PBGC premium hike puts another nail in pensions’ coffin


Congress pounded one more nail in the coffin of traditional pensions earlier this month – and it didn’t have to happen. In one of the most misguided retirement policy moves in recent memory, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 signed last week by President Barack Obama increases the odds that more pension plan sponsors will […]

Purpose Prize winners: 10 years of extraordinary encore stories


This year’s Purpose Prize winners were announced today by Encore.org, marking the 10th anniversary of these extraordinary awards. I’ve always thought of the Purpose Prize as the Macarthur genius award for people approaching retirement age. Since 2006, Encore.org has awarded more than $5 million to more than 500 prize winners and Purpose Prize fellows. This […]

How file-and-suspend ended: Here’s the back story


When President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act into law this week, he changed Social Security’s retirement benefits with a stroke of his pen. The law makes changes in two Social Security claiming maneuvers – “file and suspend” and “restricted claims” – that have become the foundation of a loophole strategy that married couples could use […]

MyRA launch shows we need to get over our problems with mandates


The Obama Administration launched the myRA this week – a Roth IRA with payroll deduction features invested in conservative government securities. MyRA is a praiseworthy but small-bore initiative aimed at encouraging retirement saving for the more than 40 million Americans who don’t have accounts. In my Reuters column this week, I describe it as a kid’s bike […]

Wondering what your 2016 Medicare Part B premium will be? Here’s the skinny


The chaos surrounding Medicare premiums for 2016 finally has settled down, and we now have final figures on  monthly premiums will look like in Part B (outpatient services). If you’re already on Social Security, your premium stays at $104.90. You’re held harmless due to the lack of a Social Security COLA for next year. If […]

Budget deal will end Social Security file-and-suspend strategy


The budget deal moving quickly through Congress would put a stop to a lucrative strategy that can boost lifetime Social Security retirement benefits by hundreds of thousands of dollars. File-and-suspend is a variation on the more straightforward strategy of delayed filing to earn a higher monthly benefit down the road. It permits married couples to […]

CEO pensions are larger than yours – much larger


Most fast food workers don’t earn enough to retire with much of a pension. Then there is David Novak, executive chairman of YUM Brands (YUM.N), the conglomerate that runs Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC outlets. Novak’s total retirement holdings, including deferred compensation, are worth $234 million – more than any other Fortune 500 chief executive. Novak […]

Can state auto-IRA plans improve retirement security?


Remember the auto-IRA? It’s a good–but modest–idea for improving retirement security that President Obama has been trying to get going since 2010. Auto-IRAs would cover millions of workers who don’t have 401(k)s on the job–mostly lower-income workers at small businesses. But Congress has refused to cooperate, so the White House threw in the towel on […]

Pages: 1 2

Social Security’s file-and-suspend feature is on Washington’s hit list


File-and-suspend is hot. The once-obscure Social Security strategy for married couples has become almost mainstream in the past couple of years; a growing number of financial planners recommend the strategy to clients. But you’d be well-advised to get it while you can: file-and-suspend is at the top of Washington’s hit list for changes to retirement policy. […]

New findings on long-term care policy lapse rates raise questions


Long-term care insurance really is long term: buying a policy commits you to pay premiums over decades. If you stop those payments, thousands of dollars you have already spent might as well have gone down the drain. A new study suggests that is exactly what a sizeable number of policyholders are doing – allowing their […]