Should Older Workers Have to Pay More for Their Pensions?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice again and again: If you are close to retirement age, you should max out your contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans. But requiring older employees to contribute more than younger ones to a pension fund is another matter entirely, a federal appeals court in Baltimore held last week. “Certain older Baltimore County employees were forced to pay more for their pensions than younger co-workers,” David Lopez, the general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said …

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 …

More Investors Choosing Target-Date Funds for Retirement Savings

Target-date funds are growing in popularity among investors in workplace retirement plans because they’re so easy to manage. You pick a retirement date, and the mix of investments automatically adjusts to a more conservative allocation as you move closer to that date. No muss, no fuss. If you’re not investing in a TDF, chances are you will be. A new study says that by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all 401(k) savings contributions will go into these funds. TDFs have become …

Why I Like 529 College Savings Plans

If you want to help pay for higher education for a child or grandchild, consider using a 529 college savings plan. These plans allow you to put money aside for tuition and other college-related expenses, while getting some nice tax advantages as well. Since I have a son who will be college bound in a couple of years, I’ve looked at all sorts of ways to pay for it and can say the 529 plan is by far the best …

Estate Benefits of Roth IRAs Curtailed in Obama Budget

Buried in the details of President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget are tax changes that could upend many people’s estate and retirement planning. The president is proposing significant changes to the Roth IRA, which has become a popular way for higher-income investors to leave money to heirs tax-free. “The Obama team put this out in an effort to simplify tax law when it comes to retirement accounts,” says Matt Curfman, a financial planner with Richmond Brothers Inc. in Jackson, Mich. “Thank …

Stock Gains Push 401(k)s to Record Highs

Last year’s gangbuster stock market pushed 401(k) savings account balances to record highs, according to two major retirement account providers. Fidelity Investments says the average account balance at the end of last year reached $89,300, a 15.5 percent increase over the year before. For workers age 55 and older, balances averaged $165,200. Many workers roll over their 401(k) into an individual retirement account when they leave a job.  Adding up the balances of those who have both a 401(k) and …