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Successful Financial Wellness Programs Require Behavioral Changes, Not Just Literacy

Abstract: Wellness programs that merely teach employees financial literacy aren't as successful as those that encourage change in their behavior, according to Aon Hewitt's 2017 Hot Topics in Retirement and Financial Wellbeing. In the study, 59% of respondents said they would be very likely to focus on employees' financial well-being beyond retirement issues.

Source: Hrdive.com, December 2017

Changes, Trends and Best Practices for 401k Administration in 2018

Abstract: It's important for HR to understand 2018's changes and trends in 401ks, but its just as important to ensure that your workforce understands what you're offering and how best to use it to meet their current and future needs.

Source: Hrdive.com, December 2017

Nearly Half Would Save Less if Tax-Deferral in 401k Is Eliminated

Abstract: Forty-six percent say they would "save less" or "stop saving" in their 401k if the tax deferred status of their plan was taken away, whereas 42 percent say they would "save the same amount." This is according to a recent The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism survey.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2017

Canadian Xennials Worried About Retirement Savings: Survey

Abstract: Canadian xennials, those aged 34 to 40, are finding that the pressing expenses of daily life are getting in the way of saving for retirement, according to a new survey by TD Canada Trust. The survey polled Canadians of all ages, including this micro generation between generation X and millennials.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, December 2017

Data Show Ongoing Commitment to Retirement Saving

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through DC plans during the first half of this year, according to a ICI study. The study tracks contributions, withdrawals, and other activity, based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 30 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans.

Source: Ici.org, December 2017

DCIIA Fourth Biennial Plan Sponsor Survey

Abstract: This is a 12-page report on the results of a survey of plan sponsors' use-of and attitudes-toward automatic plan features including automatic enrollment, automatic escalation and re-enrollment in default investment funds known as Qualified Default Investment Alternatives. The survey represents the views of 194 DC plan sponsors. Sixty-two percent of respondents are larger plan sponsors, defined as plans with assets over $200 million, and the remaining 38% are smaller plan sponsors, defined as plans with $200 million in assets or less.

Source: Dciia.com, December 2017

Morningstar Recommends Policies to Increase Small Employer Retirement Plans

Abstract: In its latest policy paper, Morningstar suggests workers at large U.S. companies are served relatively well by the U.S. retirement system. However, half of employees at small companies don't have access to a retirement plan at all. The paper notes that two policy proposals have attempted to rectify the issues plaguing the retirement system, but both proposals raise the risk of increasing fragmentation in the DC retirement plan system.

Source: Plansponsor.com, November 2017

Retirees Still Have 80% of Savings After Nearly Two Decades

Abstract: Research conducted by the BlackRock Retirement Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that after nearly two decades of being retired, the average retiree still has 80% of their nest egg intact.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Spending, Relationship Quality, and Life Satisfaction in Retirement

Abstract: This research explores how spending and relationship quality contribute to life satisfaction in retirement, controlling for financial and human capital factors. The results provide evidence to suggest that leisure spending, health status, and spousal and friend relationships have the greatest impact on creating life satisfaction during retirement, while other type of spending and children relationships do not.

Source: Ssrn.com, November 2017

How Does Your 401k Compare?

Abstract: Article identifies some of the common performance characteristics and features offered by many 401k plans and compiled the statistics below from a variety of sources that will allow you to benchmark your plan.

Source: Bpp401k.com, November 2017

GAO/CBO Weigh In: State of Retirement in America

Abstract: Two reports recently released by the Government Accounting Office and Congressional Budget Office reflect the current state of the nation's retirement system and explore how adequate retirement income is measured. In tandem, the reports offer insight for employers and policy makers looking to achieve a sustainable retirement system and adequate retirement income for the U.S. workforce.

Source: Conduent.com, November 2017

Majority of Canadians Worried About Level of Retirement Savings

Abstract: A survey, which polled more than 1,500 Canadian adults, found the vast majority (85 per cent) agreed they need to save more money, but 64 per cent aren't making it a priority. The top obstacles to saving are: not earning enough income (46 per cent); getting derailed by unexpected expenses (29 per cent); and struggling to pay everyday expenses (24 per cent).

Source: Benefitscanada.com, November 2017

Participants Say More Information About Plan Investment Fees Would Be Useful

Abstract: Roughly four in five retirement plan participants said it would be at least somewhat useful to have additional information about investment fees, according to research from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Source: Plansponsor.com, November 2017

Lack of Retirement Savings Causing Anxiety for Americans

Abstract: Health care, retirement savings and student loans are the top causes of investor's financial anxiety, according to a survey by Rubicoin, a digital investment platform provider. Among all investors, mounting health care expenses and bills (23.5%) and a lack of retirement savings (22.6%) are the two biggest contributors of financial anxiousness. For Millennials, student loan debt, credit cards and health care expenses all measured equally as causes for "extreme" amounts of financial stress.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Management Fees Paid by Sponsors Stay Steady, Callan Survey Finds

Abstract: The research features highlights of total fund-level fees, performance-based fees, and fee negotiation practices, but the heart of the questionnaire focuses on actual fees paid by asset owners to fund managers compared to published fee schedules at the asset class level.

Source: Callan.com, November 2017

Study Finds Lower-Income Savers Benefit Less From 401ks Than Higher Earners

Abstract: While participation in 401k plans is high across the board for middle-income workers, the lower their income, the less likely they are to reap the full advantages from their employer's retirement savings plan, according to a study by MassMutual. More education is needed to help workers tap existing strategies to make saving for retirement more affordable.

Source: Massmutual.com, November 2017

Do Consumers Believe in Debt After Retirement?

Abstract: LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute finds consumers attitudes towards being in debt, even so called "good" debt, is negative during retirement. The Institute finds 67 percent of consumers believe retirees should avoid borrowing money for any reason.

Source: Limra.com, November 2017

Colleges and Universities Seek Expert DC Advisers for Plan Refinements

Abstract: Transamerica has published an updated annual survey of higher education plan sponsors, finding many are beginning to adopt the retirement plan features shown to be popular in the corporate sector. Survey finds higher education institutions "made a marked increase in the adoption of automatic enrollment (67%) and automatic deferral rate increases (36%) for participants."

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Higher-Earners Benefit More From 401ks

Abstract: While participation in 401k plans is high across the board for middle-income workers, the lower their income, the less likely they are to reap the full advantages of their employer's retirement savings plan, MassMutual found in a survey.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Paper Recommends Policy Changes to Address America's Retirement Challenge

Abstract: Mercer released this whitepaper outlining policy recommendations aimed at addressing and resolving America's retirement security challenge. As Congress considers retirement issues as part of tax reform, the paper offers guidance on how to develop a coherent public policy strategy that helps citizens adequately prepare for retirement given longer life expectancies and lack of financial knowledge.

Source: Mercer.com, November 2017

Report Suggests Raising DC, RRSP Contribution Limit to 30%

Abstract: The current environment is simply too difficult for Canadians to save adequately for retirement, given increased longevity and the low yields on appropriate investments, according to a new report by the C.D. Howe Institute that suggests raising contribution limits to retirements savings plans to 30 per cent per year.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, November 2017

Measuring Retirement Income Adequacy Not an Exact Science

Abstract: Researchers have developed diverse approaches for quantifying the adequacy of retirement income, focusing on different groups of retirees and employing different definitions of income and adequacy, a CBO report notes.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Average 401k Balance Reached $99,900 in Third Quarter

Abstract: In the third quarter, the average 401k balance that Fidelity Investments administers reached $99,900, a 2.25% increase from $97,700 in the previous quarter, and a 31.27% increase from the average $76,100 balance five years ago.

Source: Planadviser.com, November 2017

Research: Few Workers React Negatively to Higher Default Savings Rates

Abstract: Erring on the high side when choosing a 401k savings default-contribution rate won't likely discourage employees from participating in the plan, new research suggests. Plan sponsors' experiences seem to back up this finding.

Source: Shrm.org, October 2017

Plan Sponsors' Use of Best Practices Continues to Climb

Abstract: Plan sponsors continue to embrace best practices when it comes to running their retirement plan. Automatic enrollment, higher initial deferral rates, and financial counseling are just a few that more employers are adopting.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2017

Study Says African-Americans Want More Financial Education

Abstract: Forty-five percent of African-Americans who bring home $75,000 or more say they feel less than financially secure compared with just 28% of other Americans in the same income category.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2017

Retirement Assets on the Move

Abstract: Here is one more reason for financial services firms to target Millennials: 50% are likely to roll money out of plans with former employers into an IRA in the next year.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2017

What Does Consistent Participation in 401k Plans Generate

Abstract: This 24-page paper provides an annual update of a longitudinal analysis of 401k plan participants drawn from the EBRI/ICI 401k database. A few key insights emerge including the growth in account balances for consistent participants greatly exceeded the growth rate for all participants in the database.

Source: Ici.org, October 2017

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


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