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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams1/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Trying to figure out how much money an individual or couple needs to live on in retirement is, to put it mildly, a complicated business. As advisors well know, it depends on a range of factors, including the age at which the individual retires, where they live, how they live, marital status and health. It can also be impacted by the markets, both before and after retirement. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams1/24/2013 • 0 Comments

You may remember little else about the 1989 film “Field of Dreams,” but odds are you’ve invoked a version of what is probably its most famous line: “If you build it, he will come.” Unfortunately, for most retirement plan participants, building retirement savings is more complicated than constructing a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

I was driving home recently when my dashboard lit up with a warning that in just 63 miles, I’d run out of gas. I appreciated the warning — my car has one of those gauges that seems to fall faster once you get under a quarter of a tank — so it was nice to get not just a warning, but a specific target. Armed with that knowledge, I proceeded to drive home — and later that night to drive to a destination that, while some distance away, was still well within the parameters established by the warning gauge. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams1/8/2013 • 3 Comments

Sooner or later, at just about every retirement plan conference, you’ll hear someone — and generally more than just one someone — cite the statistic that “only about half of working Americans are covered by a workplace retirement plan.” In fact, as an advisor, I’d be surprised if you hadn’t passed along that piece of information to a client or prospect at least once. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein1/4/2013 • 3 Comments

As a history major, I learned the benefits of looking back to better understand the present and see more clearly into the future. At the risk of doing things backward, I am looking ahead first, and then will try to make sense of what happened last year. So here are a few things that might happen in 2013, and a rundown of forces affecting the retirement industry at large and the DC or corporate participant directed advisor-sold industry specifically. READ MORE

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

By Kathleen Beichert1/31/2013 • 0 Comments

Historically, investors have demanded higher compensation — usually in the form of higher yields — to lend to a high debt, low growth nation than they would a low debt, high growth one. But today’s global bond market reflects quite the opposite. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl1/30/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Minnesota, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry regarding non-spouse beneficiaries of workplace retirement plan assets. READ MORE

By John Carl1/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Florida, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed the DOL’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) program. READ MORE

By John Carl1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Ohio, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry regarding requirements for 403(b) plan documents. READ MORE

By John Carl1/8/2013 • 1 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Massachusetts, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry regarding how to limit fiduciary liability. READ MORE

By John Carl1/3/2013 • 2 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in South Carolina, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed who can and can’t delay a required minimum distribution (RMD). READ MORE

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

By Marcus Chandler1/25/2013 • 4 Comments

The start of the new year is a good time to reevaluate our business development strategy and retool to expand on what has worked well in the past or make adjustments to improve on disappointing results. The primary challenge for many practices is universal: How to identify and get in front of new prospects. READ MORE

By Marcus Chandler1/3/2013 • 0 Comments

Well, it’s that time of year again! A time when the fortunate few of us who got everything just right savor the previous year’s success, while likely more of us mull over our own “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve” missed opportunities or previous New Year’s resolutions gone unfulfilled. With the arrival of the new year, though, we have another opportunity to get it right, and thus we make new promises to ourselves. Some promises are related to personal growth, others to business growth … and for us more severely flawed beings, both. READ MORE

Jim Farley

Jim Farley

Jim Farley

By Jim Farley1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

When all is said and done, if participants are not saving enough to retire comfortably and plan sponsors are not receiving the quality of service they need, it matters little that the Department of Labor required volumes of disclosure designed to increase fee and investment transparency. Let’s take a closer look at the DOL rule’s impact on both of these groups. READ MORE

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

By Sheri Fitts1/15/2013 • 0 Comments

In case you hadn't noticed, the holiday season is over. Thankfully, you won’t be subjected to the continual playing of “The Santa Clause” on cable, Starbucks baristas wearing Santa hats or blow-up snowmen in your neighbors’ yards — at least for another 345 days or so. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays. They're a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to celebrate the season. These festive holiday parties also serve as a great reminder of how social media should work. READ MORE

Brian Graff, Esq.

Brian Graff, Esq.

Brian is the Executive Director of NAPA. In this capacity he oversees NAPA’s operations. As a member of the Leadership Council, he charts the strategic direction for the organization. Brian also serves as ASPPA’s Executive Director/CEO — a post he has held since 1996.

He has been named one of 401kWire’s “50 Most Influential Persons in the 401(k) Industry” every year since 2007.

An attorney and certified public accountant, Brian was formerly Legislation Counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, he was associated with The Groom Law Group, in Washington, DC, which specializes in employee benefits. He received his doctoral degree in law, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting with distinction from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

By Brian Graff, Esq.1/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Hardliners in the House of Representatives argue that America has maxed out on its credit card. But defaulting on a credit card payment only makes a bad situation worse. The idea of defaulting on our debt can only be described as epically stupid — it would have potentially catastrophic economic consequences. READ MORE

By Brian Graff, Esq.1/2/2013 • 0 Comments

As you have probably heard, late last night the House of Representatives approved the legislation passed by the Senate on New Year’s Eve encompassing a deal to avoid the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for 98% of American taxpayers. That's the good news. But this show in DC is far from over. They will be back at it in February, with the accompanying volatility in the market returning. For 401(k) advisors, here are four important points you need to know about. READ MORE

Rick Meigs

Rick Meigs

By Rick Meigs1/7/2013 • 0 Comments

In building strategic partnerships, Pete Kirtland wrote in Friday’s Wall Street Journal about the value and benefits of the unbundled approach: “When we talk about building 401(k) partnerships, there are two models in the retirement plan space. The old-fashioned one is called bundled. That's where all the different services for 401(k) plans — financial advisory services, record keeping, third-party administration and custodial services — are offered by the same entity. In an unbundled environment, a different entity provides each of these services, and that’s their core competency." READ MORE

Robert J. Rafter

Robert J. Rafter

By Robert J. Rafter1/9/2013 • 2 Comments

In a post on the DOL’s blog, EBSA’s Phyllis Borzi boasts that the agency “protected or recovered” more than $1.2 billion in FY 2012 “for workers who participate in private-sector employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries.” Most of this total was reported for participants in 401(k) or similar retirement account plans, as well as employee stock ownership plans. READ MORE

NAPA Net Staff

NAPA Net Staff

By NAPA Net Staff1/31/2013 • 2 Comments

Is consulting on a 401(k) plan considered a violation of FINRA’s rules prohibiting outside business activities? A broker recently settled with FINRA on this issue without admitting or denying the findings in a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (AWC). READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/31/2013 • 0 Comments

Americans whose parents set good financial examples are more likely to be among the 62% of Americans who have a financial plan and feel confident in their financial future, a new Genworth survey finds. One surprise in the results: Younger Americans are taking steps early on to plan for their financial futures and are just as likely as other age groups to have a financial plan. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/31/2013 • 0 Comments

Thomas Friedman, the noted New York Times columnist who wrote the seminal book "The World is Flat" in 2004, had some sage advice yesterday for President Obama that should resonate with plan advisors. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/30/2013 • 3 Comments

In a thought provoking and insightful piece, noted industry journalist Chris Carosa tackles the controversial question of whether the Morningstar star ratings are useful in predicting performance. If they're not, the almost parochial reliance on these ratings by plan sponsors and advisors is really just a fiduciary hedge. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/30/2013 • 0 Comments

Will the American Taxpayer Relief Act’s scheme to raise tax revenue by allowing 401(k) participants to more easily convert to Roth plans actually net the government the amount projected — $12 billion over the next 10 years? READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/30/2013 • 1 Comments

Will 401(k) plans become an important market for private equity and buyout firms like KKR? Recent reports in the business press, like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, indicate that the possibility seems increasingly likely. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Schwab Advisor Services reports an increase in the size of RIA deals in 2012, while the number of deals decreased. The total value of RIA deals increased from $43.9 billion in 2011 to $58.8 billion last year, but the number of deals dropped — from 57 to 45 — led by national firms like Hightower, Focus Financial and United Capital. Some experts are predicting more activity in 2013, as the overall sector grows and many principals deal with growth and succession issues. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Because of the Great Recession, fewer small employers are likely to offer benefits to their employees. According to a LIMRA study of 754 firms with fewer than 100 employees, only 47% indicated that they offered benefits — the lowest level in the past 20 years. With 98% of businesses considered “small” (representing 35% of the workforce, according to the U.S. Census bureau) and a sector that many economists regard as the engine of growth, this decline is significant. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/29/2013 • 0 Comments

With Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) announcing his intent to retire when his term expires next year, will his proposals to reform the nation’s retirement system be more likely to pass as he works hard on his legacy, or will they have less force behind them? As chairman of the powerful Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Harkin certainly has the platform. But will he get the support he needs to fund and pass a bill? READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/28/2013 • 0 Comments

While it may be a marketing advantage to be a named fiduciary, many advisors aren’t permitted to do so, and there are instances where it doesn’t make sense. The law firm Lewis and Roca lays out guidelines on which activities make an advisor a fiduciary and how advisors can avoid liability if they desire. The definition is certainly in flux — the DOL plans to try to change the definition this year. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/28/2013 • 0 Comments

On the one hand, broker dealers and RIAs have to embrace social media to attract and keep advisors; on the other hand, they need to comply with what some view as outdated regulations that prohibit most of the advisors’ activities. As social media sites like LinkedIn (the most popular site for business networking) introduce new features like endorsements, firms are scrambling to keep up. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/28/2013 • 0 Comments

Check out our list of the news and commentary highlights from the week of January 21. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/25/2013 • 0 Comments

While the Wall Street Journal took a shot at TDFs this week, especially regarding the 2015 funds, Morningstar has a contrary view, noting that overall the category performed well — even the 2015 vintage. The highest-performing category was the 2035 sleeve, with a 14.7% return; the top fund was JP Morgan SmartRetirement 2045 at 18.1%. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/25/2013 • 0 Comments

Picking up on the HelloWallet study showing how participants are tapping their 401(k) plans to pay bills, Time magazine this week raised the question of the effectiveness of the system. Though the concerns are real — with one quarter of workers planning to use their 401(k) plans for current expenses and an estimated $70 billion in leakage in 2010 — questioning a system that has attracted so many people and so much assets seems like throwing out the baby with the bath water. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/24/2013 • 0 Comments

A federal appellate court has dismissed claims by a few BoA DB participants that bank-affiliated funds were used improperly. Upholding a lower court's ruling, the appeals court dismissed the suit on procedural grounds without determining the validity of the claims. Citing potential harm to the plan caused by the cost of litigation brought by just a few participants, the court noted that, unlike with DC plans, DB participants have an interest in future benefits, not assets in plans. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/24/2013 • 1 Comments

Will the DOL eventually require plan fiduciaries to be trained on their duties under ERISA? Though some settlement agreements include this as a condition, no one would argue that it is currently required. But given that ERISA carries the highest fiduciary standards under law and includes personally liability to the trustees, no one would argue that fiduciary training is a bad idea or waste of time either. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/23/2013 • 0 Comments

In the latest of a series of posts by speakers at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA Summit, March 3-5, 2013 in Las Vegas, Charlie Epstein and Marcia Wagner address the question of how you can accept rollover business from a 401(k) participant — even if you’re a fiduciary advisor to the plan. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/23/2013 • 4 Comments

With all their popularity — which only seems to be growing — there are a lot of critics of the current crop of target date funds, as evidenced by a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. While the average return for 2015 TDFs last year beat the bond average by more than 6%, it lagged the S&P 500 by more than 5%. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Though the demand for active equity funds has fallen, with many companies experiencing net outflows (perhaps driven in DC plans by the growing popularity of TDFs), fees remained stable, according to Mercer’s 2012 Global Asset Manager Fee Survey, the fifth such biennial report. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/23/2013 • 0 Comments

While there has not been widespread adoption of retirement income products by plan sponsors, the need remains — for many reasons. Ultimately the question ultimately will not be whether these products will be offered, but which ones. Advisors need to understand the issues involved in helping clients evaluate the various options. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/22/2013 • 0 Comments

With the new opportunities for plan participants to convert previously non-distributable funds into a Roth under the American Taxpayer Relief Act, there may be a rush to offer this option — currently about half of plans now make it available. But rather than rush it, advisors may want to counsel their clients to wait until further guidance is issued, and be cautious about how to handle these conversions until the law is settled. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/22/2013 • 0 Comments

In the latest of a series of posts by speakers at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA Summit, March 3-5, 2013 in Las Vegas, George Baumann of Invesco — who will team up with MassMutual’s John G. Budd and Larry Mills of UBS to discuss stable value in a workshop at 2:45 on Monday, March 4 — outlines the key questions to ask when analyzing stable value. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/22/2013 • 0 Comments

What were the 10 most-read items on NAPA Net during 2012? READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/22/2013 • 2 Comments

Will the 401(k) industry have another federal agency looking over its shoulder? Though the SEC and DOL have been the primary regulators, there are signs that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could be entering the fray, according to a report by Bloomberg. Though the consumer bureau does not have direct jurisdiction over investments, it could step in if the other agencies don’t. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

In the latest of a series of posts by speakers at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA Summit, March 3-5, 2013 in Las Vegas, Doug Fisher of Fidelity Investments — who will team up with EBRI’s Nevin Adams to present the General Session at 8:15 on Tuesday, March 5 — describes Fidelity’s effort to gauge how employees divvy up pre-tax deferrals between HSAs for future health care expenses and 401(k)s for retirement saving. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

Americans’ job tenure increased slightly in 2012, but the average stay in a job is still shorter than many assume. The median length of time on the job for American workers in 2012 was just 5.4 years, according to new research from EBRI. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/16/2013 • 0 Comments

The popularity of retirement income solutions continues to increase. According to new research from Aon Hewitt, 28% of plan sponsors now offer in-plan retirement income solutions, including professionally managed accounts with a drawdown feature, managed payout funds, and insurance or annuity products that are part of the fund line-up. This is nearly twice the percentage of employers (16%) that offered them a year ago. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/16/2013 • 0 Comments

While about 87% of full-time state and local government employees participate in DB plans, this leaves a significant number who are in DC plans. A lot of those DC participants are higher education faculty and staff, many of whom were given a choice between a DB plan and a DC plan. Also, a number of states provide a DC plan for selected, usually narrow, employee groups, such as elected and appointed officials and unclassified or exempt staff. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/15/2013 • 1 Comments

Stace Hilbrant, Managing Director and Founder of Chicago-based 401k Advisors, identifies the four most important and effective things he sees the very best advisors doing to help their clients. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/15/2013 • 0 Comments

A new in-depth study conducted by Dalbar ranks providers on their 408(b)(2) compliance efforts. Based on the technical requirements of 408(b)(2), Dalbar’s “Transparency Analysis” evaluated and ranked record keepers and others according to five criteria: overall usefulness, cost estimates, description of services, fiduciary status and conflicts of interest. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/15/2013 • 0 Comments

It’s a Tuesday in the middle of January; your first downsized paycheck of 2013 is due today; and chances are you’ll soon get the flu if you don’t have it already. So in the spirit of the day, let’s just get this week’s bad news over with in one fell swoop, courtesy of COUNTRY Financial, the Washington Post and the Society of Actuaries. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/15/2013 • 0 Comments

Now that we’ve put the fiscal cliff behind us, “a bigger cliff” lies ahead, says Brian Graff, Executive Director/CEO of NAPA and ASPPA. “Fiscal Cliff II: The Sequel” will come at the end of February, Graff says, when the debt ceiling is scheduled to be reached and the country will have to either increase the debt limit or default on our obligations. Graff’s comments came in his January video update for NAPA Net. To view the video, click on the box in the right margin. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/15/2013 • 0 Comments

Esri, a pioneer in geospatial analysis based in Redlands, CA, has applied its “tapestry segmentation” approach (which classifies all U.S. neighborhoods into 65 segments based on their socioeconomic and demographic characteristics) to 401(k) participation and contribution data. The result is a novel look (authored by Pam Phillips at the “SmartBlog on Finance” from the folks at SmartBrief) at where the areas of highest participation and contributions lie, on a specific level and a generalized one. In this second of a two-part snapshot of Esri’s 401(k) data, we’ll look at 401(k) contributions. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/14/2013 • 0 Comments

One of the challenges investment professionals face is figuring out effective ways of helping some clients become smarter about their decisions. This is key to offsetting what Nobel Laureate Robert C. Merton calls “financially dysfunctional behavior.” Merton was the keynote speaker at a gathering of researchers, educators, financial advisers and regulators to discuss how household financial decisions might be improved through a combination of better education, advice and oversight of business practices. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/14/2013 • 2 Comments

The prevailing wisdom about the DOL’s fee disclosure rules is that they were ineffective and failed to move the needle on participant behavior. Numerous studies and polls have confirmed this perception. But John Schadl, principal and head of Vanguard Strategic Retirement Consulting, identifies one benefit of the disclosure rules: uniformity. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/14/2013 • 1 Comments

Record keeper search activity is expected to increase, according to the latest research from Cerulli. Many plans, however, have no intention of leaving their current record keeper.The challenge for record keepers will be to determine which plans are truly seeking out a new provider and which ones simply want to benchmark pricing. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Esri, a pioneer in geospatial analysis based in Redlands, CA, has applied its “tapestry segmentation” approach (which classifies all U.S. neighborhoods into 65 segments based on their socioeconomic and demographic characteristics) to 401(k) participation and contribution data. The result is a novel look (authored by Pam Phillips at the “SmartBlog on Finance” from the folks at SmartBrief) at where the areas of highest participation and contributions lie, on a specific level and a generalized one. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/11/2013 • 3 Comments

Who are America's fastest-growing class of millionaires? Police officers, firefighters and teachers, Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard noted recently. Unless things change drastically, our new millionaire class of police officers, firefighters, and teachers will be paid something near their full salaries every year — until death — after retiring in their mid-50s. That’s equivalent to a retirement sum worth millions of dollars. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff yet? We are too. But while the American Taxpayer Relief Act (which "relieved" American taxpayers by raising their taxes) arguably may have been bad fiscal policy, bad employment policy and bad tax policy, from a purely pension- and benefits-centric point of view the legislation was not all that bad, and in fact could have been much worse. In addition to the Roth conversion opportunity (which is permanent), for example, the ATRA made permanent the favorable tax treatment of educational assistance, adoption assistance and mass transit benefits. And it didn’t touch the tax treatment of 401(k) plans. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/11/2013 • 0 Comments

While most DC plan participants are passive investors interested in pre-diversified products like target-date funds and managed accounts, there’s a second, smaller group of more sophisticated investors who want to take an active role in diversifying their portfolios. These “diversify it yourself” investors are interested in non-traditional, non-correlated assets — like commodities and emerging markets. While they may only account for between 20% and 25% of investors, “the industry needs to recognize that they must help participants identify themselves” as DIY investors if they are going to plan successfully for retirement, says Patrick Lulley, vice president of DCIO and insurance sales for Van Eck. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Sungard Relius, a reliable source of technical information for plan professionals, tackles the question of how to correct improper exclusions in a safe harbor plan. As part of answering that question, Relius also answers three key questions, including examples. Though most plan advisors will rely on their record keeper partners or TPA to help with technical corrections, part of being a pension professional is understanding the technical requirements of the industry. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Using annual return data for large-capitalization stocks and corporate bonds from 1926 through 2011, researchers from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research studied the distribution of historic returns and then used that distribution to determine optimal consumption and portfolio asset allocation for a risk-averse household facing labor-income uncertainty and longevity risk. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/10/2013 • 0 Comments

In a typically insightful column, Fiduciary News’ Christopher Carosa writes this week about what lies ahead in 2013, with a focus on what four industry thought leaders foresee. Addressing the advisor-sold world, Mike Alfred, co-founder and CEO of BrightScope, believes that we’ll see more top plan advisors moving to specialized firms with fiduciary business models. The most forward-thinking broker-dealers will carve out special designations and exemptions for their top plan advisors so they can more effectively compete in the marketplace, he says. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/9/2013 • 0 Comments

In the latest in a series of posts by speakers at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA Summit, March 3-5, 2013 in Las Vegas, Richard A. Weiss of American Century discusses reevaluating existing retirement plans for a potential reboot using target-date products as a default investment option. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/9/2013 • 0 Comments

The IRS recently announced the new tax withholding tables resulting from the American Taxpayer Relief Act, a.k.a the fiscal cliff legislation. Employers should begin withholding Social Security tax at the rate of 6.2% percent following the expiration of the temporary two-percentage-point payroll tax cut in effect for 2011 and 2012. The payroll tax rates were not affected by ATRA. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 4 Comments

Are employer-sponsored Health Savings Accounts the new “401(k) plans for health care?” According to a Fox Business report they may well be. Money going in and out of HSAs — if spent on medical expenses — is tax free and grows tax free. And unlike health flexible spending accounts, unspent funds remain in the account and grow over time. People can take the money out after 65 for non-medical expenses if they pay the applicable taxes. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 0 Comments

Roughly three-fourths of affluent investors perceive at least one major threat to their retirement security, but strategies for overcoming these threats vary by risk tolerance, according to a December survey from Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. Both groups indicate a low level of interest in Treasuries, municipal bonds and annuities as retirement planning strategies, and 20% of both aggressive and conservative investors plan to delay their retirement. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 0 Comments

The Wall Street Journal picked its 2012 winners and losers after a year that showed steady gains with low volatility amid worries and uncertainty like the fiscal cliff, European debt and China’s slowing growth. The S&P (counting dividends) was up 15%, the DJIA 6%, NASDAQ almost 14% and junk bonds 15.6% — led by the Fed keeping interest rates low and pushing investors toward riskier stocks. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 0 Comments

In his monthly “Investment Outlook,” PIMCO’s Bill Gross questions the long-term wisdom of the Fed’s continuing efforts to keep the economy growing by pumping in money to spur investments. While it appears that the policies are working, Gross cautions that there are dragons in the cave where the Fed and other government banks keep their printing presses, including long-term inflation. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 0 Comments

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of Gardner & White, an employee benefits consultant based in Indianapolis specializing in the health care industry. Last week Gallagher announced two other acquisitions, including Michigan-based Eriksen Group and Minnesota-based Unisom. All told, Gallagher Retirement Services, a publicly traded company headed by industry vet Mike Dicenso, AUM grew by $4.5 billion in just over a week, compared with $5.5 billion over the last 12 months. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/8/2013 • 0 Comments

While it’s gratifying that NAPA is attracting experienced plan advisors, it’s equally important that less experienced advisors looking to build and expand their business have deemed it important to join. If the profession of advisors working with participant directed, corporate retirement plans — or so-called “plan advisors” — is in fact a real profession, those advisors need their own organization that represents their interests in Washington as well as provide opportunities to connect and learn. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/7/2013 • 0 Comments

This may be news only to the president and Congress, but not only do American workers think the government should take steps to enhance tax incentives for retirement plans like 401(k)s, but most don’t expect to rely on Social Security — which younger workers don’t even think will be around when they retire. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/7/2013 • 0 Comments

MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe hopes that Americans’ anger at Washington for waiting until the very last minute to address the fiscal cliff will be a lesson for those individuals who are putting off saving enough for retirement. “If we learn anything from the fiscal cliff — from our disgust with how the people in charge of the situation handled things — it should be that we can’t let this happen in our own lives,” he writes. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/7/2013 • 0 Comments

Just two weeks after it was started, the NAPA LinkedIn group has grown to more than 500 retirement plan professionals — many of whom are participating actively in discussion threads. As of today, for example, there were 22 posts in a wide-ranging discussion sparked by a commentary about the pending Ameriprise court case posted by NAPA Net Editor in Chief Fred Barstein. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/4/2013 • 0 Comments

Morningstar recently announced its Manager of the Year awards for 2012. Their criteria: managers must be Morningstar Medalists, must have generated strong long-term risk-adjusted returns, and must be strong stewards of investor capital. Along with domestic, international and fixed income, Morningstar added alternatives and allocation funds to their Manager of the Awards in 2012. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/4/2013 • 0 Comments

Part of the deal that avoided the fiscal cliff allows eligible DC participants to more easily convert to a Roth IRA — paying taxes now and thus generating more revenue for the government. With $5 trillion in DC plans, it’s a big opportunity. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/4/2013 • 0 Comments

Publicly, people scoff at lists and awards but privately, almost everyone looks at them. As the 401(k) industry becomes more attractive to RIAs, and vice versa, RIABiz decided to publish their own version of a “10 most influential individuals in the 401(k) industry affecting RIAs in 2012” list (not to be confused with the 401kWire’s “Most Influential List” for both industry execs and advisors, which should be out soon). READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/3/2013 • 0 Comments

There are many reasons why advisors considering the DC market should not dabble, including the need for high levels of technical competency, fiduciary risk and the long sales cycle. According to research by Cerulli just published in the Wall Street Journal, another reason is that a third of the advisors that specialize in the DC market or derive 40% or more of their revenue from it have a 25% or greater profit margin. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/3/2013 • 0 Comments

If your clients’ New Year’s resolutions include being a better plan fiduciary, they are certainly part of a small and heady group. Here’s a list of 10 resolutions they might consider, provided by the Bryan Cave law firm. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/2/2013 • 0 Comments

In a relatively quick timeframe, MassMutual announced today that it has completed its acquisition of The Hartford’s retirement business. The acquisition was originally announced last September. There are only a few providers with significant business in the small and mid-sized advisor-sold markets and, with the acquisition, MassMutual joins their ranks. The key issue is being able to effectively serve more plan advisors, most of whom have plans in both markets. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/2/2013 • 0 Comments

Even if you hate New Year’s resolutions, they can be useful for setting goals over a reasonable period of time. Here are 10 good ones for plan advisors, from the SEI Advisor Network. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff1/2/2013 • 0 Comments

The top 10 most-read stories on NAPA Net last month reflect concern over the fiscal cliff, regulatory activity and an uncertain outlook for 2013. READ MORE

Marcy Supovitz

Marcy Supovitz

By Marcy Supovitz1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

Now that we’ve all survived the fiscal cliff and turned the page on 2012, what does 2013 have in store for the retirement advisor community? To start with, there are five legislative and regulatory issues we expect to see this year. READ MORE