Retirement (1 - 10 of 141 items)
Social Security: Providing More Information During Claims Process Would Help Individuals Making Decisions About Retirement Benefits
GAO-16-865T: Published: Sep 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 14, 2016.
GAO's review of nine surveys and academic studies, and interviews with retirement experts, suggest that many individuals do not fully understand key details of Social Security rules that can potentially affect their retirement benefits. For example, while some people understand that delaying claiming leads to higher monthly benefits, many are unclear about the actual amount that benefits increase...
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: 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...
Retirement Security: Better Information on Income Replacement Rates Needed to Help Workers Plan for Retirement
GAO-16-242: Published: Mar 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 2016.
Household spending patterns varied by age, with mid-career households (those aged 45-49) spending more than older households. For example, according to 2013 survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mid-career households spent an estimated average of around $58,500, while young retiree households (those aged 65-69) spent about 20 percent less. While the share of spending was consisten...
Pension Advance Transactions: Questionable Business Practices and the Federal Response
GAO-15-846T: Published: Sep 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2015.
In a June 2014 report, GAO identified at least 38 companies that offered individuals lump-sum payments or “advances” in exchange for receiving part or all of their pension payment streams. The 38 companies used multistep pension advance processes that included various other parties. At least 21 of the 38 companies were affiliated with each other in ways that were not apparent to consumers. Som...
Retirement Security: Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings
GAO-15-419: Published: May 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2015.
Many retirees and workers approaching retirement have limited financial resources. About half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings (such as in a 401(k) plan or an IRA). According to GAO's analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, many older households without retirement savings have few other resources, such as a defined benefit (DB) plan or nonretirement savings, to d...
Federal Retirement Processing: Applying Information Technology Acquisition Best Practices Could Help OPM Overcome a Long History of Unsuccessful Modernization Efforts
GAO-15-277T: Published: Dec 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 2014.
In a series of reviews, GAO found that the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) efforts over two decades to modernize its processing of federal employee retirement applications were fraught with information technology (IT) management weaknesses. Specifically, in 2005, GAO made recommendations to address weaknesses in project, risk, and organizational change management. In 2008, as OPM was on the...
Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed
GAO-15-16: Published: Oct 20, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014.
For tax year 2011 (the most recent year available), an estimated 43 million taxpayers had individual retirement accounts (IRA) with a total reported fair market value (FMV) of $5.2 trillion. As shown in the table below, few taxpayers had aggregated balances exceeding $5 million as of 2011. Generally, taxpayers with IRA balances greater than $5 million tend to have adjusted gross incomes greater th...
Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees
GAO-14-866T: Published: Sep 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2014.
Comparatively few households headed by older Americans carry student debt compared to other types of debt, such as for mortgages and credit cards. GAO's analysis of the data from the Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that about 3 percent of households headed by those aged 65 or older—about 706,000 households—carry student loan debt. This compares to about 24 percent of households headed by t...
401(K) Plans: Improvements Can Be Made to Better Protect Participants in Managed Accounts
GAO-14-310: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
GAO's review of eight managed account providers who, in 2013, represented an estimated 95 percent of the industry involved in defined contribution plans, showed that they varied in how they structured managed accounts, including the services they offered and their reported fiduciary roles. Providers used varying strategies to manage participants' accounts and incorporated varying types and amounts...