Retirement income (11 - 20 of 40 items)
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: 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...
Private Pensions: Changes Needed to Better Protect Multiemployer Pension Benefits
GAO-11-79: Published: Oct 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2010.
Thirty years ago Congress enacted protections to ensure that participants in multiemployer pension plans received their promised benefits. These defined benefit plans are created by collective bargaining agreements covering more than one employer. Today, these plans provide pension coverage to over 10.4 million participants in approximately 1,500 multiemployer plans insured by the Pension Benefit...
Retirement Income: Challenges for Ensuring Income throughout Retirement
GAO-10-632R: Published: Apr 28, 2010. Publicly Released: May 4, 2010.
As the life expectancy of Americans continues to increase, the risk that retirees will outlive their assets is a growing challenge. Today, couples both aged 62 have a 47 percent chance that at least one of them will live to their 90th birthday. In addition to the risk of outliving ones' assets, the sharp declines in financial markets and home equity during the last few years and the continued incr...
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...
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...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Survey Results of the Nation's Largest Private Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors
GAO-09-291: Published: Mar 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2009.
The number of private defined benefit (DB) pension plans, an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, has declined substantially over the past two decades. For example, about 92,000 single-employer DB plans existed in 1990, compared to just under 29,000 single-employer plans today. Although this decline has been concentrated among smaller plans, there is a widespread concer...
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....