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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams5/28/2013 • 2 Comments

Recently, the Wall Street Journal’s Anne Tergesen wrote a story titled, “Mixed Bag for Auto-enrollment.” Citing data presented at the recent EBRI Policy Forum, the article claimed that “employees who are automatically enrolled in their workplace savings plans save less than those who sign up on their own initiative.” READ MORE

By Nevin Adams5/21/2013 • 4 Comments

In this year's Retirement Confidence Survey, we asked plan participants what percentage of total household income they thought they would need to save each year to live comfortably throughout their retirement. While the most common answer was “don’t know/refused,” the second-most common response was… 20% to 29%. That was an eye-opener to me, and I’m guessing to most who are reading this. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Generalizations are often misleading, but I think it’s fair to say that some people (specifically those of the male gender) are notoriously reluctant to ask for directions — even when it’s painfully clear to everyone else traveling in their company that they are “lost.” READ MORE

By Nevin Adams5/3/2013 • 0 Comments

The recent release of EBRI’s 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey got a lot of attention. A striking number of inquiries about the report focused on what could be done about retirement confidence. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein5/31/2013 • 6 Comments

No, it’s not a cash balance plan. EFI, an actuarial firm in DC, has proposed what it call a “Double DB” which replicates the funding scheme in a DC plan but within a traditional DB plan. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/31/2013 • 0 Comments

It seems like we’re just at the beginning of exploring other simple yet effect ways to help people save more for retirement — without increasing the costs and administrative burdens for plan sponsors. For example, Harvard’s Brigette Mondrian assigned students in her master class on Behavior Economics and Public Policy the task of coming up with creative new ideas. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/30/2013 • 0 Comments

According to a recent Barron’s article, ING may be a legitimate candidate for a takeover. The article cites a report by a BTIG analyst who thinks the stock is undervalued. ING, now trading as Voya, went public in late May at $19.50/share and is now trading in the mid-$20 range. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/30/2013 • 0 Comments

As an indication that the DOL’s EBSA will be more active in bankruptcy cases where an ERISA plan is abandoned, the agency has filed suit in the Northern District of New York to have an independent fiduciary be appointed to administer the plan and distribute assets. The defunct Syracuse construction company’s assets were sold in 2008 in auction and went bankrupt in January 2010, but no one assumed responsibility for the plan. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/29/2013 • 3 Comments

Look for EBSA, the DOL group that enforces ERISA, to be even more assertive based on comments from an EBSA regional director in Philadelphia as well as the agency’s Assistant Secretary herself, Phyllis Borzi. And while the DOL may begin an investigation on one issue, it may expand beyond that if it finds something of interest. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/29/2013 • 1 Comments

In an effort to slow the SEC’s effort to create a uniform fiduciary standard for financial advisors authorized but not mandated by Dodd-Frank, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) convened a panel of the Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises to review her proposed legislation. Wagner’s bill would require the SEC to consider the economic effects of a uniform fiduciary standard. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/28/2013 • 0 Comments

While many advisors focus on client referrals for new accounts, research shows that attorneys, CPAs and other centers of influence (COI) may be more productive sources. According to a study by CEG Worldwide, a consultancy to financial advisor firms, 61% of advisors said that professional COIs were their best source of referrals. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/24/2013 • 0 Comments

As a result of our recently published and widely read posts listing the top DC providers and broker dealers, we received some thoughtful comments. Both lists — DC national record keepers and DC investment only providers — have been updated. Please keep sending updates as changes occur or if you see any “issues” with the lists. The changes include READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/24/2013 • 2 Comments

It’s not surprising that DB plans — mostly run by professional managers who are not emotionally attached — perform better than DC plans, but the gap in 2011 was the greatest since the mid-90s, according to a recent TowersWatson study. The real questions are why and how DC plans can catch up — the subject of a blog post by Reuter’s Linda Stern. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Looks like another entity may be weighing in on the redefinition of fiduciary issue. FINRA’s CEO Richard Ketchum stated at the group’s annual meeting this week that the SEC should act quickly to create a uniform fiduciary rule and that, in the absence of progress, his group would look to set additional disclosure rules for FINRA firms. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Retail employer plans can be the hardest cases for advisors, with relatively low-paid employees who are not sophisticated about investing or retirement planning. In addition, plan sponsors in the retail sector typically operate on a tight budget. In a case study prepared by the Retirement Advisor Council (an industry collaborative effort), a hypothetical restaurant chain is reviewed, with interesting suggestions on ways to make simple yet dramatic improvements without increasing the employer’s benefit budget. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2013 • 0 Comments

In today’s strong IPO market, experts predict that more money managers will go public like Artisan (APAM), rather than sell to private equity firms as Victory did.  And even with a 29% increase in its stock price since going public May 2, ING — trading as Voya —  is not considered a bellwether for money management firms because of its annuity, insurance and retirement products. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2013 • 0 Comments

While more than one-third of people surveyed by LIMRA are interested in a guaranteed income for life feature within their plan, only 1.8 million participants are using one — representing $2.2 billion in assets and very low average account balances. In research conducted at the end of 2012 with six providers representing 90% of the in-plan guarantee market, LIMRA found that adoption was highest in smaller plans — perhaps driven by the providers selling them. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/21/2013 • 2 Comments

The Chair and ranking member of the Senate’s HELP Committee has sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) requesting documentation to identify people being targeted in so-called pension sales or advances. The senators are concerned that the practice may be illegal due to high interest rates, and are looking to determine the scope of the practice as well as the companies involved. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/21/2013 • 0 Comments

The $37.8 billion of inflows into long term mutual funds in April were off the pace set in January, which showed record inflows. According to Morningstar, inflows last month were led by taxable bonds at $19.4 billion, followed by international equities at $8.4 billion. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/20/2013 • 0 Comments

If new SEC Chair Mary Jo White has her way, enforcement at the SEC could increase “substantially” next year — that is, if her 2014 budget request to increase funding by 33% is approved. In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, White cited the need to increase the 8% of advisors that the agency is able to examine — a number that is significantly lower than the percentage of advisors examined by FINRA, an SRO. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/20/2013 • 0 Comments

The Washington Post’s Michael Fletcher recently highlighted Pew Charitable Trust research indicating that late Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s are in the greatest danger of not having enough assets to retire comfortably. Gen Xer’s and Boomers born between 1956 and 1965 were most vulnerable — hit by falling housing prices, credit card debt, student loans and, of course, lost wealth during the Great Recession. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/17/2013 • 1 Comments

NAPA Net's DC broker dealer list has been moved to our new "Industry Lists" page, in the Directories tab. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/17/2013 • 0 Comments

With the possibility of two fiduciary standards for financial advisors looming — one by the DOL, whose rule is pending and was originally expected to come out in July, and another by the SEC, which has issued an RFI — Congress may step in and require the two agencies to coordinate their efforts. The so-called “message” bill (as opposed to a “policy” bill) is still being drafted, but it is slated be the focus of a House hearing next week. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/17/2013 • 1 Comments

With so many observers pining about the good old days when everyone had a pension plan, and the anti-401(k) faction looking to turn the DC system into a government-sponsored DB plan, perhaps it’s time for a healthy dose of reality. Before we try to mirror the past, we should look at it in a sobering light. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2013 • 1 Comments

NAPA Net's DC national recordkeeper list has been moved to our new "Industry Lists" page, in the Directories tab. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2013 • 0 Comments

In case you haven’t been paying close attention, the recent 9th Circuit decision in the Tibble v. Edison case has major implications — both good and bad — for plan advisors. This is highlighted eloquently in a blog post by ERISA fiduciary expert Fred Reish. The bad news: More litigation is likely. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2013 • 0 Comments

Even with the exponential growth and popularity of TDFs — and maybe because of it — columnist Ronald l. Delegge cautions advisors about the dangers in a recent article on AdvisorOne. Delegge concedes that TDFs are better than nothing, but suggests that other solutions — like an advisor-driven customized solution — might be better. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/15/2013 • 0 Comments

TDFs continue to break records, with an estimated $518 billion in AUM, according to a report from Morningstar’s Ibbotson. The $23 billion in Q1 2013 was a 44% increase from the previous record of $16 billion set in Q1 2011, with assets rising 21% year over year. Only 25% of the funds beat their Morningstar index, however, with the average return lagging the S&P 500. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/14/2013 • 1 Comments

NAPA Net's DC investment only provider list has been moved to our new "Industry Lists" page, in the Directories tab. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

The deal to take NFP private was recently finalized by Madison Dearborn — ending an interesting and somewhat tumultuous transition to a financial services firm that started as a roll-up funded by the Apollo Group and then went public. With interest rates low and money sitting on the sidelines looking for returns in a low yield market, could other deals in the financial services industry and retirement plan market be imminent? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2013 • 0 Comments

The SEC announced that it is likely to issue new rules requiring some money markets to adopt a floating share price. Thinking they were as safe as cash, investors in money funds liked the $62.5 billion Reserve Primary Fund, which broke the proverbial buck, suffering significant loses during the 2008-2009 recession. Currently, these funds — which invest in securities like short term corporate debt that are thought to be safe (like Lehman?) — list a $1 stable value. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2013 • 0 Comments

The Wall Street Journal is reporting more interest from big pension funds in riskier or distressed properties being offered by so-called “opportunity” funds. Following the market downturn, most big funds moved to investments in more stable properties. But with interest rates at historic lows muting yields on safer investments, some pension funds with short memories are investing in riskier properties as they chase double digit returns. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2013 • 0 Comments

While low interest rates may be helping sustain a bull market, they could deplete the assets of Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s, according to research expected from EBRI. In a simulated model for those with 100% of assets in retirement income and wealth products, continuation of today’s interest rates and low yield (compared with historical rates) could cause 25% of investors to run out of money. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2013 • 0 Comments

It’s hard enough to save enough for retirement, but even those who are fortunate enough to have a DB plan are at risk from companies willing to buy their pensions in exchange for a lump sum. The SEC and FINRA recently issued an investor alert not only for pensioners but also for people investing in these products. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/10/2013 • 0 Comments

Changing broker dealers is one of the most difficult decisions an advisor will make in his or her career, with the transition taking at least 12 months before everything is back to business as usual. Making the transition to an RIA can be even harder. A look by Fidelity at why advisors did or did not make the move yielded some surprising results. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/10/2013 • 0 Comments

Looking for new opportunities? There’s $1 trillion sitting in orphaned retirement accounts owned by workers who changed jobs and left their 401(k) money in their old plans or have older IRAs. The problem exists even among wealthier workers — a quarter of those accounts fall in the $10,000-$50,000 range. Advisors who think this $1 trillion is too fragmented to be worth pursuing only have their sales hat on. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/10/2013 • 0 Comments

At a recent ICI meeting, representatives from three larger broker dealers questioned whether social media helps financial advisors grow and run their business — or whether there’s more hype there than reality. Financial advisors, especially at larger broker dealers where the reps are employees, have significant restrictions on the use of social media — including even LinkedIn, which is the most popular social media venue for businesses. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2013 • 0 Comments

While recent case law does not suggest that revenue sharing violates ERISA, other court cases like Tibble and Tussey do suggest that fiduciaries have to select the lowest share class available to the plan. These decisions raise the question of whether participants should be paying different amounts — based not on the size of their account balances or the services they use, but on the funds they select and the amount of revenue sharing paid to the record keeper. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2013 • 0 Comments

A recently released LIMRA study on ERISA 403(b) plans highlights that this $485 billion market is one that advisors and providers focused on 401(k) plans should consider. While 403(b)s — about two-thirds of which are sponsored by health care and higher educational institutions — are becoming more like 401(k) plans, there are subtle differences that providers or advisors thinking of entering this market should be aware of. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/8/2013 • 1 Comments

The DOL’s EBSA has come out with an advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPRM) that would require DC participant statements to convert account balances into a stream of monthly income. The notice is slated for publication in the Federal Register today. Issues facing the industry if the proposed rule is implemented include increased work and costs and potential litigation from participants if the projected stream of income is not realized, since some participants are likely to assume it is a promise or guarantee. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2013 • 0 Comments

In another bit of fallout from the 2008 Great Recession, major providers of variable annuities are invoking contract provisions they rarely if ever used previously to restrict or ban new money from current clients, especially on the richest guaranteed contracts. Needless to say, account holders are angry, and the SEC is reviewing contract language. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2013 • 0 Comments

Though they’re concerned about health care costs and outliving their money, Boomers are redefining retirement, just as they redefined almost everything else they encountered. To them, happiness is not just about having accumulated a lot of money; respondents to a study conducted in January place more value on new experiences, peace of mind, helping family and making a difference. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/6/2013 • 0 Comments

Though bearish bond managers’ predictions about yield — including from PIMCO’s Bill Gross and BlackRock’s Rick Rieder— have not come to fruition, they still warn about the end of a market bubble that many claim is sustained by central banks. Since 2009, many have bet that yields would rise when interest rates rose. Each year began with bond managers selling off government bonds to move into equities, anticipating an economic downturn — only to return to buying government securities. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/3/2013 • 0 Comments

With smaller and mid-sized DC plans looking to act more like DB and larger DC plans, the use of institutional investments should grow. To that end, a group of institutional real estate funds have banded together to create the Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC). The group will help plan sponsors and their advisors better understand real estate investments by providing best practices, ideas, strategies, data, original research and education. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/3/2013 • 0 Comments

ING’s U.S. operation, trading under the name Voya, saw its stock rise 7% in first day trading yesterday, closing at $20.65 per share. Its opening price of $19.50, however, was lower than the announced price of $21-$24. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/3/2013 • 4 Comments

According to a study by NYU professor Jeffrey Wugler, the growth of indexing is not just a reflection of the attitude that active managers can’t consistently beat an index, it may actually be contributing to it. Though it’s inconceivable that that the entire market will go passive, it seems that the conventional wisdom is that indexing is the smart and safe way to go. But when everyone agrees, someone is missing something. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

What drives plan sponsors’ loyalty to their advisors? According to Cogent’s recently released PlanScape survey of 1,500 plan sponsors of all sizes, the key is accessibility. Plans sponsors want to able to get in touch with their advisors and have them be accessible to participants. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

Using 401(k)s as the bellwether for a new world driven by increased connectivity, noted author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes that the DC system embodies a world in which each individual must take charge of his or her life. Gone are the institutional protections from big government, employers and unions, leaving individuals to fend for themselves. For some this can be very exciting, but for others it can be frightful. Sound like your participant base? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2013 • 0 Comments

Speaking remotely to the annual conference of the Investment Management Consultants Association in Seattle, the EBSA’s Phyllis Borzi hinted that the DOL’s proposed rules redefining a fiduciary could include exemptions for different types of business practices — which many assume to be the commission model. The exemptions, if there are any, will come with disclosure and transparency. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2013 • 0 Comments

A federal district court in Seattle dismissed a motion to dismiss a case brought by current and former employees of Weyerhaeuser against the company and its retirement plan advisor, Morgan Stanley, for breach of fiduciary duty after the plan lost $2.4 billion in value in 2008. The plaintiffs alleged that the plan did not follow its IPS and included too many risky investments like hedge funds and private equity investments. READ MORE

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

By Kathleen Beichert5/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Global equities, broadly, are rallying, with year-to-date returns in several markets reaching high single and even double digits. The one glaring exception is the emerging world. Year to date, emerging market indices have underperformed their developed world counterparts. Why? READ MORE

By Kathleen Beichert5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

A current concern among government leaders, economists and investors alike is inadequate and unbalanced global growth. Investors who look beyond the imperfections in the global economy will notice that macro conditions in important parts of the world have been improving. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl5/28/2013 • 1 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 question involving President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal and the proposed 28% itemized deductions. READ MORE

By John Carl5/21/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Tennessee, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common question involving President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal and the proposed cap on retirement accumulations. READ MORE

By John Carl5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Ohio, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed scenarios under which the advisor would become a fiduciary to a plan based on the services he or she provides. READ MORE

By John Carl5/7/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in California, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry involving beneficiaries who want to disclaim their rights to inherited assets. READ MORE

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

By Marcus Chandler5/7/2013 • 0 Comments

The fundamental difference between a needs-based sales approach and a consultative sales approach is that the “need” is not discovered… it is created! To do this effectively, your outreach to prospects must be issue- or agenda-driven rather than needs-oriented. READ MORE

Jim Dornan

Jim Dornan

By Jim Dornan5/23/2013 • 0 Comments

As part of NAPA’s ongoing efforts to educate our members on the importance of participating in the political process, NAPA Political Director Jim Dornan will be contributing articles on what NAPA is doing on behalf of its members on Capitol Hill. This first report in Jim’s “NAPA on Capitol Hill” series explains NAPA’s political action committee (PAC). READ MORE

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

By Sheri Fitts5/30/2013 • 0 Comments

Paying attention to the two-way communication in the social media space provides valuable information and feedback; it’s worth dedicating time to this effort. You should be spending twice as much time listening as you do broadcasting. 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.5/9/2013 • 4 Comments

As you may be aware, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 passed the U.S. Senate on May 6. What you may not know is that ASPPA and NAPA are opposing the legislation in its current form. (In fact, a letter we wrote to members of Congress explaining our opposition was read in its entirety by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the floor of the U.S. Senate.) READ MORE

Jennifer McKibben

Jennifer McKibben

By Jennifer McKibben5/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Employees who are auto-enrolled tend to be defaulted into the plans at lower savings rates than if left to their own devices, according to data from Aon Hewitt. The majority of individuals who are auto-enrolled default at a savings rate of 3% — while those who enroll on their own determine their own savings rates and often strive to fully match their employers’ matching contributions. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/28/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top 5 most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in DB plans outperforming 401(k)s, updates to industry lists, the uniform fiduciary role, pension lenders and Form 5500 audit traps. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/21/2013 • 0 Comments

Adoption of the Roth feature in DC plans has grown steadily since its introduction, yet participant adoption remains low. For instance, a recent research report by Vanguard notes that only 9% of their participants are in plans offering Roth in-plan conversions. The report predicts that the Roth feature will appeal to plans with high levels of savings and well-diversified plan assets. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/21/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in updates to industry lists, Fred Reish’s warning of new ERISA litigation threat, and NFP’s deal closing. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/16/2013 • 0 Comments

Interactive retirement calculators are growing in popularity as they become increasingly sophisticated and easy to access. These online-based calculators, often available on DC companies’ home pages, are embracing a broader view of income sources and potential expenses to help participants plan their retirement on a monthly basis, according to Pensions & Investments. The new calculators account for outside investments, DB plans, IRAs, Social Security and health care costs. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/16/2013 • 0 Comments

“Circumvent,” “inaccurate,” “oversimplified,” “mislead” and “hypothetical” — these are just some of the words that Putnam Investments recommends advisors avoid using on Twitter. Putman suggests that these key words, among others, are targets of scrutiny by regulators when they evaluate the appropriateness of social media. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/14/2013 • 1 Comments

Last week’s top 5 most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in revenue sharing, EBSA’s proposed changes to DC benefit statements, insurers’ message to annuity owners, wirehouse-to-RIA moves, and the last piece of the ‘Retirement Gamble’ featured on PBS’ Frontline program. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/7/2013 • 0 Comments

As the job market begins to improve, individuals getting back into the work force are often faced with a question: What should I do with my old 401(k)? The firms that provide the best resources on rollovers provide a mix of materials directed toward advisors and their clients, according to the latest Mutual Fund Monitor from Corporate Insight. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben5/6/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in PBS’ Frontline program, “The Retirement Gamble,” a possible exemption from the DOL’s expanded fiduciary definition, advisors’ satisfaction with service providers, 401(k)-to-Roth conversions and small businesses’ relationship with ERISA. READ MORE

Rick Meigs

Rick Meigs

By Rick Meigs5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Boston-based Cogent Research has released some interesting data about the use of social media by plan sponsors. The information comes from the firm’s 4th annual Retirement Planscape® study. READ MORE

Judy Miller

Judy Miller

By Judy Miller5/28/2013 • 0 Comments

On May 23, members of the Senate Finance Committee met for one of 10 private briefings on tax reform options. This briefing was on “economic security” topics, including retirement savings. While no specific recommendations were made, the paper that committee staff prepared for the briefing included proposals that would decimate the private retirement system, including Simpson-Bowles type proposals to “significantly reduce or repeal” the tax incentive for retirement savings and the proposal to convert the current exclusion into a uniform refundable credit. READ MORE

John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman5/30/2013 • 0 Comments

Millennials tend to be more independent investors than members of the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations, but young 30-somethings who choose advisors are looking for the same qualities valued by older investors, according to research from Spectrem Group. Also, wealthier Millennials give more weight to an advisor's link with a nationally known brand or company, while others are somewhat more likely to consider transparency and an advisor's track record. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/28/2013 • 0 Comments

Interest among plan sponsors in automatic enrollment, step-up deferral rate solutions and target date funds continues to increase, according to Mesirow Financial's 2013 Retirement Plan Survey Report. The results of the survey confirm three top initiatives plan sponsors are considering to keep their plans competitive while fulfilling their fiduciary duties. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/24/2013 • 0 Comments

Ever left an industry conference disappointed that the workshops didn’t fully address the things you really wanted to learn about? Then you’re going to like this — it’s a unique opportunity to help shape next year’s NAPA 401(k) Summit, March 23-25, 2014 in New Orleans. NAPA has launched an innovative online voting tool to pick the best ideas for session topics at the Summit. But beware: It can be addictive. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/23/2013 • 1 Comments

Gina Gurgiolo of the Multnomah Group offers a sprightly rundown of the most common Form 5500 audit traps — that is, responses on the 5500 that are most likely to draw attention from the IRS or DOL. Also featured: tips on how to avoid falling into one of these traps. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/17/2013 • 0 Comments

When it comes to identifying the main drivers of 401(k) plan leakage, plan loans come in a close second to the cardinal sin, frivolous early distributions (the dreaded Bass Boat Factor). In a recent blog post, Adam Miloro of Longfellow Advisors traces the tax ramifications of plan loans and the dire consequences of defaults on them, most of which follow a separation from employment, and offers a couple of ways to limit the damage plan loans can cause. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/9/2013 • 0 Comments

The number of plan sponsors offering individual financial counseling and advice jumped from 50% in 2011 to 61% in 2012, according to the 12th Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey conducted by Deloitte, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS). READ MORE

By John Ortman5/8/2013 • 2 Comments

Not that long ago, most widely accepted predictions held that as Baby Boomers inched toward a retirement funded largely by their 401(k) plans, most of them would seek a one-on-one relationship with a financial advisor to manage their nest eggs. Instead, research firms say a fairly steady or even growing portion of investors — surveys put it at somewhere between one-third and two-thirds — are going the do-it-yourself route, a recent Wall Street Journal article reported. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/3/2013 • 0 Comments

Suffering from Frontline Fatigue? We are too, but there is one more thing we recommend you read before we all move on. Over at the FiduciaryNews website, Christopher Carosa has put together a four-part series of commentaries on the “Retirement Gamble” show that aired on the PBS “Frontline” show April 23 — including an interview with producer/correspondent Martin Smith. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

While they’ll never eclipse 401(k) plans in terms of sheer numbers, cash balance plans continue to grow in popularity. The number of plans grew from 1,500 in 2001 to 7,500 in 2010 — an average annual growth rate of around 20%, according to Sage Advisory Services. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

The list of the top 10 most-read posts on NAPA Net in April reflected keen interest in industry responses to the anti-401(k) “Frontline” program that aired April 23 and President Obama’s proposed $3 million cap on retirement savings. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

The convergence of two circumstances has made tax reform “somewhat more likely” in the months ahead, says Brian Graff, CEO/Executive Director of ASPPA and NAPA. These include efforts to link tax reform to an increase in the debt ceiling and the retirement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) at the end of this year, Graff believes. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/2/2013 • 0 Comments

Writing in the Journal of Pension Benefits, Pentegra’s Pete Swisher offers a comprehensive primer on who can get paid from ERISA plans — as well as how much, in what form, and by whom. The 15-page article is not about disclosure, but about the many ways that fiduciaries, service providers and other parties in interest may be compensated (including gifts) and the circumstances under which the compensation is permissible. READ MORE

Andrew Remo

Andrew Remo

By Andrew Remo5/30/2013 • 1 Comments

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) recently introduced two key bills in Congress affecting retirement plans: the Automatic IRA Act of 2013 (H.R. 2035), which would require employers with more than 10 employees to enroll their workers in IRAs via an automatic payroll deduction arrangement; and the Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act (H.R. 2117), comprehensive legislation that includes five proposals developed by ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo5/8/2013 • 0 Comments

Following a week-long in-state/district work period, Congress returns to Washington D.C. this week for a three-week work period. While fiscal and tax issues are expected to take a back seat to other public policy debates, such as immigration reform, there will be serious activity behind the scenes on tax reform this month. The tax-writing panels on both sides of the Capitol will continue to slog through the various aspects of the tax code and examine reform proposals. READ MORE

NAPA Net Staff

NAPA Net Staff

By NAPA Net Staff5/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Advisors have an opportunity to add significant value by helping plan sponsor clients develop a prudent 408(b)(2) disclosure review process. This process is crucial because a failure to properly evaluate the required disclosures from a “covered service provider” (CSP) causes the responsible plan fiduciary (often the plan sponsor or committee) to become a party to a non-exempt prohibited transaction. What should this process entail? Our friends at Drinker Biddle & Reath offer some tips. READ MORE

Marcy Supovitz

Marcy Supovitz

By Marcy Supovitz5/1/2013 • 0 Comments

Feeling like your livelihood is under attack? These are times that test our resolve. And that’s why, now more than ever, there’s one organization that has your back: NAPA. By virtue of its close relationship with ASPPA, NAPA is able to leverage the knowledge and experience of ASPPA’s government relations staff, long regarded as one of the most respected and effective in Washington. READ MORE