GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
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.
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.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) has been a key component in ensuring the financial security of America's workforce for over 70 years. In fiscal year 2004, UI covered about 129 million wage and salary workers and paid about $41 billion in benefits to nearly 9 million workers who lost their jobs.
The nation's private defined benefit (DB) pension system, a key contributor to the financial security of millions of Americans, is in long-term decline. Since 1980, the number of active participants in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insured single employer DB plans has dropped from 27.
Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to address public concerns over the mismanagement and abuse of private sector employee benefit plans by some plan sponsors and administrators.