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Insights: Research and White Papers

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

How Can We Realize the Value That Annuities Offer in a 401k World?

Abstract: Economists generally agree that many retirees would benefit if they annuitized at least some of their 401k savings. This 9-page paper reviews studies by the U.S. Social Security Administration's Retirement Research Consortium that assess how best to meet this goal.

Source: Bc.edu, July 2016

The Correlation Between Retirement Readiness and Employer Involvement

Abstract: A new study by Ramsey Solutions finds that employees with access to financial and retirement education have less stress, more savings and more confidence than those without access. Results show 40 percent of workers say their employers do not provide any type of retirement or financial education and seven out of 10 workers with zero retirement savings do not have access to retirement education from their employers.

Source: Daveramsey.com, July 2016

Employers Slowly Embracing Lifetime Income Solutions

Abstract: U.S. employers that sponsor defined contribution retirement plans are slowly embracing lifetime income solutions to help employees improve their financial security in retirement, according to a new Lifetime Income Solutions Survey by Willis Towers Watson.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

Targeting Responses by Demographic Groups Pay Off, Polls Show

Abstract: Results from a new OneAmerica survey show that age-specific strategies, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, may be the most effective method for plan sponsors to address retirement readiness, illustrating the difference between Millennials in the workforce and those closer to the end of their career.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

What Women Want in a Retirement Plan

Abstract: Men and women think about retirement differently, which means employers need to do a better job of tailoring the message to different segments of their workforce.

Source: Benefitnews.com, July 2016

Retirement Plan Providers Optimistic About Impact of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study shows that 64 percent of the top retirement plan recordkeepers and providers believe the DOL fiduciary rule will have a positive or neutral effect on their overall asset retention rate over the next two years.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

Plan Participants Still Not Confident in Their Approach to Investing

Abstract: J.P. Morgan study reveals that many participants are still not confident in their approach to saving and investing, there appears to be a human disconnect between participant intent and action, and a potential misperception about participant support for automatic features and strategies may be holding plan sponsors back from strengthening their DC plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

Withdrawals From Financial Accounts in Retirement

Abstract: This 12-page Vanguard research paper explores the nature of financial account withdrawals and shows that current spending rates are modest and appear reasonable for the vast majority of retirement households.

Source: Vanguard.com, July 2016

TPAs Supporting Plan Design

Abstract: Just one among the many difficult aspects of learning to run a retirement plan is coming to appreciate the sometimes subtle, but clearly critical, differences between a recordkeeper and a third-party administrator (TPA), a task made all the harder by the near-constant evolution in business models, technology and client service preferences. Article reviews the differences and why plan sponsors turn to TPAs for help with plan design and administration.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

2016 PLANSPONSOR Third-Party Administrator Survey

Abstract: The survey includes TPA firms from the very small to the very large: $600,000 in total retirement plan assets to $54 billion in plan assets, respectively; more than one in six have in excess of 500 plans. Survey participants have offices in all but seven U.S. states, and about one in six is a national firm. Article provides details from the survey data.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

Finding the Links Between Retirement, Stress, and Health

Abstract: One in five workers reports feeling high levels of stress, and the top two drivers for this are economic: their jobs and their financial situations. In the latter, access to retirement plans and retirement readiness seem to play positive roles. To find out more, Lockton surveyed more than 600 individuals nationwide representing a broad range of age and income. This 6-page report reviews the findings.

Source: Lockton.com, July 2016

2016 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey

Abstract: This 28-page report discusses research findings, draw implications for the continued evolution of DC plans, and explores what plan sponsors and their industry partners can do to help as many participants as possible achieve a financially secure retirement.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, July 2016

DC in Review: A Quarterly Briefing for Plan Sponsors: 2Q16

Abstract: This 51-page Janus "Defined Contribution in Review" report 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 plan or plan participants.

Source: Janus, July 2016

ICI Reports Continued Downward Trend in Mutual Fund Fees in 401k Plans

Abstract: The cost of investing in equity mutual funds through 401k plans fell again in 2015, marking a 31 percent decline since 2000, according to an annual research study that the Investment Company Institute.

Source: Ici.org, July 2016

Lower Fees Drive Demand for ETFs in 401k Plans

Abstract: Plan sponsors are consolidating their investment menus to reduce cost, which should be giving DC investment managers cause for concern. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of plan sponsors point to investment fees as one of the primary factors they find most challenging to manage. Amidst the heightened attention on fees and expenses, there is an increasing interest in ETFs, especially among larger plans which tend to be trend setters in the industry.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, July 2016

Paying for the New Retirement: Responsibilities and Challenges for Middle-Income Boomers

Abstract: Boomers are making adjustments to meet the new financial challenges they are facing in retirement. The Boomer experience may provide a cautionary tale for generations to follow. More education, more advice and guidance and ultimately more saving for retirement will be necessary for people to live comfortably in their retirement years. This study report is 36-pages in length.

Source: Centerforasecureretirement.com, July 2016

Unlocking Value From Effective Retirement Plan Governance

Abstract: This 20-page research report explores four areas critical to effective plan governance: risk management, levels of governance, strategy and the measuring of plan effectiveness. It notes three major trends emerge from the survey findings.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, July 2016

Best Practices for Benefit Plans During a Merger or Acquisition

Abstract: Merger or acquisition can impact on retirement and benefit plans and requires careful planning and strategy. This 4-page paper discusses considerations for organizations that may be looking at such a corporate event now or in the future.

Source: Baml.com, June 2016

Retirement Assets Total $24.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2016

Abstract: Total U.S. retirement assets were $24.1 trillion as of March 31, 2016, up 0.6 percent from the end of December. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Source: Ici.org, June 2016

The Ease of Automation and Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Abstract: Are there plan design features plan sponsors could use to drive better participant behaviors and outcomes? This 16-page paper offers answers. It is aimed at CFOs, HR directors and other plan sponsor decision-makers who want to get the most from their DC plans.

Source: Prudential.com, June 2016

Steps Employers Can Take to Help Women Close the Retirement Savings Gap

Abstract: Men and women are on equal footing when it comes to 401k plan participation, but research from Aon Hewitt shows that this equality doesn't hold true when evaluating overall retirement readiness. Suggests three steps employers can take to help women close the retirement savings gap.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, 2015

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through defined contribution plans in 2015, according to ICI's latest study of retirement plan savers' actions. The study is based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 26 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans.

Source: Ici.org, June 2016

Fiduciary Financial Advice to Retirement Savers: Don't Overlook the Prudent Investor Rule

Abstract: This essay calls attention to the regulatory imposition of the prudent investor rule on financial advisers to retirement savers. The essay also canvasses the basic tenets of the prudent investor rule, highlighting its nature as principles-based rather than prescriptive, and the customary role of an investment policy statement in compliance by professional fiduciaries.

Source: Ssrn.com, June 2016

The Importance of a Private Retirement System

Abstract: EPI Economist Monique Morrissey, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, delivered this testimony before the Philadelphia City Council's Labor and Civil Service Committee on the topic of our private retirement system.

Source: Epi.org, June 2016

Employees Want DC Plans and Want to Be Auto Enrolled

Abstract: Automatic enrollment is not being embraced by a majority of employers according to a new report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. By comparison, 71% of employees would like to be auto-enrolled into their plan, and 67% would like it to include auto-escalation.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2016

Don't Use Your Payroll Provider As Your 401k TPA

Abstract: There has been much change in the retirement plan business over the last 6 years including law changes, fee disclosure, and a new definition of fiduciary rule. What hasn't changed according to this writer is that it's still a bad idea to use your payroll provider as a TPA.

Source: Jdsupra.com, June 2016

62% of Canadians Would Pay for Better Retirement Benefit

Abstract: Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of Canadian employees would be willing to pay more out of their paycheque in order to receive a more generous retirement benefit, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian employees, found a slightly higher number (65 per cent) would be willing to pay more in order to receive a pension that was guaranteed for life.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, June 2016

The Current State of 401ks: The Employer's Perspective

Abstract: This 45-page report examines the state of retirement plan offerings, automatic enrollment, leakage from retirement savings, differences between part-time and full-time workers and other topics.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, June 2016

Securing Our Financial Future: Recommendations for Retirement Security and Personal Savings

Abstract: Bipartisan Policy Center releases a 152-page report, "Report of the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings," which forth numerous proposals to improve Americans' retirement security. This report presents a comprehensive package of bipartisan proposals to address six key challenges.

Source: Bipartisanpolicy.org, June 2016

DC Plan Sponsors Say Less Is More in Investment Lineups

Abstract: 401k plan sponsors are consolidating the number of DC investment manager relationships as well as the number of plan investment options in an effort to reduce plan costs, according to a recent Cogent study.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

The Retirement Income Dilemma: An In-Plan Solution

Abstract: This four-page paper discusses how in-plan deferred income annuities within a retirement plan help future retirees manage different risks. The article also makes note of the paper's checklists for plan sponsors to use when researching different in-plan products and providers.

Source: Principal.com, June 2016

The Evolution of Collective Investment Trusts and Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Plan sponsors have increasingly focused on finding low-cost investments and more transparent fee structures for their retirement plans, in part due to the increasing number of headlines related to fee-based litigation issues. This paper provides an overview of and trends surrounding CITs, and outlines what plan sponsors should consider when looking at adding CITs to their plan lineup.

Source: Porteval.com, June 2016

How States Are Working to Address the Retirement Savings Challenge

Abstract: The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed efforts in progress or under legislative consideration in 25 states. In this 41-page paper, Pew's analysis identifies three approaches to increase retirement savings for private sector workers that states are considering. Paper also looks at other specific choices and issues facing policymakers.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, June 2016

Employees Say They Cannot Afford to Save for Retirement

Abstract: A survey found not being able to afford to contribute is the top reason employees say they do not participate in their employer-sponsored plans, and many are not confident about managing investments.

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2016

Achieving Retirement Income Security: A Comparison of Withdrawal Strategies

Abstract: Many retirement income products attempt to satisfy multiple and sometimes conflicting objectives because retirees desire products that provide retirement security, inflation protection, liquidity, asset growth and the potential for an estate. In this 27-page paper, the authors used historical data over the past 90 years to conduct simulations and analyze how a Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit, systematic withdrawal, and partial Variable Immediate Annuity strategies performed in meeting these multiple objectives.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, May 2016

Impact of Student Loan Debt on DC Retirement Plan Participation: Plan Sponsor Perspective

Abstract: The Plan Sponsor Council of America released the results of its 2016 study assessing student loan debt and plan sponsors' response to the perceived notion that student debt affects employees' participation in company retirement plans. Report is 11-pages.

Source: Psca.org, May 2016

A Retirement Wake-Up Call: 2016 Retirement Readiness Survey

Abstract: This 60-page report captures a picture of how ready people are for retirement across the world. The survey trend line from 2012 to 2016 illustrates that many workers are not adequately preparing for their future retirement. While some progress has been made toward achieving greater levels of retirement readiness since 2012, the progress is coming too slowly to ensure that they will achieve the retirement income they will need in later life.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, May 2016

A Close Look at ERISA 403(b) Plans, 2013

Abstract: This just published 60-page report focuses on ERISA 403(b) plans in 2013. It first analyzes 403(b) plans in the DOL's 2013 Form 5500 Research File. Focus then shifts to more than 4,000 audited 403(b) plans in the BrightScope Defined Contribution Plan Database, which have at least $1 million in plan assets and typically 100 participants or more. Detailed findings are highlighted.

Source: Ici.org, May 2016

Advancing Financial Literacy, Capability and Well-Being Among Hispanics

Abstract: Financial literacy and capability are keys to closing the wealth gap that exists among Hispanics, but are often lacking in the Hispanic community. The objective of this report is to inform policies, practices and services that target improvements in financial literacy and capability among Hispanic households.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, May 2016

DB Principles for the DC Generation

Abstract: With retirement planning becoming a greater concern for baby boomers, generation X and even millennials, awareness of their particular concerns and what to do about them is an important consideration for plan sponsors. This paper explores the topic in-depth.

Source: Bnymellon.com, May 2016

Millennial Women's 401k Balances Are Half of Men's

Abstract: Millennial women are falling behind men when it comes to retirement saving, T. Rowe Price found in a survey. Millennial women are saving an average of 5% of their salary, compared to 7% for men. While this is only slightly below the savings rate of men, perhaps because they are earning much less, their 401k balances are half that of men's.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Game Changer, Revisited: The Final Conflict of Interest Rules

Abstract: The DOL's new conflict of interest rules represent a sea change for the financial services industry. Any advisor or service provider whose business model depends on variable or indirect compensation, or on the premise that one's investment recommendations don't cross the threshold into fiduciary status, should assume that their business model must change. Pete Swisher goes into great detail in this 18-page paper.

Source: Pentegra.com, May 2016

Benefit Programs Important for Attracting and Retaining Workers

Abstract: Research found small business owners are focusing on developing competitive benefit programs as part of their approach to attracting and retaining their workers. The research findings also uncovered that financial professionals have tremendous influence over small business owners' purchasing decisions. An advisor has 35 times more influence than a supplier representative.

Source: Irionline.org, May 2016

Low Defined Contribution Savings May Pose Challenges

Abstract: Defined contribution plans, in which individuals save for their own retirement, have become the dominant form of retirement plan for U.S. workers. However, not all workers have access to or participate in such plans through their employer. This report focuses on 1) recent trends in DC plan participation and account savings, and 2) how much households could potentially save in DC plans over their careers, and how key individual and employer decisions affect plan saving.

Source: Gao.gov, May 2016

A Compendium of Survey Findings About Today's Retirees

Abstract: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released "The Current State of Retirement: A Compendium of Findings About American Retirees." The 118-page survey report provides in-depth perspectives on retirees including attitudes about life in retirement, time commitments, living arrangements, and personal finances.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, May 2016

Brand Drives DC Plan Fund Usage

Abstract: Fidelity, Vanguard, American Funds and T. Rowe Price are the four most frequently used mutual fund families by investors in DC retirement plans. The evidence suggests that a stronger brand can help a fund firm get used more often by plan participants, Ignites Retirement Research concludes.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2016

401k Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity

Abstract: Since 1996 the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute have been collecting and analyzing data from millions of 401k plan participants on plan asset allocation, account balances, and loan activity. This just released 80-page report reflects the year-end 2014 data.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time

Abstract: The cross-sectional results in this study show that the share of respondents reporting "very satisfying" retirements dropped from 60.5 percent in 1998 to 48.6 percent in 2012. On the other hand, the share of respondents reporting "moderately satisfying" and "not at all satisfying" retirements increased from 31.7 percent to 40.9 percent and from 7.9 percent to 10.5 percent, respectively.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

What Moves the Retirement Readiness Needle: Quantification of Risk and Evaluation of New Proposals

Abstract: With the United States facing an estimated national retirement savings shortfall of $4.13 trillion, how can more Americans be brought into a retirement savings plan, and how can they be persuaded to save enough to cover simulated costs in retirement? Those questions were explored by a panel of retirement experts in this paper.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

Fewer Retirees Having a Great Time

Abstract: Recent data show that, across the board, fewer American retirees say they are "very satisfied" with their retirements, while a growing number of retirees report that they are "not at all satisfied" with their retirements. Results of a new EBRI study.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

59% of Retirees Worry About Making Retirement Savings Last

Abstract: More than half (59 per cent) of retirees are worried about making their retirement savings stretch for their remaining years, according to a new survey by Investors Group. Despite the financial worries, 80 per cent of respondents to the survey said retirement is meeting their expectations.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, April 2016

2016 Participant Survey

Abstract: In March, PLANSPONSOR surveyed 1,035 employed adults ages 23 and older regarding their access to and usage of defined contribution plans. Results can help plan sponsors ensure that their DC plan meets the expectations of the participants.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2016

Gallup: Most U.S. Investors Happy With Their 401k

Abstract: According to a recent Gallop survey, the vast majority of employed U.S. investors who participate in a 401k view it positively. Nine in 10 investors say they are satisfied with their own 401k plan as a tool for saving for their retirement, including 44% who are "very" satisfied and 47% who are "somewhat" satisfied. Just 9% are somewhat or very dissatisfied. Survey results are summarized.

Source: Gallup.com, April 2016

Considering Trade-Offs Between Short Bond Funds and Institutional Prime Money Market Funds

Abstract: Institutional investors are increasingly considering the trade-offs between money market funds and short-term bond vehicles for the management of their liquidity reserves. This 12-page paper evaluates these trade-offs by integrating both a historical return analysis and forward-looking simulations using the Vanguard Capital Markets Model.

Source: Vanguard.com, April 2016

Trouble Ahead! Baby Boomers' Retirement Outlook on the Decline

Abstract: The Insured Retirement Institute released this 19-page research report that found less than a quarter of Baby Boomers, 24 percent, are confident they will have enough savings to last throughout their retirement years. This is the lowest level since IRI began this research study in 2011. The study also found that this lack of confidence is understandable, given Boomers' readiness for retirement. Only 55 percent of Boomers reported having savings for retirement.

Source: Myirionline.org, April 2016

The Evolution of ERISA Fiduciary Best Practices

Abstract: The defined contribution marketplace and the sophistication of ERISA plan fiduciary has come a long way in recent years. This has resulted in changes in the best practices of those tasked with sponsoring and administering retirement plans governed by ERISA. This article is a summary of some of those best practices.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, April 2016

Shorter Life Expectancy Reduces Projected Lifetime Benefits for Lower Earners

Abstract: The increase in average life expectancy for older adults in the United States contributes to challenges for retirement planning by the government, employers, and individuals. But life expectancy varies substantially across different groups with significant effects on retirement resources, especially for those with low incomes. In this 61-page report, the GAO examined (1) the implications of increasing life expectancy for retirement planning, and (2) the effect of life expectancy on the retirement resources for different groups, especially those with low incomes.

Source: Gao.gov, April 2016

2015 PLANADVISER Micro Plan Survey

Abstract: Plans with less than $5 million in defined contribution assets qualified as micro plans. PLANADVISER has published the results of its 2015 Micro Plan Survey, including detailed micro industry data, top 10 providers, and the 'best in class' providers.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2016

No Change in Retirement Assets from 2014 to 2015

Abstract: Total U.S. retirement assets were $24 trillion as of December 31, 2015, up 3% from the end of September and unchanged for the year, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2016

Determining the Reasonableness of Retirement Plan Fees

Abstract: Fees paid for retirement plan investments and services have always been an important consideration for ERISA fiduciaries. However, in recent years these fees have come under increased scrutiny. This 8-page Vanguard paper walks plan sponsors through their fiduciary duties pertaining to fees. The paper discusses a variety of steps and tools to help determine the reasonableness of plan fees.

Source: Vanguard.com, March 2016

Reimagining Retirement for the 'Gig' Economy

Abstract: As a growing number of Americans take part in the so-called "gig economy," in which a single worker may simultaneously fill part-time and freelance positions with multiple employers, reforms are needed to make the retirement-savings system less tied to employers, argues this 12-page white paper.

Source: Rstreet.org, March 2016

Retirement Confidence Stable, But Preparations Still Lag

Abstract: According to this press release on the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey, overall confidence about being able to afford a comfortable retirement has plateaued among American workers and preparations to save for retirement are still lagging.

Source: Ebri.org, March 2016

Assessing Fee Fairness: Characteristics of an Effective Plan Fee Structure

Abstract: This 14-page paper develops a set of four conditions for gauging the effectiveness of fee structures: adequacy, administrative ease, transparency, and fairness. These four standards will help plan sponsors satisfy their fiduciary responsibilities by ensuring administrative fees are reasonable and fairly distributed among participants.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, March 2016

Whitepaper Released on Auto Enrollment in 401k and 403(b) Plans

Abstract: Paragon Alliance Group has developed a new whitepaper that is designed to provide insight into the pros and cons of auto enrollment, and why it may or may not be suitable for all plan sponsors.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2016

Reshaping Participant Outcomes Through Reenrollment

Abstract: Reenrollment into a low-cost qualified default investment alternative, such as a low-cost target-date series, can rapidly improve diversification and reduce fees for participants -- potentially leading to higher retirement wealth accumulations in the future.

Source: Vanguard.com, March 2016

Sixteen Facts About Women's Retirement Outlook

Abstract: Despite progress, women continue to be at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement than men. These 16 facts aim to raise awareness of retirement risks that women face and highlight opportunities regarding how women can improve their retirement outlook.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, March 2016

Study Shows Wide Misuse of Target-Date Funds

Abstract: A new report by Financial Engines looks at why the majority of participants move away from target-date funds over time. It found that investor overconfidence and a desire for greater diversification -- not lack of understanding -- are behind target-date fund misuse.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2016

Comprehensive Plan to Confront the Retirement Savings Crisis Published

Abstract: Economist Teresa Ghilarducci and Blackstone President Tony James have published their co-authored white paper, "A Comprehensive Plan to Confront the Retirement Savings Crisis," which outlines a deficit-neutral proposal to ensure that all workers can save enough to retire through mandated, individually-owned, and effectively-invested Guaranteed Retirement Accounts.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2016

How Will You Pay Yourself in Retirement? New Research

Abstract: For most people, the decision to retire comes with many considerations, primary among them, "How will I pay for my living expenses after I stop receiving a paycheck?" New research from Ameriprise posed this question to baby boomers and found interesting differences between those who have already retired and those who are still in the workforce.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2016

Employers Are Concerned About Workers' Preparedness, But Perhaps Not Enough

Abstract: BlackRock polled 1,003 participants in DC plans and 200 DC plan sponsors nationwide on a broad range of retirement planning issues and challenges. While 59% of sponsors say the majority of their participants are saving enough to retire with the income they will need, only 28% of the participants surveyed are confident they are saving enough -- and they want their employers help.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, February 2016

Using Investment Menu Design to Improve Participant Outcomes

Abstract: The investment menu structure may be just as important as the actual investment options themselves. Properly done, a well-designed investment menu can direct behaviors and give participants the confidence they need to feel comfortable with their investment decisions.

Source: Strategicbenefitservices.com, February 2016

The Efficacy of Publically-Available Retirement Planning Tools

Abstract: Publically-available retirement planning tools are publicized to aid households in their retirement planning efforts, but households are likely overestimating tool effectiveness. The authors conclude that the advice provided from a majority of these tools is extremely misleading to households, and propose a more systematic approach to tool development by improved choice of input variables.

Source: Ssrn.com, February 2016

Do DC Plans Need to Be Redesigned?

Abstract: The revision of DC plans will come down to how proactive plan sponsors are in creating a sophisticated retirement plan that can be used by participants to adequately save for retirement. This 16-page report is a detailed outline of the statistics found in part one of a three-part research series on the outlook for DC plans.

Source: Seic.com, February 2016

Canadians' Retirement Savings Wholly Inadequate

Abstract: The value of retirement assets of Canadians aged between 55 and 64 without an employer pension is "wholly inadequate" at an overall median value of just $3,000, according to a new report.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, February 2016

How Do Non-Financial Factors Affect Retirement Decisions?

Abstract: Financial factors clearly influence retirement decisions. But numerous studies find that such factors are only a small part of the story. Non-financial considerations clearly contribute to the decision to retire. This paper reviews studies that examine how two types of non-financial factors affect retirement decisions: the worker's on-the-job experience and the allure of retirement activities.

Source: Bc.edu, February 2016

New Guidance on SRIs, What Plan Committees Need to Know

Abstract: Offers insight to managing economically targeted investments. The authors suggest that committees need to know the following when selecting investments that reflect ESG factors: Compare options in the same asset class against the market and consider each alternative using common measures; Understand whether ESG features will affect the expected return; and, Document the assessment that is made and monitor the decision frequently.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, February 2016

Private Retirement Benefits in the 21st Century: Achieving Retirement Security

Abstract: In response to concerns about retirement security, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepared this 52-page white paper to offer guidelines on initiatives that will bolster the voluntary employment-based retirement benefits system and retirement security for workers.

Source: Uschamber.com, February 2016

American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

Abstract: This survey polled respondents about their views on DC retirement account saving and their confidence in 401k and other DC plan accounts. 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. Report is 32-pages.

Source: Ici.org, February 2016

Most Target-Date Fund Investors Not Using All-In Approach

Abstract: Most defined contribution participants fail to use target-date funds properly because they invest in other options as well as the target-date funds, said a research report by Voya Investment Management. Only 15% of target-date users put all of their retirement money in these funds in 2015.

Source: Pionline.com, February 2016

Research Uncovers the Benefits of Formal Written Retirement Plans

Abstract: A new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study finds that pre-retirees and retirees (ages 55-75 with financial assets of $100,000+) who have a formal written retirement plan are more likely to feel more confident they are saving enough for retirement and more than twice as likely to feel very prepared for retirement than those without one.

Source: Limra.com, February 2016

A Study on the Psychology Behind Leakage of Retirement Plan Assets

Abstract: Survey of 5,000 retirement plan participants sheds light on leakage patterns, as well as on the thought process of job changers who are confronted with the challenge of "rolling in" retirement savings from a former employer.

Source: Dciia.org, February 2016

Why Workers Retire When They Do: A Survey of U.S. Retirees

Abstract: Why do people retire? It's a fairly simple question with what many would suppose is a fairly simple answer. But understanding the nuances of that question and answer becomes more important for employers, partly because the role of employers has changed and partly because the traditional model of full retirement at a fixed date is on the wane.

Source: Towerswatson.com, January 2016

The Participant: Understanding Generation DC

Abstract: Forget Millennials vs. Generation X. This 6-page survey reveals why these groups have more in common than you think, and where real differences present opportunities for engagement.

Source: Ssga.com, January 2016

What Retirement Plan Sponsors Value Most From Financial Advisors

Abstract: This 28-page survey report finds that plan sponsors prefer to work with plan advisors who emphasize employee education, good customer service and reducing plan costs as core to their value proposition. Among those already working with an advisor, fiduciary support trumps cost on this list.

Source: Massmutual.com, January 2016

The New Flexible Retirement

Abstract: This 28-page report illustrates that today's workers are expecting to "transition" into retirement, but face a significant obstacle. Few employers have employment practices to support them. Policymakers, employers, and workers each play a critical role in redefining retirement, retirement benefits, and employment practices to keep step with increases in longevity and the implications of population aging.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, January 2016

Six Ideas for DC Plan Sponsors in 2016

Abstract: This year really is different. The Federal Reserve is hiking rates for the first time in nine years. Inflation is making a comeback, however modest. For defined contribution plan sponsors, these inflection points create an opportunity to potentially improve participant outcomes.

Source: Pimco.com, January 2016

How America Supports Retirement: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Who Benefits

Abstract: This 228-page paper analyzes the benefits of the U.S. retirement system as a whole, including both tax deferral and the Social Security system. It finds that the U.S. retirement system is 'progressiveness' and also addresses two widespread misperceptions about the benefits of tax deferral.

Source: Ici.org, January 2016

RIA Sentiment Survey

Abstract: This is TD Ameritrade's 31-page RIA sentiment survey. Includes RIA views on the markets, the economy, industry trends, ROBO advisors, succession planning, and more.

Source: Q4cdn.com, January 2016

Cerulli Report on Leakage from Retirement Savings

Abstract: Cerulli reports that distributions and defaulted loans in 401k plans outpaced contributions to those plans in 2014, with some $81 billion in outflows reported. The report suggests that employers can take a role to limit plan leakage by placing significant limitations on loans in their plan documents.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, January 2016

Guardian Workplace Benefits Study

Abstract: Guardian announced new findings from the third annual Guardian Workplace Benefits Study that outlines how one in three employers now outsource all of their benefits administration, up 20 percent since 2013. Given their reliance on workplace benefits for overall financial preparedness, it's not surprising employees believe that employers have a responsibility to offer core insurance and retirement benefits to workers.

Source: Guardiananytime.com, January 2016

62% of Millennials Have Started Saving for Retirement

Abstract: Almost two-thirds of millennials have started saving for retirement and almost half started before the age of 25, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by Tangerine, found that millennials also have their sights set high, with 40% of respondents believing they will need more than $1 million saved for retirement.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, January 2016

A Look at Access to Employer-based Retirement Plans and Participation in the States

Abstract: Policymakers have emphasized the need to expand access to what are known as employer-sponsored defined contribution plans, such as 401ks. The ability of employees to contribute directly from their paychecks and the use of features such as automatic enrollment makes the workplace an effective place to encourage saving. Today, only about half of workers participate in a workplace retirement plan, according to this 44-page analysis of data compiled by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, January 2016

Does a Uniform Retirement Age Make Sense?

Abstract: In the face of rising life expectancies, many policy experts argue that today's workers can retire later and still spend the same fraction of their lives in retirement as past generations. But such an argument assumes that all workers, regardless of socioeconomic status, have experienced the same increase in life expectancy. This paper looks at the issue.

Source: Bc.edu, January 2016

Streamlined DC Investment Menu Could Save Participants Millions

Abstract: Researchers with The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania strive to quantify participants' behaviors before and after a fundamental rethinking of the DC plan investment menu.

Source: Plansponsor.com, January 2016

It Is Time to Consider a New Retirement Age

Abstract: An analysis finds the standard retirement age needs to be bumped up more than a few years to prevent the total loss of government-provided retirement income.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2016

Americans Torn Between Saving for Retirement and Helping Kids

Abstract: According to a recent poll from RBC Wealth Management, 49 percent of Americans place greater importance on helping their children pay for their education than they do on saving for their own retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2015

Retirement Plans Are Not Enough to Meet Workforce's Changing Needs

Abstract: DC plan sponsors are advised to move beyond a retirement focus for their plans and meet the needs of employees. A recent Mercer study shows that in an evolving, volatile market, companies with DC plans should shift to address their employees' broader financial needs.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2015

The Effect of the Current Population Survey Redesign on Retirement-Plan Participation Estimates

Abstract: This 12-page report examines the estimates of employment-based retirement plan participation from both the traditional questionnaire and the redesigned questionnaire used to address the underreporting of income against each other and with the trend in the estimates of retirement plan participation prior to the redesign years.

Source: Ebri.org, December 2015

New Data Shows Unexplainable Drop in Retirement Plan Participation

Abstract: Estimates from the new and redesigned Current Population Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau show a drop in the percentage of Americans who participate in a workplace retirement plan. However, the results raise doubts about the use of CPS data to assess current and future retirement plan coverage policies.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2015

Cash-Outs and Loan Defaults Responsible for Substantial Retirement Asset Leakage

Abstract: According to research from global analytics firm Cerulli Associates, cash-outs and loan defaults are responsible for more than $80 billion in lost retirement assets in 2014.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, December 2015

Investment Returns: Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: The supposition is that individuals are not very good at investing their own money and face high fees. The question is whether this supposition is borne out by the facts. That is, are returns on defined contribution plans markedly lower than those on traditional defined benefit plans? This 15-page paper examines that question.

Source: Bc.edu, December 2015

Money Market Reform: Understanding the Impact on DC Plans

Abstract: New SEC rules governing money market funds take effect in October 2016. Discover what these may mean for defined contribution plans.

Source: Jpmorganfunds.com, December 2015

2015 Stable Value Study

Abstract: Stable value funds have played an important role in DC plans for many years. This is the third Stable Value Study that MetLife has commissioned to gain strategic insight into the current marketplace for this capital preservation investment option within DC plans. This is a 27-page document.

Source: Metlife.com, December 2015

What's Important to Clients When Selecting Stable Value Funds

Abstract: There has been some movement toward adding stable value to 401k plans in the past few years, especially among sponsors of smaller plans. Creditworthiness of the provider and fees topped the list of what is important to plan sponsors.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2015

Understanding Re-Enrollment

Abstract: This 13-page research report explores the disconnect between the value employees place on their employer-provided benefits and other aspects of their lives, and to understand employees' perceptions of their benefits.

Source: Massmutual.com, December 2015

Infographic: Trends in Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

Abstract: Highlights trends in employer-sponsored retirement plan from a resent Hearts & Wallets' study.

Source: Myubiquity.com, December 2015

Empowering Participants -- Plan Distributions and the Plan Sponsor

Abstract: Plan sponsors must understand both governmental regulations and their fiduciary responsibilities in order to help participants leaving employment or retiring who need to make decisions about their retirement plans, according to this white paper.

Source: Dcprovider.com, December 2015

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