Who knew that the lack of objective retirement plan advice would become a "front-burner" topic in Washington and the media? In March, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) published a report on the problems 401(k) participants face when they fail to receive good advice on distribution options. Without mincing words, GAO found that "the current rollover process favors distributions to IRAs" whether or not this is in participant's interest. GAO recommended a series of steps the U.S. Government can take to reduce obstacles and disincentives to plan-to-plan rollovers

In April, the PBS TV series Frontline broadcast a one-hour documentary on the problems IRA and 401(k) account holders face obtaining objective advice and helpful service. Called "The Retirement Gamble," it is narrated by Martin Smith (who admitted his own retirement finances are perilous) and includes personal stories of Americans of different ages who feel inadequately prepared for retirement. It includes insightful interviews with John Bogle, the Department of Labor's Phyllis Borsi and Demos analyst Robert Hiltonsmith.  For clients who feel frustrated making retirement planning progress, the documentary will be an eye-opener. 

The Government Accounting Office report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652881.pdf

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