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BUSINESS
February 15, 2001 | JOSH FRIEDMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
More people are cutting back on 401(k) savings investments in the stock of their employer, apparently heeding financial planners' advice about having too big a retirement bet in one asset. But at roughly 30% of the typical investor's 401(k), the company-stock figure is still too high for comfort, many experts say.
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
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
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
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
January 27, 1990 | BILL SING
If you're one of the growing number of workers with a 401(k) company savings plan, take note: Some of your money may not be as secure as you think. Many participants in the popular 401(k) plans choose to place most of their money in fixed-income investments, putting less money in stock funds. If you choose the fixed-income route, chances are that your money will be put into so-called guaranteed investment contracts, or GICs.
BUSINESS
February 17, 1990 | CARLA LAZZARESCHI
QUESTION: Can you please explain what happens to funds invested in a 401(k) program? Are these programs federally insured like a passbook savings account or are our savings at risk? Specifically, I want to know if a 401(k) is a sure thing and whether I can get all of my money back. I want the absolutely safest investment for my retirement savings.--I. B.
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
August 8, 1985 | Debra Whitefield
QUESTION: In all of your columns about 401k salary reduction plans, you have never discussed the negative effects that these plans have on your retirement benefits, which I would think have to be based on your "reduced" salary level rather than your actual income. Am I right?--S. S. ANSWER: Yes, you are. In most cases, company benefits that are tied to salary levels are reduced accordingly when you agree to defer part of your salary this way.
OPINION
January 27, 2002 | JAMES H. SMALHOUT, James H. Smalhout is the author of "The Uncertain Retirement" and a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Chalk it up to confusion. Enron employees at the bottom of the corporate totem pole can be forgiven for being gullible enough to buy piles of company stock for their 401(k) savings accounts. They, along with many outside investors, were misled. But now comes word that Kenneth L. Lay, the company's former chairman and CEO, also may have been taken in: He apparently was buying Enron stock as recently as August. The firm went bankrupt in December. That most inside the company were putting too many eggs in Enron's basket isn't surprising.
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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