retirement benefits

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If You Get Social Security, Bad News, Again

There's no benefit increase for 2016

(Newser) - The government says there will be no benefit increase next year for millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees. It's just the third time in 40 years that payments will remain flat, with all three times occurring since 2010. And there's more bad news: The... More »

Medicare Fund to Last Longer Than Previously Thought

Medicare gets a 4-year boost—but disability benefits are disappearing more quickly

(Newser) - If you’ve been nervously eyeing your Social Security and Medicare updates, wondering if there will be anything left or whether a viable health program will exist by the time you punch your final timecard, Uncle Sam has (some) good news: Benefits funds for Medicare are expected to last for... More »

Owe Student Loans? Your Social Security Might Be Cut

Feds taking up to 15% of some retirees' checks

(Newser) - If you're retired and owe student loans, your Social Security benefits might not be as big as you thought. More and more retirees who are in student loan default are seeing a chunk of their monthly Social Security checks being grabbed by the federal government. Since January, the feds... More »

Perry's 'Retirement' Boosts Pay $92K

Texas governor officially retires to collect extra state benefits

(Newser) - Rick Perry may hate entitlement programs and government largess, but that didn't stop him from taking advantage of Texas' state law to "retire" last January—and thereby boost his salary by more than $92,400 to $240,000 annually, reports the Texas Tribune . Texas' "rule of 80"... More »

Uncle Sam Pays Dead People $120M a Year

Report: Office of Personnel Management does a bad job stopping fraud

(Newser) - The government has been paying retirement benefits for a whole lot of dead federal workers, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general. Over the past five years, the amount accidentally paid to the dearly departed has jumped a whopping 70%, with $601 million... More »

Social Security Faces Grim Forecast for 2010, 2011

Payouts will exceed tax receipts for first time since 1980s

(Newser) - Big job losses and a spike in early retirement claims from laid-off seniors will force Social Security to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next 2 years, the first time that's happened since the 1980s. The deficits—$10 billion in 2010 and $9 billion in... More »

Obama Offers New Options for Retirement Savings

Americans can have tax refunds sent as savings bonds

(Newser) - President Obama used his radio address today to roll out several initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to save for retirement. One move will allow people to have their federal tax refunds sent as savings bonds by checking a box on their tax return; another has workers automatically... More »

IRS May Cut 401(k) Contribution Limit

(Newser) - Low inflation could force the IRS to decrease the amount workers can contribute to their 401(k) plans to $16,000, USA Today reports. It would mark the first time the government has ever lowered contribution limits. Though a spokesperson says it’s too early for speculation, the IRS may not... More »

Molson Cuts Free Beer for Retirees

(Newser) - Things are tough all over. Retirees from Molson brewing in Canada are up in arms after learning that their lifetime supply of free beer is running out, the Toronto Star reports. The company told pensioners it will gradually cut their allotment from the current 72 dozen bottles per year to... More »

Social Security, Medicare Going Broke? Terrific!

(Newser) - Social Security and Medicare are headed toward disaster, and that’s a good thing, Robert J. Samuelson writes in Newsweek. The programs are expected to run out of money by 2017 and 2037, respectively, and when they do, politicians will have to make painful, necessary reforms. “The counterintuitive lesson:... More »

Early Retirees Face Shaky Financial Future

Bucking poll, older workers ditch work in tough economy

(Newser) - A growing number of older US  workers are bucking expectations and retiring early, risking financial hardship in their senior years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead of staving off retirement to rebuild diminished nest eggs, many older Americans, frustrated by the job market, are simply calling it quits. Add aging... More »

Auto Workers Fear Deep Cuts in Pensions

If Chrysler, GM go to bankruptcy court, 1 million workers likely to take pension cuts

(Newser) - As Chrysler and possibly GM head toward bankruptcy court, nearly a million retired workers fear deep cuts to their pensions and health plans, reports the Washington Post. Though the Obama administration is hoping to mitigate cuts, the plans are underfunded by billions of dollars. “I feel betrayed,” says... More »

'Sneaky' Loophole Boosts Execs' Pensions

Through lump-sum payments, executives net millions extra

(Newser) - A change in federal disclosure requirements has revealed that some companies are inflating the value of retirement plans for—guess who?—top executives. By converting pensions, which generally pay out in installments over a retired employee’s lifetime, to a lump-sum payment, CEOs can increase the value by 10% to... More »

Don't Take the 'Gold' Out of Americans' Golden Years

And why is retirement reform taboo?

(Newser) - Snow White’s dwarf pals are so happy to go to work that they sing about it, “and they’re 71 years old,” writes Irwin Stelzer of the Weekly Standard. “So why do so many of us less vertically disadvantaged worry about” extending the retirement age? Average... More »

Crisis Drains $2T From Retirement Savings

Tumbling values may mean more workers have to stay on jobs longer, retire later

(Newser) - The financial crisis has drained $2 trillion from Americans' retirement savings over the  past 15 months, reports the Washington Post, a 20% drop in the value of pensions and 401(k) plans that may force many to retire later and could spread to the general economy as workers tighten belts further.... More »

Retirees Hit Hard by Markets

Their money is in riskier investments these days

(Newser) - Among those hardest hit by the financial crisis are retirees, and they have less chance to recover than their younger counterparts, the New York Times reports. As companies have abandoned fixed pensions for 410(k)s, retirees can lose large percentages of their wealth in a short period. And low-risk investments, like... More »

Fannie, Freddie Employees Watch Assets Plunge

(Newser) - As the stock prices of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged 80% this year, employees of the companies helplessly watched their fortunes sink with the ship, the New York Times reports. For instance, Fannie Mae’s workers owned $116 million in company stock at the end of 2006;... More »

Firms Gamble Pensions to Fund Exec Perks

Rank-and-file benefits may be at risk as companies use tax loophole

(Newser) - Companies from CenturyTel to Intel are funneling pension benefits to retired executives at the expense of workers, using a practice that potentially violates tax rules and puts pension plans at risk, reports the Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term benefits pegged for executives are draining plans... More »

Employers Use Law to Withhold Benefits

Think you're covered? Not if your company decides you're not

(Newser) - Thomas Amschwand was dying, but made sure his wife would collect on his $426,000 life insurance policy. Yet when he died, his boss withheld the money, and his wife was powerless—because a federal law stops workers from suing employers for large sums of health, life, or retirement benefits.... More »

Bill's Bills Cost US a Record $8M

Clinton costs twice as much as Carter

(Newser) - Bill Clinton is costing taxpayers significantly more in publicly funded perks than the two other surviving former presidents, reports Politico. From 2001 through the end of this year, $8 million will be spent on Bill Clinton, compared with $5.5 million for George H. W. Bush and $4 million for... More »

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