Can You Afford to Retire?


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Bradley D. Belt
Bradley Belt is the departing Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the federal corporation responsible for insuring the pension plans of private companies.In this interview, Belt discusses the role of the PBGC, its growing budget deficit as more companies unload their underfunded pension plans and the challenges facing employees as they plan for retirement.

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John C. Bogle
He is the founder of Vanguard, one of the world's largest mutual fund firms, and the author of The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism (2005), which addresses "how the financial system undermined social ideals, damaged trust in the markets, robbed investors of trillions -- and what to do about it." In this interview, Bogle discusses why the entire retirement system is faltering and, in particular, criticizes the mutual fund industry for emphasizing salesmanship over stewardship in pushing 401(k) plans. He also warns 401(k) investors about mutual funds' often hidden costs and fees which, over the long term, can consume a huge portion of investors' returns.

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Brooks Hamilton
Brooks Hamilton is founder of Brooks Hamilton & Partners, a firm that designs 401(k) plans for corporate clients such as Neiman Marcus and Frito-Lay. In this interview, Hamilton discusses his long career in the benefits industry, the explosive growth of 401(k) plans and the mutual fund industry in the 1980s and '90s, his discovery of a "yield disparity" in 401(k) plans and how this disparity threatens to undermine the entire 401(k) retirement system.

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Alicia Munnell
Alicia Munnell is a professor at Boston College's Carroll School of Management and the director of its Center for Retirement Research. In this interview, she discusses the baby boomers' prospects for retirement and why, because of the shift from guaranteed pensions to 401(k) plans, many households are financially ill-prepared for life after work. Munnell warns that in many cases, retirees will be working longer in order to make ends meet in retirement.

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Jack VanDerhei
Jack VanDerhei is a faculty member at Temple University and a research fellow at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a Washington-based benefits industry think tank. In this interview, he discusses the rise of 401(k) plans and how EBRI's database of 16.5 million 401(k) records show how much Americans are saving, what they need to be saving, the problems in the 401(k) system, and what can be done to fix them.

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Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren is a professor at Harvard Law School and an expert on bankruptcy. In this interview, she explains the history of pensions in America, how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Chapter 11 bankruptcy -- both of which were designed to protect employees and retirees -- have been exploited to benefit corporations and banks, and the social costs of abandoning traditional lifetime pensions.

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David L. Wray
David L. Wray is President of the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA), a nonprofit advocacy group for 401(k)s. In this interview, Wray discusses why companies are choosing 401(k) plans over traditional lifetime pension plans, what employees need to save for retirement, the problems with 401(k) plans, and how they can be fixed.

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posted may 16, 2006

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