401(k) benefits studied
Pressure is growing to change incentives for retirement savings as U.S. lawmakers look for revenue, and top earners may pay the price.
The budget challenges confronting the federal government are leading to scrutiny of tax-advantaged savings accounts such as 401(k)s because they are among the costliest tax breaks. A Brookings Institution report released Tuesday added to research that recommends curtailing the benefits for top earners to boost U.S. coffers.
“We really need to think hard about whether the dollars we are spending are effective at achieving the goals,” said Karen Dynan, co-director of the economic studies program at Washington-based Brookings and author of the report. “Our existing programs are falling short.”
The benefits reward higher earners who would save anyway while not providing enough incentive for low-income and middle-income earners, Dynan said.
J&J loses lawsuit
Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit failed to properly warn of the risks of a vaginal mesh implant and made fraudulent misrepresentations to a South Dakota nurse who sued, a New Jersey jury ruled.
Jurors ordered J&J to pay $3.35 million to the nurse, Linda Gross, and her husband. Gross, 47, had 18 operations after the device was implanted.
J&J, the world’s biggest seller of health care products, didn’t defectively design the mesh and didn’t make fraudulent misrepresentations to Gross’ doctor, juror ruled. The company failed to warn Gross’ implanting surgeon, the jury said.
The verdict in state court in Atlantic City came in the first of more than 2,100 lawsuits to go to trial over claims that Ethicon’s Gynecare Prolift injured women.
Airline merger hearing
The judge overseeing the bankruptcy of AMR Corp. will hold a hearing to review its planned merger with US Airways Group on March 27, while the court’s assessment of a contentious plan for AMR’s commuter airline unit has been pushed back two weeks to March 12.
The court’s approval is one of several hurdles required to create what would become the world’s largest airline.
The battle over sales of locked iPhones has reached Hong Kong after a telecommunications company filed court documents seeking to contest the practice.
According to court documents filed by a unit of PCCW Ltd., Hong Kong’s dominant telecommunications company, the operator has lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars because Apple’s iPhone 5 doesn’t function on its fourth-generation network.
Most iPhones in the U.S. are sold locked, limiting the ability of consumers to use the device with different carriers.
| Star news services