The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower received 5,282 reports in fiscal 2018, an 18% increase compared with fiscal 2017, according to an SEC report to Congress. The agency paid $168 million to 13 whistleblowers in fiscal 2018, up from almost $50 million to 12 individuals in fiscal 2017.
A bill sponsored by five Democratic senators seeks to authorize a 50% annual government match on up to $1,000 invested in a 401(k), IRA, 403(b) or 457(b) government retirement savings plan. If enacted into law, the Encouraging Americans to Save Act would also make the match available to participants in state and local government retirement programs such as OregonSaves.
Despite a strong economy, Americans' confidence about retirement has declined, according to a survey from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and Heart + Mind Strategies. More than 60% of survey respondents said it is more difficult to retire on time now than it was five years ago.
Steve Dreyer, head of the Treasury Department's Federal Insurance Office, will leave today. He has told associates that he has realized work in government is a lot different from the private sector and that "I believe that my experiences can be best applied in other pursuits."
One important factor in clients ensuring their retirement security is "empowering their kids to live financially fulfilling and independent lives," writes Greg Powell of Fi Plan Partners. He offers four tips on this topic for advisors to pass on to their clients.
David Lenok uses characters from Stan Lee's Marvel Universe to discuss issues surrounding elder planning and abuse. Lessons include the importance of guardianship decisions and leveraging technology to improve the lives of elderly clients.
Societal taboos are part of the reason women have less retirement savings than men, argues Marguerita Cheng of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Cheng discusses the idea of "money silence," saying it "prevents women from discussing money matters."
Conference attendees should prepare in advance so they get the most out of conferences, writes Joni Youngwirth of Commonwealth Financial Network. She recommends that attendees read the agenda and choose the sessions they want to attend, go to the conference with questions they want answered, create a plan for networking and minimize smartphone use while at the conference.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has delivered an upbeat assessment on the health of the US economy, saying it has room for further growth. However, he noted potential headwinds from factors including slowing demand from abroad, protectionism and the effects of the end of fiscal stimulus, which could influence the Fed's longer-term policy on interest rates.
One-third of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports. The cost of these plans varies from state to state, with Nevada expected to have the least-expensive plans in 2019, according to one ranking.
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