Investment planning (11 - 20 of 24 items)
Private Pensions: Alternative Approaches Could Address Retirement Risks Faced by Workers but Pose Trade-offs
GAO-09-642: Published: Jul 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 2009.
Recent losses in the stock market and poor economic conditions underscore that many U.S. workers are at risk of not having an adequate income in retirement from pension plans. The dramatic decline in the stock market has diminished pension savings and reportedly led to low levels in older Americans' confidence in their ability to retire. Even before the current economic recession, research indicat...
Private Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Can Affect Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Plans
GAO-09-503T: Published: Mar 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2009.
Conflicts of interest typically exist when someone in a position of trust, such as a pension consultant, has competing professional or personal issues. Such competing interests can make it difficult for pension plan fiduciaries and others, in general, to fulfill their duties impartially and could cause them to breach their duty to act solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries....
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Guidance Needed to Better Inform Plans of the Challenges and Risks of Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-08-692: Published: Aug 14, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2008.
Millions of retired Americans rely on defined benefit pension plans for their financial well-being. Recent reports have noted that some plans are investing in 'alternative' investments such as hedge funds and private equity funds. This has raised concerns, given that these two types of investments have qualified for exemptions from federal regulations, and could present more risk to retirement ass...
PBGC Assets: Implementation of New Investment Policy Will Need Stronger Board Oversight
GAO-08-667: Published: Jul 17, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 2008.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures the retirement future of over 44 million people. As a federal guarantor of private defined benefit plans, PBGC finances its operations through insurance premiums, investment income, and funds from terminated pension plans. PBGC is governed by a board of directors comprised of the Secretaries of Commerce, Labor, and Treasury, who are responsib...
Private Pensions: Fulfilling Fiduciary Obligations Can Present Challenges for 401(k) Plan Sponsors
GAO-08-774: Published: Jul 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2008.
American workers increasingly rely on 401(k) plans for their retirement security, and sponsors of 401(k) plans--typically employers--have critical obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). When acting as fiduciaries, they must act prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries. The Department of Labor (Labor) is responsible for prot...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Plan Freezes Affect Millions of Participants and May Pose Retirement Income Challenges
GAO-08-817: Published: Jul 21, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2008.
Private defined benefit (DB) pension plans are an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans. However, from 1990 to 2006, plan sponsors have voluntarily terminated over 61,000 sufficiently funded single-employer DB plans. An event preceding at least some of these terminations was a so-called plan "freeze"--an amendment to the plan to limit some or all future pension accruals f...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Survey of Sponsors of Large Defined Benefit Pension Plans (GAO-08-818SP, July 2008), an E-supplement to GAO-08-817
GAO-08-818SP: Published: Jul 21, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 21, 2008.
Over the last five years, a number of large, high profile employers have announced their intention to freeze-- an amendment to the plan to limit some or all future pension accruals for some or all plan participants-- their larger defined benefit (DB) plans that represent a significant portion of plan liabilities and plan participants in the private DB system. To better understand the current plan...
Private Pensions: GAO Survey of 401(k) Plan Sponsor Practices (GAO-08-870SP, July 2008), an E-supplement to GAO-08-774
GAO-08-870SP: Published: Jul 16, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2008.
American workers are increasingly reliant on 401(k) plans for their retirement security, and sponsors of 401(k) plans have critical obligations under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). To administer these plans, the sponsor--typically the employer offering the 401(k) plan--selects plan features and other characteristics, including the types of investment options offered...
Private Pensions: 401(k) Plan Participants and Sponsors Need Better Information on Fees
GAO-08-95T: Published: Oct 24, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2007.
According to Labor's most recent data, there are an estimated 44 million active participants in 401(k) plans. As participants accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees, associated with 401(k) plans. Over the course of the employee's career, fees may significantly decrease retirement account balances. For plan sponsors, understanding the fees they are being charged helps...
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board: Many Responsibilities and Investment Policies Set by Congress
GAO-07-611: Published: Jun 21, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2007.
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a retirement savings and investment plan for federal workers, held approximately $210 billion in retirement assets for 3.7 million participants, as of February 2007. TSP is managed by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB). In light of questions about TSP oversight, we examined (1) the current structure for overseeing FRTIB, (2) how the statutorily de...