Pension Plan Tweak May Elude Most

The federal agency that insures private pensions is proposing a rule change that would add greater protection for workers who roll 401(k) money into a traditional pension. Workers for years have been able to transfer money from their employer’s 401(k) to its traditional pension plan to buy themselves a bigger lifetime benefit – if the employer allowed it. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation says its new proposal will remove fear among these workers that the amount they roll over from …

Some Lucky Workers Getting More Company Cash in Their 401(k)s

Remember when AOL announced recently that it would pay its 401(k) matching contributions to employees in a lump sum at the end of the year, rather than during each pay period, potentially costing employees’ retirement nest eggs thousands of dollars? If workers left in November, they’d lose out on nearly a year’s worth of company contributions. Those who stayed forfeited any gains made throughout the year. The tech company was forced to reverse its policy after an outcry by employees. (Criticism …

Facebook, Others Scale Back 401(k)s

It’s bad enough that employers are doing away with traditional pensions and adopting 401(k)s that foist all the investing decisions onto workers, leaving them vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. Now, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, it appears that many big companies have gotten stingier with their 401(k) matching contributions and vesting schedules. These include IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Whole Foods Market Inc.  and Facebook. (Facebook, Bloomberg reports, gave …

AOL Reverses 401(k) Policy After Blowback

Like boomers (and all workers, for that matter) don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to saving enough for retirement. Now actions by AOL’s Tim Armstrong may be setting a dangerous example for other companies to follow. First, the chief executive of AOL told employees Thursday he was changing the company’s 401(k) match to a year-end lump sum contribution rather than contributions throughout the year. Leave before Dec. 31, 2014 (voluntarily or involuntarily), and you lose out on …

More New Retirement Account Proposals

Americans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

MyRA – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

A day after President Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for the Treasury Department to create a “starter” savings account, experts are weighing whether it will be worthwhile or just another ignored investment tool. Critics note, for instance, that the so-called myRA will do little to overcome the huge shortfall in retirement savings among so many workers. The conservatively invested accounts, though they won’t lose money, won’t make much of a return, either. And the myRA is voluntary, so it’s unclear …