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BUSINESS
November 13, 1990 | BILL SING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
You probably worry often about whether you make enough money at work. But do you worry equally about your "hidden paycheck"--employee benefits such as a pension plan, 401(k) and health insurance? If you're not taking full advantage of these and other benefits, you could be missing out on opportunities to add considerably to your financial well-being. Here are some steps to help you maximize your benefits: * Contribute the maximum to your 401(k) company savings plan.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
September 9, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
Employees at small companies pay much higher fees in their 401(k) retirement plans than people at large firms, according to a new study. Over a 35-year career, the average worker at a small company will pay $113,206 more in fees than a counterpart at a huge corporation, according to an analysis by Bankrate.com. “People who work for very large companies are most likely to pay comparatively little for their retirement plans,” according to the analysis . “Employees of small companies are likely to pay a lot more.” QUIZ: How much do you know about mortgages?
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OPINION
August 3, 2010
The shift by many employers from providing pensions to offering 401(k) plans has forced workers to take more responsibility for their retirement savings, but left them ill-equipped in some ways to protect themselves. Two developments in recent weeks should help improve the situation: The Department of Labor issued long-delayed rules to help employers do a better job of sifting through the piles of fees charged by investment firms bidding for their 401(k) business, and a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that employers can be held liable when they don't ask investment firms for a better deal when one is readily available.
BUSINESS
September 4, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton
The 401(k) system has led to deep financial woes for a generation of American workers, leaving most people with inadequate retirement savings and dreary prospects for their latter years, according to a new research report. The widespread adoption of 401(k) plans in the last three decades has benefited upper-income workers, providing them with a coveted tax break even as it has left them at the mercy of the volatile stock market, according to the analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1987 | DEBRA WHITEFIELD
QUESTION: Some of my co-workers and I are indignant over our employer's refusal to let us borrow from our company 401(k) plans. We keep reading stories about other companies allowing such loans to buy a house or finance a child's college education, and we have decided it is time to act. We want to be sure our facts are straight, though. Are we right that most companies now offer loans on 401(k) savings? And do you have any idea what the going interest rate is for this type of loan?--C. P.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2006
Regarding "Executives' Pensions Are the Deal of a Lifetime," Jan. 29: I was disappointed in the article about the discontinuance of pension plans. Our company, First American Corp., was prominently mentioned, citing the discontinuance of our pension plan. We replaced our pension plan with an excellent 401(k) matching plan that was not mentioned in the article. Our 401(k) plan matches up to $2 for every $1 of employee savings, up to 3% of their eligible pay, so long as First American profits meet a certain level.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2006 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
The Labor Department has filed suit against executives of two defunct textile firms, including one in Santa Monica, demanding the return of more than $100,000 in employee contributions to the firms' 401(k) plan. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Thursday, alleges that Richard Haik and Mitchell Ostrover failed to forward employee contributions and loan repayments to the 401(k) retirement plan for employees of Beverly Trimming Co.
BUSINESS
October 29, 2000 | JOSH FRIEDMAN
If your 401(k) plan has failed to keep up with other plans in terms of investment choices, or if you are otherwise unhappy with it, you can press for change. Though company managers tend to have a big stake in 401(k) decisions, they aren't the sole instigators of change. The moves are often spurred by rank-and-file workers who decide to lobby their company benefits office. Step 1 is to identify who at your company is responsible for overseeing the plan.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2002 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Labor Department is questioning former Global Crossing Ltd. workers about the bankrupt company's 401(k) retirement plan, apparently to determine if any pension laws were broken. Former Global Crossing employees said this week they have been contacted by Labor Department investigators, who asked for copies of documents distributed to workers describing the company's 401(k) plan and its features.
NEWS
August 21, 2012 | By Jon Healey
The proposed Republican Party platform, which convention delegates will vote on next week, embraces the controversial "premium support" model for Medicare that presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), have advocated. In doing so, it puts the idea in terms that are easy for voters to grasp -- and, potentially, for Democrats to attack. According to Bloomberg's James Rowley, a draft of the platform states that Medicare should “change from an unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model” to the “defined contribution model.” Anyone with a retirement plan will immediately recognize the difference: pensions offer a "defined benefit," while 401(k)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles voters who cast ballots in last month's election were more supportive of a major overhaul of the city's pension system than in increasing the sales tax to boost city revenue, according to a survey conducted by Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles. Nearly 44% of voters surveyed backed a proposal by former Mayor Richard Riordan to transition city workers from fixed-benefit government pensions to 401(k)-style, investment-based retirement plans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2012 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Multimillionaire Los Angeles businessman and former Mayor Richard Riordan has accepted a police union's challenge to put his mouth where his money is. Riordan agreed Wednesday to a series of three debates on the merits of a pension revamp initiative that he is trying to get on next year's city election ballot. The measure would create a 401(k)-style retirement plan for newly hired workers instead of the current guaranteed pensions. "Dick Riordan looks forward to the opportunity to share his views with the public about the dangerous path the city is going down when it fails to deal responsibly with its pension costs," his spokesman John Schwada said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2012 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidate and City Councilman Eric Garcetti this week staked out a position on public pension reform more squarely in line with City Hall unions than his leading campaign opponents, drawing a potential early contrast in a race that has been dominated by three veteran City Hall elected officials with strikingly similar records. Appearing with three rivals at a Westside forum, Garcetti said Wednesday that he would oppose any shift to 401(k)-style retirement accounts, which can grow or shrink with investments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Richard Riordan, Los Angeles' millionaire former mayor, plunged deeper into the fray over public pensions Friday, announcing he is finalizing language for a ballot initiative that would move newly hired workers into 401(k)-style plans and freeze retirement benefits for existing workers. Riordan and his advisers said the proposal would save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by 2017, in part by phasing out government pensions as new employees come into the city workforce. The announcement set the stage for a ground war between Riordan, who has warned that retirement costs would push the city into bankruptcy, and an array of employee unions influential in city decision making.
NEWS
August 21, 2012 | By Jon Healey
The proposed Republican Party platform, which convention delegates will vote on next week, embraces the controversial "premium support" model for Medicare that presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), have advocated. In doing so, it puts the idea in terms that are easy for voters to grasp -- and, potentially, for Democrats to attack. According to Bloomberg's James Rowley, a draft of the platform states that Medicare should “change from an unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model” to the “defined contribution model.” Anyone with a retirement plan will immediately recognize the difference: pensions offer a "defined benefit," while 401(k)
BUSINESS
July 15, 2012 | By Tom Petruno
If you want a better 401(k) plan, be prepared to take it to the top. Say you want to add investment options to the plan, or dump poor-performing mutual funds. The first step is to find out who at your company has primary responsibility for the program. "At small companies the person with the most money in the plan is the CEO," said David Wray, president of the Plan Sponsor Council of America. That means the chief executive is most likely to be the person you'll need to persuade.
BUSINESS
September 22, 1991 | From Associated Press
If the 1980s were the heyday of the IRA, the '90s are starting to look like the decade of the 401(k) in the big and growing business of retirement planning. As Congress created and tinkered with new programs to encourage saving for retirement over the last 10 years, individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, got most of the publicity.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said it would scrap its pension program for current workers and raise retiree healthcare payments to save as much as $90 million annually. In 2009, Goodyear will replace defined-benefit pension plans with 401(k) programs with matching contributions. Corporate salaried and retail store retirees will pay more for health benefits beginning next year, and some insurance benefits will be canceled, Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear said.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2012 | By Tom Petruno
Every paycheck, tens of millions of Americans diligently save a chunk of their income via 401(k) retirement investment plans. Yet for many people, much about their 401(k) is a giant mystery. How can you judge whether your plan is a good one — or a dud? And how do you know whether you're investing correctly? With a record $4.8 trillion now in 401(k)s and similar plans, such as 403(b) plans for public employees, the stakes have never been higher. Recognizing this, new federal rules took effect July 1 that will force employers to reveal more about the often-hidden fees of the programs.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Mike Alfred is co-founder and chief executive of BrightScope Inc., a financial information company in San Diego that analyzes 401(k) retirement plans and publishes disciplinary records and other information on financial advisors. The company rates 46,000 retirement plans, assigning each a numerical ranking from 0 to 100. The ratings are available free on its website, at http://www.brightscope.com . Alfred, 30, started the company with his younger brother, Ryan, and another partner.
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