By  Mon Feb 6, 2012

Government Rules Address Retirement: 5 Things to Know for the Week

A new rule has required providers of 401(k) and pension plans to be more transparent with their costs and relationship with the employer. Another rule hopes to tackle a stressing problem for retirees who worry about outliving their nest egg.

  • More details behind of the concept of Movenbank, the financial startup that aims to revolutionize banking through mobile access and social media, were unveiled. “If you introduced 20 friends, we might add 25 basis points to a savings account, or offer free p-to-p transfers,” co-founder and chairman Brett King told American Banker. Slated for a summer 2012 launch, Movenbank is currently in the private alpha testing stage.
  • Any consumers who’ve signed up for online payday loans should beware. The Federal Trade Commission has shutdown a telemarketing scam that offered fake credit cards to applicants of online payday loans. The cards could only be used at a website created by the fraudsters, while fees were charged. The thieves also withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts since bank information was already available through the payday loan applications.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued a final rule, effective last week, that requires 401(k) and pension plan providers to disclosure the compensation and conflicts of interest involved with clients’ employers. The new law aims to introduce transparency to the market of employer sponsored retirement plans.
  • The U.S. Treasury proposed new regulations that offer more ways for retirees to receive their benefits through flexible income options — an effort to reduce the risk of outliving retirement savings. The proposal will encourage partial annuity options, offer the ability to purchase guaranteed income, and clarify rules for retirement plan rollovers for these income options.
  • Citibank finally comes out with a public notice addressing the tax forms that were sent out to customers who received frequent flier airline miles as part of a summer 2011 promotion. In a Citi blog post, the director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block spells out the difference between airline miles doled out as “gifts” as opposed to “rewards”.

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