Filed under: Retirement

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Social Security to stop mailing statements

Social Security statements mailed each year. (Tribune)

Those yearly statements that Social Security mails out — here’s what you’d get if you retired at 62, at 66, at 70 — will soon stop arriving in workers’ mailboxes. It’s an effort to save money and steer more people to the agency’s website. Get the full story »

Poll: Most Baby Boomers have retirement fears

Baby boomers are starting to retire, but many are agonizing about their finances and believe they’ll need to work longer than they had planned, a new poll finds. Get the full story »

Stock gains bolster public pension coffers

Public pension assets rose 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 as stock market gains helped pensions continue to recover from the financial crisis, a federal agency reported Thursday. Get the full story »

Illinois pension crisis eludes easy solutions

Lawmakers in Illinois say they may try to fix the state’s ailing pension system by asking current workers to pay more into the plan, though the approach faces substantial legal and political obstacles.

The lawmakers are also entertaining the politically difficult idea of applying broader pension changes made this year for newly hired employees to current workers. Those include raising the retirement age and scaling back on annual cost-of-living raises.

Whatever approach is embraced, it remains unclear whether such strategies would fix the Illinois system, which is 45 percent funded. That makes it the most under-funded state plan in the U.S., according to Moody’s Investor’s Service. Get the full story »

Most workers have saved just $25,000 for retirement

Most Americans have less than $25,000 saved up for retirement, putting retirement confidence at record lows.

More than a quarter, or 27 percent, of workers say they are “not at all confident“ about retirement, according to an annual survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates Inc. That’s up from 22 percent last year, which was the lowest level recorded in the two decades the survey has been conducted. Get the full story »

Cullerton looks at taxing retirement income

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton today suggested the state should start taxing the retirement income of senior citizens who are able to afford it.

The state does not currently tax pensions or retirement funds such as 401(k) plans, but Cullerton told a City Club of Chicago luncheon that should take place as part of an overall look at what he said was Illinois’ “outdated” tax system.

GAO finds problems in 401(k) account management

The U.S. General Accountability Office has told regulators that companies managing retirement plans should disclose more about fees they are paid for investments they recommend.

It was the second time in a week that the GAO has looked into 401(k) plan administration and found cause for concern. It warned last week of confusion that could result from the use of target date funds. Get the full story »

Illinois bonds, budget in muni market spotlight

Illinois’ lingering fiscal problems will be center stage in the U.S. municipal bond market next week as the state sells $3.7 billion of bonds and as its governor unveils a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Get the full story »

Affluent women worry about outliving money

Affluent women expect to be more active than their male counterparts in retirement, but they are also more worried about outliving their money, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch study.

The vast majority of affluent baby boomers believe their retirement will be more active and prosperous than that of their parents, the quarterly survey found. Get the full story »

Daley unveils pension proposal for firefighters, cops

Mayor Richard Daley’s administration unveiled a plan Friday for police and fire pension reform that would increase employee contributions as part of a package it hopes would save Chicago property taxpayers $240 million per year compared to a bill Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law earlier this month.

Older workers more optimistic about retirement

Cracks in their financial nest eggs mean plenty of older workers are asking to stay on the job longer, but mature employees are more optimistic about their retirement prospects than a year ago, according to a new survey

Last year, 72 percent of workers age 60 and older said they were putting off retirement because they couldn’t afford it but this year that number is down to 65 percent, according to a survey of 500 people released Wednesday by CareerBuilder. Get the full story »

SEC launches inquiry into Illinois pensions

By Monique Garcia and Kathy Bergen | The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an inquiry into the state’s financial disclosures about potential savings expected from the pension reforms enacted last spring, Gov. Patrick Quinn’s office confirmed Tuesday morning.

“This is not an investigation, this is an inquiry,” said Kelly Kraft, the governor’s budget spokeswoman. “The SEC has stated this is not an indication of any violation. We feel our disclosures have always been accurate and complete.” Get the full story »

Those with jobs spending more freely

A steady decline in layoffs is giving the vast majority of adults who have jobs the confidence to spend more freely and help energize the economy. They no longer worry so much about losing their jobs.

Their renewed confidence has boosted retail sales — just what’s needed to spark what economists call a “virtuous cycle”: Higher consumer spending raises company profits, which spurs hiring, which fuels more spending and growth. Get the full story »

Atwood: Pension bill should pass to keep funding through 2011

From Bloomberg TV | The executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investments, which manages about one-fifth of Illinois’ pension funds, told Bloomberg TV on Monday that Illinois will have to figure out how to fund pensions in 2012, and also discussed the possibility that Illinois lawmakers may approve a plan to sell $3.7 billion of bonds to fund the state’s pension contributions.

Illinois named worst state for retirement

Plenty of folks are aware of the best states for retirees. But what are the 10 worst states in which to spend your golden years?

People of Illinois, California, New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nevada — you probably already know the answer. The list, with Illinois leading the pack, comes from website

According to John Brady, president of, the 10 states earn this dubious distinction largely because of three factors: fiscal health, taxation and climate. Get the full story »