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Nancy Hwa's Posts

Senator cites the Retirement Income Deficit

Senator cites the Retirement Income Deficit

In May, Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced S. 1020, the Savings Enhancement by Alleviating Leakage in 401(k) Savings Act of 2011, or SEAL Act. More...

We shouldn't settle for a 'C' in retirement

For the second consecutive year, the Australian Centre for Financial Studies and human resources consulting firm Mercer have issued the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, which compares retirement income systems of several different nations and rates them based on their "adequacy, sustainability, and integrity."  More...

And the survey says...

Earlier this week, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and public opinion research firm Mathew Greenwald and Associates released the results of the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS). The survey, which has been conducted every year for the past two decades, is a nationwide poll of workers and retirees about their attitudes towards saving for retirement and their saving practices.

TIME Magazine says, “Time to Retire the 401(k)”

With the provocative title, “Time to Retire the 401(k),” the cover story of today’s issue of TIME is a must-read. The article provides a stinging indictment of the do-it-yourself savings plan that has come to dominate our patchwork retirement system.

Can we call you, Al?

When writer-comedian Al Franken was sworn in as Minnesota's junior Senator on July 7, I was intrigued to hear that he will be serving on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (also known as the Senate HELP Committee). Not surprisingly, this is one of the committees that we deal with the most, and I wondered what kind of positions Senator Franken would take on retirement income issues.

Mother Jones for Mother’s Day

With Mother's Day approaching, it seems only fitting that I put in a plug for the current edition of Mother Jones magazine. Its cover asks, "Who Ran Away With Your 401(k)?" and the issue is required reading for anyone interested in the future of retirement income.  

A company shows compassion

These days, it's not often that we agree with the decisions companies make when it comes to pensions (take a look at our lists of companies that have frozen their pensions or that have cut their 401(k) matches), but an activist alerted us to one company that is actually doing the right thing. As reported in the Times of Northwest Indiana last week, steel giant ArcelorMittal is forgiving $960,000 in pension overpayments made to 79 widows of retired workers. Many of these women are in their 80s and 90s and have relied on their survivor's pension for decades. Having to pay back years of overpayments would have been a severe hardship for them.

Recommended Reading

In the uproar over the million-dollar bonuses given to AIG executives, AIG's defenders claimed that the company was forced to give out these bonuses because of contracts it signed with the executives.  In Sunday's St. Petersburg Times, columnist Robyn Blumner uses AIG and United Airlines to make a terrific point about the disgraceful inequities in bankruptcy laws that give rank-and-file workers' pensions the shaft, while executives can still walk away with millions.  Give it a read.

The match game

With the stock market tanking, people saving for retirement through their company's 401(k) plan have yet another reason to worry: more and more employers are suspending their 401(k) matching contributions. This means that some workers will no longer receive a dollar-for-dollar match from their employer for the money that they themselves contribute to their 401(k).

Radical thinking from...BusinessWeek?

A timely and provocative op-ed by BusinessWeek's contributing economics editor Chris Farrell flatly states, "Keep Wall Street Out of the Retirement Business."  Farrell goes on to ask:

Question is, in light of the current turmoil in the financial markets, should Wall Street manage any of our long-term retirement savings funds? Is the 401(k) plan, which has become the main retirement savings vehicle for the American worker over the past three decades, a mistake? The case for rethinking the 401(k) as a pillar of retirement savings is compelling.
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