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.
The Department of Labor requires 401(k) retirement plans to provide participants information on plan and investment fees. Even small fees can significantly reduce retirement savings. But we found that 40% of participants don't fully understand fee information and 41% don't know they pay fees.
The U.S. retirement system, and the workers and retirees it was designed to help, face major challenges. Traditional pensions have become much less common, and individuals are increasingly responsible for planning and managing their own retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans.
What GAO Found 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....
What GAO FoundWhile plan representatives GAO contacted generally stated that their hedge fund and private equity investments met expectations in recent years, a number of plans experienced losses and other challenges, such as limited liquidity and transparency.
Millions of Americans rely on private or public defined benefit pension plans, which promise to pay retirement benefits that are generally based on an employee's salary and years of service. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in "alternative" assets such as hedge funds and private equity.
Until mid-2008, prices for a broad range of physical commodities, from crude oil to crops such as wheat, had increased dramatically for several years--raising concerns and leading to a debate over the possible causes.
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.