In The Morning News

BusinessWeek: Researchers See Success In Boosting Retirement Plan Participation
BusinessWeek reports on Dartmouth researchers attempts to "develop a program designed to motivate employees of companies to sign up for retirement saving initiatives." The researchers used a "social marketing approach to saving for retirement...that targeted groups" at Dartmouth "that were less likely to save." Researchers claim that "Dartmouth employees electing retirement plans more than tripled in a 30-day period after the program's launch. More organizations are seeking help in this area. Keller is working with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), and AARP to help them apply social marketing to financial planning for their members."
AP: Tentative Budget Agreement Would Ignore Tough Decisions On Medicare, Medicaid
The AP reports the majority Democrats "are leaving grim decisions on automatic tax increases to the next president and the newly elected Congress under a freshly negotiated House-Senate blueprint for the upcoming budget year." The fiscal 2009 budget plan "worked out in private talks between House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt Jr., D-S.C., and his Senate counterpart, Kent Conrad, D-N.D., awards an approximately 4% increase on average to non-defense Cabinet budgets passed by Congress each year. But it makes no effort to rein in the rapidly rising cost of federal benefit programs such as Medicare."
UPI: Con Ed's Early Retirement Option Resembles Loan Shark Scheme
An early retirement option for New York Con Ed employees was allegedly a deal that resembled a loan-shark scheme, attorneys said Tuesday. Employees said a buy-out offering early retirement from New York's Con Edison Co., turned out to be a loan that required sizable deductions from their pension checks, the New York Post reported. Lawyers filed a class-action suit in federal court in New York City. ... Plaintiffs said when the loans were made, there was no mention of interest charged. However, the retirees found monthly checks were reduced at higher-than-expected rates."

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