GAO SEES TRADEOFFS IN PENSION PLAN ALTERNATIVES

Washington, D.C. - A new study by the Government Accountability Office looked at some of the key risks faced by U.S. workers in accumulating and preserving their pension benefits, the approaches used in other countries, and the risks and trade-offs they represent.

The study noted that U.S. workers face a number of risks in both accumulating and preserving pension benefits. Specifically, workers may not accumulate sufficient retirement income because they are not covered by a defined-benefit or defined-contribution pension plan. About half of the workforce was not covered by a pension plan in 2008.

Furthermore, workers covered by DC plans, in particular, risk making inadequate contributions or earning poor investment returns, while workers with traditional DB plans risk future benefit losses due to a lack of portability if they change jobs.

Several proposals for alternative plan designs in the U.S. incorporate approaches to mitigate the risks faced by workers, such as incentives to increase voluntary coverage or mandating annuitization. However, these also pose trade-offs and costs for workers and employers, and in some cases the federal government.

$14M IN FUNDING FOR APPROVA

Reston, Va. - Approva, a company that develops software for continuously monitoring financial controls at businesses, has completed a $14 million financing round.

Existing investors provided the extra funding, which Approva CEO John Becker said would be used as operating capital for launching the company's next generation of products, expanding its sales channel, and enhancing its marketing programs. Approva's continuous controls monitoring applications help companies identify and respond to business exceptions that affect their performance. Companies are able to identify and prevent cash leaks, reduce fraud, automate compliance obligations and flag accounting errors early. The company said that its software is used at the Big Four audit firms and by corporate customers.

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