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Strong Market Returns Fail to Reduce Workers' Financial Stress

Abstract: After two years of strong stock market returns, people are significantly more likely to say they are in excellent financial health and ahead of schedule in saving for retirement than they were in 2016. Despite this optimism, however, they also report significantly more stress, especially financially related stress, driven primarily by growing debt. Savings-related benefits like 401ks and health savings accounts help employees feel better about their financial well-being, but the data indicate many either do not fully understand the benefit or have overestimated their success using it.

Source: Lockton.com, October 2018

Businesses Play Pivotal Role in Preparing Workers for Retirement, Study Shows

Abstract: A new report from Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust details the specific features of a well-designed 401k plan that are most effective in helping employees amass the savings they need to replace 80 percent of their income in retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2018*

Perspectives to Help Drive Better Retirement Outcomes

Abstract: This 44-page report draws on data about the behaviors of more than four million retirement plan eligible employees. This analysis, in conjunction with key findings from the behavioral finance field, provides useful guidance for how plan sponsors can be effective in helping their employees achieve a more successful retirement.

Source: Wellsfargomedia.com, October 2018

Seven Attributes of an Excellent DC Plan

Abstract: How does our retirement plan compare to others? This is a common question when an organization evaluates key characteristics of its defined contribution retirement plan. Plan sponsors and their advisors often benchmark their plans against industry averages to see how they measure up. But, is that what they should strive for -- being average -- or should they aim higher?

Source: Russellinvestments.com, October 2018

Boomers Express Confidence in Their 401k Plans

Abstract: Recognizing the fact that November will mark the 40th anniversary of the legislation that paved the way for 401k plans, Charles Schwab conducted a survey of Baby Boomers' attitudes towards their 401k plans. Schwab notes that Boomers are the first generation to have access to a 401k plan for a majority of their career. Seventy-five percent of Boomers said they believe their 401k plan is in better shape now than ever before.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2018

Millennials Give Retirement Saving a Low Priority

Abstract: Retirement clearly is not a priority for far too many young working adults. Large minorities of the 22- to 37-year-olds who responded to a recent LendEdu survey said their retirement saving every month amounts to less than they spend on various categories of consumer goods. Nearly half of them report they spend more on dining out than on retirement saving. Almost one in three spend more on alcohol or new clothes, and one in four spend more on streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify. What that indicates is that a lot of them aren't saving very much.

Source: Bc.edu, October 2018

DC Plan Advisors Are Leveling Up

Abstract: The DC plan market is increasingly dynamic with a variety of industry forces and innovations at play, and so, too, is the makeup of the DC advisor population. Findings from our newly released Retirement Plan Advisor TrendsTM report reveal important changes in the profile of financial advisors who are active in the DC space, affecting the business relationships these advisors have with plan providers and investment managers.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2018

Only One in Three Workers are on Track to Retire Comfortably by Age 67

Abstract: If current employee savings trends continue, half of workers will need to wait for retirement until at least age 70 to be considered financially prepared, according to findings from The Real Deal: 2018 Retirement Income Adequacy study released by Aon.

Source: Aon.com, October 2018

How Low Expected Returns Impact 401k Participant Behavior

Abstract: How workers will react to its next resurgence, specifically in retirement saving, is the subject of a new paper from three highly-regarded academics, Vanya Horneff, Raimond Maurer and Wharton's Olivia Mitchell.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2018

Private Sector Workers and Access to DC Retirement Plans

Abstract: 51 percent of private industry workers had access to only defined contribution retirement plans through their employer. An additional 13 percent had access to both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans at their workplace, while 4 percent of private industry workers had access to only defined benefit retirement plans.

Source: Bls.gov, October 2018

DC Plan Customization to Drive Next Wave of Innovation

Abstract: The defined contribution world is poised for change. It will take time -- $20 trillion systems aren't transformed overnight -- but don't let that fool you into underestimating just how big the change will be. This article reviews some of the themes to watch for.

Source: Pionline.com, October 2018

A Key to Strengthening Retirement Security: Return to Designing Retirement Plans Focused on Lifetime Income Strategies

Abstract: If the goal of a retirement plan is to help each participant generate enough income in retirement to maintain his or her standard of living, or at least meet their basic needs in retirement, the retirement plan should be designed to address the risk that the participant will be unable to replace an adequate percentage of preretirement income. If retirement security is the goal, the amount of assets that participants accumulate is less important than the amount of income the participants can generate from those assets in retirement.

Source: Georgetown.edu, September 2018

Millennial Self-Directed 401k Investors Allocate More to ETFs Than Do Other Generations

Abstract: According to Charles Schwab's 10-page SDBA Indicators Report™ Millennials allocated a larger percentage of their portfolios to ETFs and cash than did other generations during the second quarter of 2018, while mutual funds remained the largest holding in the accounts of all generations.

Source: Schwab.com, September 2018

Approaching the Decumulation Phase of Retirement

Abstract: This 21-page white paper examines trends and the latest studies regarding how retirees spend their savings, and offers suggestions and analysis on potential strategies.

Source: Pentegra.com, September 2018

Annual 403b Retirement Plan Survey: Organizations Adopting Best Practice Plan Designs

Abstract: Organizations that sponsor 403b plans are accelerating adoption of plan automatic features to improve plan design and participant outcomes, according to the 2018 403b Plan Survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America. The report also confirms more organizations are working with advisors. This year marks the 10th year of the survey and significant trends have emerged over that period.

Source: Psca.org, September 2018

Have CITs in 401k Plans Reached a Tipping Point?

Abstract: Collective investment trusts have long been heralded as "the next big thing" in the DC industry, but a new report suggests that, in recent years, the market has turned a corner. The third quarter 2018 issue of The Cerulli Edge-U.S. Retirement Edition finds that CIT adoption is finally experiencing a meaningful increase.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2018

How Much to Save for Retirement is a Question that Puzzles Most Employees

Abstract: A new study from Schwab Retirement Plan Services reveals that if they could travel back in time, two out of three retirement plan participants would sacrifice past spending on things like dining out, expensive clothing, new cars, and vacations to save more for their post-working years. The question of how much to save for retirement now needs to be dovetailed with unexpected expenses like home repairs, and "quality of life" spending. These become top obstacles when saving for retirement.

Source: 401ktv.com, September 2018

Retirement in America - Out of Reach for Most Americans?

Abstract: The analysis finds that overall, four out of five working Americans have less than one year's income saved in retirement accounts. Also, 77 percent of Americans fall short of conservative retirement savings targets for their age based on working until age 67 even after counting an individual's entire net worth, a generous measure of retirement savings. Moreover, a large majority of working Americans cannot meet even a substantially reduced savings target.

Source: Nirsonline.org, September 2018

Study Finds Strong Correlations Between Company Financial Performance Quality of Their 401k

Abstract: Study found a strong correlation between corporate financial performance and overall 401k plan quality, regardless of a company's industry or retirement plan size. The study also found significant correlations between four success metrics of a 401k plan and four measures of corporate profitability.

Source: Troweprice.com, September 2018

Employees Not Realizing the Importance of Debt Control in Retirement Planning

Abstract: Although a majority of workers thought workplace financial well-being programs would be either very or somewhat helpful in better preparing or saving for retirement, fewer than half of workers thought debt counseling or budgeting help would be helpful, EBRI found.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2018

Understanding and Achieving Participant Financial Wellness

Abstract: This survey of retirement plan participants was conducted to better understand participant financial wellness and factors that contribute to -- or impede -- the ability to become financially well. A total of 12,211 retirement plan participants answered questions about financial wellness, ancillary wellness factors -- such as working with financial professionals -- and education preferences. Report is 12-pages.

Source: Oneamerica.com, August 2018

Plan Recordkeeper Data Show Ongoing Commitment to Retirement Saving

Abstract: The latest DC recordkeeper data indicate that plan participants remain committed to saving and investing, as nearly all continued contributing to their plans in the first quarter of 2018. Only 1.1 percent of DC plan participants stopped contributing during this period.

Source: Ici.org, August 2018

New Survey Shows 401k Participants Would Like More Guidance

Abstract: New research from Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. reveals that, despite having a positive outlook for retirement, American workers regret past spending and are concerned about being able to ultimately save enough for their golden years. The nationwide survey of 1,000 401k plan participants finds that while 70 percent believe their quality of life in retirement will be better than that of both their parents and their children, saving for retirement is still their number one source of financial stress (40%).

Source: Schwab.com, August 2018

2018 401k Participant Survey

Abstract: This online survey of 1,000 401k participants was conducted by Logica Research for Schwab Retirement Plan Services. Survey finds that while American workers are proactive about reaching retirement goals, they could benefit from professional financial help.

Source: Schwab.com, August 2018

DC Plan Participants' Activities, First Quarter 2018

Abstract: Survey finds that DC plan withdrawal activity in the first quarter of 2018 remained low and was like the first quarter in the prior year. Most DC plan participants also stayed the course with their asset allocations as stock values edged down during the first three months of the year.

Source: Ici.org, August 2018

DC Plan Executives Get Serious About Playing Games

Abstract: Defined contribution plan executives, providers, tech firms, and academics are all giving "gamification" techniques a closer look in hopes of driving participant engagement, financial literacy, and finding ways to get more employees thinking about and preparing for their financial future.

Source: Pionline.com, August 2018

IRS Private Letter Ruling Will Help Clear the Way for 401k Plan Student Loan Benefits

Abstract: The IRS released a private letter ruling which will help clear the way for employers to provide a new type of student loan repayment benefit as part of their 401(k) plans. This ruling is important because many employers have been looking for ways to help their employees manage student loan repayment obligations, but to date the options available for doing so have been rather limited.

Source: Mwe.com, August 2018

Survey: Plan Sponsor Attitudes

Abstract: This plan sponsor attitudes study reveals that the top concern of plan sponsors is whether the plan is effectively preparing employees for retirement financially (33 percent), whereas in 2017 the focus was on reducing business costs related to the plan (32 percent). To help employees achieve their savings goals, many sponsors are making changes to plan design (82 percent) and investment menus (83 percent).

Source: Fidelity.com, August 2018

2018 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey Findings

Abstract: This survey reveals that, although participants are making progress and gaining confidence overall, more work is needed. In a series of three articles, J.P. Morgan discusses their findings and the steps plan sponsors can take to further strengthen their plans.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, August 2018

Living on Easy Street in Retirement? Study Reveals Shaky Sense of Confidence

Abstract: About 64 percent of workers today say they think they will be able to retire comfortably, but when asked specific questions about being able to pay for health care and other long-term security issues, it's hard to understand where the confidence comes from. According to the 'Retirement Confidence' survey, only 1 in 5 workers and 4 in 10 retirees have actually done the math.

Source: Workforce.com, August 2018

Understanding and Solving the Problem of Women's 401k Cashout Leakage

Abstract: The data indicates that women with small 401k balances cash out much more frequently than their male counterparts. However, as women';s 401k balances grow, they become more likely than men to preserve their retirement savings. These behaviors suggest that a program of retirement savings portability could incubate women's small 401k balances, allowing them to more effectively grow their savings to higher balance levels.

Source: Wiserwomen.org, August 2018

Protecting Employee Benefit Plans With Cyber Insurance

Abstract: This article outlines reasons employers should consider obtaining cyber insurance, protections that a plan should include, possible drawbacks, and best practices for finding the plan with the appropriate coverage.

Source: Spencerfane.com, August 2018

Demographic Differences in the Language and Imagery of Retirement

Abstract: This empirical study was conducted to understand people's perspectives toward retirement and to describe how views differ between people of various characteristics. Using the results of this analysis, financial planners can better address clients' emotional needs, rather than solely focusing on rational financial planning.

Source: Onefpa.org, August 2018

Potential vs. Realized Savings Under Automatic Enrollment

Abstract: While automatic enrollment in employer retirement plans has been shown to vastly increase plan participation, many employees tend to withdraw some or all of their account balances before retirement – offsetting automatic enrollment’s positive effect. This study gauges how automatic enrollment influenced savings plan loans and withdrawals at a Fortune 500 financial services firm and how pre-retirement withdrawals affected employees’ retirement plan balances over time.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, July 2018

Americans Have Been Saving Much More Than Thought, New Data Show

Abstract: U.S. households have been socking away a lot more money in recent years than had been earlier thought, revised government statistics released on Friday showed. The saving rate over 2016 and 2017 is now pegged at an average 6.7 percent, up from a previously reported 4.2 percent.

Source: Bloomberg.com, July 2018

Target-Date Funds the Engine Powering Continued Growth

Abstract: Defined contribution money managers reported a large jump in target-date assets under management to $1.44 trillion as of Dec. 31, up 30.5% from the end of 2016, according to Pensions & Investments' annual survey. Consultants cited target-date strategies' prominence as default investment options, the increased use of auto features, and positive market returns in 2017 as contributors to those funds' growth.

Source: Pionline.com, July 2018

Financially Stressed Workers Likely to Draw on Retirement Plans

Abstract: The impact of financial stress can lead to impaired focus, health, performance, and unintended consequences in the workplace. It is also causing employees to partake in rather risky money behavior: tapping into their 401k or other retirement savings in an attempt to get back on track.

Source: Voya.com, July 2018

401k Participant Disclosures - What Employers Need to Know

Abstract: 401k plan sponsors have a fiduciary responsibility to distribute certain information to plan participants from time to time. These important participant disclosures can also be many and spread throughout the year, which can make their distribution seem like an overwhelming fiduciary responsibility. This is a description of the various participant disclosures that can apply to a participant-directed 401k plan with guidelines for their distribution.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, July 2018

401k Savers Make Little Progress

Abstract: Despite the mounting pressures on Americans of all ages to save for retirement, our saving habits haven't changed in 10 years. The combined employer and employee contributions to 401ks consistently hover around 10 percent of workers' pay, according to "How America Saves 2018," an annual report by Vanguard, which administers thousands of employer 401ks and other defined contribution plans. Retirement account balances aren't going up either.

Source: Bc.edu, July 2018

A Top Factor That Determines Happiness in Retirement Has Nothing to do With Money

Abstract: Most people accept that the U.S. has a retirement savings crisis. The facts and figures illustrating this crunch are so profuse you can pick them off like low-hanging fruit on a tree. But there are other, less well-known, aspects to retirement beyond finances that weigh heavily on the joy you'll derive from the last third of your life.

Source: Bankrate.com, July 2018

Retirement Confidence Improving, But Effects From Great Recession Linger

Abstract: Many American workers are still recovering from the Great Recession, but most are focused on saving for retirement and have varying degrees of confidence they will be able to retire comfortably, according to a comprehensive study on worker perspectives.

Source: Asppa.org, July 2018

Millennials Benefiting From Retirement Plan Modernization

Abstract: Millennials are the first generation to fully benefit from improvements made to retirement plans over the last decade, according to a survey from the Empower Institute. They are on track to replace 75% of their income in retirement, compared to 64% for Americans overall, 61% for Gen Xers and 58% for Baby Boomers.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2018

Is Your Plan Offering the Right Capital Preservation Option?

Abstract: Stable value funds are popular as a conservative investment option in defined contribution retirement savings plans. More so since regulations impacting money market funds took effect in 2016. To learn more about stable value's enduring appeal and why it makes sense in today's investment climate, PLANSPONSOR spoke with MetLife.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2018

Why Plan Participant Education Is Essential

Abstract: Plan participants often lack a solid understanding of what drives the success of their retirement savings, and increasingly, their unawareness is leaving them unprepared to leave work. Participant education is a crucial component of accountable sponsorship. This article discusses how to begin a consistent, effective program of participant education.

Source: Planpilot.com, July 2018

2018 Retirement Preparedness Study

Abstract: Many retirees are enjoying a secure retirement, but many pre-retirees envision that the "dream retirement" is becoming more elusive. This study explores how well individuals are preparing for retirement and how they are responding to the challenges they face.

Source: Pgim.com, July 2018

Simplifying 401k Choices Doesn't Help Employees Enroll

Abstract: Simplifying choices related to 401ks doesn't seem to help employees enroll in a plan or improve the amount they contribute, according to a recent IZA Institute of Labor Economics study. Data from the study suggest that simplifying the presentation of retirement-plan information to employees is unlikely to result in vastly improved retirement-planning choices.

Source: Wealthmanagement.com, July 2018

Millennials All but Paralyzed by Money-Related Stress

Abstract: Finances are causing stress for many Americans, but Millennials might be freaking out most. According to a recent study, far more Millennials (40 percent) point to money as a primary source of stress than those who blame work (18 percent), health (10 percent) and even politics (6 percent).

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2018

Do Young Adults With Student Debt Save Less for Retirement?

Abstract: Student loan payments leave young adults entering the workforce with less money available to save. Even if the payments are manageable, the lingering presence of a student loan may loom large over other financial decisions, including retirement saving. This 9-pages paper, based on a recent study, examines the relationship between student loans and retirement saving.

Source: Bc.edu, June 2018

Rethinking Millennial Retirement: Policy Recommendations for a Gig Economy

Abstract: This 43-page policy proposal is made up of three parts: The Multiple Employer Plan IRA, an expansion of the Saver’s Credit, and retirement planning resources and courses for college students. Millennials face a myriad of challenges in saving for retirement. The paper discusses the pressure that Social Security faces in coming years, important factors contributing to the current state of millennial retirement, how the gig economy prevents accessibility to tax-advantaged retirement plans, and past efforts to reform the way Americans save for retirement.

Source: Wiserwomen.org, June 2018

The Economics of Providing 401k Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2017

Abstract: Maintaining a 401k plan involves a variety of services, and the costs of these services are generally shared by the plan sponsor and the plan participants. This 32-page report, published in June, 2018, looks at the economics of providing 401k plans including services, fees, and expenses.

Source: Ici.org, June 2018

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Participant Education

Abstract: This 17-page white paper examines best practices for a plan sponsor in designing education and engagement programs to improve participants' financial wellness and long-term retirement outcomes. Whether plan sponsors are working alone or with an education provider, the paper offers guidance on how to build and implement a successful program that reaches their employees.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, June 2018

Fiduciary Implications of Flexible Retirement Income Solutions

Abstract: As DC plans continue to evolve, better plans will likely move beyond the current menu of accumulation options and automation-related innovations to address retirement income challenges faced by their participants in a thoughtful and integrated manner. Moreover, careful fiduciaries will ensure that the processes used to evaluate retirement income solutions are defensible and well documented.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, June 2018

Considering Customized Investment Options in a DC Plan

Abstract: As DC plans represent a growing share of workers' retirement nest eggs, plan sponsors and consultants may be considering customized investment options for their DC plan investment menus. This 12-page paper discusses the potential benefits and drawbacks of including nonstandard investment options, particularly white-label funds, in a 401k plan.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2018

How Do DC Plan Sponsors View Retirement Risks and Objectives?

Abstract: A recent survey of DC plan sponsors and consultants finds that when selecting a target-date strategy or other QDIA, plan sponsors were most concerned about participants' longevity risk and their ability to achieve higher retirement account balances over the long term.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2018

Lump Sums Are Most Common Payment Option for Participants in DC Plans

Abstract: As workers approach retirement, they might wonder how their retirement savings will be paid out. A lump sum was the most common payment option available to workers. A lump sum provides retiring workers the full amount of their retirement savings and earnings with no further benefits received from the plan.

Source: Bls.gov, June 2018

Retirement Income Gaining Interest Among Plan Sponsors and Participants

Abstract: Today, employees are responsible for investing their own retirement assets, and they are also tasked with making decisions about decumulation. A recent MetLife survey called "The Role of the Company" confirmed employees recognize these responsibilities, but they still want help from their employer, viewed as a trusted partner. Roberta Rafaloff, head of MetLife’s Institutional Income Annuities business, spoke with PLANSPONSOR about how employers can help guide employees in terms of structuring retirement income.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2018

Financial Wellness Programs That Follow Up Are the Most Effective

Abstract: Financial wellness programs that follow up with participants or that are offered continuously are the most effective, according to a new report issued by the Pension Research Council at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2018

More 401k Savers Go All-In on TDFs

Abstract: The data are in, and they tell a powerful story about the state of retirement in America. The 17th edition of How America Saves delves into the retirement savings behavior of 4.6 million participants in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans for which Vanguard provides recordkeeping services. Our data-rich report examines trends in how participants accumulate, manage, and access retirement savings.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2018

Cerulli Foresees 401ks Embracing Retirement Income

Abstract: With millions of Baby Boomers now retiring, Cerulli expects the next big development will be plans embracing retirement income. Cerulli says the first step retirement plan stakeholders can take is to encourage plan sponsors to work to keep retired participants in their plan, to "embrace a more holistic view toward their participants."

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2018

Defined Contribution Plan Trends that Plan Sponsors Need to Know

Abstract: Research from Deloitte and Callan observed defined contribution plan trends and priorities for 2018 as plan sponsors strive to create better long-term outcomes for participants. Plan sponsors heavily cited the already mentioned retirement readiness as a main concern in addition to continued effort to address fees and improve participant communication. Here are some industry trends that are reshaping how employers approach their DC plans now.

Source: Planpilot.com, June 2018

ERISA Tips: Participant Plan and Investment Fee Disclosures

Abstract: Title I of ERISA sets basic requirements for the disclosure of information; among those requirements are rules for disclosures concerning the plan and investment fees that are to be made to participants and beneficiaries with the authority to direct their own investments in individual account plans.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, June 2018

Self-Directed 401k Investors Favored Mutual Funds in First Quarter

Abstract: According to Charles Schwab's SDBA Indicators Report, a benchmark on retirement plan participant investment activity within self-directed brokerage accounts, plan participants invested the largest percentage of new assets into mutual funds in the first quarter of 2018, followed by exchange-traded funds, equities and fixed income.

Source: Aboutschwab.com, June 2018

Groups Call for New Social Contract for Retirement

Abstract: Nearly half of today's workers and retirees fear that future generations of retirees will be worse off than those currently in retirement, cited by 49% globally and 46% in the U.S, according to "The New Social Contract: A Blueprint for Retirement in the 21st Century." The report is based on a survey of 16,000 workers and retirees in 15 countries. Survey finds that to prevent future retirees from challenges, governments and employers will have to step up to the plate.

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2018

What Explains the Widening Gap in Retirement Ages by Education?

Abstract: Over the last three decades, the average retirement age has increased by about three years, to 64.6 for men and 62.3 for women. But this trend is not uniform across socioeconomic groups. This 8-page paper examines several potential causes of the unequal increases in retirement ages.

Source: Bc.edu, May 2018

Millennials are Better Prepared for Retirement Than Their Parents

Abstract: "Best prepared for retirement." That's not a superlative one might expect to describe Millennials, but according to the J.D. Power 2018 Group Retirement Satisfaction StudySM, it's true. Millennials are most likely of all demographic groups to have set specific retirement goals and have the highest amount of savings -- relative to age -- in group retirement plans.

Source: Jdpower.com, May 2018

PSCA Study Shows Retirement Plan Participation Rates Rising

Abstract: The percentage of employees signing up and making contributions to their qualified retirement plan has risen almost ten percent since 2010 according to the PSCA's 60th Annual Survey of Profit Sharing and 401k Plans. PSCA found 84.9 percent of employees made contributions to their plan in 2016 compared to 76.9 percent in 2010.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2018

Choice Architecture and Participant Investment Decisions

Abstract: This 12-page paper studies index exposure at the participant level, particularly its sharp rise for the average participant in Vanguard-administered plans because of the expanded use of index target-date funds. The analysis is a case study of the dynamics of individual decision-making that influence the adoption of any investment strategy within a participant-directed plan.

Source: Vanguard.com, May 2018

Research Shows Gig Economy May Replace Retirement

Abstract: For many survey respondents, the gig economy is replacing how they plan to earn income in retirement: 16 percent plan on having gig economy jobs to supplement their retirement; 12 percent of side-hustlers will keep a side-gig job as their main source of income after retiring from their traditional career; and, one in five full-time giggers say they'll continue to pick up incremental work in the gig economy as their main source of income following "retirement."

Source: Betterment.com, May 2018

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, 2017

Abstract: This 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 30 million employer-based DC retirement plan participant accounts as of December 2017. 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, May 2018

"Thirst for Liquidity" Hurting 401k Savings Rates

Abstract: Deferred gratification or immediate satisfaction? Americans appear to choose the latter. Not exactly news to anyone following the saving rates of the nation's consumers. Yet a new report from Hearts &Wallets finds a "thirst for liquidity is driving increases of certain account types as consumers weigh tradeoffs between tax-deferred investments versus readily accessible funds."

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, May 2018

The Top 25 401k Plans

Abstract: Listed here in descending order, Employee Benefit News, in partnership with business intelligence data analytics firm miEdge, presents the top 25 401k plans in the United States based on plan-year-end net assets as of April 9, 2018.

Source: Benefitnews.com, May 2018

Workers Willing to Sacrifice Pay for Better Retirement Benefits

Abstract: Most U.S. workers are willing to swap their pay for greater retirement benefits, but far fewer would trade off pay for better healthcare coverage, a Willis Towers Watson survey shows. The survey found that 66% of respondents would make higher monthly payments for more generous retirement benefits, and 61% would exchange more pay for a guaranteed retirement benefit.

Source: Hrdive.com, May 2018

Of Canadian Gen-Xers, 28% Have No Retirement Savings

Abstract: More than a quarter of generation Xers in Canada haven't saved anything for retirement, a new survey from Franklin Templeton has found. While the 28 per cent of Canadian gen-Xers who are in that position suggests a significant gap in retirement savings, the number compares favorably to the United States. In that country, 37 per cent of gen-Xers haven't started on retirement saving.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, May 2018

Human Interaction Increases Benefits Engagement

Abstract: A new survey conducted among HR and benefits managers on employee benefits engagement and utilization has found that despite the ongoing growth of technology, employees desire personalized, human interaction. This was among the findings of the Driving Benefits Engagement survey by Health Advocate.

Source: Blr.com, May 2018

Confidence in Retirement Planning Correlates With Higher Retirement Income

Abstract: Individuals who have an adviser are more likely to be on track to create adequate retirement income, by a wide margin, a study by Empower found.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2018

Which 401k Plan Features Boost Retirement Readiness?

Abstract: New research suggests 401k plan sponsors may play an even bigger role in American workers' retirement outcomes than they realize. According to a study by Empower Retirement, the features included in plan designs heavily impact participants' chances of securing a successful retirement.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, May 2018

Seven Investment Trends in 401k Plans

Abstract: A number of forces continue to drive change in 401k investing, among them the broad adoption of index funds and litigation targeting 401k plans for allegedly excessive fees. Here's a breakdown of the prevalent trends by the numbers.

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

Scoring the Progress of Retirement Savers

Abstract: New survey results indicate that American employers can heavily influence the retirement prospects of their workers by offering key features in the workplace savings plans they sponsor. In turn, employees can bolster their own chances at a secure retirement by actively pursuing financial advice and education for their own benefit.

Source: Empower-Retirement.com, May 2018

401k Lawsuits: What Are the Causes and Consequences?

Abstract: This 24-page paper looks at the broad complaints that motivate the litigation and how the threat of litigation may affect the retirement industry. The first section introduces the three main reasons why litigation is brought in the first place. The second section turns to the potential effects of this litigation on 401k plans.

Source: Bc.edu, May 2018

Trends in the Expenses and Fees of Funds

Abstract: Fund expenses cover portfolio management, fund administration and compliance, shareholder services, recordkeeping, certain kinds of distribution charges, and other operating costs. This ICI study found that, on average, fund expenses for long-term mutual funds have declined substantially for more than 20 years.

Source: Ici.org, April 2018

2018 RCS: Retiree Confidence in Critical Aspects of Retirement Security Declines

Abstract: This year's Retirement Confidence Survey finds only a third of retirees very confident in their ability to live comfortably throughout retirement. While this is comparable to last year, retiree confidence in having enough money to cover basic expenses and medical expenses has dropped: 80 percent say they are very/somewhat confident about covering basic expenses this year compared to 85 percent in 2017; and 70 percent say they are very/somewhat confident about covering medical expenses this year vs. 77 percent in 2017.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2018

How Is Income in Retirement Changing?

Abstract: The RCS shows how workers' expectations of the sources of income in retirement might differ from the sources of income for current retirees: 26 percent of retirees report receiving income from work, while 68 percent of workers expect working for pay to provide them income in retirement; 2-in-3 retirees report Social Security is a major source of income, while only about a third of workers believe Social Security will be a major source; and more than 4-in-10 retirees report income from a DB or pension plan is a major source of income, while only 32% of workers expect a DB plan to be a major source for them in retirement.

Source: Ebriorg.wordpress.com, April 2018

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

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