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Could There Be Unintended Consequences to Putting Off Retirement?

Abstract: Mandatory retirement policies are mostly illegal in the US, but their disappearance has become a point of concern for those worried about future generations.

Source: Hrdive.com, September 2019

Employee Agreements: A Method for Mitigating ERISA Fiduciary Exposure?

Abstract: Employment agreements cover a wide range of topics, from setting the compensation terms to protecting a company's intellectual property rights. It's not surprising, then, that plan fiduciaries put terms in employment agreements aimed at limiting their exposure. The goal is to limit litigation and instead require arbitration for resolving ERISA claims. They may also choose to try to limit the claims period or set the jurisdiction in which the claims are heard. Whether or not these limitations are allowed is still a topic being debated by the courts.

Source: Hallbenefitslaw.com, September 2019

More Employers are Adopting Lifetime Income Solutions for DC Retirement Plans

Abstract: Amid heightened concern over an aging workforce, increasing longevity and the financial health of their workers, a growing number of U.S. employers are adding lifetime income solutions to their defined contribution retirement plans, according to the 2019 Lifetime Income Solutions Survey by Willis Towers Watson.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, September 2019

Debt, Homeownership Driving Participants to Withdraw Retirement Funds

Abstract: Approximately 52% of respondents admit to tapping their retirement savings account early for a purpose other than retiring, according to a survey by MagnifyMoney. The two main reasons respondents cited for withdrawing money from their retirement savings are home ownership and personal debt. According to the survey, 23% of those making an early withdrawal did so to help pay down non-medical debt, while 17% needed the money for a down payment on a home.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2019

DC Plan Recordkeeper Data Show Ongoing Commitment to Retirement Saving

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through defined contribution plans early this year, according to an ICI study. The study tracks contributions, withdrawals, and other activity based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 30 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans. The latest recordkeeper data indicate that plan participants remain committed to saving and investing. Only 0.9 percent of DC plan participants stopped contributing to their plans in the first quarter of 2019.

Source: Ici.org, August 2019

Number of 401k Millionaires Hits Record High

Abstract: Fidelity Investments said the number of retirement savers with at least $1 million in their account hit a record, as did the employee savings rate, according to data from 401k plans that it administers. The average employee contribution rate reached 8.8% in the second quarter, up a full percentage point from a decade ago, Fidelity said. The analysis is based on the 30 million retirement accounts the Boston-based money manager administers.

Source: Benefitnews.com, August 2019

Survey: Less Than a Third Have Increased Their Retirement Savings Rate This Year

Abstract: Saving money can be tough, but working Americans appear to at least be holding their retirement contributions steady in 2019, even if many of them are not actually increasing their rate of savings. Fewer than one-third of working Americans (29 percent) have increased their retirement savings contribution rate compared to last year, according to Bankrate's August Financial Security Poll.

Source: Bankrate.com, August 2019

Auto Portability Preserves Retirement Savings, Study

Abstract: A new Employee Benefit Research Institute study addresses the potential benefits of using auto portability for handling 401k accounts upon termination of employment. The study examines automatically taking a participant's account from a former employer's retirement plan and combining it with their active account in a new employer's plan. This would help keep the defined contribution assets in the retirement system and -- in theory -- reduce leakage from cashouts upon employment termination.

Source: Compliancedashboard.net, August 2019

What Is the Most Accurate Participation Rate for Retirement Plans?

Abstract: A new study contends that American workers' participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans is significantly higher than suggested by the most commonly cited statistics. In fact, nearly two-thirds of workers between ages 26 and 64 participate in such plans, either directly or through a spouse, according to the Investment Company Institute. What's more, the participation rate rises to more than three-quarters if younger and lower-income workers -- those who are the least likely to be able to or want to save for retirement -- are excluded from the analysis.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2019

403b Plan Sponsors Reveal Investment Preferences in Survey

Abstract: Sponsors of 403b plans are more concerned about market volatility than 401k plan sponsors, according to the 2019 BlackRock DC Pulse: 403b Report. Plan advisers can help 403b plan sponsors looking for downside protection, active strategies and target-date funds that can be used as a decumulation vehicle in retirement.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2019

Three New Surveys Show How Student Loan Debt Is Crippling 401k Contributions

Abstract: Student loan debt, that mortal enemy of retirement savings, is showing no signs of slowing its assault on workers ability to contribute (or contribute more) to their 401k. A trio of new surveys illustrate the hardships student loan debt is causing would-be retirement savers.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, August 2019

Retirement Plan Participation Continues to Increase

Abstract: American workers' participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans is significantly higher than suggested by the most commonly cited statistics, with nearly two-thirds of workers between ages 26 and 64 participating in such plans, either directly or through a spouse, according to a new study by the Investment Company Institute.

Source: Ici.org, August 2019

IRI Research Demonstrates Need for Consumer Education on Retirement Security

Abstract: Increasing the share of workers who participate in retirement plans has been a primary focus of retirement policy. As the retirement industry and policymakers try to increase participation, it is important to understand which workers currently participate in employer sponsored retirement plans and why certain employers offer, and certain employees desire, compensation in the form of retirement benefits. This 32-page report uses newly available data -- tabulations of administrative tax data published by the IRS Statistics of Income Division -- to analyze participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Source: Myirionline.org, August 2019

Who Participates in Retirement Plans

Abstract: Increasing the share of workers who participate in retirement plans has been a primary focus of retirement policy. As the retirement industry and policymakers try to increase participation, it is important to understand which workers currently participate in employer sponsored retirement plans and why certain employers offer, and certain employees desire, compensation in the form of retirement benefits. This 32-page report uses newly available data -- tabulations of administrative tax data published by the IRS Statistics of Income Division -- to analyze participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Source: Ici.org, August 2019

Participants Need More Education About Distribution Options

Abstract: Forty-two percent of those between the ages of 35 and 65 who left a job where they had money in a 401k plan were unaware that they could have left the money in the plan, and 28% didn't know that some retirement distribution choices trigger tax liabilities and penalties, a survey found.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2019

Average 401k Balance Continues to Build

Abstract: According to estimates from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute), the average 401k balance for those aged 25-34 with 1-4 years of tenure has gained rose another 2.5% in July, building on the 24.3% year-to-date gain registered at the end of Q2.

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2019

Hot Topics for 401k Plan Providers

Abstract: The beauty of the retirement plan business is that it's constantly changing, the bad part of it is that it's constantly changing. As a plan provider, you always need to be on your toes because it's such a competitive marketplace that you can't afford to be asleep at the wheel. If you're not ahead of the curve, you will certainly be behind it and the history of this business is littered with plan providers who failed, just because they couldn't adapt to a changing environment. This article is about some of the hot topics that you should be aware of and using these topics for marketing help and to better focus your service.

Source: Jdsupra.com, August 2019

Open MEPs: A Promising Way to Narrow the Coverage Gap

Abstract: Employers play a substantial role in helping employees prepare for retirement. Yet small businesses state that cost and other administrative concerns limit their ability to offer their employees access to a workplace retirement plan. Open multiple employer plans (MEPs) offer a solution, allowing small businesses to band together under one workplace plan.

Source: Empower-Retirement.com, July 2019

Open MEPs Seen as a Promising Way to Narrow the Coverage Gap

Abstract: Two-thirds of small businesses that currently do not offer a retirement plan say that they would consider doing so through an open MEP, Empower learned in a survey.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2019

The Self-Employed Are Defying Retirement While Overlooking Essential Preparations

Abstract: Only 26 percent of the self-employed are "very much" looking forward to retirement according to findings from Self-Employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement, a new study released today by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. The self-employed are enjoying life. Given the autonomy and flexibility in their work situations, the concept of retirement is less relevant to them and not necessarily something they aspire to. The survey of 755 respondents explores the retirement outlook of individuals who are primarily self-employed.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, July 2019

Reducing Regulatory Obstacles to Annuities in 401k Plans

Abstract: Retirees with defined contribution plans face a key dilemma: how and when to convert their retirement savings into income in a way that minimizes the risk of outliving their assets without unnecessarily sacrificing their standard of living. Annuities offer one way to resolve this dilemma. This 41-page paper explores legislative and regulatory reforms that could encourage workers to annuitize more of their 401k and other defined contribution balances upon retirement. It proposes changes that would create an appropriately protective fiduciary safe harbor for plan sponsors selecting annuity providers, increase the portability of annuities, and reform the required minimum distribution rules relating to retirement income.

Source: Brookings.edu, July 2019

A Closer Look at Legislative Proposals Impacting Retirement

Abstract: Although the question of whether a retirement "crisis" exists (and if so, to what extent) is still the subject of considerable debate, several legislative proposals have been recently introduced or reintroduced that could have a significant impact on retirement coverage as well as on the ability of individuals to manage important retirement-related risks. How much might some of the recent legislative proposals for expanding access to employer sponsored retirement plans improve retirement income adequacy for current workers? This paper examines this by simulating the impact of some of the more important aspects of current legislative proposals.

Source: Ssrn.com, July 2019

2019 Survey Reveals Most Popular Employee Benefits

Abstract: Employers continue to place a lot of value in the employee benefits they offer their workforce, according the SHRM 2019 Employee Benefits Survey. SHRM conducts the survey annually to gather information on the types of benefits employers are offering their employees and to report on trends.

Source: Xperthr.com, July 2019

America's Retirement Crisis by the Numbers

Abstract: These days, overwhelming student loan debt and the uncertain future of Social Security's solvency garner most of the attention, but there's another equally severe financial crisis looming on the horizon for millions of Americans. Thousands of people retire every day, and many don't have the savings they need to last the rest of their lives. It's a fate thousands of Americans are already experiencing, and based on data from the latest Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress survey, tens of thousands more are set to join them in the coming decades.

Source: Fool.com, July 2019

Developing a Comprehensive National Retirement Policy

Abstract: Although Americans often have disparate opinions on many issues, one issue that does enjoy widespread support is the importance of experiencing a dignified and financially secure retirement. Unfortunately, the debate on retirement security has not received the attention many think it deserves. Thus, despite some concern over a looming retirement crisis, significant thought has not been put into developing a comprehensive national retirement policy. This 16-page issue brief explores the concept of a national retirement policy, including the potential benefits of such a policy and the various topics that it might address.

Source: Actuary.org, July 2019

The Economics of Providing 401k Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2018

Abstract: 401k plan participants investing in mutual funds tend to hold lower-cost funds. At year-end 2018, 401k plan assets totaled $5.2 trillion, with 37 percent invested in equity mutual funds. In 2018, the average expense ratio for equity mutual funds offered in the United States was 1.26 percent. 401k plan participants who invested in equity mutual funds, however, paid about one-third of that amount -- 0.41 percent -- on average. The expense ratios that 401k plan participants incur for investing in mutual funds have declined substantially since 2000. This is a 34-page report.

Source: Ici.org, July 2019

Mutual Fund Expense Ratios in 401k Plans Have Trended Downward Since 2000

Abstract: The cost of investing in equity and hybrid mutual funds through 401k plans fell again in 2018, while the average expense ratio of bond mutual funds remained stable, according to "The Economics of Providing 401k Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2018," a research report released by the Investment Company Institute. The report also shows that participants who invest in mutual funds in their 401k plans tend to hold lower-cost funds.

Source: Ici.org, July 2019

Retirement Assets Top $29 Trillion, While Plan Fees Continue Downward Trend

Abstract: Since the end of last year, total U.S. retirement assets were up 7.4%, reaching $29.1 trillion at the end of the first quarter for 2019, according to new data by the Investment Company Institute. Retirement assets accounted for 33% of all household financial assets in the U.S. at the end of March 2019, with defined contribution plan assets reaching $8.2 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up 8.2% from year-end 2018. Of these DC plan assets, $5.7 trillion was held in 401k plans.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2019

Baby Boomer Women Significantly Lag Baby Boomer Men In 401K Savings

Abstract: Baby boomer women have a median 401k savings balance of $59,000, less than half of the $138,000, median balance of baby boomer men, according to a recent T. Rowe Price survey focused on the financial behavior and attitudes related to gender. This savings gap carries over to millennial women, who have a median 401k balance that is $30,000 less than the median balance of millennial men.

Source: Prnewswire.com, June 2019

Automatic Enrollment in 401k Annuities: Boosting Retiree Lifetime Income

Abstract: Very few defined contribution retirement plans in the U.S. today pay out lifetime income streams, leaving retirees at risk to run out of money in old age. The authors of this paper propose to include deferred lifetime income annuities as a default in employer-provided 401k plans. They investigate the pros and cons of such a proposal using a life cycle economic model which takes into account the value of having true longevity protection in one's retirement account.

Source: Brookings.edu, June 2019

Data Show Diverse Range of 401k Investment Options

Abstract: Employers offer a wide and diverse range of investment options to encourage their employees to contribute toward their retirement savings, according to an updated study on 401k data from BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute. The report revealed that in 2016 the average large 401k plan offered 27 investment options, including a mix of equity funds, bond funds, and target date funds. The study also found that employers often use simple matching formulas to encourage employee contributions and that plan fees continue to decline over time.

Source: Brightscope.com, June 2019

Index Fund Rise Coincides With 401k Suits

Abstract: More 401k lawsuits were filed in 2016 and 2017 than during the 2008 financial crisis, and the steady drumbeat of litigation could be affecting how workers save and invest. For one thing, the suits have coincided with a dramatic increase in equity index funds, according to a report by the Center for Retirement Research. Last year, nearly one out of three U.S. stock funds were index funds, double the share 10 years ago.

Source: Bc.edu, June 2019

Building a Better 401k Plan Investment Lineup

Abstract: A rash of 401k class-action lawsuits and low participation rates have revealed rifts between plan sponsor intentions, on the one hand, and participant perceptions of actual practices, on the other hand. Details about plan investment lineups often reside at the center of the controversy and confusion. This paper examines six items a plan sponsor might consider when building, maintaining, and altering the fund menu for its participants.

Source: Jhinvestments.com, June 2019

These Are the Best-Rated Workplace Retirement Plan Providers of 2019

Abstract: If you have access to a workplace retirement plan like a 401k, consider yourself fortunate. If you have a workplace retirement plan provided by Charles Schwab, consider yourself even more fortunate. Workplace plan participants -- meaning employees themselves -- recently rated Charles Schwab the best provider in the J.D. Power 2019 Group Retirement Satisfaction Study. This study is in its second year, and Charles Schwab has earned the highest overall satisfaction rating both years.

Source: Yahoo.com, June 2019

How America Saves 2019

Abstract: The 18th edition of "How America Saves" delivers a 121-page comprehensive analysis of the retirement savings behavior of 5 million participants in about 1,900 defined contribution retirement plans for which Vanguard provides recordkeeping services. Our data-rich report examines trends in how participants accumulate, manage, and access retirement savings.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2019

America Has the Widest Retirement Savings Gap of These Developed Nations

Abstract: Many Americans haven't saved as much money as they need for retirement, and the gap is expected to widen dramatically in the next 30 years. The retirement savings gap -- between what people have and should have -- was $28 trillion in the U.S. in 2015, but by 2050, it's expected to swell to $137 trillion, according to the World Economic Forum, a Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland-based nonprofit that researched international financial affairs.

Source: Marketwatch.com, June 2019

Top 401k Plans Ranked by Industry

Abstract: New analysis from MONEY pegs top company retirement plans in 14 different industries and compares the average participant account balance to industry average 401k balance.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2019

Average Employer 401k Match Revealed: How Generous -- or Stingy -- Is Your Company?

Abstract: Is your company being stingy when it comes to supporting your future? If your employer is contributing less than 4.7 percent toward your 401k, then you have your answer. According to a new report from Fidelity, that's the average 401k match companies were handing out in the first quarter of 2019.That contribution rate, a record high, bumped the average total savings rate (employee contributions + company match) to an all-time high of 13.5 percent in the first quarter.

Source: Yahoo.com, June 2019

Student Loan Benefit Program

Abstract: This white paper examines IRS Private Letter Ruling (PLR 201833012), issued May 22, 2018. In the PLR, the IRS ruled that a student loan repayment program included in an employer-sponsored 401k plan did not violate the "contingent benefit" prohibition. Under the program, employees received employer contributions that were conditioned on making student loan repayments in lieu of receiving regular matching contributions under the plan. Employers may want to adopt an SLR program in order to attract and retain employees with outstanding student loans, who may lack the funds to make 401k contributions and receive employer matching contributions.

Source: Newportgroup.com, May 2019

Retirement Plan Participants Stayed the Course Through Up and Down Markets in 2018

Abstract: Almost all defined contribution (DC) plan participants kept contributing to their retirement savings during 2018, according to ICI's "Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, 2018." The study tracks contributions, withdrawals, and other activity based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 30 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans.

Source: Ici.org, May 2019

What Age Should Retirement Be Planned To?

Abstract: One of the big discussions in the profession is choosing the age retirement should be planned to. Should it be age 95? Age 100? Some other age? Here's a good brief discussion on the implications of choosing an age.

Source: Brightscope.com, May 2019

Participants' Satisfaction with Providers Continues to Decline

Abstract: The National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) has released its annual "Participant Trust & Engagement Study," which shows that overall satisfaction with providers has declined by 24 percentage points in the past six years to a new low. NARPP says that if retirement plan participants trusted their providers more, it would likely lead to higher deferral rates.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2019

Investors Who Stayed the Course Rewarded With Significant Gains

Abstract: Despite a rocky end to 2018 and predictions of an impending recession, those who stayed the course were rewarded with a generous first quarter rebound on the 10-year anniversary of the stock market low.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, May 2019

Defined Contribution Plans and the Challenge of Financial Illiteracy

Abstract: Study analyzes data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study to show that people whose only exposure to investment decisions is by virtue of their participation in an employer-sponsored 401k plan are poorly equipped to make sound investment decisions. This lack of financial literacy is critical both because of the financial consequences of poor financial decisions and because of a legal structure that relies on participant choice to limit the fiduciary obligations of the employer with respect to the structure and options provided by the retirement plan.

Source: Ssrn.com, May 2019

Callan Releases Study of Investment Manager-Sponsored 401k Plans

Abstract: Callan announced the release of "The Cobbler's Shoes: How Asset Managers Run Their Own 401k Plans." The white paper explores what the investment management industry, the stewards tasked with managing the investments of 401k plans for others, do for their own employee base.

Source: Businesswire.com, May 2019

Sustainable Investing in Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: The recent series of bulletins on ESG-related investing issued by the DOL has led to confusion due to a lack of clarity in the language and an inconsistent tone over the course of different administrations. This 8-page paper seeks to provide plan sponsors with a base level of knowledge about sustainable investing and integration, by providing clarification on terminology and focusing on areas that historically have been misperceived.

Source: Dciia.org, May 2019

More Than Half of Workers Support a Retirement Savings Mandate

Abstract: While 66% of American workers are still planning to supplement their personal savings with income from Social Security, 42% also don't believe Social Security benefits will even be available to them when they retire, suggesting "overarching confusion" around what sources of income retirees will actually have in retirement. In fact, the concern is so great that a large majority of Americans are willing to support government intervention.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2019

Average Deferral Rates Reach 10-Year High of 8.6%

Abstract: T. Rowe Price has released its annual participant data benchmarking report, Reference Point, which shows mixed results for participants in 2018. On the positive side, average deferral rates reached a 10-year high of 8.6%, outstanding 401k loans fell to a nine-year low of 22.5% and hardship withdrawals fell for the ninth year in a row, from 1.9% in 2010 to 1.3% in 2018.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2019

In 2013, Workers Removed $69 Billion from Retirement Savings

Abstract: In 2013, workers in their prime working years, i.e. those between the ages of 25 and 55, removed $69 billion of their retirement savings early, according to a GAO analysis of data from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor. The bulk of the leakage was from individual retirement accounts, with $39.5 billion being removed from these accounts. That represented 3% of total IRA holdings and exceeded contributions in that year.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2019

Nearly One-Third of Employers Embracing Student Loan Debt Programs

Abstract: Nearly one-third of employers, 32.4%, offer or are planning to offer some student loan debt program, such as debt consolidation, refinancing or employer-paid subsidies, according to EBRI's 2018 Financial Wellbeing Survey. Among those that are, they are more likely than others to have measured their employees' financial wellness.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2019

Morningstar: DC Investment Menu Moves Matter

Abstract: Morningstar researchers found what they termed "significant evidence" that replacement funds outperformed the replaced fund over both future one-year and three-year periods. The researchers noted as the "most surprising" finding, more specifically "unexpected in the context of past research, which has generally noted that replacement funds do no better (or worse) than the funds being replaced."

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2019

From Diligence to Delivery: Capturing Value From Retirement Recordkeeping M&A

Abstract: Given the US defined-contribution market's abundance of competitors, pricing pressure, and the IT-intensive nature of the business, it is no surprise it has gradually consolidated over the past decade. And this consolidation in the US retirement arena continues apace. To maximize deal value, firms must follow some industry-specific best practices.

Source: Mckinsey.com, April 2019

Most Millennials Saving for Retirement Prefer Human Advice

Abstract: Even though millennials often get a bad rap for being frivolous, a new study from New Jersey-based fintech firm LendEDU found 58 per cent are saving for retirement, and with the time value of money on their side, they could be better prepared than some had previously thought. The majority of millennial respondents also said they see the value of advice: 65 per cent would prefer a human advisor over a robo-advisor and only 16 per cent would opt outright for the robo.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, April 2019

Tailoring Plan Designs to Reflect Shorter Employee Tenure

Abstract: Recent research reports suggest average employee tenure in the U.S. has trended downward; retirement industry experts agree this fact should inform plan design discussions and participant-level services.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2019

Americans' Retirement Expectations are Unrealistic

Abstract: Americans are dramatically underestimating their financial needs in retirement, but they don't seem to realize it, according to a new report released today by Natixis Investment Managers. More than two-thirds (67%) of American workers with access to a workplace retirement savings plan say they expect to have enough money saved for retirement to live as they want, or at least comfortably, as long as they are careful with spending. Yet the findings show their basic assumptions -- about when they can retire, how much they need to save and how long their assets will last -- are flawed.

Source: Natixis.com, April 2019

19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey Released

Abstract: The latest research findings from TCRS based on its 2018 survey of American workers. The Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey explores attitudes about retirement and retirement readiness among American workers. What Is "Retirement"? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age highlights differences and similarities among Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, April 2019

The Future of Innovation in DC Plan Design

Abstract: If strengthening retirement security is the goal, then success can only be measured based on improving long-term outcomes. Unfortunately, as DC savings plans have taken the place of traditional DB plans, the shift has been away from outcomes to inputs. Returning to a true focus on outcomes requires moving away from a myopic focus on savings to evaluating whether retirees will have sufficient income to meet their needs once they stop working. This approach to retirement security considers an individual's retirement life cycle.

Source: Georgetown.edu, March 2019

Doing Good While Doing Well

Abstract: Plan fiduciaries are seeing increased interest in socially responsible, or impact, investing as an option in their plan offerings. However, given the numerous and sometimes conflicting priorities that plan sponsors face, how important should the focus on socially responsible investing strategies be? This report reviews the history behind socially responsible investing and strategies for incorporating ESG investments in your plan's investment menu.

Source: Strategicbenefitservices.com, March 2019

Emerging Trends in 401k and 403b Fund Menus

Abstract: Given the shift in participant mindset and demographics, it's important for retirement plan committees to re-think the traditional approach to designing plan investment menus. Article discusses the strategic outcomes fiduciaries should be focused on when designing a fund lineup for their plan.

Source: Greenspringadvisors.com, March 2019

Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings, an Update

Abstract: A GAO 2015 report on retirement security included estimates on the percentage of households aged 55 and over without retirement savings or a defined benefit plan (traditional employment-based pension plans that offer benefits based on factors like salary and years of service). They have updated these estimates and found that the percent of households headed by someone aged 55 and over that had no retirement savings decreased from about 52 percent in 2013 to about 48 percent in 2016.

Source: Gao.gov, March 2019

The Majority of Independent Workers Are Actively Saving for Retirement

Abstract: According to T. Rowe Price, 56% of independent workers are actively saving for retirement. Significantly more traditional workers are actively saving for retirement in comparison (72%). This may be due to the fact that the majority of traditional workers use their employer-sponsored retirement plan (68%) and likely have access to the automatic savings features typically available in those plans, while independent workers are primarily using IRAs (40%).

Source: Troweprice.com, March 2019

Distributions From DC Plans

Abstract: With an increased focus on retirement income, employers are now turning their attention to how their workers are using their defined contribution plan assets after terminating employment. To help organizations better evaluate the distribution decisions people make when they leave employment, Alight Solutions analyzed the post-termination behavior of more than 2 million DC participants from 2008 - 2017.

Source: Alight.com, March 2019

Cerulli Finds All Talk, No Action Regarding DC Plan ESG Investment Adoption

Abstract: Cerulli Associates found fee sensitivity and the notion that environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing entails a trade-off in performance are two broadly applicable headwinds to ESG adoption.

Source: Plansponsor.com, March 2019

How Well Do 401k Plan Sponsors Support Participants?

Abstract: Tools like managed accounts and target-date funds continue to gain ground, and more than one-third of companies now offer investment advice to participants, more findings from PSCA's 61st Annual Survey reveal. There are several ways that companies provide investment support to participants through the availability of managed accounts, target-date funds, automatic features/QDIAs, and personalized investment advice from professionals.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, March 2019

Departing Employees Who Stay in DC Plan for at Least a Year Not Likely to Leave

Abstract: If defined contribution plans encourage departing employees to keep their balances in their plans for at least a year, there's a good chance participants will retain their accounts in the plan. That's the conclusion of a study by Alight Solutions, which tracked participants in plans for which Alight is the recordkeeper from 2008 through 2017 and analyzed participants' behavior after they decide to retire or take another job.

Source: Pionline.com, March 2019

Ten Ways Behavioral Finance Can Boost Retirement Security

Abstract: The insights of behavioral finance have the potential to help employers, plan sponsors and plan administrators make changes that can yield a substantial difference in the actions of employees and plan participants. This 2-page paper provides ten tips based on the principles of behavioral finance for helping workers achieve a secure retirement.

Source: Ifebp.org, March 2019

Americans Cite Healthcare Expenses as No. 1 Barrier to Early Retirement

Abstract: When asked to name barriers to financial independence and early retirement, Americans are less concerned about uncertain market conditions (37 percent) or inflation (35 percent), than they are about healthcare costs (57 percent), according to a new survey conducted for TD Ameritrade, of 1,500 Americans aged 45 and older with $250,000 or more in investable assets.

Source: Amtd.com, March 2019

Unlocking Participant Behavior a Key to Retirement Security

Abstract: There are many pieces to the puzzle that is retirement security. And one of them, suggests a benefits institute, is the behavior of plan participants. Working with, and influencing, that can help put pieces in place. In a paper recent paper, the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans argues that behavioral finance shows "that retirement plan design and communication are too often based on assumptions about people that are wrong." The paper offers 10 suggestions for ways to use behavioral finance to help employees and participants in preparing financially for retirement.

Source: Asppa.org, March 2019

TDF Adoption in 2018

Abstract: In 2018, 59% of Vanguard participants in defined contribution plans were invested in a professionally managed account option, including 52% who were invested in a single target-date fund. Use of TDFs in DC plans continued to grow. At year-end 2018, 9 in 10 plans offered a TDF, three-quarters of all participants had a position in the funds, and the funds accounted for 35% of plans' assets and more than half of total plan contributions. This is an 8-page report.

Source: Vanguard.com, March 2019

Guide to Retirement 2019 Edition

Abstract: "Retirement" is different now than for previous generations, and many topics and issues are interconnected. Each section of this thorough and wide-ranging 52-page analysis discusses common misconceptions and retirement challenges and provide the tools to address them.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, March 2019

Lifetime Income: Current Policy Initiatives

Abstract: DC plans, as account-based plans present three broad "adequacy" challenges: (1) adequate savings; (2) adequate investment; and, (3) adequate payout. There has been less success developing solutions to challenge (3), translating the DC account into a stream of retirement income that will last over the participant's expected life. This article considers the obstacles to finding a DC "lifetime income solution" and then survey the policy initiatives that have thus far been adopted or proposed to address the challenge.

Source: Octoberthree.com, February 2019

Do Employees End Up With More Retirement Income Under Automatic Enrollment 401k Plans?

Abstract: The Employee Benefit Research Institute has released a new study examining the level of benefits that 401k plans with automatic enrollment provide compared to final-average defined benefit plans, with some potentially surprising results.

Source: Ebri.org, February 2019

DC Plan Participants' Activities, First Three Quarters of 2018

Abstract: This 14-page report updates results from ICI's survey of a cross section of recordkeeping firms representing a broad range of DC plans and covering more than 30 million employer-based DC retirement plan participant accounts as of September 2018. The broad scope of the recordkeeper survey provides valuable insights about recent withdrawal, contribution, asset allocation, and loan decisions of participants in DC plans.

Source: Ici.org, February 2019

Action Needed to Clarify Tax Treatment of Unclaimed 401k Plan Savings Transferred to States

Abstract: What happens if you lose track of some of your retirement funds, such as a 401k from a prior employer? The companies holding those unclaimed accounts can take the money out and transfer it to states. States hold the money as lost property until the owners claim it. But whenever money comes out of a tax-deferred account, there are taxes to consider. In this report, the GAO looked at how IRS treats these transfers for tax purposes. While there is some guidance from IRS and the Department of Labor on these transfers, IRS hasn't clarified tax reporting and withholding requirements for employers transferring unclaimed retirement funds.

Source: Gao.gov, February 2019

Sponsors of DC Plans Still Sharply Focused on Fees

Abstract: For the third year in a row, respondents to the annual Callan Institute "Defined Contribution (DC) Trends Survey" specified reviewing their plan fees as a key area of focus and as the best way to improve their fiduciary position as plan sponsors. Asked in the fall of 2018, 106 defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors, both Callan clients and other organizations, said that for 2019, assessing fees was more important than any other activity they undertook in managing their plans.

Source: Hrdailyadvisor.blr.com, February 2019

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

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