401khelpcenter.com Logo

Insights: Trends, Research, and White Papers

To subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, enter your email address below then click the "Join" button.

Email Address:


Global DC Pension Assets Exceed DB Assets for First Time

Abstract: The report also found that DC assets now account for over 50% of total assets across the seven largest pension markets, for the first time. This continues the trend of DC growing at a faster pace over the last ten years, with DC assets growing by 8.9%, while defined benefit assets have grown by 4.6% during this time.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, February 2019

Retirees Say They Live as Well or Better in Retirement Than During Their Working Years

Abstract: More than two-thirds of retirees say they live as well or better in retirement as they did when they were working, according to a recent study focused on retirees conducted by T. Rowe Price. Meanwhile, only 39 percent of current workers believe they will live as well or better in retirement.

Source: Troweprice.com, February 2019

Financial Wellness Programs Take Center Stage with Employers

Abstract: Five years ago, employers were just starting to provide workers with financial benefits beyond their retirement plan, but now financial wellness appears to be firmly entrenched in the benefits space, according to a recent report. Nearly two-thirds of employers say they are very likely to take steps in 2019 to create or focus on the financial wellbeing of their workers in ways that go beyond retirement savings.

Source: Napa-net.org, February 2019

Workers Aren't Aware of a Valuable Tax Credit Available to Retirement Savers

Abstract: Most American workers are unaware of an important tax credit that may help them save for retirement. The Saver's Credit, also referred to as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit by the IRS, is available to eligible taxpayers who are saving for retirement. Unfortunately, 62 percent of workers are unaware of the credit, according to survey findings from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. p>

Source: Prnewswire.com, January 2019

DC Plan Sponsors Seek to Keep Assets in Their Plans

Abstract: Study looks at how retirement plans have changed since it first conducted its survey of employers 10 years ago, as well as retirement plan sponsors' top goals for their plans in 2019. The top three goals for 2019 include expanding financial wellbeing programs, keeping retirees' assets in the plan and locating missing participants. Sixty-one percent say the threat of lawsuits prevents them from being more innovative with their defined contribution plan.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2019

Plan Enhancements Drive Record Retirement Savings Rates

Abstract: Research from the Plan Sponsor of America finds that employers are making significant plan design enhancements that are likely driving the record contribution rates. The increases in retirement contributions from both plan participants and plan sponsors confirm the positive impact of company-sponsored retirement savings plans. The survey also finds that a larger percentage of eligible employees are participating in their plan. The percentage of eligible employees with an account balance has increased by more than six percentage points in the last 10 years.

Source: Psca.org, January 2019

How Much of a 401k Should be Allocated to Annuities?

Abstract: At current annuity rates, EBRI finds purchasing a DIA at age 65, deferring 20 years with no death benefits, results in an overall improvement in retirement readiness for all ages of death combined, when DIA purchases were up to 20 percent of the 401k balance. However, there is an overall decrease in retirement readiness for DIA purchases starting at 25 percent due in part to the interaction with long-term care costs.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2019

What's Driving Record 401k Savings Rates?

Abstract: While a strong economy and better education and awareness are no doubt factors, PSCA finds that employers are making significant plan design enhancements that are likely driving the record contribution rates. They include higher default rates, more generous matches and earlier plan eligibility.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2019

LIMRA Expects Greater DC Plan Access to Annuities by 2020

Abstract: LIMRA anticipates equity markets will slow modestly this year, while interest rates will continue to rise; the organization expects these conditions to promote growth in annuity purchases by long-term investors.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2019

Optimal Number of 401k Investment Categories Between 12 and 20 Study Says

Abstract: Offering fewer than 12 categories may mean participants are not being given sufficient opportunity to diversify, and offering more than 20 could lead to lower average investment in each fund, which may cause higher fees, ERISApedia.com says.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2019

More Pay? Nah. Employees Prefer Benefits

Abstract: By a four-to-one margin (80 percent to 20 percent), workers would choose a job with benefits over an identical job that offered 30% more salary with no benefits, according to the American Institute of CPAs, which released the results of its 2018 Employee Benefit Report, a poll this spring of 2,026 U.S. adults (1,115 of whom are employed) about their views on workplace benefits.

Source: Voya.com, January 2019

Fees Remain the Focus for DC Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Defined contribution plan sponsors are continuing their intense scrutiny of fees, according to Callan's 2019 Defined Contribution Trends Survey, while also adding participant communication and financial wellness as top priorities for this year.

Source: Callan.com, January 2019

2019 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing

Abstract: The 32-page 2019 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing report is based on an annual survey that Alight Solutions administers to employers in an effort to capture the changes they intend to make to their retirement and financial wellbeing plans in the year ahead. The 2019 version is the 15th installment of the report and comes from the responses of nearly 175 organizations that employ 7.6 million workers. The survey was administered in the fall of 2018.

Source: Alight.com, January 2019

Research Finds 4 in 10 Small Businesses Currently Offer Retirement Benefits

Abstract: Research shows Americans' top financial concern is affording a comfortable retirement and access to a workplace savings plan is the most effective way to get people to start to save for retirement. However, when it comes to small businesses (2-99 employees) only 42 percent offer retirement benefits. The good news is that the research finds 40 percent of small business employers feel retirement benefits are more important now than three years ago.

Source: Limra.com, January 2019

Closing the Retirement Savings Coverage Gap - Multiple Employer Plans

Abstract: The retirement coverage gap can and should be narrowed. While a variety of solutions are possible, there is a growing consensus in Washington that one of the broadest and most expedient ways would be to expand access to multiple employer plans, or MEPs, for small employers and their employees. This 12-page paper outlines the legislative and regulatory actions that would be needed to broaden access to MEPs. It also describes the features that a model MEP might incorporate.

Source: Prudential.com, December 2018

What Do Participants Want in Their Investments?

Abstract: When it comes to investing for retirement, a frequently asked question is, "How do defined contribution plan participants make decisions regarding their investment elections?" Very often, participants do not possess the technical skills to assess the appropriateness of an investment for their DC portfolio. Therefore, it is important to understand what characteristics of an investment they value most and least.

Source: Napa-net.org, December 2018

The Impact of Employee Financial Health at Work

Abstract: Survey shows a clear relationship between employees' financial worries and their work performance, engagement and absence. Specifically, the survey finds that employees who are financially struggling: Lose 41% more work time to absence than peers without financial worries; Have lower engagement levels than peers without financial worries (51% vs 29%); and, Are less productive compared with peers without financial worries (32% vs. 5%).

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, December 2018

Most Retirees Say Employers Did Nothing to Help With Retirement Transition

Abstract: A survey of 2,043 retirees by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies shows two-thirds (66%) say their most recent employers did "nothing" to help pre-retirees' transition into retirement, and 16% are "not sure" what their employers did. Among the 18% of retirees whose employers helped pre-retirees, the most frequently cited offerings are financial counseling about retirement (6%), seminars and education about transitioning into retirement (5%), the ability to reduce work hours and shift from full- to part-time (5%), and accommodating flexible work schedules and arrangements (5%).

Source: Plansponsor.com, December 2018

How Trust in Financial Institutions Affects Retirement Plan Participation

Abstract: Most workers at small to mid-size businesses trust information from their banks and credit unions, but those who do not may be less likely to participate in a retirement savings plan if offered one, according to a survey by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, December 2018

Is There a Future for Financial Wellness Programs?

Abstract: Financial wellness programs were greeted with great hopes when they first debuted. But is the prognosis for their long-term success starting to flag? Amid signs that such programs have not been as impactful as expected, this white paper takes a 360-degree look at three sets of stakeholders -- plan sponsors, plan participants and retirement plan advisors -- to construct a clearer picture of the state of financial wellness initiatives.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, December 2018

Employers Must Act Ahead of Retirement Wave

Abstract: According to Willis Towers Watson, just over 80% of organizations acknowledge the importance of their older workers and managing the retirement process; however, only about half believe they understand the process well, and just one-quarter feel they have found an effective approach.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2018

Study Highlights Important Trends and Implications for Target-Date Fund Design

Abstract: An ongoing study of how real-life participant saving patterns interact with target-date design continues to show that suboptimal participant behaviors and the consequent increase in cash flow volatility remain much more prevalent than many plan sponsors might expect. This series of three articles discusses findings and the steps plan sponsors can take to place participants on a path to a more secure retirement.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, December 2018

The Winding Road to Retirement - Financial Stress Survey

Abstract: John Hancock announced the results of its annual Financial Stress Survey of 1,352 retirement plan participants, revealing a majority of workers (69 percent) are stressed over their finances, costing companies approximately $2,000 per employee. Most respondents (72 percent) admitted to worrying about personal finances while at work, with one-third doing so more than once per week.

Source: Jhrps.com, December 2018

Retirement 2020 Study

Abstract: There is a sea change underway in the retirement industry. As many as five different generations are now participating in retirement plans. New technologies are emerging to engage participants and streamline back-office operations. All the while, the regulatory environment continues to shift with new and proposed rules. Amidst dramatic change lies unprecedented opportunity.

Source: Broadridge.com, December 2018

How Have Workers Responded to Oregon's Auto-IRA?

Abstract: To assess the overall impact of an auto-IRA, one would need comprehensive financial data for a household, including debt, income, and saving over a long period of time. But an early look can still be useful, so this 10-page paper examines the experience of Oregon to date, which recently became the first state to implement an auto-IRA program (called OregonSaves). The goal is to answer a limited question: how do workers who gain access to an auto-IRA initially interact with the program?

Source: Bc.edu, December 2018

A Close Look at ERISA 403b Plans

Abstract: This 68-page report analyzes 403b plans in the Department of Labor 2015 Form 5500 Research File. The focus then shifts to nearly 4,000 audited 403b plans in the BrightScope Defined Contribution Plan Database, which have at least $1 million in plan assets and typically 100 participants or more.

Source: Ici.org, December 2018

Latino Workers Need Far Better Access to DC Plans

Abstract: Working in collaboration with Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, the National Institute on Retirement Security has published a detailed analysis of the challenges facing Latino workers in the U.S. as they save and invest for retirement.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2018

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, First Half 2018

Abstract: Key Findings of this 12-page report include: DC plan withdrawal activity in the first half of 2018 remained low and was similar to the activity observed in the first half of 2017; The vast majority of DC plan participants continued contributing to their plans in 2018; Most DC plan participants stayed the course with their asset allocations as stock values generally rose during the first six months of the year; and, DC plan participants' loan activity was little changed at the end of June 2018.

Source: Ici.org, December 2018

Boomers Find Reasons to Retire Later

Abstract: It is one of "the most significant labor market trends" in the United States, says Wellesley College researcher Courtney Coile. She's referring to big increases since the 1980s and 1990s in the share of older Americans in the labor force, including one in three men in their late 60s. Given the implications of this trend for retirement security -- the longer people work, the better off they'll be -- Coile and many other researchers have investigated what's driving it. They agree on several things that are changing the retirement calculation.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2018

Nine Issues 401ks May Face in 2019, and What to Do About Them

Abstract: In an era when Americans are responsible for funding their own retirement through the 401k and similar plans, inherent risks are involved. Willis Towers Watson identifies several and offers solutions in its recent report.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, December 2018

Survey Highlight the Power of Financial Advice

Abstract: Voya has released new research that examines Americans' retirement preparation efforts. The results also identify ways that working with a financial advisor can help Americans make wiser, more-informed decisions. The transition into retirement involves various financial, emotional and social choices, and a financial advisor can act as a sounding board, helping his or her clients make pivotal decisions and setting them on the right path toward success.

Source: Voya.com, November 2018

How Student Loan Debt Impacts Retirement Savings

Abstract: Student debt may play a large part in the finances of these young (and even not-so-young) employees. That's why a complete picture of employee financial wellness should consider it. In addition, carrying student debt may play a role in how much workers are saving for their eventual retirement. Both of these are good reasons for employers to take an interest in the impact of student debt on their workforce.

Source: Tra401k.com, November 2018

Trends in Retirement Security by Race/Ethnicity

Abstract: This paper uses the National Retirement Risk Index to assess the retirement security of today's working-age households. The earnings and wealth gaps between whites and minorities are enormous. The question is how these disparities translate to retirement preparedness.

Source: Bc.edu, November 2018

Significant Disconnect Exists Between Employers and Employees on Saving for Retirement

Abstract: The survey results show a significant disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to saving for retirement. While 88 percent of employees think it's important to have retirement plans when choosing a new employer, just 67 percent of small business employers think it's important to have a retirement program for employees.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2018

Taxpayers Generally Comply With Annual Contribution Limits for 401k Plans; Additional Efforts Could Further Improve Compliance

Abstract: Analysis of IRS records showed that the vast majority of taxpayers are complying with tax laws designed to limit the annual amount of compensation that can be contributed to 401k retirement plans. Nonetheless, two areas in which compliance could be improved were identified: 1) some 401k plans did not prevent taxpayers from exceeding the annual limit, and 2) some taxpayers exceed annual limits when contributing to multiple 401k plans.

Source: Oversight.gov, November 2018

Consistent 401k Participation Leads to Higher Account Balances

Abstract: The average 401k plan account balance of "consistent 401k participants" -- those who remained active in the same 401k plans from year-end 2010 through year-end 2016 --- more than doubled in that period, according to new data published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: Ebri.org, November 2018

Many Retirees Fail to Consider Effect of Taxes

Abstract: Thirty-seven percent of retirees admit they did not consider how taxes would impact their retirement income, a Nationwide Retirement Institute survey found. As a result, the institute says, they may have lost the opportunity to save six years’ worth of income in retirement.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2018

How Do Fees Affect Plans' Ability to Beat Their Benchmarks?

Abstract: Plans compare their returns by asset class to selected benchmarks that reflect their investment goals for the asset class. Plans pay fees to external asset managers with the expectation that the managers will exceed these benchmarks. As such, this paper focuses on the benchmarks to assess the role of fees. The question is whether higher fees help or hinder the ability for a plan to outperform its chosen benchmarks.

Source: Bc.edu, October 2018

Strong Market Returns Fail to Reduce Workers' Financial Stress

Abstract: After two years of strong stock market returns, people are significantly more likely to say they are in excellent financial health and ahead of schedule in saving for retirement than they were in 2016. Despite this optimism, however, they also report significantly more stress, especially financially related stress, driven primarily by growing debt. Savings-related benefits like 401ks and health savings accounts help employees feel better about their financial well-being, but the data indicate many either do not fully understand the benefit or have overestimated their success using it.

Source: Lockton.com, October 2018

Businesses Play Pivotal Role in Preparing Workers for Retirement, Study Shows

Abstract: A new report from Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust details the specific features of a well-designed 401k plan that are most effective in helping employees amass the savings they need to replace 80 percent of their income in retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2018*

Perspectives to Help Drive Better Retirement Outcomes

Abstract: This 44-page report draws on data about the behaviors of more than four million retirement plan eligible employees. This analysis, in conjunction with key findings from the behavioral finance field, provides useful guidance for how plan sponsors can be effective in helping their employees achieve a more successful retirement.

Source: Wellsfargomedia.com, October 2018

Seven Attributes of an Excellent DC Plan

Abstract: How does our retirement plan compare to others? This is a common question when an organization evaluates key characteristics of its defined contribution retirement plan. Plan sponsors and their advisors often benchmark their plans against industry averages to see how they measure up. But, is that what they should strive for -- being average -- or should they aim higher?

Source: Russellinvestments.com, October 2018

Boomers Express Confidence in Their 401k Plans

Abstract: Recognizing the fact that November will mark the 40th anniversary of the legislation that paved the way for 401k plans, Charles Schwab conducted a survey of Baby Boomers' attitudes towards their 401k plans. Schwab notes that Boomers are the first generation to have access to a 401k plan for a majority of their career. Seventy-five percent of Boomers said they believe their 401k plan is in better shape now than ever before.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

Millennials Give Retirement Saving a Low Priority

Abstract: Retirement clearly is not a priority for far too many young working adults. Large minorities of the 22- to 37-year-olds who responded to a recent LendEdu survey said their retirement saving every month amounts to less than they spend on various categories of consumer goods. Nearly half of them report they spend more on dining out than on retirement saving. Almost one in three spend more on alcohol or new clothes, and one in four spend more on streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify. What that indicates is that a lot of them aren't saving very much.

Source: Bc.edu, October 2018

DC Plan Advisors Are Leveling Up

Abstract: The DC plan market is increasingly dynamic with a variety of industry forces and innovations at play, and so, too, is the makeup of the DC advisor population. Findings from our newly released Retirement Plan Advisor TrendsTM report reveal important changes in the profile of financial advisors who are active in the DC space, affecting the business relationships these advisors have with plan providers and investment managers.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2018

Only One in Three Workers are on Track to Retire Comfortably by Age 67

Abstract: If current employee savings trends continue, half of workers will need to wait for retirement until at least age 70 to be considered financially prepared, according to findings from The Real Deal: 2018 Retirement Income Adequacy study released by Aon.

Source: Aon.com, October 2018

How Low Expected Returns Impact 401k Participant Behavior

Abstract: How workers will react to its next resurgence, specifically in retirement saving, is the subject of a new paper from three highly-regarded academics, Vanya Horneff, Raimond Maurer and Wharton's Olivia Mitchell.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2018

Private Sector Workers and Access to DC Retirement Plans

Abstract: 51 percent of private industry workers had access to only defined contribution retirement plans through their employer. An additional 13 percent had access to both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans at their workplace, while 4 percent of private industry workers had access to only defined benefit retirement plans.

Source: Bls.gov, October 2018

DC Plan Customization to Drive Next Wave of Innovation

Abstract: The defined contribution world is poised for change. It will take time -- $20 trillion systems aren't transformed overnight -- but don't let that fool you into underestimating just how big the change will be. This article reviews some of the themes to watch for.

Source: Pionline.com, October 2018

A Key to Strengthening Retirement Security: Return to Designing Retirement Plans Focused on Lifetime Income Strategies

Abstract: If the goal of a retirement plan is to help each participant generate enough income in retirement to maintain his or her standard of living, or at least meet their basic needs in retirement, the retirement plan should be designed to address the risk that the participant will be unable to replace an adequate percentage of preretirement income. If retirement security is the goal, the amount of assets that participants accumulate is less important than the amount of income the participants can generate from those assets in retirement.

Source: Georgetown.edu, September 2018

Millennial Self-Directed 401k Investors Allocate More to ETFs Than Do Other Generations

Abstract: According to Charles Schwab's 10-page SDBA Indicators Report™ Millennials allocated a larger percentage of their portfolios to ETFs and cash than did other generations during the second quarter of 2018, while mutual funds remained the largest holding in the accounts of all generations.

Source: Schwab.com, September 2018

Approaching the Decumulation Phase of Retirement

Abstract: This 21-page white paper examines trends and the latest studies regarding how retirees spend their savings, and offers suggestions and analysis on potential strategies.

Source: Pentegra.com, September 2018

Annual 403b Retirement Plan Survey: Organizations Adopting Best Practice Plan Designs

Abstract: Organizations that sponsor 403b plans are accelerating adoption of plan automatic features to improve plan design and participant outcomes, according to the 2018 403b Plan Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America. The report also confirms more organizations are working with advisors. This year marks the 10th year of the survey and significant trends have emerged over that period.

Source: Psca.org, September 2018

Have CITs in 401k Plans Reached a Tipping Point?

Abstract: Collective investment trusts have long been heralded as "the next big thing" in the DC industry, but a new report suggests that, in recent years, the market has turned a corner. The third quarter 2018 issue of The Cerulli Edge-U.S. Retirement Edition finds that CIT adoption is finally experiencing a meaningful increase.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2018

How Much to Save for Retirement is a Question that Puzzles Most Employees

Abstract: A new study from Schwab Retirement Plan Services reveals that if they could travel back in time, two out of three retirement plan participants would sacrifice past spending on things like dining out, expensive clothing, new cars, and vacations to save more for their post-working years. The question of how much to save for retirement now needs to be dovetailed with unexpected expenses like home repairs, and "quality of life" spending. These become top obstacles when saving for retirement.

Source: 401ktv.com, September 2018

Retirement in America - Out of Reach for Most Americans?

Abstract: The analysis finds that overall, four out of five working Americans have less than one year's income saved in retirement accounts. Also, 77 percent of Americans fall short of conservative retirement savings targets for their age based on working until age 67 even after counting an individual's entire net worth, a generous measure of retirement savings. Moreover, a large majority of working Americans cannot meet even a substantially reduced savings target.

Source: Nirsonline.org, September 2018

Study Finds Strong Correlations Between Company Financial Performance Quality of Their 401k

Abstract: Study found a strong correlation between corporate financial performance and overall 401k plan quality, regardless of a company's industry or retirement plan size. The study also found significant correlations between four success metrics of a 401k plan and four measures of corporate profitability.

Source: Troweprice.com, September 2018

Employees Not Realizing the Importance of Debt Control in Retirement Planning

Abstract: Although a majority of workers thought workplace financial well-being programs would be either very or somewhat helpful in better preparing or saving for retirement, fewer than half of workers thought debt counseling or budgeting help would be helpful, EBRI found.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2018

Understanding and Achieving Participant Financial Wellness

Abstract: This survey of retirement plan participants was conducted to better understand participant financial wellness and factors that contribute to -- or impede -- the ability to become financially well. A total of 12,211 retirement plan participants answered questions about financial wellness, ancillary wellness factors -- such as working with financial professionals -- and education preferences. Report is 12-pages.

Source: Oneamerica.com, August 2018

Plan Recordkeeper Data Show Ongoing Commitment to Retirement Saving

Abstract: The latest DC recordkeeper data indicate that plan participants remain committed to saving and investing, as nearly all continued contributing to their plans in the first quarter of 2018. Only 1.1 percent of DC plan participants stopped contributing during this period.

Source: Ici.org, August 2018

New Survey Shows 401k Participants Would Like More Guidance

Abstract: New research from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. reveals that, despite having a positive outlook for retirement, American workers regret past spending and are concerned about being able to ultimately save enough for their golden years. The nationwide survey of 1,000 401k plan participants finds that while 70 percent believe their quality of life in retirement will be better than that of both their parents and their children, saving for retirement is still their number one source of financial stress (40%).

Source: Schwab.com, August 2018

2018 401k Participant Survey

Abstract: This online survey of 1,000 401k participants was conducted by Logica Research for Schwab Retirement Plan Services. Survey finds that while American workers are proactive about reaching retirement goals, they could benefit from professional financial help.

Source: Schwab.com, August 2018

DC Plan Participants' Activities, First Quarter 2018

Abstract: Survey finds that DC plan withdrawal activity in the first quarter of 2018 remained low and was like the first quarter in the prior year. Most DC plan participants also stayed the course with their asset allocations as stock values edged down during the first three months of the year.

Source: Ici.org, August 2018

DC Plan Executives Get Serious About Playing Games

Abstract: Defined contribution plan executives, providers, tech firms, and academics are all giving "gamification" techniques a closer look in hopes of driving participant engagement, financial literacy, and finding ways to get more employees thinking about and preparing for their financial future.

Source: Pionline.com, August 2018

IRS Private Letter Ruling Will Help Clear the Way for 401k Plan Student Loan Benefits

Abstract: The IRS released a private letter ruling which will help clear the way for employers to provide a new type of student loan repayment benefit as part of their 401(k) plans. This ruling is important because many employers have been looking for ways to help their employees manage student loan repayment obligations, but to date the options available for doing so have been rather limited.

Source: Mwe.com, August 2018

Survey: Plan Sponsor Attitudes

Abstract: This plan sponsor attitudes study reveals that the top concern of plan sponsors is whether the plan is effectively preparing employees for retirement financially (33 percent), whereas in 2017 the focus was on reducing business costs related to the plan (32 percent). To help employees achieve their savings goals, many sponsors are making changes to plan design (82 percent) and investment menus (83 percent).

Source: Fidelity.com, August 2018

2018 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey Findings

Abstract: This survey reveals that, although participants are making progress and gaining confidence overall, more work is needed. In a series of three articles, J.P. Morgan discusses their findings and the steps plan sponsors can take to further strengthen their plans.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, August 2018

Living on Easy Street in Retirement? Study Reveals Shaky Sense of Confidence

Abstract: About 64 percent of workers today say they think they will be able to retire comfortably, but when asked specific questions about being able to pay for health care and other long-term security issues, it's hard to understand where the confidence comes from. According to the 'Retirement Confidence' survey, only 1 in 5 workers and 4 in 10 retirees have actually done the math.

Source: Workforce.com, August 2018

Understanding and Solving the Problem of Women's 401k Cashout Leakage

Abstract: The data indicates that women with small 401k balances cash out much more frequently than their male counterparts. However, as women';s 401k balances grow, they become more likely than men to preserve their retirement savings. These behaviors suggest that a program of retirement savings portability could incubate women's small 401k balances, allowing them to more effectively grow their savings to higher balance levels.

Source: Wiserwomen.org, August 2018

Protecting Employee Benefit Plans With Cyber Insurance

Abstract: This article outlines reasons employers should consider obtaining cyber insurance, protections that a plan should include, possible drawbacks, and best practices for finding the plan with the appropriate coverage.

Source: Spencerfane.com, August 2018

Demographic Differences in the Language and Imagery of Retirement

Abstract: This empirical study was conducted to understand people's perspectives toward retirement and to describe how views differ between people of various characteristics. Using the results of this analysis, financial planners can better address clients' emotional needs, rather than solely focusing on rational financial planning.

Source: Onefpa.org, August 2018

Potential vs. Realized Savings Under Automatic Enrollment

Abstract: While automatic enrollment in employer retirement plans has been shown to vastly increase plan participation, many employees tend to withdraw some or all of their account balances before retirement – offsetting automatic enrollment’s positive effect. This study gauges how automatic enrollment influenced savings plan loans and withdrawals at a Fortune 500 financial services firm and how pre-retirement withdrawals affected employees’ retirement plan balances over time.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, July 2018

Americans Have Been Saving Much More Than Thought, New Data Show

Abstract: U.S. households have been socking away a lot more money in recent years than had been earlier thought, revised government statistics released on Friday showed. The saving rate over 2016 and 2017 is now pegged at an average 6.7 percent, up from a previously reported 4.2 percent.

Source: Bloomberg.com, July 2018

Target-Date Funds the Engine Powering Continued Growth

Abstract: Defined contribution money managers reported a large jump in target-date assets under management to $1.44 trillion as of Dec. 31, up 30.5% from the end of 2016, according to Pensions & Investments' annual survey. Consultants cited target-date strategies' prominence as default investment options, the increased use of auto features, and positive market returns in 2017 as contributors to those funds' growth.

Source: Pionline.com, July 2018

Financially Stressed Workers Likely to Draw on Retirement Plans

Abstract: The impact of financial stress can lead to impaired focus, health, performance, and unintended consequences in the workplace. It is also causing employees to partake in rather risky money behavior: tapping into their 401k or other retirement savings in an attempt to get back on track.

Source: Voya.com, July 2018

401k Participant Disclosures - What Employers Need to Know

Abstract: 401k plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility to distribute certain information to plan participants from time to time. These important participant disclosures can also be many and spread throughout the year, which can make their distribution seem like an overwhelming fiduciary responsibility. This is a description of the various participant disclosures that can apply to a participant-directed 401k plan with guidelines for their distribution.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, July 2018

401k Savers Make Little Progress

Abstract: Despite the mounting pressures on Americans of all ages to save for retirement, our saving habits haven't changed in 10 years. The combined employer and employee contributions to 401ks consistently hover around 10 percent of workers' pay, according to "How America Saves 2018," an annual report by Vanguard, which administers thousands of employer 401ks and other defined contribution plans. Retirement account balances aren't going up either.

Source: Bc.edu, July 2018

A Top Factor That Determines Happiness in Retirement Has Nothing to do With Money

Abstract: Most people accept that the U.S. has a retirement savings crisis. The facts and figures illustrating this crunch are so profuse you can pick them off like low-hanging fruit on a tree. But there are other, less well-known, aspects to retirement beyond finances that weigh heavily on the joy you'll derive from the last third of your life.

Source: Bankrate.com, July 2018

Retirement Confidence Improving, But Effects From Great Recession Linger

Abstract: Many American workers are still recovering from the Great Recession, but most are focused on saving for retirement and have varying degrees of confidence they will be able to retire comfortably, according to a comprehensive study on worker perspectives.

Source: Asppa.org, July 2018

Millennials Benefiting From Retirement Plan Modernization

Abstract: Millennials are the first generation to fully benefit from improvements made to retirement plans over the last decade, according to a survey from the Empower Institute. They are on track to replace 75% of their income in retirement, compared to 64% for Americans overall, 61% for Gen Xers and 58% for Baby Boomers.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2018

Is Your Plan Offering the Right Capital Preservation Option?

Abstract: Stable value funds are popular as a conservative investment option in defined contribution retirement savings plans. More so since regulations impacting money market funds took effect in 2016. To learn more about stable value's enduring appeal and why it makes sense in today's investment climate, PLANSPONSOR spoke with MetLife.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2018

Why Plan Participant Education Is Essential

Abstract: Plan participants often lack a solid understanding of what drives the success of their retirement savings, and increasingly, their unawareness is leaving them unprepared to leave work. Participant education is a crucial component of accountable sponsorship. This article discusses how to begin a consistent, effective program of participant education.

Source: Planpilot.com, July 2018

2018 Retirement Preparedness Study

Abstract: Many retirees are enjoying a secure retirement, but many pre-retirees envision that the "dream retirement" is becoming more elusive. This study explores how well individuals are preparing for retirement and how they are responding to the challenges they face.

Source: Pgim.com, July 2018

Simplifying 401k Choices Doesn't Help Employees Enroll

Abstract: Simplifying choices related to 401ks doesn't seem to help employees enroll in a plan or improve the amount they contribute, according to a recent IZA Institute of Labor Economics study. Data from the study suggest that simplifying the presentation of retirement-plan information to employees is unlikely to result in vastly improved retirement-planning choices.

Source: Wealthmanagement.com, July 2018

Millennials All but Paralyzed by Money-Related Stress

Abstract: Finances are causing stress for many Americans, but Millennials might be freaking out most. According to a recent study, far more Millennials (40 percent) point to money as a primary source of stress than those who blame work (18 percent), health (10 percent) and even politics (6 percent).

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2018

Do Young Adults With Student Debt Save Less for Retirement?

Abstract: Student loan payments leave young adults entering the workforce with less money available to save. Even if the payments are manageable, the lingering presence of a student loan may loom large over other financial decisions, including retirement saving. This 9-pages paper, based on a recent study, examines the relationship between student loans and retirement saving.

Source: Bc.edu, June 2018

Rethinking Millennial Retirement: Policy Recommendations for a Gig Economy

Abstract: This 43-page policy proposal is made up of three parts: The Multiple Employer Plan IRA, an expansion of the Saver’s Credit, and retirement planning resources and courses for college students. Millennials face a myriad of challenges in saving for retirement. The paper discusses the pressure that Social Security faces in coming years, important factors contributing to the current state of millennial retirement, how the gig economy prevents accessibility to tax-advantaged retirement plans, and past efforts to reform the way Americans save for retirement.

Source: Wiserwomen.org, June 2018

The Economics of Providing 401k Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2017

Abstract: Maintaining a 401k plan involves a variety of services, and the costs of these services are generally shared by the plan sponsor and the plan participants. This 32-page report, published in June, 2018, looks at the economics of providing 401k plans including services, fees, and expenses.

Source: Ici.org, June 2018

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Participant Education

Abstract: This 17-page white paper examines best practices for a plan sponsor in designing education and engagement programs to improve participants' financial wellness and long-term retirement outcomes. Whether plan sponsors are working alone or with an education provider, the paper offers guidance on how to build and implement a successful program that reaches their employees.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, June 2018

Press Center | Glossary | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Us

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.