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.
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.
When sponsors terminate underfunded plans during bankruptcy, it can deplete resources of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which protects the pensions of almost 44 million American workers and retirees who participate in over 29,000 defined benefit pension plans.
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.
Congress created individual retirement accounts (IRAs) with two goals: (1) to provide a retirement savings vehicle for workers without employer-sponsored retirement plans, and (2) to preserve individuals' savings in employer-sponsored retirement plans when they change jobs or retire.
While many factors influence workers' decisions to retire, Social Security, Medicare, and pension laws also play a role, offering incentives to retire earlier and later. Identifying these incentives and how workers respond can help policy makers address the demographic challenges facing the nation.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) most recently estimated that the gross tax gap--the difference between what taxpayers pay in taxes voluntarily and on time and what they should pay under the law--reached $345 billion for tax year 2001.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) enforces the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which sets certain minimum standards for private sector pension plans.