The Secret Your Boss Is Keeping About Your Retirement

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Pension-planMany companies have gotten rid of their pension plans and put the responsibility for saving for retirement entirely on employees' shoulders through 401(k) plans and related options. You'd think they would at least make understanding those plans easy for workers.

But instead, your bosses may be keeping you in the dark about the costs of your retirement plan -- and those secrets may stay under wraps for a lot longer than expected.

What's the Delay?

Earlier this month, the Labor Department said that it might once again push back an April 1 deadline for employers who offer retirement plans for their workers to tell employees about the fees those plans charge.

Apparently, the final versions of the rules have already suffered long delays. And since they are not even scheduled to be published until the end of this month, the government agency believes that plan providers need to have enough time to prepare before complying with the rules.

Finding the Fees in the Legalese

If you want to know how much you're paying badly enough, you can probably get most of what you need to know now -- if you're willing to jump through big hoops. You can find the numbers that you need to calculate what you're paying for your 401(k) or other retirement plan at work within the hefty prospectuses, plan documents, and other legalese-filled pages available.

But realistically, few workers have the expertise, time, or inclination to go that far out of their way to get price information that ought to be stated upfront. That's the purpose of the new rules: to get workers the information they need and have a right to as easily as possible.

Postponing the Big Reveal Once Again

Unfortunately, these rules have already been a long time coming. The soon-to-take effect rule is about 18 months old already, and was due to take effect last July, but the financial industry got it delayed until April. Now, financial providers want another full year to deal with whatever the final rules require.

Which begs the question: How can these providers know they need more time if they haven't even seen the final rules yet? If the rules are pretty much the same as the currently proposed rules, it should be easy to implement them quickly.

What may end up turning the tide is the fact that 2012 is an election year. At least some lawmakers will want to give workers something tangible before the election. Based on that, you might finally know how much you're paying for your retirement plan by the end of 2012.

Motley Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has his own retirement plan, so he can't blame anybody else for its costs. You can follow him on Twitter: @dancaplinger.







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gomer pile of

The truth is that 401k's is the biggest flow of money that hit's the stock market each month. It's like turning on a faucet that you never turn off. We know what happens when you stick a bucket under a faucet that you never turn off. It go's up and up then over flows.
The reason why the market is not going up is because the big banks and hedge funds are flash trading, using computers to manipulate the market by shorting illegally. { NAKED SHORTING} and creating debt swaps so that they don't have to cover short possitions by due dates. Shorting pulls money out of the market. They are pulling $ out some times faster than it go's in. How do you think the big banks are making all that money w/ out giving home loans and bussiness loans? Big $$ pushed for self regulation and was granted that ugly idea in order to illegally go after Americans retirement and investments. I could go on and on about thier illegal strategies of how they do this, but that would be a lot more writing.
Banks and hedge funds are greedy unregulated institutions. In order to join a hedge fund you must have atleast a million dollars. Big money is and has been after our retirement and investments. Big money cheats to aquire it too.
Google what shorting is. And what naked shorting is. Naked shorting has been illegal since 2008 but, the market has been unregulated. The fed wrote a article that says fraud is up 47% since 2008. And it is much higher than that because there is more fraud that just hasn't been found yet. Finra found that the brokers are counterfitting shares as whell instead of buying in short positions. Edge ex. a big exchange has been marking every order long as if to say there is no shorting in the market. I wonder why, is that because they are trying to hide how much shorting is really going on in the market from the gov. and share holders. The sec. told Edge ex. , you better higher a lawyer because you are breaking market rules. You see fraud at the brokerage level to the echanges and to the clearing houses.
You can not save for retirement in unregulated markets where crooks/brokers are not watched. And we the american people can't save for retirement if big money can use powerful computers along with cheating to short the market.
The definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if saving for retirement in the stock market for baby boomers didn't work, then do you think it will work for you? Stricked successful regulation is the only thing that will make the market make sence. If you google arround about shorting and fraud in the market, you will find plenty of reads. Google counterfeitingstock.com and ponzi stock market. Net flick documentary STOCK SHOCK.

January 13 2012 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Obama doesn't have a clue.

January 12 2012 at 7:39 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
p_carter25

as with every other bright spot america has known we" ve finally gotten someone of color in the white house who has a clue how things get done and because our economy did not snap right back they"ve gotten resentful and he" only had one term to accomplish the impossible just imagine what he could do in two terms just being real just watch what you"ll get in another 4 without him working .

January 12 2012 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to p_carter25's comment
savemycountry911

He is carrying us down the path to Socialism. You libs are blind. Hope and change my ********

January 12 2012 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Head

181113 - DD is fine and all, but if your plan only offers expensive funds, u are screwed...

January 11 2012 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Head

savemycountry911 - he may have been popular at the time, but started the destruction of this country. Stop pensions, stop unions, expand the gap between worker and CEO wages etc etc. 30 years later we are in the tank, and he started it. Deny it all you want, but it's true.

January 11 2012 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Rich Head's comment
savemycountry911

It looks like Obummer will finish us off. RIP, USA.

January 11 2012 at 10:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Reagan was the pick for popular president in a poll of just a few years back. It was FDR that started us down the road to ruin. Obama has sped things up.

January 12 2012 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pdbliz

WHAT HAPPEN TO THE HOPE AND CHANGE,!!!!! HOPE HAS CHANGED,!!!!! AND,,CHANGED ALOT....
RELATIONS BETWEEN RACES HAVE DROPPED NEARLY BACK TO THE 60,S....
ALL BECAUSE OF ONE MAN,,,,,,,,,!!! GUESS WHO.!!!!!!!
OBAMA HAS CHANGED THE WORLD........TO THE WORSE.!!!!!! ,,,,,,,,NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY,,,HAS A SITTING PRESIDENT ACTED LIKE THIS MAN............BUT,,,I FORGOT,,,,OBAMAS WIFE RUNS THE SHOW,!!!!!.......
WHY ARE ALOT OF THE STAFF ,,APPOINTED BY OBAMA,,,LEAVING SO EARLY..????......
.......EVEN ALOT OF THE DEMOCRATES,,,,,DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY AND WHAT OBAMA DOES AND GOES AGAINST THIS COUNTRY....
OCCUPY PEOPLE,,,,YOU HAVE NO CLUE.................CHECK OUT NANCY POLOCYS BANK ACCOUNT,,,CHECK OUT HARRY REIDS AND BARNEY FRANKS,,,,,MILLIONAIRES,,,2 TIMES OVER.....
TARP,,,,,,,,,,BOTH REP AND DEMOCRATES BACK,,,,DESTROYED OUR AMERICA........

January 11 2012 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
181113

due diligence. if you're responsible, do it

January 11 2012 at 9:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
daniel_patrick

Don't worry about those funds. Check out this...Gooogle ' FAST MARKET CASH ' and go to the very first site and look at their pennystock page to see the tricks on how to make thousands in a matter of days. It is the best kept secret of the rich.

January 11 2012 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dvdfrnzwbr

I'm MITT from ORK, NANU NANU!

January 11 2012 at 8:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dvdfrnzwbr's comment
savemycountry911

You are zwb from Bazarro World.

January 12 2012 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
abcadams1

Before Reagan came into office, almost every employer put money aside for employees' pensions. It did not matter if you were a cashier, bartender, or whatever profession, you got a pension from your employer. Then, Reagan came into office, started a 401K instead of pensions, and employers dropped pensions and made you put in your own money. Here's an article on the subject. http://money.msn.com/mutual-fund/who-killed-private-pensions-wsj.aspx?ucsort=4
Cutting benefits provided employers with an additional windfall: income. Because the benefits are recorded as debts on a company's books, reducing the debt generates paper gains, which are added to operating income right along with income from selling hardware or trucks. Thanks to these accounting rules, which all companies adopted in the late 1980s, retiree plans have become cookie jars of potential earnings enhancements: Essentially every dollar owed to current and future retirees -- for pensions, health care, dental, death benefits or disability -- is a potential dollar of income to a company.

January 10 2012 at 9:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to abcadams1's comment
savemycountry911

Reagan was the best and most popular president in history. America loves him. You are all wet.

January 10 2012 at 10:01 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to savemycountry911's comment
boxerpapa1

The 401K plans were offered as an additional vehicle to help retirement. No one makes you put your money into these plans. The ones that have automatic enrollment, you have the option to "opt out". The traditional pension plans are mostly being phased out and replaced with 401K plans with matching company money. There are companies that still have the traditional pension plans, so you must search harder to find them with no guarantees the plan won't be terminated. Save, save and then save some more to retire !!

January 11 2012 at 10:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply