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Throw caution to the wind? Not young boomers

April 11, 2013

Despite recent market gains, younger boomers are willing to settle for lower returns, provided they can buffer themselves from the downside. That was the conclusion Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America reached after surveying 1,425 individuals...

Widower can collect survivor benefits now, retirement benefits later

April 11, 2013

So often when I write or talk about Social Security benefits, I refer to the fact that actuarially, women are likely to survive their husbands. Consequently, many of my discussions of survivor benefits focus on widows. But Social Security benefits...

Younger workers would take brunt of Obama's IRA curb

April 10, 2013

President Barack Obama's proposal to curb individual retirement account accumulations is likely to take a toll on the savings of younger workers. The provision, a part of the $3.77 trillion budget proposal for 2014, which was released today,...

Death of stretch IRAs would boost life insurance

April 9, 2013

Life insurance-based retirement strategies will look even more appealing if President Barack Obama's pitch to cap IRAs at $3 million becomes a reality. Curbing growth of individual retirement accounts is expected to be in Mr. Obama's budget...

Cetera acquiring two B-Ds from MetLife

April 7, 2013

Cetera Financial Group is continuing its aggressive expansion, announcing last Friday that it had agreed to acquire two independent broker-dealers from MetLife Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The two MetLife broker-dealers, Tower Square Securities...

GAO is on target in rollover report

April 7, 2013

When workers participating in 401(k) plans switch jobs, they have the option of rolling over the money that they have saved into individual retirement accounts. But that isn't their only choice. Sadly, in many cases, it is the only one being...

Study backs delaying benefits

April 7, 2013

After years of preaching the gospel of delaying Social Security benefits, I was gratified to read a new study from Morningstar Inc. saying that most retirees would be better served by waiting until their full retirement age or later to claim...

Rollover conflicts a task for advisers

April 7, 2013

Investment advisers agree that rollovers from defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s into individual retirement accounts can be tinged with conflicts of interest, but they say that a new government report on rollovers failed to mention the...

Obama backs new inflation formula for Social Security

April 5, 2013

It's official — almost. President Barack Obama's new budget proposal calls for reductions in the growth of Social Security and other benefit program, according to several news sources. Although the administration's proposal for the Fiscal...

Fiduciary champion gets his day in court

April 5, 2013

Renowned 401(k) fiduciary advocate Matthew D. Hutcheson's day in court began today when his federal criminal trial got under way. Mr. Hutcheson, a plan adviser who appeared before Congress in 2010 to support applying the fiduciary standard to...

No limit to confusion over Social Security earnings cap

April 4, 2013

My interview on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program earlier this week and a recent rebroadcast of my Social Security special on the PBS WealthTrack program has touched off a flood of e-mails and phone calls from consumers. Their...

GAO: Workers hurt when rolling over 401(k) plans to IRAs

April 3, 2013

Financial companies are encouraging U.S. workers to roll defined-contribution retirement plans such as 401(k)s into individual retirement accounts despite the fact that such rollovers might not be the best move for them, the investigative arm...

Worker suit over Verizon retirement plan handoff now a class action

April 2, 2013

A federal judge last week granted class status to a suit filed by a pair of former Verizon Communications Inc. workers against their employer after the telecom giant transferred pension obligations to Prudential Financial Inc. Chief Judge Sidney...

How long you're hitched makes big difference in Social Security payouts

April 1, 2013

The recent Supreme Court hearing on whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be overturned has thrust gay marriage into the national spotlight. DOMA, which states that a marriage must be between one man and one woman, makes it...

Pension rule can mean big Social Security cut

March 31, 2013

I received a question from a reader the other day wondering why his ex-spouse was denied Social Security benefits. She collects a pension based on her years as a public school teacher in Rhode Island, where employees in some local jurisdictions...

Advisers can boost retirement readiness but calculators can do more

March 29, 2013

It's not surprising that using an adviser can improve a person's odds of having enough money for retirement. What might be surprising is that using an online calculator can help even more. Families in the highest income quartile bolstered their...

Genworth shrinks again, sells off wealth management unit

March 28, 2013

Executives at Genworth Financial Inc. have been busily reshaping the company's operations over the past few years, all in a bid to narrow the carrier's focus. Genworth took another step in that direction Thursday with the announcement of the...

American Funds ups its game in retirement arena

March 28, 2013

Amid outflows from its retirement fund share classes, American Funds is kicking its 401(k) business into high gear and courting advisers. Over the past year, American Funds, has quietly expanded its selection of non-proprietary funds available...

Now entering: Pension offset zone, a Social Security nightmare

March 26, 2013

I received a question from a reader the other day wondering why his ex-spouse was denied Social Security benefits. She collects a pension based on her years as a public school teacher in Rhode Island, where employees in some local jurisdictions...

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