Employee benefit plans (1 - 10 of 22 items)
Private Pensions: Changes Needed to Better Protect Multiemployer Pension Benefits
GAO-11-79: Published: Oct 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2010.
Thirty years ago Congress enacted protections to ensure that participants in multiemployer pension plans received their promised benefits. These defined benefit plans are created by collective bargaining agreements covering more than one employer. Today, these plans provide pension coverage to over 10.4 million participants in approximately 1,500 multiemployer plans insured by the Pension Benefit...
Troubled Asset Relief Program: Automaker Pension Funding and Multiple Federal Roles Pose Challenges for the Future
GAO-10-492: Published: Apr 6, 2010. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 2010.
Over $81 billion has been committed under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to improve the domestic auto industry's competitiveness and long-term viability. The bulk of this assistance has gone to General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, who sponsor some of the largest defined benefit pension plans insured by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). As part of GAO's statutorily man...
Defined Benefit Plans: Proposed Plan Buyouts by Financial Firms Pose Potential Risks and Benefits
GAO-09-207: Published: Mar 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 2009.
Some U.S. financial and pension consulting firms have recently proposed alternatives to terminating a defined benefit (DB) pension plan and contracting with insurance companies to pay promised benefits. In their proposals, a plan sponsor would typically transfer the assets and liabilities of a hard-frozen DB plan--one in which all participant benefit accruals have ceased--along with additional mon...
Private Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Can Affect Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Plans
GAO-09-503T: Published: Mar 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2009.
Conflicts of interest typically exist when someone in a position of trust, such as a pension consultant, has competing professional or personal issues. Such competing interests can make it difficult for pension plan fiduciaries and others, in general, to fulfill their duties impartially and could cause them to breach their duty to act solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries....
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...
Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans Face Short- and Long-Term Challenges
GAO-04-423: Published: Mar 26, 2004. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2004.
Multiemployer-defined benefit pension plans, which are created by collective bargaining agreements covering more than one employer and generally operated under the joint trusteeship of labor and management, provide coverage to over 9.7 million of the 44 million participants insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The recent termination of several large single-employer plans--pl...