Employee retirement plans (1 - 10 of 154 items)
401(K) Plans: Effects of Eligibility and Vesting Policies on Workers' Retirement Savings
GAO-17-69: Published: Oct 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2016.
GAO's nongeneralizable survey of 80 401(k) plans ranging in size from fewer than 100 participants to more than 5,000 and its review of industry data found that many plans have policies that affect workers' ability to (1) save in plans (eligibility policies), (2) receive employer contributions, and (3) keep those employer contributions if they leave their job (vesting policies). Thirty-three of 80...
401(K) PLANS: DOL Could Take Steps to Improve Retirement Income Options for Plan Participants
GAO-16-433: Published: Aug 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016.
Workers relying in large part on their 401(k) plan in retirement may not always have a feasible way to make their savings last throughout retirement. Responses to GAO’s non-generalizable questionnaire from 11 401(k) plan record keepers—entities that manage participant account data and transactions for plans—showed that most plans covered by the questionnaire had not adopted products and serv...
Retirement Security: Shorter Life Expectancy Reduces Projected Lifetime Benefits for Lower Earners
GAO-16-354: Published: Mar 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 2016.
The increase in average life expectancy for older adults in the United States contributes to challenges for retirement planning by the government, employers, and individuals. Social Security retirement benefits and traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plans, both key sources of retirement income that promise lifetime benefits, are now required to make payments to retirees for an increasing num...
401(K) Plans: Clearer Regulations Could Help Plan Sponsors Choose Investments for Participants
GAO-15-578: Published: Aug 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 4, 2015.
Employers who sponsor 401(k) plans report using a range of default investment types to automatically enroll employees in their plans based on each type's design and other attributes. From 2009 through 2013, the majority of employers who sponsored 401(k) plans reported using a target-date fund as their default, according to data from three annual industry surveys that GAO reviewed. A target-date fu...
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...
Individual Retirement Accounts: Preliminary Information on IRA Balances Accumulated as of 2011 [Reissued on October 22, 2014]
GAO-14-878T: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2014.
For tax year 2011 (the most recent year available), an estimated 43 million taxpayers had individual retirement accounts (IRA) with total reported fair market value of $5.2 trillion. About 99 percent of those taxpayers had aggregate IRA balances (including inherited IRAs) of $1 million or less. As shown in the table below, few taxpayers had aggregated balances exceeding $5 million as of 2011. Gene...
401(k) Plans: Other Countries' Experiences Offer Lessons in Policies and Oversight of Spend-down Options
GAO-14-9: Published: Nov 20, 2013. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2013.
The six countries GAO reviewed can offer U.S. regulators lessons on how to expand access to a mix of spend-down options for 401(k) participants that meet various retirement needs. Five of the six countries generally ensure that participants can choose among three main plan options: a lump sum payment, a programmed withdrawal of participants' savings, or an annuity. In the last several decades, all...
Retirement Security: Challenges and Prospects for Employees of Small Businesses
GAO-13-748T: Published: Jul 16, 2013. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2013.
About 14 percent of small employers sponsor some type of plan for their employees to save for retirement and these employers in general can face numerous challenges establishing and maintaining a plan. GAO's March 2012 report found that many of the small employers who were contacted said they felt overwhelmed by the number of plan options, plan administration requirements, and fiduciary responsibi...
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 Sector Pensions: Federal Agencies Should Collect Data and Coordinate Oversight of Multiple Employer Plans
GAO-12-665: Published: Sep 13, 2012. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 2012.
Little is known about the characteristics of private sector multiple employer plans (MEP), especially information regarding the employers that participate in them. Although no participating employer information is currently collected in the Form 5500, the primary source for pension information reported to the government, some plan-level information on MEPs is available. GAOs analysis of 2009...