Employee benefit plans (11 - 20 of 75 items)
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...
Private Pensions: Additional Changes Could Improve Employee Benefit Plan Financial Reporting
GAO-10-54: Published: Nov 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2009.
The Department of Labor (Labor) collects information on fees charged to 401(k) plans primarily through its Form 5500. Labor issued final regulations in November 2007, making changes to, among other things, Schedule C of the Form 5500. Labor put emphasis on reporting the indirect compensation paid to service providers and between service providers, in an effort to capture all of the costs that plan...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Workers and Retirees Experience Delays and Uncertainty when Underfunded Plans Are Terminated
GAO-10-181T: Published: Oct 29, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 2009.
Under the single-employer insurance program, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) may become the trustee of underfunded plans that are terminated and assume responsibility for paying benefits to participants as they become due, up to certain legal limits. From its inception in 1974 through the end of fiscal year 2008, PBGC has terminated and trusteed a total of 3,860 single-employer pla...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: More Strategic Approach Needed for Processing Complex Plans Prone to Delays and Overpayments
GAO-09-716: Published: Aug 17, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2009.
As the insurer of over 29,000 private sector defined benefit plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) may be required to assume responsibility for the plans of a growing number of companies filing bankruptcy due to the recession. Concerns about PBGC's benefit determination process, reductions in benefits due to guarantee limits, and workers' retirement security overall led the chairm...
Private Pensions: Alternative Approaches Could Address Retirement Risks Faced by Workers but Pose Trade-offs
GAO-09-642: Published: Jul 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 2009.
Recent losses in the stock market and poor economic conditions underscore that many U.S. workers are at risk of not having an adequate income in retirement from pension plans. The dramatic decline in the stock market has diminished pension savings and reportedly led to low levels in older Americans' confidence in their ability to retire. Even before the current economic recession, research indicat...
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...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Survey Results of the Nation's Largest Private Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors
GAO-09-291: Published: Mar 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2009.
The number of private defined benefit (DB) pension plans, an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, has declined substantially over the past two decades. For example, about 92,000 single-employer DB plans existed in 1990, compared to just under 29,000 single-employer plans today. Although this decline has been concentrated among smaller plans, there is a widespread concer...
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...