Is a Roth 401(k) Right for You? –

Roth 401(k) accounts are becoming more prevalent in company-sponsored retirement plans. Whether one is right for you depends on factors including your expectations of future income-tax rates.

As with a traditional 401(k), a Roth 401(k) allows an employee to save up to $16,500 a year. (For those 50 or older, the cap is $22,000.) The difference between the two comes down to the timing of the tax breaks participants receive.

With a traditional 401(k), employees make contributions that reduce their taxable income for the year — and pay income tax on withdrawals. With a Roth, contributions receive no tax break. But withdrawals are generally tax-free.

Currently, 29% of mid-size to large employers offer the Roth (401)k option, which became permanently available to 401(k) plans in 2006, according to Hewitt Associates. An additional 25% say they are likely to add one by year end. Roths are likely to become more popular still thanks to a measure Congress passed Thursday that allows employees to transfer funds to Roth 401(k) accounts from traditional 401(k)s. (Income tax is due in the process.)

via Is a Roth 401(k) Right for You? –

New addition: Global Green Fund | PAX World Mutual Funds

Investment Objective

The Global Green Fund’s investment objective is to seek long term growth of capital by investing in companies whose businesses and technologies focus on mitigating the environmental impacts of commerce.

Principal Investment Strategies

Under The Global Green Fund follows a Sustainable Investing approach, combining rigorous financial analysis with equally rigorous environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis in order to identify investments. Under normal market conditions, the Global Green Fund will invest primarily in equity securities (such as common stocks, preferred stocks, and securities convertible into common or preferred stocks) of companies located around the world, including at least 40% of its net assets in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The Global Green Fund invests in environmental markets—companies whose businesses and technologies focus on mitigating the environmental impacts of commerce, including such areas as alternative energy and energy efficiency; water treatment and pollution control; and waste technology and resource management.

via Global Green Fund | PAX World Mutual Funds.

Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal With Prudential Over Benefits – Bloomberg

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to inform 6 million soldiers and their families of an agreement enabling Prudential Financial Inc. to withhold lump-sum payments of life insurance benefits for survivors of fallen service members, according to records made public through a Freedom of Information request.

The amendment to Prudential’s contract is the first document to show how VA officials sanctioned a payment practice that has spurred investigations by lawmakers and regulators. Since 1999, Prudential has used so-called retained-asset accounts, which allow the company to withhold lump sum payments due to survivors and earn investment income on the money for itself.

The Sept. 1, 2009, amendment to Prudential’s contract with the VA ratified another unpublicized deal that had been struck between the insurer and the government 10 years earlier — one that was never put into writing, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue. This verbal agreement in 1999 provoked concern among top insurance officials of the agency, the documents released in the FOIA request show.

via Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal With Prudential Over Benefits – Bloomberg.