Beneficiaries (1 - 10 of 19 items)
Retirement Security: Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, but Regulation Varies across States
GAO-13-75: Published: Dec 10, 2012. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 2013.
Annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawals can help older Americans ensure they do not outlive their assets, but do present some risks to consumers. Two such products, variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (VA/GLWB) and contingent deferred annuities (CDA), share a number of features but have some important structural differences. For example, both provide consumers wi...
Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance: Retirement Benefit and Retained Asset Account Disclosures Could Be Improved
GAO-12-94: Published: Nov 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 2011.
The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance program (FEGLI), administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), insures over 4 million federal employees and annuitants in the event of an enrollee's death. As a result, it is important that the program is clearly explained and properly overseen. However, some aspects of FEGLI, such as program disclosures and the use of retained asset accounts...
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Plans Face Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-11-901SP: Published: Aug 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2011.
Millions of Americans rely on retirement savings plans for their financial well-being in retirement. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in assets such as hedge funds (privately administered pooled investment vehicles that typically engage in active trading strategies) and private equity funds (privately managed investment pools that typically make long-term investments in private companies)...
Retirement Income: Ensuring Income throughout Retirement Requires Difficult Choices
GAO-11-400: Published: Jun 7, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 2011.
As life expectancy increases, the risk that retirees will outlive their assets is a growing challenge. The shift from defined benefit (DB) pension plans to defined contribution (DC) plans also increases the responsibility for workers and retirees to make difficult decisions and manage their pension and other financial assets so that they have income throughout retirement. GAO was asked to review (...
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...
Retirement Income: Challenges for Ensuring Income throughout Retirement
GAO-10-632R: Published: Apr 28, 2010. Publicly Released: May 4, 2010.
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. In addition to the risk of outliving ones' assets, the sharp declines in financial markets and home equity during the last few years and the continued incr...
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...
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...
Social Security Administration Field Offices: Reduced Workforce Faces Challenges as Baby Boomers Retire
GAO-08-737T: Published: May 8, 2008. Publicly Released: May 8, 2008.
Millions of people rely on the services of Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices. In fiscal year 2007, SSA's approximately 1,300 field offices provided service to about 42 million customers. People use these offices to apply for Social Security cards, apply for retirement and disability benefits, establish direct deposit, and a host of other services. While customers may conduct their...