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Retirement Security: Improved Guidance Could Help Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets

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[Excerpt] Federal law places few restrictions on the types of investments allowable in tax-favored retirement accounts, such as IRAs or employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. Recent federal and state investigations and litigation have raised questions as to whether investing in unconventional assets may jeopardize the accounts’ tax-favored status, placing account owners’ retirement security at risk. GAO was asked to examine issues related to the potential risks and responsibilities associated with investments in unconventional assets. GAO examined: (1) what is known about the prevalence of accounts that invest in unconventional assets; (2) how these accounts are managed; and (3) what challenges are associated with administering these retirement accounts. GAO reviewed relevant federal laws, regulations, and guidance; analyzed data collected from the retirement industry; analyzed available industry documents; and reviewed 334 related consumer complaints collected from three federal agencies and two independent entities.

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2016-12-01

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retirement security; investment; unconventional assets

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Government Document

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unassigned

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