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Insights: Trends, Research, and White Papers

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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

Retirement Preparations in a New Age of Self-Employment

Summary: Study provides research-based insights from 15 countries spanning Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia, and outlines recommendations for improving the long-term financial security of the self-employed.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, January 2017

Top 10 Small Business 401k Providers

Summary: The top 10 401k providers ranking have been stable for the past two years, with only one new provider making it into the top 10 list for defined contribution plans under $10 million in assets.

Source: Forusall.com, January 2017

State Retirement Savings Initiatives Do More than Enhance Retirement Security for Private Sector Workers

Abstract: As states look at programs to build retirement savings, they are also asking how a population better prepared for retirement would affect public safety-net programs. Medicaid is the program in which there is greatest interest in estimating potential savings associated with greater retirement savings because it continues to be a major and growing piece of state budgets.

Source: Segalco.com, January 2017

What's the Most Common Match?

Abstract: The most common DC match turns out to not be the one that participants were more likely to get, according to a new report. Altogether, the most common match rates for employee contributions (with various limits on the maximum employee contribution matched) were 50% and 100%, both used by about 37% of plans, while the most common percentage of employee contributions matched (with a variety of limits on the percentage of the contribution matched) was 6%, used by 34.3% of plans.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2017

2017 Key Administrative Dates and Deadlines for Calendar-Year DC Plans

Abstract: This is a 4-page retirement plan chart and 2017 calendar for defined contribution plans, published Milliman. The document provides key administrative dates and deadlines for calendar-year plans.

Source: Milliman.com, January 2017

Small Business Views on Retirement Savings Plans

Abstract: The Pew Charitable Trusts recently surveyed over 1,600 small- and medium-sized business owners or managers to better understand the barriers to -- and motivations for -- offering retirement plans and to get their views on policy initiatives. The responses, in one of the few such surveys conducted in the past decade, generally show strong support for offering retirement benefits and for various policy initiatives that would boost savings.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, January 2017

The Role of IRAs in US Households' Saving for Retirement

Abstract: With $7.5 trillion in assets at the end of the second quarter of 2016, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) represented 31 percent of US total retirement market assets, compared with 19 percent two decades ago. Thus, IRAs play an increasingly important role in saving for retirement. This 40-page report breaks down the details.

Source: Ici.org, January 2017

Top Issue Currently "Reshaping" 401ks

Abstract: The research and consulting firm Callan Associates is out with its annual "Defined Contribution Trends Survey" and it reveals that (what else?) fees in 401ks are playing a heightened role in driving plan sponsor decision-making.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2017

Disconnect Exist Between Perceptions of Plan Sponsors and Advisors

Abstract: Voya announced the findings of its survey of retirement plan sponsors and plan advisors. The goal of the survey, "Sponsor Perceptions of Retirement Plan Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Advisors," was to better understand what sponsors want from advisors in terms of services and support, as well as to identify unmet needs and emerging opportunities.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2017

Plan Sponsors Starting to Offer Guaranteed Income Products, but Many Have Questions

Abstract: Guaranteed income products are a hot topic in 401k plans. The Plan Sponsor Council of America conducted a snapshot survey in the fall of 2016 to gage whether plan sponsors are adding them to their plans, and if not, why.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2017

Mobile and Web Abilities Valued by DC Participants Has Changed

Abstract: Corporate Insight surveyed close to 1,500 participants and found the top-15 features most commonly identified by participants as "very important" or "extremely important" saw a considerable amount of change since the 2013 survey.

Source: Plansponsor.com, January 2017

Improved Guidance Could Help Retirement Account Owners Understand the Risks of Investing in Unconventional Assets

Abstract: People who invest their retirement accounts in unconventional assets -- such as real estate or virtual currency -- may be placing their savings at risk. This GAO report recommends that the IRS improve guidance for account owners with unconventional retirement assets and clarify how to annually value such assets.

Source: Gao.gov, January 2017

Study Demonstrates 401k Plans Are a Crucial Tool for Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent

Abstract: A study from Fisher Investments 401k Solutions found that eighty percent of millennials say they would prefer to work for a company that offers a 401k plan, dispelling a commonly-held belief that millennials are not as interested in 401k plans as other generations.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2017

Spotlight on Fees Is Reshaping DC Plans

Abstract: Callan's 10th-annual "Defined Contribution Trends Survey" reveals that fees are playing a heightened role in driving plan sponsor decision-making. Reviewing plan fees was cited as a key area of fiduciary focus, both now and for the foreseeable future.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2017

Boosting Retirement Savings Rates a Primary Focus for Employers in 2017

Abstract: Despite strong participation in employer-sponsored 401k plans, few employers are satisfied with their workers' current savings rates, per a new report from Aon Hewitt. In response, employers are focused on increasing savings rates and will continue to expand financial wellbeing programs this year.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2017

Gender Retirement Gap

Abstract: Many people save for retirement through their employer, who in turn applies gender-neutral saving rates, investment choices, and spending strategies in retirement. Intuitively this creates a sense of fairness, but this intuition masks the reality that many women face. The challenges women face are arguably greater than those confronted by men.

Source: Ssrn.com, January 2017

2017: MEPs, State Plans, Education Loom Large

Abstract: The champagne flutes may be dry, but plenty of bubbling exuberance remains. And regarding retirement plans, several experts tell us that multiple employer plans (MEPs), state plans and financial education are areas in 2017 in which that exuberance will be especially pronounced.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2017

Employee Benefits Consideration in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Abstract: Employers that sponsor a retirement plan face a host of potential issues to consider both before and after a corporate merger or acquisition. These topics can be complex and often require appropriate analysis and planning prior to an acquisition in order to meet the goals of all parties and the needs of the affected employees.

Source: Vanguard.com, December 2016

2016 Practice Benchmarking Survey

Abstract: What do retirement plan advisers view as their biggest challenges? Their greatest opportunities? What are the primary benefits they receive from custodians and broker/dealers? The 2016 PLANADVISER Practice Benchmarking Survey of 613 retirement plan advisers shares insights into these and other key questions, and gives you a guidepost to see how you compare with your peers.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

Holistic Retirement Planning on the Horizon

Abstract: The Insured Retirement Institute released a new 28-page report forecasting that more advisors in the years ahead will embrace a holistic retirement planning approach, one focused on developing retirement income for clients.

Source: Irionline.org, December 2016

Economic Hurdles, Retirement Plan Design Inefficiencies Discourage Millennials From Saving for Retirement

Abstract: America's working population is undergoing shifts that will inevitably affect the retirement plan industry, with millions of Baby Boomers retiring and as many Millennials joining the workforce. Providers will have to adjust to the demands of young, tech-savvy employees who have high expectations for the participant digital experience and are skeptical toward financial services firms.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, December 2016

Extensive Plan Data Reveal Key Design Features and Trends

Abstract: A new in-depth study of 401k plans by BrightScope and the Investment Company Institute finds that the great majority of employers that sponsor 401k plans -- more than three-quarters -- contribute to their plans, using a range of formulas when they provide matching contributions. The report, released today, also reveals that plans offer a wide variety of investment choices and that mutual fund fees in 401k plans have trended down.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2016

How Millennials are Redefining Retirement

Abstract: Millennials are redefining what retirement will look like when it is their time to join the ranks. According to a study by Bank of America Merrill Edge, 83% of millennials plan to work into retirement, which is the exact opposite of current retirees, the majority of whom say they aren't working in retirement or have never worked during their retirement.

Source: Benefitnews.com, December 2016

17th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

Abstract: The latest research findings from TCRS' 2016 survey of American workers. The Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey explores attitudes about retirement and retirement readiness among American workers. This study is one of the largest and longest-running of its kind and is conducted by Harris Poll.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, December 2016

2016 PLANSPONSOR DC Investment Survey

Abstract: This year's PLANSPONSOR/Janus Capital Group survey of plan sponsors' approaches, attitudes and intentions shows a shift in focus from fiduciary risks and duties to the importance of fees. Is this a good thing? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Source: Rackcdn.com, December 2016

A Glimpse Into 403(b) Plan Trends

Abstract: New 10-page Plan Sponsor Council of America survey highlights fiduciary awareness. PSCA's 2016 403(b) Snapshot Survey reflects responses from 281 not-for-profit organizations that currently sponsor a 403(b) plan.

Source: Psca.org, December 2016

A Look at Private-Sector Retirement Plan Income After ERISA

Abstract: The movement away from employer-managed DB plans toward employee-directed DC plans has raised concerns among some in the public policy community. These concerns typically focus on whether Americans will have adequate retirement resources and whether they can manage assets prior to and in retirement. To help provide context for retirement policy discussions, this 32-page paper examines the role that private-sector pensions (both DB and DC) historically have played in providing retirement income.

Source: Ici.org, December 2016

Satisfying Today's Retirement Plan Participant: Study Now Available

Abstract: This study shares the results of our September 2016 survey of close to 1,500 DC plan participants, shedding light on participant satisfaction with providers and examining such key aspects of the relationship as advice and planning offerings, communication, mobile apps, and websites.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, December 2016

New Evidence on the Demand for Advice Within Retirement Plans

Abstract: This 13-page paper uses participant-level data from TIAA 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, it take initial steps to determine how demand for advice interacts with reliance on default investment options.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, December 2016

2017 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans

Abstract: Sibson Consulting's 2017 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single-employer benefit plans.

Source: Sibson.com, December 2016

Insights Into Retirement Planning Behavior

Abstract: Voya Financial conducted a brief consumer survey to gain insights into how people think and act when it comes to certain retirement plan behaviors and decisions. Specific questions asked in the survey addressed the themes of "time spent" and "trade-offs" that are made in the decision process.

Source: Voya.com, December 2016

Hispanics' Retirement Security

Abstract: Many older Hispanics face significant financial challenges because they worked at low-paying jobs that did not offer retirement benefits. Various policy options, such as workforce development initiatives, efforts to promote education and retirement savings, and Social Security reforms that increase benefit progressivity, might improve financial security for current and future generations of older Hispanics.

Source: Urban.org, December 2016

Survey of the Participant Experience in the New Fiduciary World

Abstract: Looking to understand the relationship between improving participant experiences and complying with the DOL Rule, Broadridge surveyed retirement industry executives in the fall of 2016. Respondents were questioned on how the DOL Rule would impact the participant experience in general, and on the potential impact at their firms.

Source: Broadridge.com, December 2016

State Auto-IRA Programs: The Keys to Financial Self-Sufficiency

Abstract: This 7-page paper, which is based on a study for the state of Oregon's Retirement Savings Plan, examines what fees may be required to enable auto-IRA programs to be self-financing and identifies the most important drivers of, and barriers to, financial self-sufficiency.

Source: Bc.edu, December 2016

Satisfying Today's Retirement Plan Participant

Abstract: Corporate Insight will publish a new special study on the retirement space. Satisfying Today's Retirement Plan Participant combines insights from an in-depth survey of close to 1,500 retirement plan participants with our analysis of retirement industry trends and emerging best practices for the digital participant experience. This is an interview with Silviya Simeonova, lead author on the study, and James McGovern, head of our Consulting Services team, that discusses the objectives of the study and some of the key findings from the research.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, December 2016

Two-Thirds of Americans Fail 401k Wellness Survey

Abstract: A new 401k survey, released today by Fisher Investments 401k Solutions, suggests a startling knowledge gap among Americans when it comes to the 401k plans offered by their employer. While most people may think they understand their 401k, 71 percent of respondents failed Fisher's 401k IQ in the Workplace Quiz, missing at least three of the nine basic questions.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2016

DC Retirement Plans: Who Has Them and What Do They Cost?

Abstract: This article takes a look at five types of employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans in private industry. The article shows the overall employee participation rates, employee participation rates by type of plan, and overall employer costs and worker participation costs for all types of plans.

Source: Bls.gov, December 2016

Impact Investing: What Role for Defined Contribution Plans?

Abstract: Impact investments can be viewed as an offshoot of socially responsible investing and have the stated intent of delivering measurable social impact. This 8-page study delves into impact investing to gauge thoughts and attitudes on the concept as a whole, as well as within defined contribution plans.

Source: Prudential.com, December 2016

Robo Advisors: Looking Beyond the Low-Cost Service

Abstract: Results of a new study from Loring Ward comparing the portfolios from the top five robo-advisors to a benchmark portfolio with several decades of measurable performance reveal that while the robo-advisor portfolios are very well diversified, they also contain construction gaps that should not be present in well-constructed portfolios.

Source: Advisorinsightsblog.com, December 2016

Advisers and Clients Slow Innovation to Prevent Litigation

Abstract: A new survey report from Cerulli Associates examines how the unprecedented number of lawsuits being filed against 401k and other defined contribution retirement plan sponsors and providers have impacted the pace of innovation.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

Compliance and Fee Compression Are Top Advisors Concerns

Abstract: A survey of 275 financial advisors released by SEI Advisor Network reveals that in the wake of the impending DOL Fiduciary Rule, compliance issues followed by fee compression and an increased investment in technology are the top issues for financial advisors going into 2017.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2016

2016 Retirement Preparedness Survey Findings

Abstract: Key themes of this 8-page include: 1) Saving for retirement is getting progressively harder for each generation. 2) Overwhelmed with investment choices, individuals have little understanding about what they are invested in. 3) Far from reaching savings goals, pre-retirees need a plan, but have inertia. 4) Advisors play an important role in bridging the retirement preparedness gap.

Source: Prudential.com, December 2016

401k Plan Design Study

Abstract: One of the most common questions received from small business 401k fiduciaries during the plan design process is "what are other people doing?" This article reviews 2,767 plans to help answer that question.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, November 2016

Things That Won't Help A Retirement Plan Sponsor Limit Their Liability

Abstract: When it comes to retirement plans, plan sponsors think that there are certain services or products will limit their liability and it turns out not to be true. This article is about those things that will not limit the liability of plan sponsors.

Source: Jdsupra.com, November 2016

Effects of Eligibility and Vesting Policies on Workers' Retirement Savings

Abstract: ERISA allows 401k sponsors to set eligibility and vesting policies for the plans. The GAO was asked to examine 40k plans' use of these policies. Among other objectives, this report examines 1) what is known about the prevalence of these policies and why plans use them, and 2) the potential effects of these policies on workers' retirement savings.

Source: Gao.gov, November 2016

New Generation of Workers Want Next-Generation Retirement Savings Plans

Abstract: American workers are falling short of their retirement savings goals, and according to survey findings published today by Natixis Global Asset Management, the youngest members of the workforce, age 18-34, are pioneering a new set of standards for employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. The survey found that most (86%) recognize their own responsibility to fund retirement, but they need more help from employers including better education, stronger incentives, and assistance with other financial pressures.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2016

Plan Redesign With an Appropriate Oversight Process

Abstract: Do you have the right oversight in place to make your plan successful? Are your best practices protecting you and your fiduciary liability? This 17-page survey focuses on the current state of plan governance and oversight for DC plan investments.

Source: Seic.com, November 2016

Automatic Enrollment 401k Plans for Small Businesses

Abstract: Approximately 30 percent of eligible workers do not participate in their employer's 401k-type plan. Studies suggest that automatic enrollment plans could reduce this rate to less than 15 percent, significantly increasing retirement savings. This 22-page IRS publication provides an overview of automatic enrollment 401k plans.

Source: Irs.gov, November 2016

Protecting DC Plan Retirement Savings During Disability

Abstract: While the Internal Revenue Code provide a framework for incorporating long-term disability benefits into defined contribution plans, these benefits have yet to become widely adopted by plan sponsors, perhaps partially due to inconsistent guidance from the IRS and uncertainly on the part of plan sponsors regarding how such benefits can be implemented in practice. This article suggests that it is time to move these theoretical frameworks into workable solutions.

Source: Employeebenefitsblog.com, November 2016

Managed Accounts in Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: As there is generally a lack of familiarly with managed account services compared to the other types of multi-asset class products, this paper seeks to shed light on them. The paper focuses on areas in which they may be considered for a defined contribution plan and considerations when selecting a provider.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, November 2016

Retirement Distribution Decisions Among DC Participants

Abstract: The overwhelming majority of retirement-age DC plan participants continue to move their assets out of their employer's plan with most of them opting for an IRA rollover account. This 16-page paper explores the impact of retirement distribution decisions on target-date fund design and retirement income programs.

Source: Vanguard.com, November 2016

Retirement Plan Participants Remain Committed to Saving

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through defined contribution plans during the first half of this year, according to ICI's latest study of retirement plan savers' actions.

Source: Ici.org, October 2016

Is There a Participant/Plan Sponsor Disconnect on Retirement Income?

Abstract: Survey authors suggest that the lack of retirement income solutions may actually result from sponsors not believing there is sufficient participant interest in a solution, since that among plans without a retirement income solution, only 26% believe participants would have interest in one.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

2016 Retirement Plan Adviser Survey

Abstract: Survey questions pertained to the size and scope of advisers' qualified plan business, practice management, compensation and client service, as well as their assessments of investment managers, mutual funds and defined contribution providers. A total of 601 retirement plan advisers complete responses.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

DC Plans in Review: A Quarterly Briefing for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: This 54-page quarterly review is designed to help CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers, Human Resource and Benefits Professionals and Investment Committees stay abreast of recent events that could have an impact on plans or plan participants. It includes a summary of new and pending legislation, news out of the DOL and other regulatory bodies, and an update on high-profile ERISA cases.

Source: Rackcdn.com, October 2016

2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey

Abstract: The 2016 edition of PwC's Employee Financial Wellness Survey tracks the financial well-being of full-time employed U.S. adults nationwide. After several years of improvements, this year marks the first time we are seeing a downward slide in many of the key indicators of employee financial wellness. Overall, this year's survey highlights just how fragile the situation is with regard to employees and their personal financial well-being.

Source: Pwc.com, October 2016

One Size Does Not Fit All DC Sponsors

Abstract: This 12-page white paper investigates the role plan sponsors play in participant retirement readiness. It also explores the plan features and services they are considering to ensure that their participants are adequately prepared for retirement.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2016

Retirement Unreadiness Continues to Plague Women

Abstract: Women continue to face inequality when it comes to retirement readiness, according to T. Rowe Price, which has produced a seven-part series of videos to help women navigate the retirement landscape.

Source: Fa-mag.com, October 2016

Enhancing DC Plan Design

Abstract: This 4-paper paper covers steps plan sponsors can take to help improve plan outcomes.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, October 2016

DB to DC Plan Transitions: Thinking Long Term

Abstract: When designing an appropriate DB to DC transition strategy, a plan sponsor must address the Internal Revenue Code coverage and nondiscrimination requirements with their proposed plan design. Meeting these conditions may be relatively easy at the outset, but turnover in the organization over time may result in compliance issues in future years.

Source: Findleydavies.com, October 2016

Acceptance Building for Collective Investment Trusts and Liquid Alternatives

Abstract: New research from Cerulli finds that CITs and liquid alternatives are gaining momentum for their potential to lower costs and reduce portfolio volatility, but obstacles still remain.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Seen Expanding 401k Plan Assets

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule could swell the assets in 401k plans by discouraging rollovers to individual retirement accounts, according to a recent report from research firm Cerulli Associates.

Source: Treasuryandrisk.com, October 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Will Trim 401k Advisers' Stable of Recordkeepers

Abstract: Advisers to DC plans will likely trim the number of recordkeeping firms and asset managers they regularly use for DC business because of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, mainly with an eye to cutting costs, according to a new study by Sway Research.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), October 2016

Hispanic Workers Are Less Likely to Have the Opportunity to Participate in Retirement Plans

Abstract: The lack of access to a 401k makes it hard for Hispanics to prepare for retirement and increases their reliance on Social Security and working in old age. Only a quarter of prime-working-age Hispanic families have retirement account savings and the median balance is just $22,000.

Source: Epi.org, October 2016

Podcast: Cyber Security and 401k Plans: Real or Theoretical Risk?

Abstract: This podcast discuss the evolving world of cyber risk or cyber threats and how they can impact 401k and other employer benefits plans.

Source: 401kfridays.com, October 2016

Survey Results Reveal Lack of Retirement Income Solutions in the Workplace

Abstract: In a new survey, Corporate Insight and Institutional Investor Institute for Defined Contribution interviewed more than 150 plan sponsors about retirement income solutions. The study analyzed topics including the cost and interest of these type of solutions as well as the factors preventing companies from having them.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, October 2016

College and University Benefits Study (CUBS) Latest Report

Abstract: This report notes developments and statistics in employee defined contribution plans, including how many institutions are offering matching contributions and the median percentage of contribution rate.

Source: Sibson.com, October 2016

Infographic: The Unexpected Cost of Education Debt

Abstract: Student loan debt may be preventing workers from getting their finances on track, including funding their retirement account.

Source: Fidelity.com, October 2016

Paper on Financial Wellness Programs

Abstract: Can a financial wellness program reduce employee stress and grow your business? Based on a recent research study, financial wellness is the #1 stressor in the workplace. As an employer you can help. This white paper reviews the benefits of financial wellness for both employees and employers, lays out strategies for implementing an effective program, and provides information on how to tackle the obstacles you might encounter.

Source: Benefitnews.com, October 2016

How Should Defined Contribution Retirement Plans Be Organized?

Abstract: This 16-page study, "2016 Retirement Confidence Monitor," digs into the experiences and confidence levels of DC plan participants and members in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: Ssga.com, October 2016

How Should Defined Contribution Retirement Plans Be Organized?

Abstract: According to this white paper, the current rules regarding investment advice for DC plans do not address the two critical deficiencies of the current system, namely opacity and conflicts of interest. The paper proposes that one-master standard be instituted along with strict transparency requirements to control the conflicts of interest and improve retirement savings advice. It also recommends that only passive, well-diversified index funds for stocks and bonds should qualify as retirement vehicles.

Source: Ssrn.com, October 2016

More DC Plans Embrace Open Architecture

Abstract: More DC plans are moving to an open-architecture investment lineup strategy, seeking greater flexibility and less reliance on proprietary products offered by their recordkeepers. Consultants and ERISA attorneys say the strategic shift has many causes including a quest for greater diversification, tougher negotiating over fees and services, federal fee transparency regulations, and fiduciary breach lawsuits.

Source: Pionline.com (registration may be required), October 2016

DOL Rule Change Forces Due Diligence Process Makeover

Abstract: For retirement plan sponsors, the risks of choosing the wrong investment advisor or consultant just became a lot greater. Spurred by new DOL guidelines, fiduciaries of plans of all sizes are scrambling to evaluate qualified retirement plan investment advisors/consultants using the request for proposal solicitation method. Typically, the process involves a large number of subjective questions and a small set of objective data. Plan fiduciaries can and should ask three key questions that will go some way toward identifying conflict of interest issues, helping to significantly reduce the confusion and complexity associated with the RFP process.

Source: Linkedin.com, October 2016

2016 PLANADVISER Recordkeeper Services Guide

Abstract: Retirement plan advisers may often find themselves in the role of matchmaker: working with a defined contribution client to determine which investments and platforms or providers are the best fit. To be in a top position to guide the client, an adviser must keep abreast of the provider community, so as to stay current on what products and services are available to suit each client's needs.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Assessing the Retirement Income Prospects of Canada's Future Elderly

Abstract: Since an inter-governmental review of Canada's retirement income sufficiency was launched in 2009, a number of high-profile expert studies have analyzed the level of preparedness of Canada's future retirees. This essay looks at five papers to assess the degree of difference among them when they focus on a commonly defined population and to make note of any shared conclusions.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2016

A Goals-Based Approach to Retirement Spending

Abstract: In this 24-page paper, Vanguard researchers provide a framework to help investors turn an investment portfolio into a sustainable and consistent source of income.

Source: Vanguard.com, September 2016

TIAA 2016 Lifetime Income Survey

Abstract: According to this 9-page 2016 TIAA Lifetime Income Survey, 58 percent of American adults feel confident they can successfully turn their retirement savings into income after they stop working. Only 35 percent of survey respondents are concerned about running out of money in retirement, despite the fact that Americans are living longer.

Source: Tiaa.org, September 2016

The Life Cycle Model, Replacement Rates, and Retirement Income Adequacy

Abstract: The Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary publishes two replacement rate measures, which have great influence in framing discussions of Social Security and retirement policy. From these figures, which state that a typical worker receives a Social Security benefit equal to about 40 percent of his pre-retirement earnings, many have come to conclude that Social Security benefits are inadequate. Others, applying similar methodologies to total retirement incomes, concludes that Americans not saving sufficiently to produce adequately retirement incomes. But these two methods each violate key assumptions of the life cycle model in ways that generate meaningful differences in the results they produce.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2016

The Evolving DC Plan - From Accumulation to De-Accumulation

Abstract: As plan sponsors review their DC plan objectives and distribution options, they must frame their decisions by asking which drawdown strategies are in the best interests of their plan participants. Plan sponsors who challenge themselves to rethink their retirement plan benefit in this way are in the best position to attract, retain, and manage top-performing teams.

Source: Iricouncil.org, September 2016

What Are the Effects of Doubling Up on Retirement Income and Assets?

Abstract: The Great Recession has amplified the increase in socioeconomic instability and inequality in the United States. While much work has been conducted on retirement income and assets, not much work has been undertaken on seniors moving in with their adult children and grandchildren, possibly to save on housing costs. This paper looked at this group and drew four conclusions. It discusses the policy implications of the findings.

Source: Bc.edu, September 2016

How Does Student Debt Affect Early-Career Retirement Saving?

Abstract: This 38-page paper examines the relationship between student loans and retirement saving behavior by 30-year-old workers. The analysis focuses on participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and retirement assets as of age 30.

Source: Bc.edu, September 2016

The Impact of Student Loan Debt on DC Retirement Plan Participation

Abstract: Since PSCA members are asking if, and to what degree, student loan debt might be contributing to reduced participation in their defined contribution plans, especially by Millennials, and are looking to see if other companies are addressing it in any way, PSCA conducted a brief snapshot survey of its members. This is the 11-page report of the survey results.

Source: Psca.org, September 2016

Small Business Owners Rethinking Retirement Benefits to Retain, Recruit Employees

Abstract: In new research, small business owners are finding that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has decreased the appeal of health care benefits to employees and increased retirement plans' importance as a tool to recruit and retain employees.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

Ten Important Facts About 401k Plans

Abstract: 401k plans have grown to become the most common employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plan in the United States. In this 14-page paper, the Investment Company Institute reviews 10 important facts about 401k plans.

Source: Ici.org, September 2016

What Does Consistent Participation in 401k Plans Generate?

Abstract: The average 401k plan account balance of workers who participated consistently in one 401k plan increased significantly over the four-year period ending at year-end 2014, according to this 28-page study just published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: Ebri.org, September 2016

Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2016: A Retirement Wake-Up Call

Abstract: The fifth annual Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey finds only slight improvements globally in retirement preparedness since Aegon carried out its first global survey in 2012.

Source: Aegon.com, September 2016

India Leads, U.S. Second in Global Retirement Readiness

Abstract: Overall, Aegon finds only slight improvements globally in retirement preparedness since it released its first global survey in 2012. And the United States? It ties with the United Kingdom for second place, and has made the greatest progress in retirement readiness since 2012.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

RIAs Grow, Wirehouses Shrink: Cerulli

Abstract: While wirehouses still hold a substantial share of assets, RIAs are the growth story. So says Cerulli Associates in its latest report on institutional and retail markets and distribution strategies. The Boston-based research and consulting firm says that RIAs continue to win market share, growing at 6 percent, while wirehouses shrink.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

Narrowing in on the Right Approach to DC Menu Design

Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the various approaches to menu design and identify how plan demographics and participant behavior can aid in determining what may be most appropriate for a specific plan.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, August 2016

Retirement Insecurity: A Multi-Generational View

Abstract: Today's workers are grappling with retirement security and challenged by the wobbly three-legged stool comprising Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement benefits and personal savings. Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has released new research evaluating the retirement outlook of American workers by generation.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2016

The Effects of the Early Retirement Age on Retirement Decisions

Abstract: Paper present quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of increasing the Early Retirement Age (ERA) on older workers' retirement decisions. The analysis is based on social security reforms in Austria in 2000 and 2004, and administrative data allows us to distinguish between pension claims and job exits. Using a Regression Kink Design, researchers estimate that, within a birth cohort, a 1.0 year increase in the ERA leads to a 0.4 year increase in the average job exiting age and a 0.5 year increase in the average pension claiming age. When the ERA increases, many older workers remain in their jobs longer.

Source: Ssrn.com, August 2016

2016 PSCA Survey Highlights 403(b) Plan Trends

Abstract: The eighth annual benchmarking survey of 403(b) plans shows upward trends in deferral rates, employer matches and adoption of automatic enrollment.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2016

Participants Would Welcome Automatic Enrollment at 6%

Abstract: DC retirement plan participants strongly value their workplace retirement plan and would like to see their employers do more to help them save because, looking back on their savings history, they regret not doing more to prepare for retirement.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2016

Research Offers Framework for Retirement Income Solutions in DC Plans

Abstract: Researchers suggests several strategies for helping DC plan participants generate retirement income and discuss what plan advisers and sponsors should consider to select the right one.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2016

LIMRA Surveys Retirement Saving in the Workplace

Abstract: LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute recently surveyed employees in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors on workplace retirement savings. Combined with other research efforts by the Institute, these surveys provide an increased understanding of the activities, situations, expectations and inclinations of retirement savers.

Source: Limra.com, August 2016

Annual Benchmarking Report Released

Abstract: T. Rowe Price Retirement Plan Services, Inc. has released the latest version of Reference, an annual benchmarking report based on T. Rowe Price's full service recordkeeping client data. This report provides plan sponsors the ability to review retirement plan trends and plan participant behavior patterns to help them make more informed plan decisions.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2016

An Analysis of DC Plan Retirement Income Generating Strategies

Abstract: The research report helps plan sponsors, advisers, and retirees achieve this goal by demonstrating an analytical framework and criteria for helping them evaluate and compare a variety of possible retirement income solutions. The goal is to further understanding about how to use various retirement income generators to meet specific retirement planning goals.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2016

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, First Quarter 2016

Abstract: This 12-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 27 million employer-based DC retirement plan participant accounts as of March 2016. The broad scope of the recordkeeper survey provides valuable insights about recent withdrawal, contribution, asset allocation, and loan decisions of participants in these plans.

Source: Ici.org, August 2016

Survey Focuses on Employee Retirement Savings Regrets, Employers Hold Keys

Abstract: Plan participants said that, without a doubt, they would be in much worse shape without access to an employer-sponsored plan. Nearly all express regrets about their personal savings habits, which says that employers have the opportunity to structure plans that can help drive more effective retirement preparations for their employees. In essence, employers have the keys to the kingdom.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2016

Saving Enough for Retirement Is Top Financial Stress Source, Even for Millennials

Abstract: A new survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. finds that saving enough money for a comfortable retirement is the most common financial stress inducer for people of all ages. The survey also reveals that most people view the 401k as a "must-have" workplace benefit.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2016

Reducing Retirement Savings Leakage

Abstract: This 4-page article summarizes discussion on new ways to reduce retirement plan "leakage," presented at the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 78th policy forum in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016.

Source: Ebri.org, August 2016

How Retirement Plan Sponsors Can Address Cognitive Decline

Abstract: SSGA contends there are things retirement plan sponsors can do to help participants prepare for retirement before their mental capacity begins to wear away.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2016

Majority of Millennials Say They Won't Ever Accumulate $1 Million

Abstract: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of working millennials say they will never accumulate $1 million in savings over their lifetime, according to the Wells Fargo Millennial Study. Six in ten millennials (59%) have started saving for retirement, whereas 41% have not. Of the millennials who are not saving for retirement, 64% say they are "not making enough money to save for retirement."

Source: Businesswire.com, August 2016


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