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 According to asset managers and industry associations with which GAO spoke, minority- and women-owned (MWO) asset managers face challenges when competing for investment management opportunities with institutional investors, such as retirement plans and foundations.
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.
A growing number of older Americans are choosing continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) to help ensure that their finances in retirement will cover the cost of housing and care they may require. However, recent economic conditions have placed financial stress on some CCRCs.
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.
In 2008, GAO issued two reports on hedge funds--pooled investment vehicles that are privately managed and often engage in active trading of various types of securities and commodity futures and options contracts--highlighting the need for continued regulatory attention and for guidance to better inform...