Securities (1 - 10 of 22 items)
401(k) Plans: Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments
GAO-11-359T: Published: Mar 16, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
Securities lending can be a relatively straightforward way for plan sponsors and participants to increase their return on 401(k) investments. However, securities lending can also present a number of challenges to plan participants and plan sponsors. GAO was asked to explain how securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment works in relation to 401(k) plan investments, who bears the risks, a...
401(K) Plans: Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood
GAO-11-291: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2011.
401(k) plan sponsors are responsible for offering an array of appropriate investment options, and participants are responsible for directing their investments among those options. While participants expect to be able to switch investment options or withdraw money from their accounts, during the recent economic downturn, some 401(k) plan sponsors and participants found that they were restricted fro...
401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest
GAO-11-119: Published: Jan 28, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2011.
Recent volatility in financial markets highlights the need for prudent investment decisions if 401(k) plans are to provide an adequate source of retirement income. While plan sponsors and participants may receive help in assessing their investment choices, concerns have been raised about the impartiality of the advice provided. GAO was asked to describe circumstances where service providers may ha...
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Plans Face Valuation and Other Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-10-915T: Published: Jul 20, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2010.
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. This has raised concerns, given that these two types of investments have qualified for exemptions from s...
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: 401(k) Plan Participants and Sponsors Need Better Information on Fees
GAO-08-95T: Published: Oct 24, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2007.
According to Labor's most recent data, there are an estimated 44 million active participants in 401(k) plans. As participants accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees, associated with 401(k) plans. Over the course of the employee's career, fees may significantly decrease retirement account balances. For plan sponsors, understanding the fees they are being charged helps...
Securities and Exchange Commission: Additional Actions Needed to Ensure Planned Improvements Address Limitations in Enforcement Division Operations
GAO-07-830: Published: Aug 15, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2007.
The Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) ability to conduct investigations and bring enforcement actions for violations of securities laws is critical to its mission to protect investors and maintain fair and orderly markets. SEC's Division of Enforcement (Enforcement) is charged with investigating securities law violations; recommending civil enforcement actions when appropriate, either in...
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Long-Term Financing Risks to Single-Employer Insurance Program Highlight Need for Comprehensive Reform
GAO-04-150T: Published: Oct 14, 2003. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2003.
More than 34 million workers and retirees in 30,000 single-employer defined benefit pension plans rely on a federal insurance program managed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to protect their pension benefits, and the program's long-term financial viability is in doubt. Over the last decade, the program swung from a $3.6 billion accumulated deficit (liabilities exceeded assets),...
401(k) Pension Plans: Extent of Plans' Investments in Employer Securities and Real Property
HEHS-98-28: Published: Nov 28, 1997. Publicly Released: Dec 29, 1997.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) the extent to which 401(k) plan assets are invested in employer securities and real property; (2) the protection and any possible problems associated with the recent amendments to title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA); and (3) alternate mechanisms that might safeguard the retirement benefits of p...
Social Security Trust Funds
AIMD-96-30R: Published: Dec 12, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 1995.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Secretary of the Treasury's actions during the 1995 debt ceiling crisis, focusing on whether the Department of the Treasury followed normal investment and redemption policies regarding the Social Security trust funds. GAO noted that Treasury records show that the Secretary followed normal investment and redemption policies for all transactions...