Private sector (1 - 10 of 81 items)
Retirement Security: Federal Action Could Help State Efforts to Expand Private Sector Coverage
GAO-15-556: Published: Sep 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2015.
About half of private sector workers in the United States—especially those who are low-income or employed by small firms—lack coverage from a workplace retirement savings program primarily because they do not have access. According to GAO's analysis of 2012 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data, about 45 percent of private sector U.S. workers participated in a workplace retire...
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...
Private Pensions: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information
GAO-14-441: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014.
In a two-phase online GAO survey, stakeholders identified problems with the usefulness, reliability, and comparability of data from the Form 5500 (see table). Despite longstanding concerns with the Form 5500—the annual report that employee benefit plans file with the federal government—agency officials have made only minimal changes over the last 3 years.Key Challenges Identified with Form 550...
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...
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 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...
Private Pensions: Better Agency Coordination Could Help Small Employers Address Challenges To Plan Sponsorship
GAO-12-459T: Published: Mar 7, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2012.
We found that the likelihood that a small employer will sponsor a retirement plan largely depends on the size of the employers workforce and the workers average wages. Small employers, retirement experts, and other stakeholders also identified a number of challenges such as plan complexity and resource constraintsto starting and maintaining retirement plans. In addition, st...