401(k) plans (1 - 10 of 22 items)
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...
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...
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 (...
401(k) Plans: Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments
GAO-11-359T: Published: Mar 16, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
Securities lending can be a relatively straightforward way for plan sponsors and participants to increase their return on 401(k) investments. However, securities lending can also present a number of challenges to plan participants and plan sponsors. GAO was asked to explain how securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment works in relation to 401(k) plan investments, who bears the risks, a...
401(K) Plans: Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood
GAO-11-291: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
401(k) plan sponsors are responsible for offering an array of appropriate investment options, and participants are responsible for directing their investments among those options. While participants expect to be able to switch investment options or withdraw money from their accounts, during the recent economic downturn, some 401(k) plan sponsors and participants found that they were restricted fro...
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...
401(k) Plans: Several Factors Can Diminish Retirement Savings, but Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Increasing Participation and Savings
GAO-10-153T: Published: Oct 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2009.
Over the past 25 years, the number of defined benefit (DB) plans has declined while the number of defined contribution (DC) plans has increased. Today, DC plans are the dominant type of employer-sponsored retirement plans, with more than 49 million U.S. workers participating in them. 401(k) plans currently cover over 85 percent of active DC plan participants and are the fastest growing type of emp...
Retirement Savings: Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Some Workers, but Proposals to Broaden Retirement Savings for Other Workers Could Face Challenges
GAO-10-31: Published: Oct 23, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2009.
Although employer-sponsored retirement plans can be an important component of income security after retirement, only about half of all workers participate in such plans. To foster greater participation among workers who have access to such plans, Congress included provisions that facilitate plan sponsors' adoption of automatic enrollment policies in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. To foster gr...
Retirement Savings: Better Information and Sponsor Guidance Could Improve Oversight and Reduce Fees for Participants
GAO-09-641: Published: Sep 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 2009.
American workers increasingly rely on defined contribution (DC) plans like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA) for retirement income. Together with other DC plans--401(a), 403(b), and 457 plans--these accounts hold about $7.1 trillion. As workers accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees that may significantly decrease retirement savings over the course...