Retirement income (11 - 20 of 92 items)
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...
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...
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: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face Urgent Challenges
GAO-13-428T: Published: Mar 5, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 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 majority of the most severely underfunded plans--those designated as being in critical status--developed plans...
Retirement Security: Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, but Regulation Varies across States
GAO-13-75: Published: Dec 10, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2013.
Annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawals can help older Americans ensure they do not outlive their assets, but do present some risks to consumers. Two such products, variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (VA/GLWB) and contingent deferred annuities (CDA), share a number of features but have some important structural differences. For example, both provide consumers wi...
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)...
Retirement Income: Ensuring Income throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices
GAO-11-400: Published: Jun 7, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 2011.
As life expectancy increases, the risk that retirees will outlive their assets is a growing challenge. The shift from defined benefit (DB) pension plans to defined contribution (DC) plans also increases the responsibility for workers and retirees to make difficult decisions and manage their pension and other financial assets so that they have income throughout retirement. GAO was asked to review (...
Private Pensions: Some Key Features Lead to an Uneven Distribution of Benefits
GAO-11-333: Published: Mar 30, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 2011.
Despite sizeable tax incentives, private pension participation has remained at about 50 percent of the workforce. For those in a pension plan, there is concern that these incentives accrue primarily to higher income employees and do relatively little to help lower income workers save for retirement. The financial crisis and labor-market downturn may have exacerbated these difficulties. Therefore,...
401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest
GAO-11-119: Published: Jan 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2011.
Recent volatility in financial markets highlights the need for prudent investment decisions if 401(k) plans are to provide an adequate source of retirement income. While plan sponsors and participants may receive help in assessing their investment choices, concerns have been raised about the impartiality of the advice provided. GAO was asked to describe circumstances where service providers may ha...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Governance Structure and Strategic Management
GAO-11-182T: Published: Dec 1, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 2010.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a self-financing government corporation that insures the pensions of 44 million workers in more than 27,000 private sector defined benefit pension plans. Yet, PBGC faces financial instability that could pose a future threat to this source of protection for Americans' retirement income. As fewer sponsors pay premiums for fewer participants in defin...