Employee benefit plans (11 - 20 of 38 items)
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: Low Defined Contribution Plan Savings May Pose Challenges to Retirement Security, Especially for Many Low-Income Workers
GAO-08-8: Published: Nov 29, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2007.
Over the last 25 years, pension coverage has shifted primarily from "traditional" defined benefit (DB) plans, in which workers accrue benefits based on years of service and earnings, toward defined contribution (DC) plans, in which participants accumulate retirement balances in individual accounts. DC plans provide greater portability of benefits, but shift the responsibility of saving for retirem...
Employer-Sponsored Benefits: Many Factors Affect the Treatment of Pension and Health Benefits in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
GAO-07-1101: Published: Sep 6, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 2007.
In recent years, considerable debate has centered on companies using the chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process to reduce or eliminate employer-sponsored benefits in an effort to become more competitive. Congress recently enacted several laws, in part, to help address this issue. Most notably, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) and th...
Retiree Health Benefits: Majority of Sponsors Continued to Offer Prescription Drug Coverage and Chose the Retiree Drug Subsidy
GAO-07-572: Published: May 31, 2007. Publicly Released: May 31, 2007.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) created a prescription drug benefit for beneficiaries, called Medicare Part D, beginning in January 2006. The MMA resulted in options for sponsors of employment-based prescription drug benefits, such as a federal subsidy payment--the retiree drug subsidy (RDS)--when sponsors provide benefits meeting certain MMA requir...
Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Benefits: Efforts to Control Employer Costs and the Implications for Workers
GAO-07-355: Published: Mar 30, 2007. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2007.
Many U.S. workers receive health and pension benefits from employers, and the cost of these benefits represents a growing share of workers' total compensation. Employers have made changes to control these rising costs, contending that these changes will allow them to remain competitive, particularly in an increasingly global market. Some advocacy groups are concerned that workers may receive reduc...
Older Workers: Policies of Other Nations to Increase Labor Force Participation
GAO-03-307: Published: Feb 13, 2003. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 2003.
In recent years, the challenges of aging populations have become a topic of increasing concern to the developed nations. These challenges range from the fiscal imbalance in national pension systems caused by fewer workers having to provide benefits for greater numbers of retirees, to potential economic strains due to shortages of skilled workers. Part of the solution to these challenges could be...
Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on the Risks of Investing in Employer Securities and the Benefits of Diversification
GAO-02-943: Published: Sep 6, 2002. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 2002.
The financial collapse of large firms and the effects on workers and retirees has raised questions about retirement funds being invested in employer securities and the laws governing such investments. Pensions are important source of income of many retirees, and the federal government has encouraged employers to sponsor and maintain pension and savings plans for their employees. The continued grow...