14-92: Published: Nov 21, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2013.
Sponsors of private sector pension plans are required to submit various reports to federal agencies and disclosures to participants depending on the plans' type, size, and circumstances. GAO identified more than 130 reports and disclosures stemming from provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code, as administered largely by t...
Private Pensions: Revised Electronic Disclosure Rules Could Clarify Use and Better Protect Participant Choice
GAO-13-594: Published: Sep 13, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 2013.
Federal statutes and regulations under the purview of the Department of Labor (Labor) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) allow employers who sponsor private pension plans to furnish all pension disclosures to participants electronically:as the default delivery method if participants meet specific criteria regarding access, orif affirmative consent is obtained.When neither of these condi...
Automatic IRAS: Lower-Earning Households Could Realize Increases in Retirement Income
GAO-13-699: Published: Aug 23, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2013.
Households without employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) pension plans or individual retirement accounts (IRA) had lower incomes and tax rates than households with those plans, and are also likely to have limited additional resources to draw upon in retirement, according to GAO estimates. The median adjusted gross income for households without DC plans or IRAs was $32,000, compared to $75,0...
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)...