Options to Encourage the Preservation of Pension and Retirement Savings:

Phase 2, an E-supplement to GAO-03-810

GAO-03-990SP: Published: Jul 29, 2003. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2003.

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This document presents the results from a survey of a panel of experts in the area of pensions and retirement to a questionnaire on options to encourage the preservation of pension and retirement plan savings. We developed a web-based questionnaire to obtain the data. The items in the questionnaire were compiled from a list of factors these experts identified in an earlier data collection effort. We asked them to further discuss the responses they provided to the following items: (1) the top five factors in pensions and retirement affecting the payout options offered to and/or elected by retirees, (2) options that could encourage more annuitization of pension and retirement plan savings, and (3) the types of information and education that could help retiring participants make more optimal decisions regarding the use of pension and retirement plan savings during retirement. We categorized the responses to these questions from our initial data collection effort and we presented these categories to the panelists in this second questionnaire. Information about accessing the questionnaire was provided via e-mail to the 27 panelists in the initial questionnaire. We provided this information to the 24 panelists that completed the initial questionnaire for their participation with this questionnaire. To ensure security and integrity, we provided each expert with a password that allowed him or her to access and complete a questionnaire. We received responses from 24 of the panelists for our initial data collection effort, and 22 panelists provided responses for this second questionnaire. A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology and a summary of the survey results are contained in our report entitled "Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on Risks They Face in Managing Pension Assets During Retirement" GAO-03-810. We conducted our work from August 2002 through July 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

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