Five ways to improve retirement math when you haven’t saved


A large segment of American workers are approaching retirement with very little or nothing saved: Among workers age 55 or higher and nearing retirement, 48 percent have saved less than $100,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A third have less than $25,000. The savings shortfall means many Americans face the prospect of retiring […]

Mandatory worker retirement plans gain momentum with California legislation

Photo via AARP

The movement to require employers to offer retirement plans to their workers just took a big leap forward. California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last week launching the state’s Secure Choice plan – a government-sponsored retirement savings vehicle that would be offered to employees of most companies that do not have their own workplace retirement […]

Military prepares for overhaul in retirement benefits

Photo by Fort Rucker via Flickr.

U.S. Armed Forces – Get Ready to Salute the 401(k). The military, which currently has a traditional defined benefit plan, will adopt a new hybrid program next year that blends an existing defined benefit for career personnel with a matching contribution to a 401(k)-style account aimed at covering those who don’t make a lifelong career […]

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Heed the warning label on mutual funds – passive is better


The warning is posted in fine print at the bottom of all mutual fund advertisements: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires it. But when it comes to actively managed mutual funds, that warning should perhaps be updated to: “Strong performance almost certainly guarantees worse performance in the […]

Decade after landmark pension law, changes still needed


Next week marks the 10th anniversary of a landmark federal law with a hopeful name – the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Has the law lived up to its name? The anniversary is an apt time to consider changes still needed to improve the retirement security of American workers. The track record of the Pension […]

Tapping retirement accounts early: the ins and outs


401(k) accounts aren’t designed as piggy banks to be tapped for non-retirement expenses. But stuff happens. Since the Great Recession, loans from 401(k) accounts have been rising. Some 17.6 percent of plan participants had loans outstanding last year, compared with 15.3 percent in 2008, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). A much smaller number […]

Retirement planning 101 for young people


I am asked often what young people can do now to start building for a secure retirement. The question itself is a great start – frankly, I never gave this much of a thought until I was well past 40. I have five short answers. First: start saving as soon as you can – even […]

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When not to save for retirement


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 […]

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, […]

Beefing up advice options in 401(k) plans


Would you like some advice with that 401(k) plan? Two of the leading companies in online investment advice launched initiatives this month aimed at getting more personalized financial advice to workplace retirement savers. Betterment, a leader in the “robo-advisory” automated portfolio market for retail investors, announced plans this month for a new technology-driven offering for […]