A landmark law at 40: How well is ERISA protecting workers’ retirements?

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Every American who has retired with economic security – or hopes to – should know these two dates in our history: August 14, 1935, and September 2, 1974. The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, and 40 years ago today President Gerald Ford signed landmark pension reform […]

A chat with Mint.com about retirement planning

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Mint.com has just posted a Q&A with me about about my work, and how I approach covering retirement planning. We talked about how I first became interested in covering retirement, common misunderstandings Americans bring to retirement planning, the Great Recession’s impact on retirement security, strategies for saving and investing and how health care costs figure into […]

How to interpret your Social Security benefit statement

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The Social Security Administration will be mailing annual benefit statements for the first time in three years to some American workers. That’s good news, because the statements provide a useful projection of what you can expect to receive in benefits at various retirement ages, if you become widowed or suffer a disability that prevents you […]

Take the pension buyout, or wait for a better deal down the road?

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If you work for a company with a pension plan, don’t be surprised if you get an offer soon for a lump sum buyout – a deal where you accept a pile of cash in exchange for the promise of lifetime income when you retire. The price tag for these offers is especially attractive right […]

How much do you need to retire happy? Wes Moss has your number

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It may be true that money can’t buy you love, but can it buy happiness in retirement? Most people would say it can, but financial planner Wes Moss wanted the details: Just how much money does it take to retire happily – and is there a point of diminishing happiness return on the size of […]

Why Congress needs to reform multi-employer pensions – now

Josh Gobtaum, director, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.

The window is closing on our last best chance to protect the pensions of 10 million American workers and retirees. These workers are in multi-employer plans – traditional defined benefit pension plans jointly funded by groups of employers in industries like construction, trucking, mining and food retailing. Although many of the country’s 1,400 multi-employer plans […]

The truth about Social Security and Medicare, straight from the trustees

Trustee Jacob Lew, Secretary of the Treasury.

If you worry about the future of Social Security and Medicare, this is the week to get answers to your questions. The most authoritative annual reports on the long-term health of both programs were issued on Monday, and while the news was mixed, there are reasons to be encouraged about our two most important retirement […]

Why last-minute IRA contributors are leaving money on the table

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Individual Retirement Account contributions are getting larger – an encouraging sign of a recovering economy and improved habits among retirement savers. But there is an “I” in IRA for a reason: investors are in charge of managing their accounts. And recent research by Vanguard finds that many of us are leaving returns on the table […]

Why 401(k)s won’t offer longevity annuities anytime soon

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Longevity risk – that is, the risk of outliving your retirement savings – is among retirees’ biggest worries these days. The Obama administration is trying to nudge employers to add a special type of annuity to their investment menus that addresses that risk. But here’s the response they’re likely to get: “Meh.” The U.S. Treasury […]

Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

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The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]