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HBO Show “Last Week Tonight” Criticizes Management of Worker Retirement Plans

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HBO Show “Last Week Tonight” Criticizes Management of Worker Retirement Plans

Anyone hoping to avoid serious debt problems after they retire may want to check out the latest episode of “Last Week Tonight,” a comedy show that airs on HBO and that is modeled after the extremely popular “Daily Show.” In the most recent episode of “Last Week Tonight,” the show’s host, John Oliver, offered some pretty sound financial advice to people who are currently contributing to retirement plans through their employers.

It has been estimated that U.S. 401(k) plans have $24 trillion in retirement assets. The problem is that this massive amount of untapped money can attract financial services firms that may not always have the workers’ best interests in mind.

On “Last Week Tonight,” a popular HBO series that airs on Sunday nights, John Oliver called the management of worker retirement plans “a potential minefield” and cautioned that workers who are blindly contributing to their 401(k) retirement plans need to start paying attention because their retirement funds are often being depleted by high fees. Moreover, said Oliver, many workers’ retirement funds are not growing at a reasonable rate due to poor management by the financial services firms that oversee them.

Oliver provided a bit of anecdotal evidence to support his point: he noted that the 401(k) plan offered to his own show’s employees came with “asset management fees” of 1.69 percent. Beyond that, each worker was also charged $24 annually, in addition to being charged other fees that went unexplained. Worse yet, said the HBO show host, the broker who handled the workers’ retirement funds also got a one-percent fee during the first year and 0.50 percent every year after that.

All of these fees can add up and seriously drain a worker’s retirement fund over time. Moreover, the lack of transparency when it comes to these retirement asset fees means that all of this can come as quite a shock to a worker who is looking to retire soon and who suddenly realizes that they might not have enough money saved up for retirement.

For more information, read the article, “John Oliver Says These Retirement Savings Mistakes Could Really Mess You Up.”


If you find yourself struggling with debt and could use a little help, whether it’s seeking out debt relief options or filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy and debt management lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP can assist you. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.

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