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Social Security

Rethinking savings plans as struggling Americans raid 401(k)s

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For too many of Vada Lindsey's lower-income clients, their hard-earned 401(k) accounts become go-to emergency funds when they are faced with unexpected cash needs.

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New Congress offers hope for pension issues

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While wholesale policy changes are not expected in President Barack Obama's second term, some new Capitol Hill assignments have sparked a glimmer of optimism among retirement and investment industry observers.

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No need for new DC plan

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Sen. Tom Harkin, R-Iowa, proposes to improve pension coverage and retirement security by building a chair. That is, he would add a fourth leg to the shaky proverbial three-legged stool that defines the current retirement system to shore it up.

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4 crusaders fighting for seniors' financial rights

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These Money heroes are fighting for the financial security and success of seniors.

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Young workers’ retirement hopes grow bleaker amid economic downturn

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The economic downturn is pressing more employers to reduce pension benefits and significantly delaying when people launch their careers, darkening the already bleak picture that young workers face in saving for retirement.

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Questions Answered About Pension Plans

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Readers recently submitted questions about pension plans to Mary Williams Walsh, a business reporter for The New York Times who has written about how companies manage their pension plans; what happens when companies go bankrupt; public workers’ pensions and how they may affect state and local finances; and Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.

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Women face host of obstacles to retirement

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When Jeanne Majors, 63, took an early retirement in December 2005, she assumed that she would pick up a part-time job and be in good financial shape. She didn't know that her future would quickly fall apart.

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The Road to Retirement

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Even before the Great Recession, Americans were not saving enough, if anything, for retirement, and policy experts were warning of a looming catastrophe. The economic downturn and its consequences — including losses in jobs, income, investments and home equity — have made that bad situation much worse.

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Should the 401(k) Be Reformed or Replaced?

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John Greene worked for 30 years at an Oscar Mayer plant in Madison, Wis., deboning hams and loading boxes of hot dogs. His plan grew to $60,000, and soon after retiring he began withdrawing $3,600 a year from it, money that allowed him and his wife to take what he called a wondrous two-week trip to Scotland, his ancestral homeland.

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The Tightwire Act of Living Only on Social Security

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Living on an inflexible budget, one that teeters on the brink of poverty, is not what most people equate with retirement. But that is pretty much what anyone who lives solely on Social Security can expect.

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