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Daily Archives: April 11, 2014

Center for American Progress – Fixing the Drain on Retirement Savings

Fixing the Drain on Retirement Savings - How Retirement Fees Are Straining the Middle Class and What We Can Do about Them, By Jennifer Erickson and David Madland | April 11, 2014

“Less than one in five American workers in private industry has access to defined benefit pension plans. As a result, most Americans’ quality of life during retirement depends on whether they have invested in retirement savings vehicles such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, and how their investments perform. The reality is, the corrosive effect of high fees in many of these retirement accounts forces many Americans to work years longer than necessary or than planned. Clearer, more transparent information has helped inform consumers about a variety of decisions from choosing between appliances to choosing between dinner options. With 52 million Americans relying on 401(k) funds as part of their retirement savings and a similar number depending on IRAs, why not offer better labeling for retirement funds? All retirement funds should have a clear, understandable label that provides consumers with relevant, concise, and accessible information about fees. Improved fee disclosure could help individuals make better financial decisions—especially since data show that higher-cost funds do not necessarily perform better—and could encourage firms to provide lower-cost options. Perhaps most importantly, it could also force a national conversation about how to best improve our retirement system. Fees are not the only problem with many private retirement plans. Indeed the Center for American Progress has proposed allowing all workers to save in the highly cost-effective 401(k) style plan: the government-employee Thrift Savings Plan. CAP has also proposed creating a new type of plan that combines the best elements of 401(k)s with the best elements of pensions to address the inherent weaknesses of self-directed retirement plans, as described at length in previous reports. But the impact of fees is critically important and can at least be addressed partly by better disclosure.”

World Economic Outlook April 2014

World Economic Outlook (WEO) Recovery Strengthens, Remains Uneven April 2014 “Global activity has broadly strengthened and is expected to improve further in 2014–15, according to the April 2014 WEO, with much of the impetus for growth coming from advanced economies. Although downside risks have diminished overall, lower-than-expected inflation poses risks for advanced economies, there is increased financialContinue Reading

IRS misses XP deadline, pays Microsoft millions for patches

ComputerWorld: “The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged this week that it missed the April 8 cut-off for Windows XP support, and will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of security patches. Microsoft terminated Windows XP support on Tuesday when it shipped the final public patches for the nearly-13-year-old operating system. Without patches for vulnerabilitiesContinue Reading

Hispanic Americans in Congress 1822-2012

“On September 30, 1822, Joseph M. Hernández began his service in Congress as Florida’s first Territorial Delegate, pioneering Hispanic-American representation in the American republic. Like other Hispanic Americans in the federal legislature during the 1800s, Hernández advanced from the periphery of the Union to hold a brief term in an office whose core duties were more diplomaticContinue Reading

Policy Center: New Recommendations to Streamline U.S. Financial Regulatory Structure

“The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today published a new report through its Regulatory Architecture Task Force with recommendations to make better sense of the fragmented U.S. financial regulatory system. The report is authored by the task force’s co-chairs Richard H. Neiman, former New York State Superintendent of Banks and member of the congressional Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) oversight panel; and Mark Olson, formerContinue Reading

FTC, DOJ Issue Antitrust Policy Statement on Sharing Cybersecurity Information

“The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice today issued a policy statement on the sharing of cyber-security information that makes clear that properly designed cyber threat information sharing is not likely to raise antitrust concerns and can help secure the nation’s networks of information and resources. The policy statement provides the agencies’ analytical framework forContinue Reading