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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams3/21/2013 • 1 Comments

Earlier this year EBRI was approached by Money magazine to use the EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model® to evaluate a number of potential retirement preparation scenarios, taking into account varying levels of household income, debt, marital status, retirement plan participation, health, etc. Selected results from that analysis, published in Money’s March issue, showed the impact that various factors could have on the chances of running short of money in retirement. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

For almost a quarter-century now, EBRI's Retirement Confidence Survey has meticulously tracked the evolving trends in Americans’ confidence about retirement. Next Tuesday, March 19, we’ll unveil the results of the 23rd annual RCS, the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind. You can count on it providing some fascinating insights on where workers and retirees are, where they’ve been, and where we all need to be—with a growing sense of where we want to be tomorrow. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams3/12/2013 • 0 Comments

If you’re a parent, sooner or later your children will inform you that “that’s not the way things are now!” It’s a potent retort to whatever social more is at issue because, whether it involves a choice in dress, curfew, etc., our perspectives are often shaped — and sometimes distorted — by our recollection of the way things were for us at comparable points in our own past. READ MORE

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

By Kathleen Beichert3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

FundFire, citing 2013 as the year of international equities and shedding of home bias, recently reported that institutional investors are increasingly turning to active global ex-U.S. strategies. There are many facets to the active-versus-passive debate, but many investors believe active management adds alpha — particularly in the less-efficient overseas markets. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl3/26/2013 • 1 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Colorado, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry involving a 401(k)-to-Roth IRA conversion. READ MORE

By John Carl3/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Illinois, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry involving a traditional-to-Roth IRA conversion. READ MORE

By John Carl3/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Texas, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk recently addressed a common inquiry regarding establishing a retirement plan for a business. READ MORE

By John Carl3/6/2013 • 0 Comments

In a discussion with a financial advisor in Oregon, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common question concerning the changes to capital gains tax rates. READ MORE

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

By Marcus Chandler3/14/2013 • 0 Comments

I believe it’s a given that most retirement advisors looking to expand their business will tap obvious centers of influence — a business development staple. In my discussions with advisors, however, I find that association marketing is an underplayed card that with a little imagination and research, can lead to very green plan prospecting pastures. READ MORE

John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman3/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week's news and commentary in the NAPA Net Daily featured our coverage of the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas, as well as coverage of a new DOL report is a good prospecting tool for advisors, possibly lower matches at plans with auto enroll features, taking a longer view of the impact of the fee disclosure rules, research indicating that cold calling may be dead, and more. READ MORE

Robert J. Rafter

Robert J. Rafter

By Robert J. Rafter3/12/2013 • 0 Comments

The SEC has published a long-awaited 72-page request for information on the costs and benefits of a uniform fiduciary standard for securities brokers and investment advisers providing investment advice to retail clients. In an unexpected move, the SEC also requested information and costs on “scenarios” in which differing rules governing brokers and investment advisors would be “harmonized” for investment advice to individual clients. READ MORE

NAPA Net Staff

NAPA Net Staff

By NAPA Net Staff3/29/2013 • 0 Comments

According to recent research by Hearts & Wallets, the best way for advice providers to build trust with clients is to help them to understand how they get paid. With over half of investors thinking that they’re getting ripped off and only 19% fully trusting their advisor — a number that’s down from 24% in 2010 — building trust is a key factor in closing and retaining clients, as well as cross selling. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/29/2013 • 0 Comments

In a March 21 NAPA webcast sponsored by T. Rowe Price, Brad Campbell of Drinker, Biddle & Reath provided particularly useful insights into how the DOL's list of “Tips for Plan Fiduciaries” from February will be an important guide in the future for advisors and plan fiduciaries. Although they’re not official guidance, Campbell strongly recommended that fiduciaries play close attention to these new guidelines. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Highly compensated participants in a plan that fails coverage or nondiscrimination requirements for a plan year face more serious tax consequences than if the plan is disqualified for another issue. Furthermore, such qualification failures are demographic failures, and are not eligible for self-correction under EPCRS, the IRS correction program. A new Technical Update from SunGard Relius explains how to make a retroactive corrective amendment under Treas. Reg. §1.401(a)(4)-11(g) — a.k.a. an “11(g) correction.” READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week's news and commentary in the NAPA Net Daily included DOL’s $1.266 million fine levied on an advisor; the fastest growing advisory channel; use of investment policy statements among advisors; more in-depth reports on sessions at the 401(k) Summit; and increasing attention being paid to passive strategies. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/28/2013 • 0 Comments

The ICI reported that retirement assets grew to almost $20 trillion by the end of 2012, up 8.6% for 2012 and 7.9% since the pre-recession high. DC plans and IRAs, which held $5.4 and $5.1 trillion respectively, grew even faster — at 10.5% last year and 14% since their pre-recession highs. Government plans accounted for $4.8 trillion, growing 7.7% in 2012; DB plans, including annuity reserves, stood at $4.3 billion. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/28/2013 • 4 Comments

Where’s the best place to buy an annuity? According to a report by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, the answer is the Social Security Administration. By delaying SS benefits, individuals receive a higher benefit and are in essence “buying” increased streams of incomes by paying their expenses while they wait. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/28/2013 • 0 Comments

What’s the active/passive mix of 10 of the largest pension funds in America? P&I listed how each of the top plans spread their equity allocation. They range from a low of 16.5% passive for Texas Teachers, the sixth largest fund, to 93% passive for New York State’s Teachers Retirement System, which weighs in at number eight. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Three more in-depth accounts of the most popular sessions at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit, held earlier this month in Las Vegas, have been posted on ASPPA’s website: "Legal Roundtable," featuring ERISA attorneys David Levine, Marcia S. Wagner and Fred Reish; "Data 'Minding,'” with NAPA Net portal conductor Nevin Adams of EBRI and Douglas Fisher of Fidelity Investments; and "Retirement Readiness," with Peter Kapinos, Don Stone and Anthony M. Franchimone. All three were popular general sessions at the Summit. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Does daily valuation in DC plans limit investment choices and thereby investment returns? The UK division of Towers Watson makes the argument that although daily valuation offers obvious benefits, it limits exposure to less liquid investments like hedge funds, private equity, infrastructure and reinsurance — investments common in DB plans. Towers Watson estimates that DC plans would realize a 5% gain through these illiquid investments. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/27/2013 • 0 Comments

The recent news (reported by P&I) that $255 billion CalPERS is considering going all-passive highlights the trend toward index funds in pension and retirement plans as well as among individual investors. Recent developments — Fidelity offering 65 BlackRock ETFs commission-free, Schwab and TD Ameritrade each offering more than 100 ETFs at no trading cost, and Schwab’s all-ETF platform — seem to bolster that trend. In the first two months of 2013, passive funds took in 62% of the flow. Active funds still have a 72% market share, but that’s down from 86% a decade ago. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/27/2013 • 1 Comments

On the heels of this week’s Stockton, CA, bankruptcy case, which was caused in large part by the city’s growing pension liabilities, there are reports that an Alameda county administrator will retire at 63 with an estimated $423,664 per year package. Along with her $301,000 annual salary, she will get equity pay to make sure she is paid more than anyone else in the county (even in retirement), a $24,000 performance bonus, $9,000 to serve on a county board and an additional $54,000 for working more than 30 years. And don’t forget her $8,292 annual car allowance. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/26/2013 • 0 Comments

ERISA expert Fred Reish notes that the DOL recently levied a $1.266 million fine on an adviser providing fiduciary advice for a fee that also received 12b-1 fees from the mutual funds they recommended, claiming it was a prohibited transaction. The DOL, which is starting to get a better understanding of fees paid to broker dealers and RIAs, also claimed that by taking undisclosed compensation, the advisor is setting its own compensation, becoming a de facto fiduciary and using that status for its own benefit. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/26/2013 • 2 Comments

Forbes columnist Deborah Jacobs argues that Roth IRAs should be curbed because they give outsized value to the super-rich while costing the government billions in tax revenue. Using the example of a serial Internet entrepreneur who put pre-IPO shares in a Roth IRA valued at $10 million on which he paid taxes, the shares are now worth almost $100 million. Not only will he not have to pay taxes on the gain, there is no minimum distribution requirement nor will his heirs owe anything. Venture capitalist and private equity partners also reap great rewards from Roth IRAs. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/26/2013 • 0 Comments

While not an apples-to-apples comparison for DC plans, it’s interesting to note that only 39% of advisors surveyed by Russell in their recently released quarterly report used investment policy statements for all their clients. While most used them, 21% of the advisors surveyed didn’t use investment policy statements at all. Reducing risk was the major reason investors strayed from their investment policy, with a majority who did so relying on social media, friends and family. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/26/2013 • 0 Comments

According to research by Aon Hewitt, about half of participants with account balances of less than $5,000 were forced out of their plans in 2011, up from just one-third of such participants in 2005. Plan sponsors are realizing that maintaining low account balances from terminated employees raises their costs. For example, a $10 million plan with an average account balance of $10,000 pays 144 BPs, while a similar sized plan with an average of $50,000 balance pays 122 BPs. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/25/2013 • 1 Comments

Will the recent deal to make 65 BlackRock ETFs available commission-free on Fidelity’s brokerage platform mean greater exposure for ETFs in 401(k) plans? According to Tom Lydon of ETF Trends and Nicole Seghetti of The Motley Fool, that may be the case. As the leader in the DC market, Fidelity can force other providers to follow if they think Fidelity has a distinct product advantage. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/25/2013 • 0 Comments

What’s the fastest-growing advisory channel? According to research by Cerulli involving 8,000 investors age 35-64 with over $100,000 in income, online firms are the leading channel, increasing AUM from $3.4 trillion in 2010 to $3.7 trillion in 2011. These brokerage firms have beefed up their advice offerings and have more advanced mobile and online access, as well as client portals, than do traditional advisors. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/25/2013 • 0 Comments

The New York Times reported on what could be a seminal trial brought by bond holders caught in the Stockton, CA, Chapter 9 bankruptcy case who claim that retired workers should share the pain. As other states and municipalities face bloated pension payments many cannot afford, there should be a lot of interest in the outcome of this week’s four-day trial on the part of mutual fund companies that hold the bonds and the insurers that guaranteed them, who claim that pensioners are getting an unfair deal. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/22/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week's news and commentary in the NAPA Net Daily featured the 9th Circuit's ruling affirming the Tibble v. Edison decision; the straight skinny on California’s landmark auto-IRA legislation; what the DOL’s settlement with ING means to providers; SEC guidance on what should and should not be considered an advertisement subject to the 10-day review rule; and NAPA’s big plans for the rest of 2013. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/22/2013 • 0 Comments

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court opinion that a plan sponsor was imprudent for including retail mutual funds without investigating the possibility of institutional share classes. In Tibble v. Edison, the appeals court rejected the plan sponsor’s claim that it was shielded from liability under ERISA section 404(c) because that provision only protects fiduciaries from losses that are a "direct and necessary result" of a participant's or beneficiary's action. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/22/2013 • 0 Comments

The DOL’s recent ING settlement raises some thorny questions about gains that providers might receive from reversing transactional errors. These issues are tackled by Steven M. Saxon and George M. Sepsakos of the Groom Law Group. While some reversals may results in losses, if gains are considered plan assets and a provider keeps them without permission of the plan sponsor, does the record keeper become a fiduciary? While disclosure and agreement between the provider and plan sponsor may be the answer, it raises other issues: how to calculate the amount of expected gain under 408(b)(2); what’s reasonable; and how to deal with calculating the gain among many plans in an omnibus accounting environment. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/21/2013 • 0 Comments

For those seeking in-depth accounts of the most popular sessions at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit earlier this month, your ship has come in. Three reports from the Summit have been posted on ASPPA’s website — part of their “News from the Field” effort. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/21/2013 • 0 Comments

With more focus on fees by plan sponsors and the industry as a whole, is it time for advisors to start considering collective investment trusts (CITs)? More popular in larger plans, the major benefit of CITs — lower fees — is muted for smaller plans. But the time may be right to consider them — especially for advisors who are considering more customized target date funds. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/21/2013 • 0 Comments

In a Senate hearing held March 19 by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) about allowing people who take out loans or hardship withdrawals to delay repayment until taxes are due, experts testified that fewer people were raiding their DC plans than ever and for less frivolous reasons. Nelson and Enzi have introduced the “Shrinking Emergency Account Losses in 401(k) Savings Act of 2013” (SEAL Act), which would allow participants to repay their loans or withdrawals when taxes are due, not within 60 days after they leave employment. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/20/2013 • 1 Comments

Transamerica's Steve Smith makes the point that there is a basic element of unfairness built into most DC plans that is only now coming to the attention of participants, sponsors and advisors. It has to do with how fund fees typically are used to pay plan costs. It also relates to how fund revenue is paid to the plan and/or credited to individual accounts. It’s an inequity that’s worthy of your attention and your client’s, says Smith, for three reasons. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Sponsors of 401(k) plans experience a great deal of Section 415 compliance problems due to the many types of contributions being made at various times during and after the plan year. As noted in a recent Technical Update from Sungard Relius, if a 401(k) plan is in violation of Section 415, a correction method is no longer provided under the IRS regulations. Rather, plans are directed to use the IRS’s correction program, EPCRS, which provides a five-step ordering rule for correcting the plan. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/20/2013 • 0 Comments

American workers’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement remains low, according to the 23rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by EBRI and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc. Behind the numbers, though, the study highlights the significant opportunity that exists for advisors to help Americans get back on the right track and the need for advisors to focus on following through with each client. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Stable value is one of the most popular investment choices in DC plans — and one of the least understood. Some advisors use this lack of understanding by plan sponsors and their competitors as a differentiator and prospecting strategy. The Blue Prairie Group, which provides quarterly updates and a succinct comparison of different types of products and questions advisors should be asking their providers, recently completed their report for 4Q 2012. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Will today’s increased focus on DC plans and the growth of assets in them boost overall returns of the “Big 3” banks that participate in this market? According to Felix Salmon of Seeking Alpha, trends show that retirement is on more people’s minds and therefore more money should flow to participant directed plans — with banks in a prime position to take advantage. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/19/2013 • 0 Comments

Trying to bring some common sense to the oversight of financial advisors’ use of social media, the SEC has issued guidance on what should and should not be considered an advertisement subject to the 10-day review rule. The requirement for a proper supervisory policy and the need to retain and archive remain, but the SEC noted that incidental use of an investment manager’s name, like when mentioning a charity event, or just using the word “performance” would not raise concerns. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/18/2013 • 0 Comments

For most entrepreneurs, their largest asset is themselves and their business. Many neglect to save enough, thinking that they will be able to sell their thriving businesses when they retire. But recent research by SEI shows that 69% of advisors don’t have a succession plan and 39% have no idea who the buyer would be. Of those advisors with a plan, 61% cited an “unidentified or outside buyer” as the potential successor. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/18/2013 • 2 Comments

It’s been nearly six months since California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law that state’s landmark auto-IRA legislation, the California Secure Choice Savings Trust Act. Over that time, it’s become evident that the legislation is becoming something of a de facto model for other states seeking to expand the availability of retirement savings vehicles, including workplace plans. It’s also become evident that there is widespread confusion about what the law requires. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Will the move toward a common fiduciary standard for all advisors under new authority granted to the SEC result in a move toward a common regulator as well? It seems that if FINRA Chief Executive Richard Ketchum has his way, the answer would be yes. While supporting a common fiduciary standard for RIAs and registered reps, Ketchum noted recently that RIAs are not being examined regularly and vigorously implied that FINRA could do the job. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/15/2013 • 1 Comments

While the debate about whether advisors should be selling proprietary funds seems to be all but over, with many broker dealers like Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley selling off their asset management groups, Alicia Munnell has used the debate to question whether IRAs and 401(k) plans should be forced to sell index funds only. The debate about pushing proprietary funds was restarted with a New York Times report that JP Morgan Advisors are being pushed to sell house products. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

This week's news and commentary in the NAPA Net Daily featured the perception that institutional investors are turning to active global non-U.S. strategies, data showing that asset flows into TDFs dominated last year, a response to the spate of negative articles about 401(k) plans in the popular press lately, the SEC’s plan to take a look at 12(b)(1) and other distribution fees, and research showing that an awful lot of plan participants who said they know what they’re paying in 401(k) fees thought their fees were way more than they really are. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

With many investors concerned about capital preservation, more focus is being paid to stable value, which is one of the leading investments in that category. Research commissioned by MetLife, a stable value provider itself, shows that most plans are not considering making changes to their stable value lineup in the next 12 months. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

Based on interviews with almost 500 plan sponsors in late 2012, the American Benefits Institute (the research arm of the American Benefits Council), in conjunction with World at Work, showed that while most companies kept their match, many participants are still not taking advantage to the fullest extent possible. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

While it may appear simple, it’s important to know about the investment guidance that the DOL’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) is providing to workers in participant directed retirement plans. One interesting point made by EBSA is that fees should not be considered in a vacuum, but by taking into account the types and quality of the services provided and the potential returns. Not mentioned: the fact that a portion of the investment fee can be used to offset record keeping and administrative costs. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/14/2013 • 0 Comments

According to the Callan DC Index, asset flows into TDFs dominated last year, at the expense of large, small and mid-cap equity funds and company stock. The equally weighted index, based on 79 plans with $100 billion and 800,000 participants, showed that TDFs took in 63% of net inflows for the year and had 15.7% of total DC assets overall, compared with 23.3% in large cap funds and 12.4% in stable value. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/14/2013 • 0 Comments

In this month's video update, NAPA's CEO/Executive Director Brian Graff offers his take on the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit held last week in Las Vegas. "A lot of important issues are coming up that we talked about at the Summit — especially tax reform and the definition of fiduciary rule," says Graff. His overall takeaway: "The energy behind this year's Summit was all about NAPA," Graff notes. "There was a lot of excitement about the organization, as we get close to 5,000 members." READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Will buy-out funds be the next asset category for 401(k) plans? The Carlyle Croup moved closer to making that a reality recently by creating a vehicle that allows accredited investors to invest as little as $50,000 through a partnership with a third-party money manager. There is only a two-year minimum, versus the normal 10-year window. The fund is already being sold by Merrill Lynch advisors. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/13/2013 • 6 Comments

If you’re an active reader of retirement-related stories in newspapers and on the Web, no doubt you’ve noticed quite a few stories in the popular press lately that are quite critical of 401(k) programs. Brian Graff wrote about these stories not long ago, for example. One of the most egregious examples, from Fox Business, was published Feb. 26 — smack in the middle of “America Saves Week,” ironically enough. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/13/2013 • 0 Comments

Fixed income and bonds, which fall into the general category of capital preservation and can also include stable value and GICs, are a hot topic in DC plans — even as their yields are anything but hot. With money market funds yielding close to zero, advisors need to find investment options for participants who are close to retirement or are unwilling to take any risk. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/13/2013 • 0 Comments

According to a Schwab survey of almost 1,800 investors across nine U.S. markets, affluent Americans may be miscalculating how much they’ll need to retire. While 80% feel secure about their ability to retire comfortably, respondents reported a 43% drop — from $115,000 to $66,000 — in the amount they would need to retire compared with what their income had been. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/12/2013 • 1 Comments

More than six months after 401(k) participants were given explicit information about the fees they pay, has their knowledge changed much? According to research from LIMRA, the answer is yes and no. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Are advisors charging enough for their services? The answer is no, according to a panel of broker-dealers executives leading a discussion at the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit last week in Las Vegas. To begin with, price competition is driving advisor fees down. As Pat Rieck of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, recounted: “I often have conversations with advisors, where they’ll say, ‘Here’s the average fee, and I’m below that.’” READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Once again, the SEC is going to take a look at 12(b)1 and other distribution fees, making it a priority in the next few months. According to a Deputy Director from the Commission’s Office of Compliance Examinations and Inspections, the fees under scrutiny will include 12(b)(1), Sub TA, revenue sharing and conference support. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/11/2013 • 0 Comments

For those of you who enjoy reading the Daily and using the NAPA Net web portal, we’re pleased to announce a new service to help plan advisors and broker dealers keep informed about new products and services from leading providers. Our growing list of Firm Partners will be given the opportunity to communicate directly with plan advisors about their company, new products and value-add services through a comprehensive directory, weekly newsletter and quarterly magazine that doubles as a sourcebook. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/11/2013 • 0 Comments

At a breakout session at the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas last week, industry experts discussed whether it’s more prudent to select the TDF before the record keeper. With more TDFs being used as the QDIA and more money flowing into them, and some record keepers either having limited choice or requiring a proprietary investment, the idea may not seem so strange. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/8/2013 • 0 Comments

Recent reports indicate that SunTrust will sell its asset management group Ridgeworth, according to Reuters. Three firms are reportedly interested. The price is estimated to be $250-$300 million on $48.1 billion in AUM — which is lower than the price that Henderson was rumored to be bidding in 2010 before that deal fell through. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/8/2013 • 0 Comments

It seems that both employers and employees are getting the message about being smarter about retirement planning, according to an end-of-year report by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. Combining personal meetings conducted by independent and experienced advisors with good plan design seems to be taking auto plan features to the next level, the report says. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/8/2013 • 0 Comments

When it comes to prioritizing advisor performance metrics, client satisfaction rates usually come in at or near the top of the list. But what’s the best way to go about getting that kind of information? At Moreton Retirement Partners in Denver, simple client surveys work well, according to Chad Larsen, the firm’s president. “We get a lot of really valuable feedback for making changes,” Larsen says, “like spending more time in committee meetings, for example.” READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/8/2013 • 1 Comments

According to recently released research by professors Benartzi and Thaler, 56% of plans now offer auto enrollment (up from 19% in 2005) and 51% offer auto escalation (up from 9% over the same period). Clearly, more plans are taking advantage of auto enrollment and auto escalation. But do plans with these features offer a lower match? READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/8/2013 • 0 Comments

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, not always. NAPA Net's comprehensive coverage of the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas this week is collected in one convenient location on the NAPA Net portal. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/7/2013 • 0 Comments

According to research from Franklin Templeton, the answer may be yes. Plans are getting bombarded by sales calls, and the level of sophistication of the sponsor and the advisor, especially as you move up market, is growing. More plans are relying on referrals from peers to select an advisor, the research shows. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/7/2013 • 1 Comments

Now that the DOL’s fee disclosure regulations have been in effect for about a year, the conventional wisdom is that for the most part, the participant notices were ignored. Sam Brandwein of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is taking a longer view in judging the effectiveness of the rules. When looked at from the perspective of whether plan sponsors and participants have changed their behavior, “the rules will be a game-changer – eventually,” Brandwein told a workshop audience at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas this week. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/7/2013 • 0 Comments

In a case of the rich getting richer, Fidelity reported a 34% increase in sales of plans with $50 million or less. Sales were reported to be $8.4 billion and 1,500 plans, with an average plan size of more than $5 million. Known more for selling directly to larger plans, Fidelity has made dramatic steps to beef up sales to advisors. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

What makes great leaders and great teams? The question was asked and answered by noted author and thinker Simon Sinek in the keynote session of the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas on March 5, 2013. Employing an unusual methodology, Sinek explored the four types of chemicals that the human body produces as a result of various experiences and how understanding how they work can result in better leaders and teams. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

On March 4, the advisory team at Fiduciary Consulting Group @ PSA in Hunt Valley, Md., won the 2013 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award sponsored by NAPA and ASPPA. Jania Stout, Retirement Plans Practice Leader at PSA, received the award on behalf of the team during a session of the 12th annual NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas. NAPA Net sat down with Stout to ask her about two aspects of her retirement planning business that set her apart: her integration of fiduciary duty into her business model, and her approach to setting fees. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

In today’s world of compressed fees, more competition, and clients’ laser focus on managing costs, there are two keys to maintaining a profitable practice, according to Sue Kelley of Ann Schleck & Co.: adopting a formal process to assess profitability and having a strategy in place to optimize profitability. Taking part in a panel discussion at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA Summit in Las Vegas, Kelly was joined by Troy Hammond of Pensionmark Retirement Group and Chad Larsen of Moreton Retirement Partners. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. One person couldn’t watch all of the videos on YouTube in a lifetime. And as technology and social media continue to soar in prevalence and popularity, for many professionals it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint how to use it effectively to enhance their businesses. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

After Day 2 of the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit, several themes have emerged in the presentations and off-the-cuff remarks by the conference’s featured speakers, especially on the topic of tax reform. One of these themes was sounded loud and clear by ERISA attorney David Levine of the Groom Law Group: Congress is looking for tax revenue to help resolve the budget deficit, and they’re going to come after 401(k) plans. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

The advisory team at Fiduciary Consulting Group @ PSA in Hunt Valley, Md., has won the 2013 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award, ASPPA announced yesterday. Jania Stout, Retirement Plans Practice Leader at PSA, received the award on behalf of the team during a session of the 12th annual NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

In today’s rapidly evolving retirement marketplace, TPAs are being advised to “create a solution for your client as opposed to being a product peddler.” That was overarching theme of “TPA-ing the Scale: How TPA Relationships Can Add to Your Advisory Practice,” a panel discussion at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit March 4. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/5/2013 • 0 Comments

In a relatively far-reaching report, the DOL issued a briefing that outlines steps plan sponsors should take when considering and monitoring TDFs. The most interesting one is their recommendation that sponsors should consider custom or non-proprietary TDFs given the overwhelming dominance of proprietary TDFs from the “Big 3” providers, which rely heavily, if not exclusively, on their own funds. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/4/2013 • 0 Comments

If you think Washington’s struggle with the fiscal cliff back in December and the sequester brouhaha in recent weeks has derailed efforts on Capitol Hill to tackle tax reform, think again. That’s the message Brian Graff delivered to 1,400 advisers and retirement industry insiders yesterday at the kickoff session of the NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit. Despite three more looming crises related to government funding, “the tax committees on the Hill are hell-bent on doing tax reform,” said Graff, executive director/CEO of NAPA and ASPPA. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/4/2013 • 3 Comments

With all the debate and attention by the press on 401(k)s, much of which has been negative lately, four senior policy and industry people debated the issues at NAPA’s 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas. Moderated by Brian Graff, NAPA’s CEO/Executive Director, the panel included Merrill Lynch’s Kevin Crain, ASPPA’s Judy Miller and the Pension Rights Center’s Karen Friedman. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/3/2013 • 0 Comments

In a conference call, DC legal experts Fred Reish and Drinker Biddle partner Brad Campbell outlined what to expect from the DOL’s expected July release of proposed rules on the definition of a fiduciary. The rules are expected to go beyond plan-level fiduciary status, addressing the solicitation of rollovers. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/3/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week's news and commentary in the NAPA Net Daily included commentary from PIMCO's Bill Gross on the current irrational exuberance in the market and Nevin Adams on the annuitization puzzle; as well as coverage of index-only 401(k)s from Schwab and Vanguard, California's retirement savings program, and a new tax set to take effect next year on the sale of stocks, bonds and other investment products of European countries. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 0 Comments

Quoting Fed governor Jeremy Stein — and perhaps channeling Alan Greenspan — Bill Gross, in his latest investment outlook, ponders the question of whether we’re experiencing another bout of irrational exuberance with the recent run-up of the market. Is it sustainable, or are we playing a game of musical chairs? Is now the time to be hovering close to a seat? READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 1 Comments

While not answering the question of the percentage of plans that switch record keepers, in an interview with 401kWire, Ron Bush of Brightwork Partners noted that in his firm’s recent advisor survey, 35% of plans which changed advisors also changed record keepers within 12 months. That percentage differed by market size but not by the level of experience of the advisor. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 0 Comments

Though 58% of Americans admit to not having a plan for retirement and 39% admit that what they have is insufficient, according to research by Deloitte, 57% prefer to handle their finances without help, and 38% say they don’t need help. Into that void have stepped a number of providers offering advice to participants, including Schwab and Vanguard. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 0 Comments

The 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit kicks off this Sunday, and runs through Tuesday, March 5. We'll be reporting on general sessions, workshops and other events at the Summit — look for our Summit coverage in the Daily, starting on Monday. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 0 Comments

The top 10 most-read stories on NAPA Net last month reflect concern over the recent spate of negative reporting on 401(k) plans in the popular media. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff3/1/2013 • 0 Comments

In the last in a series of posts by speakers at the 2013 NAPA/ASPPA 401(k) Summit, March 3-5, 2013 in Las Vegas, Jonathon Dues, Senior Vice President, Business Development/Investment Strategies, Mesirow Financial Investment Strategies, offers insights into how institutional fiduciary solutions can be built to be complementary resources to a financial advisor’s business. READ MORE

Marcy Supovitz

Marcy Supovitz

By Marcy Supovitz3/18/2013 • 0 Comments

I hope you were able to join us at this year’s 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month. If you couldn’t make it, you missed out on quite an experience. The 2013 Summit was the biggest ever — with more than 1,400 people in attendance — and offered programming that many attendees said was the best they had ever seen. More advisors attended than ever, too. In fact, the percentage of advisors practically doubled from last year. READ MORE