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ESG and Retirement Plans: The Case for Greater Compatibility

Abstract: While considering Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing strategies, it is an important part of plan fiduciary oversight to assess them thoughtfully and consistent with ERISA's fiduciary requirements. This paper's goal is to provide an assessment to help you understand the impact of ESG solutions and the potential benefits and risks for your retirement investment program now and going forward.

Source: Planpilot.com, April 2018

Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey

Abstract: PIMCO asked the nation's top retirement consultants: How can defined contribution plan participants and sponsors achieve financial security over the long haul? Download the 24-page report here.

Source: Pimco.com, April 2018

Is Retirement Plan Participation Underreported?

Abstract: A study confirmed that the apparent underreporting of retirement plan participation in the US Census Bureau's Current Population Survey increased substantially following a recent revision to the household survey's questionnaire. The CPS participation rate dropped sharply beginning in 2014, the first data collected using the new questionnaire. In contrast, the tax data show that the retirement plan participation rate has held steady since 2008, according to ICI.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2018

Retirement Income to Last a Lifetime

Abstract: Many approaches may be needed to help future retirees secure lifetime incomes to provide them with the security and dignity of personally managing their retirement. Possible approaches consist of reevaluating federal retirement policies, emphasizing financial literacy and education, and refocusing retirement plan designs.

Source: Actuary.org, April 2018

Retirement's Future Could Rest With Digital Tools

Abstract: Wwhen a chatbot and text messages, as well as targeted e-mails, are combined with the principles of behavioral economics -- specifically, nudging people into certain actions -- the effects on retirement savings can be substantial.

Source: Voya.com, April 2018

Could "Tontines" Expand the Market for Longevity Insurance?

Abstract: Tontine is a fancy word for betting on how long you'll live, in a good way. Here's the concept in a nutshell: many people pool their money in return for guaranteed regular payouts for life, similar to an annuity. This 6-page paper takes a close look at an idea that is tossed around among finance experts: modifying tontines to use them as a source of retirement income.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2018

Who Participates in Retirement Plans

Abstract: Increasing the share of workers who participate in retirement plans has been a primary focus of retirement policy. As the retirement industry and policymakers try to increase participation, it is important to understand which workers currently participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans and why certain employers offer, and certain employees desire, compensation in the form of retirement benefits. This 32-page report uses newly available 2014 data to analyze participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Source: Ici.org, April 2018

Boomer Expectations for Retirement - 2018 Study

Abstract: Baby boomers -- even the youngest of whom are just a decade or so away from retirement age -- are in large measure unprepared for retirement, having failed both to plan adequately and save enough, according to this 26-page study released by the Insured Retirement Institute.

Source: Myirionline.org, April 2018

U.S. Census Wrong on 401K Coverage

Abstract: Most American workers participate in employer-sponsored retirement plans, but you wouldn't know it from recent Census numbers. A recent ICI study confirmed that the underreporting of retirement plan participation in the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey increased substantially following a recent revision to the household survey's questionnaire.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2018

How Do Gender and Generation Impact Retirement Saving Behavior?

Abstract: April is Financial Literacy Month, so what better time to gauge Americans' prowess in saving money? The degree to which adults have mastered the art of padding personal savings accounts or stashing away money in a 401k or other retirement savings vehicle varies by age and sex.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2018

Individual Account Retirement Plans the Dominant Source of Retirement Income

Abstract: EBRI also found not only do individual account assets make up a large portion of families' financial assets, but those with individual account assets also have substantially higher levels of net worth than those families without them.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2018

An Analysis of Retirement Models to Improve Portability and Coverage

Abstract: To better understand the portability and coverage challenges of the 401k system and to assess possible strategies to improve it, this report presents a three-part analysis. The objective of the report is to assess and present a wide range of available options by examining and summarizing existing proposals and, where relevant, examples from other countries.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2018

Competing Financial Needs Disrupt 401k Saving for Many Americans

Abstract: It's not that U.S. workers don't want to save for retirement. In fact, more Americans than ever before say retirement security is important. However, many are experiencing financial stress, which in turn is inhibiting saving.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, March 2018

Dispelling Myths: Retirement Security Is a Priority for All Generations

Abstract: It's no secret that many people aren't saving enough for retirement. The question for most is: how to afford it? At the same time plan generosity has declined, other financial pressures have gone up. The result is a growing number of employees -- due to low wage growth and mounting debts -- literally live paycheck to paycheck.

Source: Willis.com, March 2018

401k Plan Benchmark Report Released

Abstract: Judy Diamond Associates has published the results of the third annual 401k Plan Benchmark Report. The in-depth analysis and report examine approximately 500,000 active 401k plans.

Source: Prnewswire.com, March 2018

Market Volatility Hasn't Tempered Historically High DC Plan Optimism

Abstract: The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index remains at a 17-year high, despite a clear uptick in volatility, with the index at +139 in the first quarter; the firm's head of retirement dissects the findings here.

Source: Planadviser.com, March 2018

Study Finds Fewer GenXers Have Retirement Savings

Abstract: With only ten years until the eldest of the cohort turn 65, the majority GenXers believe their savings will cover their basic expenses and allow for leisure and travel in retirement. However, this confidence is misguided as forty percent of GenXers have no retirement savings, an increase of 5 percent from the previous study.

Source: Myirionline.org, March 2018

Debt Levels for Households Nearing Retirement Decreasing, But Still High Compared to Past Generations

Abstract: Evidence paints a mixed picture of trends relating to debt levels of families with a "near elderly" head, those ages 55 to 64. By many measures, the debt burden has improved for this demographic group since the Great Recession. At the same time, in many ways, this family cohort shows higher levels of indebtedness than families with older heads.

Source: Ebri.org, March 2018

Which 401k Plan Fees Can Be Paid Out of Plan Assets?

Abstract: Are we allowed to pay 401k plan-related expenses out of the plan assets? This is another one of those questions with a short answer and a longer answer. The short answer is yes, it is perfectly allowable for some 401k plan expenses to be paid out of plan assets, but the flip side of that is that there are some expenses that are not allowed to be paid from the plan.

Source: Dwc401k.com, March 2018

Evaluating the Impact of a Retirement Managed Account

Abstract: Many DC plans today offer a managed account option. Yet there is no standard method for valuing these accounts that considers the full range of potential product features and their financial impact. This 16-page paper presents a method for valuing managed accounts and also delineates the menu of features that may be offered through a managed account investment option in a DC plan.

Source: Empower-Retirement.com, March 2018

The Mobile Workforce's Missing Participant Problem

Abstract: This 13-page survey on stale address records in employer-sponsored plans was conducted in collaboration with Retirement Clearinghouse. The report is the first of its kind to survey terminated participants themselves about the status of their accounts left behind in former-employer plans.

Source: Rch1.com, March 2018

PSCA Study Finds Roth Usage Doubled in Past Decade

Abstract: Roth availability doubled in the last decade according to the Plan Sponsor Council of America's 60th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401k Plans. PSCA, part of the American Retirement Association, found Roth was offered in 63.1 percent of plans in 2016 compared to 30.3 percent in 2007.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, March 2018

Retirement Saving Focus Especially Needed for Latino Women

Abstract: Researchers at the University of Notre Dame, in a study funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education say Latinas -- Hispanic women -- have a huge appetite for financial education and a strong desire to save, and their savings could provide a critical safety net to America's largest minority group.

Source: Plansponsor.com, March 2018

DC Pulse Survey Highlights Sponsor Decumulation Challenge

Abstract: BlackRock has released the results of its third Defined Contribution Pulse Survey, compiling the opinions of some 200 large DC plan sponsors and about 1,000 plan participants. More plan sponsors this year than last have voiced a concern that their workers may have to delay retirement; this is the case despite the fact that plan participants are broadly feeling much more optimistic.

Source: Plansponsor.com, March 2018

Millennials Already Falling Behind in Retirement Savings

Abstract: A new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security examines the challenges facing Millennials and where this generation currently stands in preparing for retirement. As a generation, they have faced a number of financial and economic obstacles. Compared to previous generations at this point in their lives, they are less likely to own a home, have earned less, and accumulated less wealth.

Source: Protectpensions.org, March 2018

Conflicting Views on Americans' Retirement Prospects: Workers Confident, Employers Concerned

Abstract: Strong market performance has helped fuel increasing optimism among American workers about their retirement prospects, but many employers don't share their upbeat view, according to the latest DC Pulse Survey from BlackRock.

Source: Businesswire.com, March 2018

Americans Saving Nearly 8% for Retirement

Abstract: In a survey of 1,000 adults, PenFed Credit Union learned that Americans, on average, are saving 7.6% of their salaries for retirement. This increases to 8.9% for men and decreases to 6.4% for women.

Source: Plansponsor.com, March 2018

Defined Contribution Plans Have Come a Long Way

Abstract: The changes plan sponsors have made such as offering Target-Date Fund, automatic enrollment and making Target-Date Fund the main default option have reduced the net return differential between DB and DC plans. DC plans have become better retirement savings vehicles than we thought they would be just a decade ago.

Source: Cembenchmarking.com, March 2018

Retirement Offerings in the Fortune 500: A Retrospective

Abstract: The last two decades have witnessed a sweeping shift in retirement offerings from large employers. This study takes a historical look at the primary retirement plans offered by current Fortune 500 companies between 1998 and 2017, thus showing how their retirement programs have evolved over the last 20 years.

Source: Towerswatson.com, February 2018

Two-Thirds of Millennials Have Saved Absolutely Nothing for Retirement

Abstract: Most U.S. millennials aren't saving for retirement, and those who are saving (only 5%) are falling short of the mark, according to a new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. The study found that 66.2% of employed millennials have nothing saved for retirement, and only 34.3% of them participate in their employer's retirement plan.

Source: Hrdive.com, February 2018

Top 30 401k Plans of 2016 Report

Abstract: BrightScope, a Strategic Insight company, is pleased to announce the Top 30 401k Plans of 2016 report. BrightScope's Top 30 list is comprised of large 401k plans with high overall quality, as measured by the BrightScope Rating.

Source: Brightscope.com, February 2018

Shake Up Financial Education, Paper Says

Abstract: Poor savings rates, high debt levels, and the frequent incidence of living paycheck-to-paycheck are among the ingredients in the recipe for financial stress. Financial education can be an antidote, but not in the traditional ways it is provided suggests a recent study.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2018

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Plan Monitoring

Abstract: Monitoring your investment menu managers, your plan providers, and plan fees is an important part of your overall fiduciary responsibility. This white paper looks at best practices and the standards should you be following in your monitoring practices. Throughout the paper, you'll find checklists that may be helpful in building and maintaining your plan monitoring processes.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, February 2018

Less Than Half of Workers Contribute to There 401k

Abstract: Across the board, Americans could be doing better when it comes to saving for retirement. Much better, in fact. According to a study from Edward Jones, only 49 percent of U.S. workers are actively participating in employer-sponsored 401k plans. Just 37 percent are contributing to an individual retirement account.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, February 2018

More Employers Are Upgrading Their DC Plans

Abstract: Employers are upgrading their defined contribution plans according to a Willis Towers Watson. WTW found that more employers are adding automatic enrollment and Roth plan features to their 401k plans, increasing their contributions, reducing the number of investment choices and being more transparent about recordkeeping fees.

Source: Hrdive.com, February 2018

Tax-Reform Changes Lead Some Employers to Raise 401k Matches

Abstract: A handful of large U.S. corporations announced they are raising the employer match for their 401k retirement plans or are making other changes in their benefit plans in the first month after a tax reform law was signed by President Trump. And nearly half of companies surveyed said they are considering taking such an action this year or next.

Source: Blr.com, February 2018

Employees Cash Out 401ks in Record Numbers

Abstract: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that today's mobile workforce is changing jobs nearly a dozen times. For 35- to 44-year-olds, a little over a third take jobs that last less than a year. It doesn't allow for a lot of time to sock away money in a 401k account and as a result, many workers are cashing out what little they have.

Source: Workforce.com, February 2018

Retirement Planning More a Focus for Those Participating in Retirement Plans

Abstract: An analysis from Pew Charitable Trusts of data from a nationally representative internet survey of private-sector workers shows a correlation between access to and participation in workplace-based retirement savings programs and more planning and saving.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2018

DC Plans in the US and the UK: Lessons From Across the Pond

Abstract: This 36-page paper addresses the differences between defined contribution plans in the US and the UK and the lessons that can be learned from these programs. The paper is a high-level overview of the legal, regulatory and policy framework governing DC plans in both jurisdictions. It provides an analysis of the shift away from defined benefit (DB) plans in the US and the UK, to the widespread use of DC plans by both countries as the primary way of providing workplace pensions.

Source: Eversheds-Sutherland.com, February 2018

How Does Household Debt Affect Retirement?

Abstract: While there is extensive media coverage regarding Americans' lack of retirement savings, a much less discussed topic is the growing amount of debt that Americans carry into retirement. Larger mortgages, higher student loans and a greater overall comfort with debt than displayed by earlier generations has increased the average debt for households approaching retirement by nearly 160%.

Source: Thecapitalideas.com, February 2018

PSCA Finds Faster Start for Auto Enroll Programs

Abstract: While the most common default deferral remains 3% of pay (used by 36.4% of plans), more than half of those with automatic enrollment now have a default deferral rate higher than 3%, according to a new survey.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2018

Fidelity Finds Increase in Retirement Plan Millionaires

Abstract: The number of 401k savers with at least $1 million in their 401k increased to 150,000 at the end of 2017, up from 93,000 a year ago. The number of investors with $1 million in their IRA account rose to 152,000, an increase from 109,000 at the end of 2016.

Source: Plansponsor.com, February 2018

Many Workers Unaware of Tax Credit for Retirement Savers

Abstract: Nearly two in three American workers do not know about the Tax Credit for Retirement Savers, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies learned in a survey.

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2018

Retirement Income, Managed Accounts and "Shadow Fiduciaries"

Abstract: New Cerulli research shows the most common reason for which 401k plan sponsors offer participants a managed account service is that it can be positioned as a retirement income solution; also considered is the emergence of so-called "shadow fiduciaries."

Source: Planadviser.com, February 2018

Millennial Benefit Trends Report

Abstract: This report provides a look at exactly how millennial job seekers prioritize the variety of employee benefits that may be offered, as well as what the best practices are for this critical stage of the job hunt. The 14-page report aims to provide a resource for employers who want to better understand what this generation wants -- the millennial mindset -- when looking for a job.

Source: Pentegra.com, February 2018

ADP Test Basics 2017

Abstract: The tax code governing 401k plans was written to prevent qualified retirement plans from overly favoring Highly Compensated Employees. The ADP test uses mathematical equations to compare the participation and contribution rates of the HCEs to the NHCEs to determine whether the plan is discriminating in favor of the HCEs. This article reviews the test and how it works.

Source: Legacyrsllc.com, February 2018

American Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving

Abstract: The survey polled respondents about their views on defined contribution (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 2018

Americans on Target to Have 80% of the Income They Will Need in Retirement

Abstract: Americans' retirement score has reached a high of 80, meaning that they will have 80% of the income they will need in retirement, according to a survey of 3,100 people by Fidelity Investments. This is a marked improvement from 2005, when the score was 62. However, Fidelity ranks the score of 80 as fair, meaning that there is still a good amount of work that needs to be done.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2018

Three Reasons Plan Sponsors are Considering CITs - or Should Be

Abstract: CITs are often misunderstood, and many sponsors don't know where to begin when comparing mutual funds and CITs. Admittedly, it's a technical topic, but it's a topic that is increasingly important.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, January 2018

Lower Fees May Not Mean Added Retirement Savings

Abstract: Advisors are adopting software and investment platforms geared to help them find the cheapest, low-fee retirement products for their clients, but that might not necessarily equate to added savings in retirement, new research says.

Source: Financial-Planning.com, January 2018

Millennial Benefit Trends Report

Abstract: Research found that the types of benefits that millennials are seeking include the standard insurance coverage, retirement plans, and vacation policies. However, this generation's interests also extend well beyond those cornerstone concerns, both when they are identifying companies that they would like to work for, and when weighing an offer of employment.

Source: Pentegra.com, January 2018

2017 Retirement Plan Mobile Enhancements

Abstract: Over the course of 2017, multiple Retirement Plan Monitor coverage group firms launched new mobile apps and revamped existing apps, integrating more account data, introducing transaction capabilities and harnessing new mobile technologies to add app features. These are all welcomed enhancements as Americans continue to increase their already-high level of dependency on mobile devices for internet access.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, January 2018

Three-Quarters of Americans Are in the Dark When it Comes to 401k Fees

Abstract: A new TD Ameritrade survey of 1,000 investors shows that 96 percent of people know how much they pay each month for streaming media services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify and yet just 27 percent know how much they're paying in fees on their 401k accounts.

Source: Businesswire.com, January 2018

Five of the Biggest 401k Changes of This Decade

Abstract: Over the past few years, the 401k industry has seen several sweeping changes take place, each of which has altered the core dynamics of how employees' retirement plans are managed. New government regulations have modified how the industry is monitored for betterment of employees. Here are five of the biggest changes that have affected the responsibility, litigation strategies, fees and overall practices for providers.

Source: Forbes.com, January 2018

Optimizing Retirement Income by Integrating Retirement Plans, IRAs, and Home Equity

Abstract: In this 144-page report, the authors present a framework of analyses and methods that financial advisers, financial institutions, plan sponsors, and retirees can use to compare and assess strategies for developing lifetime retirement income.

Source: Stanford.edu, January 2018

How to "Pensionize" Any IRA or 401k Plan

Abstract: American workers face three challenges in a DC world: Inadequate savings, Leakage, and Generating retirement income. This 19-page white paper focuses on solutions to the third challenge while acknowledging the importance of the first two.

Source: Stanford.edu, January 2018

2018 Defined Contribution Trends

Abstract: Callan conducted our 11th annual Defined Contribution Trends Survey in the fall of 2017. The survey incorporates responses from 152 plan sponsors, including both Callan clients and other organizations. This 57-page report highlights key themes and findings from 2017 and expectations for 2018.

Source: Callan.com, January 2018

Lawsuits Push 401k Plan Sponsors to Cut Fees

Abstract: Employers are moving to reduce their 401k plan costs in greater numbers, largely in an attempt to avoid the fate of peers who've been sued for allegedly excessive fees in their defined-contribution plans, new research suggests.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), January 2018

Employer Contributions to 401ks Show Steady Increase

Abstract: Ascensus data shows the number of employers funding employer contributions increased from 53% in 2013 to 81% in 2016, and data gathered from Strategic Insight finds the amount of employers contributions have increased from $108.1 billion in 2010 to $139.2 billion in 2016.

Source: Planadviser.com, January 2018

Retirement and Financial Wellbeing

Abstract: This paper looks at the relationship between retirement security and financial wellbeing, because, without an appropriate degree of financial wellbeing, retirement solutions like automatic enrollment may be ineffective.

Source: Ebri.org, January 2018

Retirement Readiness -- How Do We Compare?

Abstract: This article compares the retirement system of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The objective is to discover different areas where each country excelled and from which the other two could learn.

Source: Bpsm.com, January 2018

Major Problem Reported With 401k Auto Enrollment

Abstract: The benefits of automatic enrollment in 401ks are all but a given, and a major reason Richard Thaler, a behavioral economist at the University of Chicago, won last year's Nobel Prize in economics. But now new research has arrived that could wreck it all.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2018

2017 Closes With a Bang for Average 401k Balances

Abstract: An analysis by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute found that the average account balance for younger (25-34), less tenured (1-4 years) workers gained 43% in 2017. What about older workers? Well, the average 401k account balance of those aged 55-64 with more than 20 years of tenure ended the year nearly 20% (19.5%) higher than they began the year.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2018

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