Carole Fleck

401(k) Fees Need More Transparency, Labor Dept. Says

Posted on 03/11/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsMemo to 401(k) savings plan service providers: You’re ignoring the intent of Labor Department disclosure rules when you bury the expenses and fees for those plans in a mountain of paperwork, using language only legal experts can decipher. If investors don’t know or understand how much they’re paying in fees associated with different investment options, for example, how can they know if they’re overpaying for certain funds and limiting retirement balances from increasing more fully? Phyllis C. Borzi, the assistant secretary of …

Employers Shift More Health Care Costs to Workers

Posted on 03/7/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIt’s not that your paycheck feels smaller. It is smaller, thanks to the bigger portion that health care costs are siphoning from your take-home pay. Employers year after year have shifted more of the burden for health insurance costs to workers. And it’s no different for this year. Employees’ premiums rose by nearly 7 percent to $2,975 for 2014, not counting out-of-pocket costs, according to a survey released this week by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, …

Is Your Employer Shortchanging Your 401k?

Posted on 03/6/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIf you’re fortunate enough to get a company match in your 401(k) savings plan, you might be feeling lucky. Unless you’re in a plan that’s being shortchanged by your employer. According to a report from the Department of Labor, nearly 73 percent (or 2,677) of the plans it audited last year made the wrong employer match or made some other error. The upshot? A whopping $423.6 million was restored to workers’ 401(k)s last year. Among the more common mistakes: failing to account …

Is the 4% Retirement Withdrawal Rate Dead?

Posted on 02/27/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsMany of us are familiar with the “4 percent rule.” That’s the annual retirement savings withdrawal amount many retirees have relied on over the years in an effort to avoid running out of money. Meanwhile, more experts these days are now dismissing it, saying the 4 percent rule no longer works amid today’s economic realities.  J.P. Morgan appears to be the latest investment house to bash the 4 percent rule, or any fixed-rate withdrawal plan, and replace it with another approach. Today the …

Guess Who’s Working From Home?

Posted on 02/25/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

WorkIf you think women work from home more than men, maybe helping a child with homework after school or cooking dinner in between phone conferences, you’d be mistaken. More men telework and more women spend time in the office. And of those who work remotely, about 1 in 3 have no children, according to a myth-busting report released this week by the Madison, N.J., consultancy Flex+Strategy Group / Work+Life Fit Inc. The researchers surveyed 556 full-time employees in December to …

Cashing Out Your 401(k) and Living Dangerously

Posted on 02/19/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

WorkWe all know that 401(k) savings plans are designed to help us sock away money for our old age. Increasingly, workers are tapping those funds for loans or cashing out altogether. Two reports released this month suggest that our retirement security could be undermined by our pattern of using those savings to ease our financial stress today. An estimated $6 billion annually seeps out of U.S. 401(k) plans because loans taken against them were not repaid fully, according to a …