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There's Good News for 401(k) Account Holders

Average balance hits record high

(Newser) - The average 401(k) balance in the US has hit a record high. According to Fidelity Investments' most recent quarterly analysis of its 30 million customers, that average was $106,500 at the end of the third quarter, USA Today reports. That's almost 7% higher than a year prior and... More »

Number of 401(k) Millionaires Surges

Fidelity announces 168K of its clients have at least $1 million in their 401(k) accounts

(Newser) - Good news for many who are saving for retirement: During the second quarter, 168,000 people with 401(k)s managed by Fidelity Investments were millionaires, having at least $1 million in their accounts, per a press release . That's a record high, USA Today reports. It's also up 41% from... More »

42% of Americans Face Nightmare Retirement

People say they just don't have money to save

(Newser) - Not saving much for retirement? At least you're not alone: A new survey finds that 42% of Americans have under $10,000 saved up for later years and will likely retire broke, CBS New York reports. The 2018 poll by GoBankingRates.com found that 14% of respondents and 60%... More »

Do You Win or Lose? 8 Things in GOP Tax Plan

Your 401(k) is safe

(Newser) - The name "Cut, Cut, Cut Act" has been, well, cut, and that's not all. GOP House leaders are releasing what the Washington Post reports will be called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," and details are emerging on precisely what's in it. Here are 8... More »

Your 401(k) Contributions May Not Be Safe After All

House tax-writing chief Kevin Brady suggests limits are in play, despite Trump's opposition

(Newser) - President Trump declared emphatically this week that 401(k) contributions were off-limits to congressional negotiators working on changes to the tax code. But on Wednesday, one of those negotiators—in fact, one of the most influential ones—suggested otherwise, reports the Washington Post . Kevin Brady, who chairs the House tax-writing committee,... More »

Trump Says No One Will Lay a Hand on Your 401(k)

President seemed to be responding to a 'NYT' report that suggested otherwise

(Newser) - President Trump promised Monday there will be "no change" to tax incentives for the popular 401(k) retirement programs. "This has always been a great and popular middle class tax break that works, and it stays!" Trump tweeted . The AP reports the president appeared to be responding to... More »

GOP May Use Retirement Accounts to Pay for Tax Cuts

Sources say Republicans may cap contributions to 401(k) accounts at $2,400 a year

(Newser) - Multiple sources say Republican lawmakers may be setting their sights on Americans' retirement accounts to pay for tax cuts, specifically to the business tax rate. The New York Times reports Republicans are expected to release a tax reform plan sometime in the next few weeks, and that plan could include... More »

Early Cheerleaders of 401(k) Plans Are Now Changing Tune

They point to major issues, such as dependence on stock market, high fees

(Newser) - When 401(k) plans emerged in the '80s, they were supposed to complement pensions, not replace them. But as the Wall Street Journal reports, only 13% of workers in the private sector today hold pensions thanks to the 401(k) revolution—and original proponents of the tax-deferred savings plans are now... More »

Mom: AOL Blamed Its Cuts on My 'Distressed Baby'

Tim Armstrong has reversed the 401(K) move, but his comment still inflames

(Newser) - AOL honcho Tim Armstrong made waves on Thursday in announcing poorly received changes to the company's 401(K) program. The adjustment, which would have shifted the payment schedule to one lump-sum payment at year-end, was explained as a change made in light of exploding medical costs, noting, "we had... More »

Despite Recession, More Older Americans Employed

In part because they have to be

(Newser) - The good news is that at least one segment of the population has seen its employment statistics actually rise in this economic downturn. The bad news? That segment is older Americans, many of whom are only working because they're afraid they don't have enough savings to retire, the... More »

For Retiring Boomers, 401(k)s Fall Short

For many, it means postponing retirement or picking up part-time work

(Newser) - With the first baby boomers beginning to retire, the Wall Street Journal takes a look at how well their 401(k)s are holding up. Conclusion, in the form of a question: What kind of part-time work would best suit you in your golden years? Most households don't have anywhere near the... More »

Workers May Get Automatic Retirement Accounts

Democrats want all employees enrolled

(Newser) - Democrats plan to introduce legislation that would automatically enroll private-sector workers in retirement savings accounts, the Hill reports. The measure, being heavily pushed by the AARP, would apply to those whose employers don't offer 401k accounts. Workers would be able to opt out of the plan, whose backers don't expect... More »

How to Kill the Chamber of Commerce...

...before its lobbyists do more damage on climate change, etc.

(Newser) - The Chamber of Commerce's outrageous stand against action on global warming, which has spurred a number of huge corporations to drop out, is not an anomaly, says Eliot Spitzer. From environmental protection to deregulation to fiscal policy to health care reform, it’s always on the wrong side of history,... More »

Oldsters Refusing to Step Aside to Free Up Jobs

Reliance on volatile 401(k)s breeds reluctance to retire

(Newser) - Their retirement savings devastated by the financial crisis, older workers are increasingly postponing retirement, the New York Times reports, creating even more competition for scarce jobs. A recent survey found that four in 10 workers over 62 have remained at their jobs longer than they planned thanks to the recession.... 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 »

401(k) Matches Fall Victim to Downturn

Cost-cutting efforts increasingly extend to pricey employee benefit

(Newser) - Shrinking 401(k) accounts may soon seem like a bit of a luxury as more and more companies eliminate matching contributions to the retirement accounts, reports BusinessWeek. Some 2% of firms in a recent survey said they had already cut out the match, and another 4% said they’ll drop it... More »

Sinking 401(k)s Raise Debate on How to Save

Accounts tumble by up to 11%, but backers still love them

(Newser) - Tumbling stock markets have cracked open the piggy bank that many Americans use to store retirement savings—401(k) accounts—sparking fresh debate about how best to save money, the Washington Post reports. Supporters argue that 401(k)s offer bigger rewards than traditional pensions, which are less exposed to market turbulence. But... 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 »

As Stocks Sink, New Cash Cows Emerge

Alpacas, coins, comic books; a stampede to alternative investments

(Newser) - With stocks tanking, 401(k)s plummeting, and the market’s usual safe haven—real estate—at the heart of the current crisis, investors are seeking refuge in unusual investments—everything from parking spaces to comic books to alpacas, the Wall Street Journal reports. A growing number of retirees are taking individual... More »

Quick-Fix Cash Schemes Find More Takers

Reverse mortgages, insurance buyouts among risky moves

(Newser) - Big banks aren’t the only ones struggling to find the cash to keep going. Americans are feeling the pinch, and grabbing cash anywhere they can find it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Credit-card debts remains high, but more are turning to options that bring a quick infusion of cash... More »

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