Retirement Security – Why do workers pay for millionaires’ greed?

RON LIEBER

401(K)'S AND SIMILAR PLANS

When Teachers Face the Task of Fixing Their Retirement Accounts

When the Greenwich Alliance for Education held its annual trivia challenge last week, Carol Sutton worried a bit when the topic turned to finance. Ms. Sutton, the president of the teachers’ union in Greenwich, Conn., and her table full of educators weren’t quite equipped for the question about debentures.

Other tables were quick to answer. It was a reminder, as if she needed one, that for all of the money smarts in the community, which is packed with hedge fund executives, she and her colleagues were still mostly on their own when trying to fix their 403(b) retirement savings plan.

Accounts of this type, which are like 401(k)’s for nonprofit employees, educators and many hospital workers, often come with high fees and problematic investments, as Tara Siegel Bernard and I documented in our Public Sacrifice series last year. This week, Matthew Lesser, a Connecticut state representative who leads the House banking committee, held a hearing on a bill that he had written after reading the articles. He hopes to require more disclosures by retirement plan salespeople of conflicts of interest. READ MORE

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