How gender pay gap haunts women even in retirement

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

The gender pay gap is a hot topic in the presidential campaign, and President Barack Obama has been hammering on it, too. Women who work full-time, year-round, made just 79 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts in 2014, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. But the injustice of the gender pay gap also […]

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When not to save for retirement

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Everyone should save for retirement – that is a mantra we have all heard endlessly. But for many people, saving for retirement actually should be fairly low on the financial priority list – well behind the more immediate goals of building a rainy day fund and reducing their consumer debt. That is evident in new […]

IRA charitable donations are permanent: Here’s what it means for retirement planning

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There won’t be any doubt about it this year – charitably-minded retirees will be able to make donations from their Individual Retirement Accounts. Really. For sure. Congress permitted donations direct from IRAs under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, but it’s been a rollercoaster ever since. The Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) would sunset every couple […]

Fiduciary rule and the case of JPMorgan Chase

Tom Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor

A New Year’s prediction: 2016 will be a very good year for retirement investors. Not because the stock market will be strong – if anything, we’re headed for a rocky ride. But 2016 is shaping up as the year when investment advisers will at long last be required to put your best interests ahead of […]

Why backdoor Roths look more attractive this year

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If you are still licking wounds inflicted by this year’s volatile stock market, a Roth conversion might be the healing balm you are seeking as 2015 draws to a close. Converting assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth is worth considering in any year as a way to diversify retirement holdings for tax purposes. […]

Fed rate hike: Start of something good for retirees?

Janet Yellen, chairman, Federal Reserve

The interest rate hike announced today by the Federal Reserve is a major milestone for retirees, who have been caught between a rock and hard place ever since the Great Recession, with zero interest rates and higher-than-average inflation. The Fed’s quarter-point hike in the benchmark federal funds rate is the first in nearly a decade, […]

File-and-suspend phaseout sparks scramble for optimization tools

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The phase-out of Social Security’s file-and-suspend loophole has sparked a scramble among companies that offer benefit-optimization software to rewrite their programs and advisors to rethink client retirement plans. The Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law by President Obama in November shuts down two Social Security claiming maneuvers that can boost benefits substantially for married couples […]

Why a mandatory retirement saving plan still isn’t dead in the U.S.

Teresa Ghilarducci

In today’s New York Times, I examine the prospects for a universal, mandatory retirement saving system in the U.S. The idea has long been left for dead, since the concept of employer mandates has been toxic ever since passage of the Affordable Care Act. But some states have begun implementing mandatory programs of their own, […]

Social Security benefits still in legal limbo for some same-sex couples

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Nearly six months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling making same-sex marriage the law of the land, the Social Security Administration is dragging its feet on implementing changes to its benefit eligibility policies. Some same-sex spouses have been caught up in a legal limbo while the government sorts out eligibility questions about retroactive spousal […]

Open letter to Mark Zuckerberg: Use that $45 billion to rescue retirement for the next generation

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An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg: I hear that you plan to give away 99 percent of your Facebook shares for philanthropic purposes – what a great idea! You already had 1.2 million “likes” this morning for the announcement – and why not? Your timing makes sense – as a new parent, you naturally begin […]