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Employee Benefits in the Supreme Court

Abstract: Eversheds Sutherland took a look back at the Court's work in employee benefit cases since the enactment of ERISA. They found 128 decisions, spanning a broad range of statutory and constitutional issues. This white paper takes a detailed look at the numbers and dynamics behind these cases.

Source: Eversheds-Sutherland.com, October 2017

Major Retirement Trouble on the Horizon: GAO

Abstract: Economic and societal trends -- such as increases in debt and health care costs -- can impede individuals' ability to save for retirement. Not a new statement, but always sounds more dire coming from a government entity, especially when it adds that the traditional "three-legged stool" of savings, including Social Security, employer-sponsored plans and individual savings, might not be enough to fund an affordable quality of life in retirement.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2017

The History and Future of MEPs and PEPs

Abstract: Are we headed for a second "gold rush" for multiple employer plans and pooled employer plans? Legislation favorable to multiple employer plans (MEPs) is broadly expected to pass one of these days, and the pooled employer plan (PEP) variant is one of the likely candidates. This article explores the status of PEP and MEP legislation and what it might mean.

Source: Pentegra.com, October 2017

GAO Report Says American Retirement System Not Providing Adequate Security

Abstract: The three pillars of the American retirement system -- Social Security, workplace retirement plans and individual savings -- will not provide adequate retirement security for a growing number of people, according to a report issued Wednesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), October 2017

Shift to Defined Contribution Plans Causes International Concern

Abstract: A collaborative survey between the U.S., Britain and Australia shows working-age employees struggle with retirement planning and saving. Workers in the three countries have similar reasons for lamenting the shift from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans.

Source: Plansponsor.com, October 2017

Bridging the Gap in Financial Wellness

Abstract: As popularity grows, providers must keep the goals of plan sponsors and participants in mind when deciding what components to build into these nascent financial wellness offerings. The most common components of current financial wellness programs according to plan sponsors are online access and guidance on health savings accounts or HSAs.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2017

Over a Quarter of Seniors Say Retirement Is Worse Than They Expected

Abstract: For some seniors, retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, about 28% of them say their lives are actually worse during retirement than before they left the workforce, according to a Nationwide survey.

Source: Fool.com, October 2017

Enhanced Saver's Credit Would Improve Retirement Security

Abstract: A series of structural and administrative changes to the Saver's Credit would make the program less complex and more likely to achieve its intended goal of encouraging low- and moderate-income workers to save for retirement, according to a new report.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2017

How to Reduce Your ERISA Risks, and the Role of Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Abstract: If there had been any doubt, the last few years have made clear that lawsuits against all parties involved with retirement and welfare plans are here to stay. Indeed, plan sponsors and fiduciaries now face increased risks of litigation on many fronts, and the need for comprehensive fiduciary liability insurance is greater than ever. This white paper discusses the responsibilities of ERISA fiduciaries and the types of litigation that may be brought against them, as well as some practical suggestions on plan design and administration that may help reduce litigation risk.

Source: Groom.com, October 2017

401k/IRA Holdings in 2016: An Update from the SCF

Abstract: The Federal Reserve's 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances offers an opportunity to examine households' holdings in 401ks and IRAs. For working households nearing retirement with a 401k, median combined 401k/IRA balances rose from $111,000 in 2013 to $135,000 in 2016. While growing balances are encouraging, $135,000 provides only $600 per month in retirement, so current saving levels are still falling short. Moreover, about half of households nearing retirement have no 401k assets at all, so lack of access to a plan remains an enormous problem.

Source: Bc.edu, October 2017

Excessive Fee Litigation Sets Sights on Corporate Retirement Plans

Abstract: Of all the industries facing these risks, few have seen more litigation than the financial industry which has faced a barrage of lawsuits over the in-house mutual funds in their respective 401k plans. Currently, there are more than 20 different financial institutions facing lawsuits challenging these in-house 401k investments.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, October 2017

How Policymakers Can Restore the Role of Lifetime Income in Workplace Retirement Plans

Abstract: In this white paper, TIAA has identified six common-sense, bipartisan solutions for legislators and regulators to advance the role of lifetime income in retirement savings plans and help create a more financially secure future for all Americans.

Source: Tiaa.org, October 2017

How Do You Know if Financial Wellness Is Paying Off

Abstract: As more companies add financial wellness to their suite of benefits, one question persists: How do you know whether it’s paying off for the company? Those who offer financial wellness plans saw a direct correlation to employee well-being, retention, and productivity.

Source: Ey.com, September 2017

Operational Risk Is the Achilles' Heel of DC Plans

Abstract: Investment risk and longevity risk tend to receive the most attention from the media and stakeholders alike. However, as defined contribution (DC) plans continue to grow in size and complexity, sponsors need to strengthen their focus on operational risk.

Source: Segalco.com, September 2017

Can Knowledge Empower Women to Save More for Retirement?

Abstract: Retirement-account balances are lower among women than men. Differences between men and women in financial knowledge and motivation contribute to gender gaps in retirement savings. Financial knowledge and motivation can be augmented by multimedia financial education.

Source: Bc.edu, September 2017

Deloitte 2017 Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey

Abstract: Deloitte's 15th Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey found that with current regulatory uncertainty and increasing litigation from plan participants, defined contribution plan sponsors are focusing on their fiduciary responsibilities by shifting investments to lower cost options, utilizing direct fees and simplifying investment approaches. These actions aim to help participants tackle their future retirement income needs.

Source: Deloitte.com, September 2017

Company Stock Loses Its Luster in 401k Landscape

Abstract: Employee stock purchase plans are becoming more popular among larger public companies at the same time employees have reduced the amount of company stock they purchase within their 401k plans.

Source: Benefitnews.com (registration may be required), September 2017

The Problem of Small 401k Accounts (And What to Do About It)

Abstract: It's generally accepted that the small-balance accounts of terminated 401k plan participants are a problem. For plan sponsors, they result in increased plan costs, fiduciary risk and other ancillary problems, such as missing participants and uncashed distribution checks. Now, based on new information from EBRI and other sources, we're learning that small accounts are a significant and growing problem for active participants, as well.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2017

American Dream Redefined as Savings Rate Skids

Abstract: Americans are showing a significant shift in how they define the American Dream as the U.S. savings rate drops to a five-year low. A new national survey from PurePoint Financial finds that 71 percent of respondents feel the American Dream has changed, and the majority (64 percent) say they define financial success as simply not living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2017

Maximizing Recordkeeper Relationships

Abstract: While the DOL has provided guidance on the overall responsibilities of plan sponsors, these guidelines fall short of speaking to best practices when dealing with recordkeepers. This 7-page paper aims to help plan fiduciaries maximize their recordkeeper relationships with the end goal of better retirement outcomes.

Source: Porteval.com, September 2017

Millennials Still Prefer Real-Life Advisors to Robo-Advisors

Abstract: Robo-advisors are surging in popularity and are projected to handle $8 trillion of all global AUM by 2020, but a new LendEDU poll found that millennials still prefer traditional financial advisors.

Source: Lendedu.com, September 2017

Are Robo-Advisors Fiduciaries?

Abstract: This paper addresses whether robo-advisors are fiduciaries. The simple answer is yes. But that is only half of the equation. Merely labeling robo-advisors as "fiduciaries" does not signify what fiduciary standard of care they are subject to, which should be of most interest to investors and regulators and is the subject of this paper.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2017

When Technology Meets Benefits

Abstract: Considering that employee benefits at many organizations remains a paper-based, pencil-pushing operation, enormous opportunities for technological advancement are emerging for CEOs and benefits managers alike. Three benefits pros share how they've used technology to improve their organizations' benefits operations in this Q&A.

Source: Workforce.com, September 2017

White Label Fund Options for DC Plans

Abstract: The core lineup of most plans has remained largely unchanged over the past 20 years. The author suggests that it's time for DC plan sponsors to rethink these legacy investment lineups. This paper focuses reframing the design of actively managed options with an emphasis on fewer, broader investment options to ease participant decision making.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, September 2017

Millennials Engaged in Retirement Saving, but Challenge Norms

Abstract: Millennials are taking steps to save early for retirement, but they also have higher expectations that employers should be offering access to a retirement savings plan and socially responsive investments, according to new survey results.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, September 2017

Webinar Replay: NEPC 12th Annual DC Plan and Fee Survey

Abstract: NEPC's Ross Bremen, CFA, Partner, and Kevin McCullough, CFA, Analyst, hosted this review of NEPC's 12th Annual DC Plan and Fee Survey. NEPC conducted the Survey to capture data and trends around plan design, and to help plan fiduciaries better understand and measure the investment and administrative costs of their plans.

Source: Nepc.com, September 2017

Assessing Americans' Financial & Retirement Security

Abstract: The ACLI study analyzes data from 4,500 U.S. households to provide a comprehensive picture of Americans' current state of financial and retirement security. It finds that 65 percent of U.S. households are on track or nearly on track to be financially secure. Among households considered to be the most financially secure, 25 percent earn $50,000 or less. Among households that need significant financial improvement, 25 percent earn $72,000 or more.

Source: Acli.com, September 2017

Low Returns and Optimal Retirement Savings

Abstract: Lifetime financial outcomes relate closely to the sequence of investment returns earned over the lifecycle. Higher return assumptions allow individuals to save at a lower rate, withdraw at a higher rate, retire with a lower wealth accumulation, and enjoy a higher standard of living throughout their lifetimes. However, at the present bond yields are historically lower and equity prices are quite high, suggesting that individuals will likely experience lower returns in the futureThe implications are higher savings rates, lower withdrawal rates, the need for a larger nest egg at retirement, and a lower lifetime standard of living.

Source: Wharton.upenn.edu, September 2017

Retirement Saving and Decumulation in a Persistent Low-Return Environment

Abstract: This paper addresses two related topics: first, how have households responded to the current low interest rate environment and second, are there alternative responses or investments which households might do well to consider?

Source: Wharton.upenn.edu, September 2017

Helping Employers Become Age-Ready

Abstract: This paper examines how living longer is likely to influence working longer, how the nature of changes to work itself will influence future generations of work, workers and workplace, and ultimately, the paper will dive deeply into what employers can do to achieve a competitive advantage from the changing demographics. In short, how do employers become age-ready?

Source: Wharton.upenn.edu, September 2017

Saving for Retirement Not Feasible for Many Women

Abstract: Saving for retirement is not economically feasible for 44% of middle-income women, MassMutual found in a survey. By comparison, this is the case for only 14% of men with annual household incomes of between $35,000 and $150,000.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2017

DC Plan Participants' Activities, First Quarter 2017

Abstract: DC plan withdrawal activity in the first quarter of 2017 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 generally rose during the first three months of the year.

Source: Ici.org, September 2017

Ten Important Facts About 401k Plans

Abstract: The Investment Company Institute issued this 14-page paper that reviews ten important facts about 401k plans.

Source: Ici.org, August 2017

Corporate DC Plans Report Flat Fees

Abstract: NEPC published the results of its 12th Annual Defined Contribution Plan and Fee Survey, which looks at trends in the management of America's employee-fueled retirement plans. For the first time since 2010, the results show that recordkeeping, trust and custody fees bucked the longstanding trend of declining year-over-year and remained flat.

Source: Nepc.com, August 2017

Expense Ratios for DC Plans Stall Out at a New Low

Abstract: For years, fees on investments in workplace retirement savings plans have been falling. Now, at least for the moment, they're stalling. But there's room for improvement in plan options, and look out for new fees creeping in.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2017

Harnessing Behavioral Economics to Reinvent Employee Education

Abstract: Education in its current form does not work and a radically new approach is needed. An approach that incorporates behavioral economics and visually disruptive and intuitive design.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), August 2017

New Report Highlights 403b Retirement Plan Trends

Abstract: Non-profit organizations surveyed saw noticeable improvements in investment selections and auto-plan design features, such as increased default deferrals. The percentage of plans with a default deferral rate of more than 3 percent increased from 21.6 percent to 34 percent. In addition, organizations saw average employer contributions increase to 5 percent, up from 4.7 percent in 2015.

Source: Businesswire.com, August 2017

Adding Sustainable and Responsible Investing Options to DC Plans

Abstract: This 12-page step-by-step guide assists plan sponsors considering the addition of a sustainable, responsible and impact investing option to a defined contribution retirement plan.

Source: Ussif.org, August 2017

Majority of Small Businesses Do Not Offer Retirement, Health Benefits

Abstract: The majority of small- to mid-sized businesses do not offer health, retirement or other ancillary benefits, Paychex found in a survey of 318 such companies. Only 38% offer such benefits.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

Debt Regret Fuels Financial Stress, Finds New Retirement Study

Abstract: A new survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services reveals that everyday money matters are dramatically impacting the lives and retirement saving efforts of Americans. The nationwide survey of 1,000 workers with access to a 401k plan -- half of whom are actively contributing to it and half of whom are not -- reveals that non-savers are increasingly challenged by day-to-day financial stresses, compounded especially by credit card debt.

Source: Aboutschwab.com, August 2017

Robo-Advisers: More Complex Than They May Appear

Abstract: The article analyzes the growing trend of investment firms including robo-advisers as part of their service offerings. The SEC's Information Guidance and Investor Alert from February 2017 indicated that "robo-advisers, like all registered investment advisers, are subject to the substantive and fiduciary obligations of the Advisers Act." The article provides insight into the challenges robo-advisers face in terms of compliance with disclosure requirements, fiduciary obligations and other regulatory responsibilities.

Source: Kattenlaw.com, August 2017

401k Saving Harder at Lower Incomes

Abstract: Our 401k retirement system doesn't work as well for lower- and middle-income workers as it does for those at the top. That's because they face more severe headwinds in pursuit of their retirement goals, concludes a new study.

Source: Bc.edu, August 2017

Comparison Across Two Generations of 401k Savers in Their 20s Shows Contrast in Asset Allocations

Abstract: The asset allocations of 401k retirement plan savers in their 20s at the end of 2015 differed significantly from the allocations of 401k participants in their 20s in the mid-1990s, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: Ebri.org, August 2017

All About Retirement, An Employer Survey

Abstract: Sixty-nine percent of employers believe that most of their employees could work to age 65 and still not save enough to meet their retirement needs, a disturbing finding given the vital societal role that employers play in helping workers save, plan, and prepare for retirement, according to a study released by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, August 2017

The Shift From Recordkeeper Proprietary Target-Date Funds to Nonproprietary Solutions

Abstract: Competition is crowded in the target-date market today. The number of target-date providers has risen 16% from five years ago, as more and more asset managers started offering new target-date solutions. About 78 firms offer more than 139 different target-date fund series today.

Source: Abglobal.com, August 2017

Investment Manager and Recordkeeper Changes Driven by Fees

Abstract: Plan sponsors' desire to reduce plan costs is substantially impacting their approach to investment menu design and their relationships with defined contribution plan investment managers, according to findings from Retirement Planscape, an annual Cogent Reports study by Market Strategies International.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2017

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.

Source: Ici.org, July 2017

The Influence of DC Plan Design on Retirement Outcomes

Abstract: This 16-page paper highlights where the 401k system is working well and where it could be improved, and identifies initiatives, behaviors, policies, and approaches that may either boost or diminish retirement readiness among American workers.

Source: Dciia.memberclicks.net, July 2017

2017 Defined Contribution Plan Sponsor Survey Findings

Abstract: This 28-page report confirms that the evolution of DC plans continues. Plan sponsors and their organizations are transitioning from a traditional view of their DC plans -- for example, to attract and retain employees -- to a sharper focus on achieving the ultimate retirement outcome: helping as many employees as possible reach a financially secure retirement. This focus is evident in plan sponsors' stated philosophies, objectives and, most important, actions.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, July 2017

Frequently Asked Questions About 401k Plans: Updated

Abstract: The Investment Company Institute has updated their FAQ on 401k retirement plans. Some of the questions covered include: What is a 401k plan and how does it work? How have 401k plans grown since their introduction? What are the benefits of investing in a 401k plan? Is there a limit to how much an employee and employer can contribute to a 401k plan?

Source: Ici.org, July 2017

How Hard Should We Push the Poor to Save for Retirement?

Abstract: Designers of state-run auto-IRA plans fail to consider three questions: Do the poor need to save more for retirement? Will state-run auto-IRA plans increase net household savings? And, after accounting for interactions with means-tested government transfer programs, will state-run auto-IRA plans make the poor better off?

Source: Aei.org, July 2017

Generation of "Super Savers" Crushing Retirement Goals

Abstract: Younger generations get a bad rap for their saving habits, but there is a group of savers under 52 who are a financial force to be reckoned with. A recent survey by Principal dug into the financial habits of Gen X and Gen Y (millennial) savers who are deferring 90 percent or more of the IRS maximum amount to their 401k account.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2017

Employer Barriers to and Motivations for Offering Retirement Benefits

Abstract: The Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a survey of owners, top executives, and human resource managers at more than 1,600 private sector, small and midsize businesses nationwide. One focus of the survey was to identify the obstacles to, and motivations for, offering plans and to gather data on what plans are currently offered and plan characteristics.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, July 2017

A Financial Wellness Primer: Why Financial Wellness?

Abstract: DCIIA recently assembled a member task force to aggregate information about financial wellness programs and their effect in helping to improve retirement outcomes for American workers. The findings of the task force were released in this white paper.

Source: Dciia.org, July 2017

DCIO Industry Snapshot

Abstract: Mutual funds continue to be the investment vehicle of choice among the 42 DCIO providers surveyed, while exchange traded funds are almost entirely avoided.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

Retirement Industry Needs to Consider Help for "Gig" and Part-Time Workers

Abstract: As more employers embrace the new "gig" or "flex" economy, the ranks of part-timers, including independent contractors, will continue to rise. Will employers change their retirement offerings?

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

Americans Trust in Their 401k Plans

Abstract: Successful retirement saving often relies on a paycheck-by-paycheck commitment over the course of a career, and employees who participate in 401k plans put themselves on the path to a secure retirement. ICI recently asked Americans about their views regarding DC plans. Their responses show that DC-owning households appreciate the savings and investment features of their plans.

Source: Ici.org, July 2017

The "Gig Economy" Leaves Some Working Americans Financially Vulnerable

Abstract: While many Americans desire the advantages of a part-time work schedule, the financial disadvantages can be a deal-breaker. At best, part-timers typically receive reduced employee benefits packages compared to full-timers. Many are ineligible to receive any benefits at all and, therefore, lack valuable medical coverage, retirement savings plans, life insurance, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation.

Source: Guardiananytime.com, July 2017

Top Five Mistakes Made by 401k Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Penalties for administrative blunders can be costly, through fines or, at the severe end of the spectrum, plan disqualification, creating a taxable event for all participants. Here are the most common mistakes plan sponsors make, as well as ways for plan advisers to guide their clients away from those mistakes.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2017

More Employers Make Roth 401k Matching Contributions

Abstract: Among employers offering Roth 401k savings programs, 40% now offer matching contributions.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2017

Fewer DC Plans Offering Hardship Withdrawals and Plan Loans

Abstract: Fewer organizations are offering DC plan hardship withdrawals, plan loans and online retirement investment advice compared with five years ago. However, one-on-one and group/classroom-style investment retirement advice remains unchanged over the same period, according to new survey results from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2017

Why Independent Fiduciary Advisors Are in Best Position to Fulfilling the 401k Promise

Abstract: Hiring an independent investment fiduciary for a participant directed 401k plan offers both the fiduciary protection for owners/executives intended by ERISA and the unbiased advice needed by America's workers to maximize their standard of living in retirement.

Source: Brentwood401k.com, July 2017

Baby Boomers Delaying Retirement: Generational Shifts at Work

Abstract: Many baby boomers are working, or are planning to work, for the foreseeable future. The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports that 26 percent of workers plan to work until age 70, and another 6 percent say they will never be able to retire. For comparison purposes, an EBRI study from 1991 showed that 50 percent of workers expected to be able to retire by age 65.

Source: Adp.com, July 2017

Small Businesses Are Boosting Benefits of Their 401k Plans

Abstract: Vanguard issued its fourth annual How America Saves: Small business edition, an extension of its defined contribution publication. The report analyzes small business 401k plans and finds that small business plans, like their large corporation counterparts, are increasingly implementing best-in-class design features to improve the retirement readiness of their employees.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

The State of Recordkeeping

Abstract: Recordkeeping is often described as a commodity, and that might be true for the pure administration of participant accounts, but the 55 providers responding to this survey showcase a wide range of investment, technology and servicing options.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2017

2017 Recordkeeping Survey

Abstract: The survey profiles 55 leading providers of DC recordkeeping services. These firms account for more than $6 trillion in assets and are estimated to represent approximately 85% of the total DC market. Collectively, results from the survey demonstrate the market's evolution and point up some factors to consider when selecting a recordkeeping partner.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2017

Survey: Potential Impact of Tax Reform on Employees' Retirement Savings

Abstract: The Plan Sponsor Council of America released the results of a new snapshot survey to gather insights on the impact of possible changes to tax preferences for retirement savings plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

Retirement Security Is Particularly Challenging for Latino Workers

Abstract: Many Americans struggle to save for retirement. According to a NIRS survey, three-fourths of Americans are worried about their ability to retire securely. One group that is particularly affected by this retirement savings crisis is Latino retirees, who live longer, but have lower savings rates than other groups.

Source: Protectpensions.org, June 2017

2017 Lincoln Retirement Power Participant Study

Abstract: This 12-page study is based on a national survey of 2,509 full-time workers ages 21 to 70 who have been contributing to their current employer's defined contribution retirement plan for at least one year, with data weighted by demographics to mirror the total population. The study seeks to identify forward-thinking ways to help plan sponsors, advisors, intermediaries and participants.

Source: Lfg.com, June 2017

Millennials Make Greatest Gains in 401k Plan Participation

Abstract: Rates of saving for retirement and investing habits differ from one generation to the next, according to a recent analysis of four million people who participate in 401k plans provided by Wells Fargo. Retirement plan data for Boomers, Generation X, and millennials reveal ways each generation can learn from the others when it comes to saving for retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

Report Finds Retirement, College, and Health Savings Activity Expanding

Abstract: Ascensus has released its annual trends report, "Inside America's Savings Plans." The report highlights the leading trends across the retirement, college savings, and health savings account (HSA) industries.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

Millennial Retirement Saving Survey

Abstract: This Pentegra survey shows over 80 percent (81.37 percent) of millennials are currently saving for retirement, and over one-third (37.25 percent) are putting at least 5 percent of their salary into a retirement savings vehicle. However, nearly 18 percent (17.65 percent) are saving nothing, while nearly half (45.1 percent) are saving what Pentegra defines as inadequate levels (under 5 percent). In total, 62.75 percent are saving inadequately.

Source: Pentegra.com, June 2017

CFOs Who Partner With a Retirement Plan Advisor Achieve Financial Benefits for the Business

Abstract: According to this 8-page study commissioned by the Retirement Advisor Council, employers that sponsor retirement savings plans are better able to control future labor costs by partnering with a knowledgeable financial advisor.

Source: Retirementadvisor.us, June 2017

The Economics of Providing 401k Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2016

Abstract: The cost of investing in equity, hybrid, and bond mutual funds through 401k plans fell again in 2016, according to a research study that the Investment Company Institute just released. The 32-page study also shows that participants who invest in mutual funds in their 401k plans tend to hold lower-cost funds.

Source: Ici.org, June 2017

Survey Finds Financial Wellness Programs Are Gaining Momentum With Employers

Abstract: A new survey from Charles Schwab reveals that financial wellness programs are quickly becoming a core part of employee benefit and compensation packages. Employers are increasingly finding that financial wellness programs can potentially drive better financial outcomes for employees, promote higher utilization of employer-sponsored savings and investment programs, and lead to productivity gains from a reduction of financial-related stress.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2017

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, 2016

Abstract: Defined contribution plan assets are a significant component of Americans' retirement assets, representing more than one-quarter of the total retirement market and about one-tenth of US households' aggregate financial assets at year-end 2016. To measure participant-directed changes in DC plans, ICI has been tracking participant activity through recordkeeper surveys since 2008. This 12-page report updates results.

Source: Ici.org, June 2017

Technology Reshaping Participant Communications

Abstract: A new study finds plan providers are turning to cloud-based technology and other solutions to enhance targeted communications toward different age groups.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2017

Managers of Defined Contribution Benefits Regain Steam in 2016

Abstract: Defined contribution money managers posted record assets under management last year of $5.95 trillion, up 8.6% from 2015, according to the latest survey of money managers by Pensions & Investments.

Source: Pionline.com, June 2017

Agency Predicts $224 Trillion Retirement Gap (Seriously)

Abstract: The World Economic Forum's predicts a coming retirement funding shortfall of an eye-popping $224 trillion deficit by 2050 in the world's largest pension systems. The obvious inference is that demographic changes in longevity mean defined benefits can no longer get it done, and it makes the case (again) for 401k-style defined contribution plans.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, May 2017

2017 TIAA Transition to Retirement Survey

Abstract: The survey offers new insights into people who are on the verge of retirement. Many are making plans for where they will live and travel, and what they will do with their time. At the same time, they are looking at how they will pay for their life in retirement.

Source: Tiaa.org, May 2017

Treatment of "Collateral" Employees Under Retirement Plans

Abstract: It is common for employers to contract with one or more third parties to provide individuals to perform services for the employer. Various issues may arise regarding the treatment of such individuals under a retirement plan maintained by the employer.

Source: Spencerfane.com, May 2017

Millennials Are Investing Less and Saving More Than Previous Generations

Abstract: Millennials are investing less and handling finances more conservatively than previous generations, according to a recent Revere Bank study. The study surveyed millennials aged 18-39 on their financial habits and future financial preparations.

Source: Prnewswire.com, May 2017

People With Student Loans Have Trouble Saving for Retirement

Abstract: A crushing load of student debt is preventing young people from saving for retirement, buying a home or even deciding to start a family, Prudential Financial found in a survey of 2,369 people last September.

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2017

Reimbursement of Sponsor Expenses

Abstract: Some plan sponsors bill their plans for the services the sponsor provides to them. That practice -- while permitted under certain circumstances -- does present certain issues under ERISA. This article briefly reviews the rules under which a sponsor/fiduciary may be reimbursed for expenses, some of the pitfalls those rules present, and some recent litigation on the issue.

Source: Octoberthree.com, May 2017

Transforming the Participant Experience

Abstract: Retirement communications have reached a tipping point and leading plan providers are looking to embrace a new path. They see converging trends: changing workplace demographics, technological innovations, evolving participant demands, increasing margin pressure, low savings rates, and added regulatory scrutiny. Any one of these trends would be challenging to manage. Taken together, they require fresh perspectives to find opportunities.

Source: Broadridge.com, May 2017

Short-Term Financial Considerations Prioritized Over Retirement Savings

Abstract: The lack of retirement savings could in part be due to prioritizing short-term financial considerations. Americans report they are more concerned about affording unexpected expenses (44%), health care costs (41%) and taking desired vacations (36%) than they are about having adequate retirement savings (32%).

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2017

What Plan Sponsors Look for in a 401k Adviser

Abstract: A recent survey of plan sponsors found 53% are satisfied with their adviser and 55% are satisfied with the value they receive. But experts say sponsors now want even greater value, which can take the form of lower costs, more services or, typically, a combination of both.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), May 2017

Trends in the Expenses and Fees of Funds, 2016

Abstract: On average, expense ratios for long-term mutual funds have declined substantially over the past 20 years. In 1996, equity mutual fund expense ratios averaged 1.04 percent, falling to 0.63 percent in 2016. Bond mutual fund expense ratios averaged 0.84 percent in 1996 compared with 0.51 percent in 2016. Hybrid mutual fund expense ratios averaged 0.95 percent in 1996, falling to 0.74 percent in 2016.

Source: Ici.org, May 2017

2017 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers

Abstract: Chart highlights the quantitative standouts according to the dollar value of qualified plan AUA as well as the number of plans under advisement. The qualification standards continue to rise, as specialist advisers and consultants build their practices.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2017

401k Regaining Importance as Future Income Source

Abstract: Half of nonretirees expect 401k to be a major income source in retirement. This is up from a low of 42% in April 2009, but still below earlier highs. Planned reliance on Social Security is near 17-year high.

Source: Gallup.com, May 2017

Pre-retirees Who Work With an Advisor Are Twice as Likely to Feel Well Prepared for Retirement

Abstract: A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study finds 43 percent of U.S. pre-retirees (ages 50-75) who work with an advisor feel well prepared for retirement, compared with just 21 percent of pre-retirees who do not work with an advisor.

Source: Limra.com, May 2017

New Evidence on the Demand for Advice Within Retirement Plans

Abstract: In this 13-page paper, the TIAA Institute uses participant-level data to shed new light on the demand for advice within retirement plans. In addition to documenting how demand for advice varies over time and across different groups of participants, they take initial steps to determine how demand for advice interacts with reliance on default investment options.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, April 2017

PSCA HSA Snapshot Survey

Abstract: The Plan Sponsor Council of America's newly created HSA committee has released the results of their first snapshot survey designed to measure plan sponsors use of HSAs and their perceptions of HSAs as a retirement savings vehicle.

Source: Psca.org, April 2017

Study Reveals Best Practices for Participant Communications

Abstract: Advisers can help with best practices as plan sponsors are increasingly taking it upon themselves to devise their own communication strategies to engage their participants.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Superior Administration: Why Quality TPAs Outperform Bundled

Abstract: There are numerous advantages in working with a TPA that go significantly above and beyond just looking at a spreadsheet. And a "best-in-class" approach of unbundling allows for the selection of the best component providers of recordkeeping, administration, and advisory services.

Source: Bpp401k.com, April 2017

Reality Check: The Overconfident Retirement Plan Participant

Abstract: Juxtaposing plan participants' optimism with their self-reported retirement readiness, we see a clear disconnect. The disconnect between participants' retirement expectations and their savings habits stems in part from their limited understanding of, and comfort with, the logistics of retirement planning.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, April 2017

Employee Miscommunication -- the Wall That Divides

Abstract: Employee miscommunication, confusion and apathy all play a factor in why employees don't understand or don't seem to care about your efforts to provide them with benefit information. Removing barriers can feel like an uphill climb in the middle of a blizzard. How does a well-intentioned HR professional overcome employee miscommunication, apathy and confusion over benefits?

Source: Corpsyn.com, April 2017

The Changing Nature of Retirement

Abstract: Today's grandparents and great-grandparents are generally comfortable in their retirement. They worked hard for many years and were rewarded for it; they have employer-provided pensions and retiree healthcare plans. However, with each subsequent generation, the scale has started to tip away from rich employer-provided retirement benefits.

Source: Aon.com, April 2017

Navigating Investment Responsibilities

Abstract: In this 8-page paper identifies three approaches a plan sponsor may take for selecting and managing plan investments. Along the way, it outlines five important questions to consider as they contemplate engaging a 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary to manage their plans more effectively or outsource some of their fiduciary risk.

Source: Amazonaws.com, April 2017

Survey: In Whose Best Interest?

Abstract: This survey from Financial Engines shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor the intent of the DOL's fiduciary rule. According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans think financial advisors who provide retirement advice should be legally required to put their clients’ best interest first. However, more than half of respondents (53 percent) mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are already legally required to put the best interests of their clients first.

Source: Financialengines.com, April 2017

Top 10 Recordkeepers of Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: The largest defined contribution plan recordkeepers all experienced positive asset growth last year, according to Pensions & Investments' annual recordkeeper survey.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fear of Litigation Looms Over DC Plans

Abstract: In a list of the most important factors driving decision-making at defined contribution plans, litigation risk ranked second only to meeting participant retirement goals. Investment fees and plan costs are a top concern for defined contribution plan sponsors, according to PIMCO's annual consultant survey.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, April 2017

Total Wellbeing After Retirement

Abstract: Having a sense of purpose, being financially fit and having strong social ties and a meaningful connection to the communities within which we spend our time are all pillars of our wellbeing. There is recognition that for much of our lives, the workplace can be the foundation these pillars are built upon, providing people with the tools to be well throughout their careers. So, what happens when individuals retire?

Source: Conduent.com, April 2017

Hispanic Retirees: Low Saving, Long Life

Abstract: Just one in three native-born and immigrant Hispanics working in this country has a retirement plan through their employers which contributes to a low retirement savings rate. Low rates of saving are compounded by the fact that elderly Hispanics and Latinos will need more money over their longer-than-average retirements. But there is some cause for optimism.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2017

Consultants Say Target-Date Review Tops Plan Sponsor Priority List

Abstract: Retirement plan consultants list reviewing target-date strategies as the top priority for their plan sponsor clients, according to the 11th annual PIMCO Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

Study of Retirement Plan Investment Expense Finds Over $17 Billion of Annual Waste

Abstract: Based on a conservative analysis, this study estimated that plan participants could save on average .25% per year by switching to lower cost investments that are quantitatively very similar to those they already hold, but with a better track record. With total defined contribution plan assets of $6.8 trillion, the potential savings is at least $17 billion.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

Less Than Half of Americans Confident They'll Reach Financial Goals by Retirement

Abstract: During the decades spent waking up early and heading to work, it's understandable that Americans might view retirement as a light at the end of the tunnel. However, the retirement most Americans now envision is one of financial sacrifice, as the golden years run the risk of being tarnished without better planning.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

What Retirement Plan Sponsors and Employers Need to Know About Cybersecurity Risk and Liabilities

Abstract: Many employers historically were only concerned with privacy and security for health plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and state laws. However, cybersecurity should also be a consideration for every retirement plan fiduciary. To preserve fiduciary protection while making required disclosures electronically, retirement plan fiduciaries should consider whether their duties of loyalty, prudence and to administer the plan for the exclusive benefit of the participants might require them to protect their participants' personal information.

Source: Winstead.com, April 2017

Why Employers Should Care About the Cost of Delayed Retirements

Abstract: Having employees able to retire "on time" is a win/win scenario for both employees and employers. But these days many employees are expected to delay their retirements beyond their desired retirement ages because they don't have adequate savings to sustain them throughout their retirement. To quantify the impact of delayed retirements on employers' costs, Prudential conducted research using workforce composition and cost assumptions based on national averages for private sector workers.

Source: Prudential.com, April 2017

Expanding Multiple Employer Plans: A Bipartisan Idea to Narrow the Coverage Gap

Abstract: ERISA Strategist Dan Notto discusses the idea of open multiple employer plans and their potential to help narrow the retirement coverage gap.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, April 2017

DC Investors Continue Shift to Target-Date Funds, Away From Equity

Abstract: Mutual fund assets held by defined contribution plans were approximately $3.9 trillion as of the end of 2016. About 46% of those assets were invested in U.S.-equity focused funds and just more than a quarter were invested in hybrid funds, primarily target date and lifestyle.

Source: Pionline.com, April 2017

Auto Portability Could Boost Nation's Retirement Savings Wealth by $2T

Abstract: EBRI has joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in calling for a national, private-sector clearinghouse that could seamlessly handle rollovers from one plan to another.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2017

Work Redefined: A New Age of Benefits

Abstract: The enjoyment of life is beginning to take back its rightful place in the lives of employees. Today's employees put increased focus on happiness at work. They change jobs more often, their careers take unexpected twists and turns, and personal satisfaction can be as important as the numbers on their paycheck. Employers recognize these changing priorities, by investing in employee engagement, culture, and team development.

Source: Metlife.com, April 2017

Baby Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2017

Abstract: The Insured Retirement Institute released its latest report on the Baby Boomer generation's expectations and readiness for retirement. As they move into their pre-retirement and retirement years, most Boomers report insufficient retirement savings, and have not taken appropriate steps to plan effectively for their sunset years.

Source: Irionline.org, April 2017

A Study of EBP Audits and Auditors

Abstract: This short study found that there is a great deal of "movement" going on currently with some firms growing their practice and others leaving that part of their practice to be served by other firms. Therefore, firms of all sizes can benefit by prospecting for new plan audit opportunities.

Source: Erisapedia.com, March 2017

Conservative Options in Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: This 11-page paper evaluates the most heavily represented Defined Contribution capital preservation plan options and provides a framework for constructing and communicating the most appropriate line-up for participants. The paper seeks to provide educational information on capital preservation options. Importantly, developing a process for the evaluation of the appropriate capital preservation option within a DC plan is critical.

Source: Rocaton.com, March 2017

Smart Beta in DC Plans

Abstract: Factor investing is growing in popularity among institutional portfolio managers, 87% of whom report using factor analysis in making investment decisions. And now we are beginning to see growing interest in factor investing and smart beta among defined contribution plan sponsors.

Source: Blackrock.com, March 2017

Is Home Equity An Underutilized Retirement Asset?

Abstract: Retirement planning generally focuses on the use of financial assets. However, home equity is the largest store of savings for most households entering retirement. This 9-page paper reviews studies by the Social Security Administration's Retirement Research Consortium and others that assess whether home equity is an underutilized retirement asset and, if so, why.

Source: Bc.edu, March 2017

Three Things to Know About DC Plan Participants Under

Abstract: Here are three critical findings from recent J.P. Morgan research on the attitudes toward saving and investing among the youngest members of the U.S. labor force.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, March 2017

Retirement Assets Total $25.3 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2016

Abstract: Total US retirement assets were $25.3 trillion as of December 31, 2016, up 1.4 percent from the end of September and up 6.1 percent for the year. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of 2016.

Source: Iciglobal.org, March 2017

Are You Getting the Right Return on Your Retirement Plan Investment?

Abstract: According to data from Willis Towers Watson, the average employer-provided value in a DC plan in Canada is 6.3%, assuming employees take advantage of the full company match available. It's a significant number for most organizations, so how can an employer measure if the retirement plan is providing the right return on the company's investment?

Source: Benefitscanada.com, March 2017

The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey

Abstract: The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey finds that the share of American workers who are very confident in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement remains low, and some workers report that preparing for retirement is emotionally or mentally stressful. However, among retirees, confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement continues to be comparably high.

Source: Ebri.org, March 2017

Passive Investment Train Overtakes Active in Corporate DC Plans

Abstract: The never-ending fight for lower fees and the fear of fee-related lawsuits have pushed passive investments ahead of active management among large defined contribution plans, the first time since Pensions & Investments began tracking data from the 100 biggest corporate plans.

Source: Pionline.com, March 2017

401k Benchmark Report

Abstract: This 32-page report examines approximately 500,000 active 401k plans. This data comes from the 2015 plan year, and represents the most recent data available at the time of writing. These plans cover about 53 million eligible workers and account for about $4.1 trillion in plan assets. The goal of this research is to provide an objective, data-oriented view of different industries, how their collective 401k plans are performing, and how that compares to other industry groupings.

Source: Judydiamond.com, March 2017

Smallest Companies Have Highest-Performing 401k Plans, Study Finds

Abstract: ALM Intelligence has published the results of the second annual 401k Plan Benchmark Report from its benefits unit, Judy Diamond Associates. This in-depth analysis from Judy Diamond Associates examined active 401k plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2017

More Than 40% of Americans Are Wrong About Their Retirement Preparedness

Abstract: A new study says that more than half of working-age Americans are at risk of seeing their standard of living drop in retirement. No shocker there. Many surveys and studies show that many, if not most, workers are well behind when it comes to preparing for retirement. What is surprising, though, is the number of people the researchers identified who believe they're on track to a secure retirement, but aren't.

Source: Time.com, March 2017

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Plan Design

Abstract: This 13-page paper helps plan sponsors navigate plan design decisions. It examines the factors that you should consider as a fiduciary when making decisions about plan design, looks at how other plans handle different options, and identifies some best practices.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, March 2017

Shift from DB to DC Resulted in Decline in Income Replacement

Abstract: Retirement income as a percentage of wealth has declined as the employer-sponsored retirement plan landscape has been moved to mostly DC plans, a study finds.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

Participants Count on Yesterday's Investment Returns Tomorrow

Abstract: When it comes to retirement savings, there's a new gap to worry about: the difference between low industry return forecasts and defined contribution plan participant expectations.

Source: Blackrock.com, March 2017

Dispelling an Urban Legend: Participant Loans Do Not Result in Double Taxation

Abstract: Service providers and advisors who claim that participant loan repayments result in double taxation do not see the full picture, so they continue to spread an erroneous urban legend.

Source: Belfint.com, March 2017

Using the New IRS Remedial Amendment Period Rules

Abstract: This 28-page paper looks at what the Tax Code and Treasury Regulations say about when a retirement plan that is intended to be qualified may be retroactively modified. If one is interested only in whether a plan document meets the qualification requirements, and not what plan terms may be enforced by participants or other parties, this retroactivity question is the whole ballgame.

Source: Utzlattan.com, March 2017

Millennial Wealth Accumulation - A Plan Sponsor's Guide

Abstract: For Millennials, if they do retire, it may be 40+ years away. It can be hard to focus on something so far in the future, no matter how important it is. Instead of focusing on retirement as an event to save for, Millennials should focus on accumulating wealth for their future. As a plan sponsor, you can help by providing strategic participant education and proper plan design.

Source: Ekonbenefits.com, March 2017

The Emergence and Future of Plan Health Tools

Abstract: These comprehensive resources communicate crucial plan health data, such as plan participation rate, average employee salary deferral rate, number of employees eligible but not participating, and number of participants with appropriately allocated portfolios. The tools often provide more holistic summaries of information and incorporate data visualizations, giving sponsors a more intuitive way to assess plan health than traditional reporting tools.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, March 2017

Seventeen Facts That Sum Up Women's Retirement Risks

Abstract: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has released a new research report, Seventeen Facts About Women's Retirement Outlook, which sheds light on vulnerabilities unique to women in their efforts to prepare for a secure retirement. The report is based on findings from TCRS' 17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2017

Americans in Agreement on Efforts to Improve Retirement Security

Abstract: An overwhelming majority of Americans (85%) say leaders in Washington do not understand how hard it is to prepare for retirement, a survey finds.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

Workers Value Key Features of DC Plans

Abstract: A new study by LIMRA shows most workers understand the need to save for retirement and they prefer to do it through their employers with help from their companies.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2017

Half of Workers Would Save for Retirement if Payroll Deduction Was Available

Abstract: A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study indicates 61 percent of U.S. workers without an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan would be more likely to save for retirement if they access to one. The majority of workers also feel that key features of the defined contribution system are important.

Source: Limra.com, March 2017

ERISA: A 40-Plus Year Retrospective

Abstract: ERISA has changed over the last 40 years. Over 160 legislative acts have amended this landmark law or the related provisions in the Internal Revenue Code. This article provides some retrospective and assessment.

Source: Bpsm.com, March 2017

Inside the Minds of 401k Participants

Abstract: Retirement confidence is on the rise. But many 401k participants are not aware of -- or prepared for -- the industry-forecasted period of low returns. Fortunately, small but effective measures by both plan sponsors and participants can help bridge the savings shortfall.

Source: Blackrock.com, March 2017

Do Households Have a Good Sense of Their Retirement Preparedness?

Abstract: The analysis finds that almost 60 percent of households have a good sense of whether they are on track for retirement. But about 20 percent incorrectly think they are prepared, in large part because they do not recognize that their 401k savings are inadequate. These households are in the most danger of saving too little, but even those who know they are unprepared may not act unless prodded.

Source: Bc.edu, March 2017

TDF Adoption in 2016

Abstract: Use of target-date funds in DC plans continued to grow. At year-end 2016, 9 in 10 plans offered a TDF, 72% of all participants had a position in the funds, and the funds accounted for half of total plan contributions. Eight-page report.

Source: Vanguard.com, February 2017

Engaging Hispanic Workers in Retirement Savings

Abstract: While among one of the fastest growing population demographics in the country, studies have shown Hispanic workers face major challenges in allocating enough towards retirement savings. Rather than focusing on literacy and word-for-word translations, retirement plan sponsors may want to pay more attention to context and cultural needs.

Source: Plansponsor.com, February 2017

Retirement Security 2017: A Roadmap for Policy Makers

Abstract: America faces a deep political divide, but not when it comes to economic security in retirement. This 40-page report finds that 76 percent of Americans are concerned about their ability to achieve a secure retirement, with that level of worry at 78 percent for Democrats and 76 percent for Republicans. Some 88 percent of Americans agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis, and the concern is high across party lines.

Source: Nirsonline.org, February 2017

Mind, Body, and Wallet -- The Impact to Employee Well Being

Abstract: This research brief from Guardian's 4th Annual Workplace Benefit Study reveals that working Americans' sense of their overall health and well-being is declining. This finding is based on Guardian's new Workforce Well-Being Index™, which measures consumer attitudes in three core areas: financial wellness, physical wellness, and emotional wellness.

Source: Guardiananytime.com, February 2017

New Research Offers Data on Financial Wellness ROI

Abstract: AFS 401k has released new research on financial wellness designed to give c-suite executives and employee benefits professionals insight into the motivation for and return of investment on these programs for employees and companies.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, February 2017

A Tale of Two Countries: Defined Contribution Plans in the UK and US

Abstract: While the shift from DB to DC plans got off to a later start in the UK, the changeover was faster. Both the US and UK seem headed for a common approach: automatic enrollment into a matching contribution structure with a default life-cycle investment fund. And 28% of plan participants in the US and 21% in the UK expect to work until 70 or even later.

Source: Towerswatson.com, February 2017

Retirement Policy Directions in 2017 and Beyond

Abstract: With a new Congress and a new president in Washington, how are U.S. retirement policies likely to change? Possibly quite radically, and for two main reasons.

Source: Ebri.org, February 2017

American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

Abstract: The survey polled respondents about their views on DC retirement saving and their confidence in 401k and other DC plans. Survey responses indicated that households value the discipline and investment opportunity that 401k plans represent and that households were largely opposed to changing the tax preferences or investment control in those accounts.

Source: Ici.org, February 2017

DC Trends Survey

Abstract: In addition to a focus on fees. other trends include an increase in recordkeeper search activity, a movement to institutional fund structures, a de-emphasis on revenue sharing, and the adoption of fee policy statements.

Source: Callan.com, February 2017

Retirement Plan Access and Participation Across Generations

Abstract: This paper examines data to look for differences among millennials, Generation Xers, and baby boomers in how many participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Then it explores some key reasons for those differences and notes similarities in access rates, participation rates, and reasons for not taking part.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, February 2017

A Guide to Commonly Used DC Plan Investment Vehicles

Abstract: DCIIA produced this 21-page presentation to provide a better understanding of the various investment vehicles that are commonly used within DC plans, their benefits and drawbacks, and considerations for deciding which structure to use.

Source: Dciia.org, February 2017

In Retirement, Spending Varies Widely by Region

Abstract: Most discussion about retirement preparation revolves around national averages, but a lot could depend on where you live in retirement, according to new research by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, February 2017

BrightScope Releases Annual Top 30 401k Plans

Abstract: BrightScope announced the eighth BrightScope year-end ranking of the Top 30 401k Plans List, recognizing companies with the best 401k plans containing more than $1 billion in assets. Seven new companies in the list this year and some key statistics are provided.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, February 2017

Over Half of Canadian Employers Provide Access to Financial Advice in Their Group Retirement and Savings Plan

Abstract: Fifty-seven per cent of defined contribution plan sponsors and 61 per cent of group registered retirement savings plan sponsors say they provide their members with access to professional financial advice, according to the 2016 Capital Accumulation Plan Benchmark Report.

Source: Greatwestlife.com, February 2017

Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions

Abstract: A new survey finds that Americans don't know how much they will need to fund their retirement, and think they should be saving about five times more than they are. Little wonder they are also more likely to second guess their financial decisions than any other major life decision.

Source: Napa-net.org, February 2017

Fewer Canadians Contributing to RRSPs

Abstract: Between 2000 and 2013, fewer and fewer 25- to 54-year-olds used registered retirement savings plans, a study from Statistics Canada has found. The number of individuals using the savings vehicle dropped by 16 per cent to 4.2 million, and the total value of annual contributions fell by 26 per cent to $22.5 billion.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, February 2017

How Job Changes Affect Retirement Timing by Socioeconomic Status

Abstract: This 8-page paper assesses the effect of voluntarily changing jobs by workers in their 50s on how long they stay in the labor force. The brief also investigates whether any effect differs by socioeconomic status as measured by educational attainment.

Source: Bc.edu, February 2017

Case Study Finds Re-Enrollment Effective for Portfolio Diversification

Abstract: Six months after a re-enrollment, 94% of participants and 74% of plan assets were in TDFs, while one year later, 92% of participants and 81% of plan assets were in TDFs, a case study by Vanguard showed.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2017

Retirement Preparations in a New Age of Self-Employment

Abstract: At a time of rapid technological advances and societal changes, the increasing prevalence of the self-employed not only represents a change in how people work, it also calls for changes in how people save, invest, and plan for retirement.

Source: Aegon.com, February 2017

401k Savings Hit Record Numbers

Abstract: Record investing in 401k accounts is yielding impressive results for retirement savers. That's because people have recently been socking more money away. Workers in 2015 saved 6.8% of their salaries in 401k and profit-sharing plans, versus 6.2% in 2010.

Source: Investopedia.com, February 2017

State Auto-IRAs: The Wrong Answer

Abstract: According to this 20-page paper, states considering mandating automatic enrollment payroll deduction Individual Retirement Accounts are likely to hurt the very workers they think they are helping. The reason is simple, state autoIRAs are a poor substitute for employer-provided plans.

Source: Uschamber.com, February 2017

The Effect of Job Mobility on Retirement Timing by Education

Abstract: Job-changing among late-career workers increased steadily from the 1980s through the mid-2000s before declining somewhat in recent years. This 26-page paper asks how the rise in job-changing affects retirement timing and whether this effect varies by a key measure of socioeconomic status or educational attainment.

Source: Bc.edu, February 2017

401k Balances, Contributions and IRAs End 2016 at Record Levels

Abstract: Fidelity Investments today released its 401k and Individual Retirement Account analysis for the fourth quarter of 2016, which reveals a record average 401k balance.

Source: Fidelity.com, February 2017

Eight Concerns 401k Sponsors Have About DC Plan Administration

Abstract: Sponsors of large and mega 401k plans are continuing to step up oversight of retirement plans and in many cases are taking a more paternalistic approach to plan design. Fee consciousness and heightened oversight are key themes.

Source: Benefitspro.com, February 2017

Exploring the Impact of the DOL Fiduciary Ruling on the DC Marketplace

Abstract: This 9-page research paper explores the DOL fiduciary ruling's impact on the DC market. The paper begins by looking at how DC advisors see the ruling changing their businesses and how it's shifting their priorities. Then it turns to the participant view, examining their awareness of the ruling and how it alters their perceptions of financial advisors and the industry overall. Then, it looks at DC advisor satisfaction with the support they are receiving from financial providers.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, February 2017

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