Prepaid Cards May Get Added Fraud Protections

Swipe a debit or credit card and all sorts of consumer protections are in place in case something goes awry. With a prepaid card, not so much. That may soon end. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing to extend many of the consumer rights that exist for credit and debit cards to prepaid products, such as limiting customers’ losses if their prepaid cards are lost or stolen. >> 10 Consumer Spending Regrets “People use prepaid accounts as a convenient way …

3 Reasons Why Net Neutrality Matters to Americans of All Ages, Not Just the Youngest

By Jessica Winn As the song goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” Net neutrality could be the best thing we didn’t realize we had until it’s gone. Network or net neutrality, also called “open Internet,” is the Internet as we know it. That is, an Internet that allows users to search for gardening techniques, stream reruns of Knight Rider or Skype with a grandchild without having to pay a service toll or an extra premium. The …

Fees Can Sap Over $100,000 From Your 401(k) Plan

Some 52 million Americans rely on their 401(k) savings plans as a key part of their retirement. Now, the Washington-based Center for American Progress says in a new study that high investment fees could cost the typical worker $100,000 or more over the course of a four-decade career. That may force some to stay on the job at least three years longer than they’d planned just to make up for that loss. Given the fact that many older workers are having a difficult …

Payday Loan Fees Often Exceed the Amount Borrowed

If you need more evidence that payday loans can be a debt trap, look no further than today’s report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency found that 4 out of 5 payday loans are renewed or rolled over within two weeks after the end of their term. In half of these cases, the borrower renews the loan at least 10 times in a row. And repeat borrowing may be more expensive than many borrowers may realize. Fees in …

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 …

How Do Your 401(k) Fees Stack Up?

Now that the government requires the fees associated with our 401(k) accounts to be disclosed, we all want to know: Are they on the low side, about what they should be, or too darn high? At the moment, it’s pretty hard to tell. Federal regulators are mulling over ways to improve the disclosures so that retirement savers like you and me can more easily answer that question. There’s a lot at stake. More than 50 million workers and retirees hold …