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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

For all the richly deserved focus on retirement savings accumulations, a growing number of advisors are now focusing on how those already in (and fast approaching) retirement are actually investing and drawing down those savings. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

More and more Americans are finding themselves with multiple savings accounts, not only because of the relatively consistent pattern of job change in the American economy, but because those job changes frequently result in rollovers to individual retirement accounts. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams6/10/2013 • 0 Comments

I’ve never been much good in the kitchen. I’ve neither the patience and discipline to follow most recipes, nor the innate sense for the right balance of ingredients that those with culinary talent seem to have. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams6/4/2013 • 0 Comments

Going to see “Iron Man 3” recently with no real expectations turned out to be a good decision, certainly from the standpoint of my enjoyment of the newest version. Not having established a set of expectations can make for a pleasant surprise at the theater — but, as retirement plan advisors well know, it’s likely to result in a surprise of a completely different sort in retirement. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein6/27/2013 • 2 Comments

According to research by Cerulli, the headcount for advisors dropped 1.3% in 2012 — a trend that’s expected to continue through 2016. Combined with the fact that the average age for advisors is 51, with 68 the age they expect to retire, you can begin to see the problem. After the recession, wire houses, which have the most robust training programs, were forced to back off, with some senior executives questioning the efficacy of a program that has only a 40-50% success rate. That low rate may explain why fewer college grads are becoming advisors, even though it’s cited as a top career path. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Concerns among employees about their retirement security create an opportunity for advisors to be more competitive, asserts a white paper from ADP that also offers some simple solutions. In addition, ADP has created an infographic that highlights some key data on this issue. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

After obtaining permission from the SEC, FINRA will start publishing a monthly report detailing broker complaints and sanctions. The SEC currently has a similar program. Currently, investors can look up information about individual brokers on BrokerCheck gleaned from U4 filings. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

Though TDF assets grew 20% in 2012, the net number of TDFs dropped from 50 to 48, according to a 200-page report from Brightscope and TD Analytics. This marked the first drop in that number since the two groups started covering TDFs. Columbia, Oppenheimer, Goldman Sachs and American Independence dropped out, while JP Morgan and PNC added funds. The report projects that TDF assets will grow to $2 trillion in 2020 — a four-fold increase from their current level. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2013 • 0 Comments

Last December, a judge allowed a lawsuit by Verizon retirees to halt the sale of $7.5 billion or 25% of their DB plan to Prudential to proceed. The suit claimed that the sale wiped out the pensioners’ insurance protection under the PBGC. Now a U.S. district court has dismissed the suit because the court did not believe that the purchase of an annuity was a fiduciary function or that the $1 billion premium payment was unreasonable. The plaintiffs have 30 days to file an amended complaint. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2013 • 0 Comments

The newly branded 2014 NAPA 401(k) Summit is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, March 23-25. It promises to be the largest Summit since its inception, bigger even than the 1,500 people and almost 500 advisors and home office people who attended the 2013 convention in Las Vegas. Leveraging the incredible growth of NAPA, which boasts almost 100 institutional and 6,000 individual members, NAPA will be facilitating a series of broker dealer wrap-around meetings to be held before or after the NAPA Summit. They’ll provide a convenient opportunity for advisors to meet with colleagues from their own broker dealer who are attending the Summit. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 1 Comments

The New York Times took up 401(k) fees in a recent lead article that highlighted lawsuits, especially the 15 cases brought by Jerome Schlichter, as well as last year’s DOL fee disclosure regulations. Stating the obvious —that fees make a difference—the Times calculated that a $25,000 account gaining 7% per year would be 39% higher if fees are just .5% lower. Perhaps prompting the article is Schlichter’s just-filed $35 million settlement of Cigna’s 401(k) participants’ case against Cigna and Prudential. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 0 Comments

The Schlichter law firm strikes again in a $35 million settlement involving Cigna. Participants in Cigna’s own 401(k) plan filed suit against both the company and Prudential, which bought Cigna’s retirement business in 2004 for more than $2 billion. Cigna’s own plan was the largest plan in the book. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 0 Comments

Northern Trust released the inaugural edition of the DC Tracker, a report that follows how investors moved their money based on the 85 plans and $190 billion of assets for which Northern Trust provides custody services. Despite a 16.4% gain in domestic equities as measured by the Russell 3000, investors experienced outflows as high as 5% for small cap. It comes as no surprise that the winners were target-date funds (TDFs), which increased overall assets from 11.87% to 14.62%. And fixed income saw inflows of 7.17%—a big surprise. International equities saw inflows in 2012 of 4.67% and company stock experienced outflows of 11.22%. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 0 Comments

While social media is all the buzz in financial services markets, making many advisors feel left out if they don’t have a strategy, investing in social media yields the lowest returns for gaining new clients. This is according to a recent survey of retail advisors from both RIAs and broker dealers from Russell Investments. Referrals from clients are the largest source of new business, even bigger than from centers of influence like CPAs. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/21/2013 • 1 Comments

FINRA has announced that they will be conducting spot checks of their firms’ social media policies and usage over the period of February 4-May 4, including supervisory policies and monitoring procedures, and the top 20 reps by commissioned income who used social media. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/21/2013 • 0 Comments

Not all passive funds are created equal. The most popular style is market weighted indexing, which was made popular by and is dominated by Vanguard. But other styles have emerged which try to beat the market — so-called “smart beta,” with DFA as the poster child. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Speaking at the Insured Retirement Institute’s annual Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference in Washington this week, EBSA’s Phyllis Borzi argued for her proposed redefinition of fiduciary rule expected out this fall. The proposed rule would eliminate the current five-part requirement, thus including many advisors who are not currently considered to be fiduciaries. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Are REITs in the late innings of their run? Many experts are pulling back following their recent decline of 10% since May 21. (Compare that with a 2% decline for the S&P.) Before May 21, Vanguard’s REIT Index was up 19.2%, compared with 17% for the S&P. Year to date, however, REITs lag the S&P by 4%. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/20/2013 • 0 Comments

More plan sponsors than ever are looking to change their DC investment lineup, according to a recent Cogent survey of 600 plan sponsors. While many experts believe that last year’s fee disclosure regs had little effect on plan sponsors and even less on participants, Cogent speculated that the regs may have caused an increase in plans looking to modify their investment lineup, with more plans citing it as a top priority. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/20/2013 • 0 Comments

Citing cost and participant preference, CalPERS has gone 100% passive in their $1.64 billion supplemental income plans. State Street was chosen to manage the new investments covering U.S. and international equities, short and intermediate bonds and real asset strategies, replacing The Boston Company Asset Management, Pyramis and PIMCO. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/19/2013 • 2 Comments

In a panel of TDF providers at the 401konvergence conference in New York this week, managers from JP Morgan, MFS and Franklin Templeton were asked to opine about the next generation of QDIAs. When asked about passive TDFs, one panelist suggested that there is no such thing, since the manager has to choose the glide path even if all the building blocks are all passive. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

DCIOs go to and fund a lot of industry and partner meetings but they’re frustrated that their portfolio managers don’t get a chance to interact with advisors and discuss investments. So eight DCIOs created their own meeting, called 401konvergence, which kicked off yesterday in NYC. The opening panel reviewed issues with investment menus, including what choices advisors have depending on the platform and what choices they should make depending on the plan sponsor. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/17/2013 • 1 Comments

Who are the top 10 DC record keepers? This question and others are answered in the PlanSponsor’s 2012 annual survey now in its 15th year. Along with top 401(k) record keepers, the top 403(b), 457, ESOP and Non-Qualified providers are listed along with those that have the most assets and participants per plan. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/17/2013 • 0 Comments

Many people who enjoy their work joke that they’ll never retire or that their spouses won’t let them. Now recent studies suggest that working longer may actually prolong life and improve health. A 1996-2007 study by professors at Harvard and the University of Wyoming showed that educated women between the ages of 45 and 85 lived longer, concluding that employment was a significant factor. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/17/2013 • 0 Comments

Most plans want revenue sharing to pay all applicable plan expenses, which seems to be fine according to court decisions and the DOL, but they could get in trouble if funds are chosen with an eye toward the revenue sharing they produce. As fiduciaries, plan sponsors must design the plan for the sole benefit of participants, so selecting funds that generate more revenue for third parties would be a violation. And what if the revenue exceeds the cost? How should those funds be allocated? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/14/2013 • 0 Comments

While most small business owners believe that consumers’ concerns about retirement security limits spending and undermines the economy, only 33% offer a retirement plan, according to a recent phone survey by the American Sustainable Business Council. Of those that do not offer a plan, costs are the major barrier (by a wide margin), followed by liability, compliance and complexity. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/14/2013 • 2 Comments

Are we in crisis? The answer is yes — but according to Harvard professor David Laibson, there are some relatively simple solutions if people are willing to act. If people started saving in their 401(k)s at age 22 at 6% with a 100% match, assuming a 6.5% return, Laibson says, there would be a 103% replacement ratio for someone earning $35,000 (and increasing 1% per year) if 50% comes from Social Security. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

In general, fees paid by investors in 401(k) plans were much lower than those paid by retail investors, according to research released by ICI. The research, partly from a study conducted by Deloitte, compares 401(k) fund fees to those paid by retail investors and sheds some light on the impact of various plan designs on them. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

FINRA issued an informative guide about the risks and rewards of alternative mutual funds, just as some experts are calling for their use in DC plans to mirror DB returns and as individual investors continue to pour money into them. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Moving from a wirehouse to be a pure RIA is a difficult and daunting proposition, with only an estimated 500-1,000 reps taking the plunge. Research shows that spousal support is important. But Focus Financial, an RIA roll-up firm with $55 billion under management, has decided to include tuck-ins of advisors with $100-$200 million under management to supplement their giant RIA acquisition strategy. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/12/2013 • 0 Comments

For participants in plans managed by Vanguard, the news was very good at the end of 2012. Account balances grew by 10%, with the median growing 67% since 2007, the worst investment period in recent history. A fifth of the 3.4 million Vanguard participants contributed 10% or more, with 11% contributing the max. More participants are using a professionally managed investment option (a TDF, balanced fund or managed account) — 36% in 2012, up from just 17% in 2007. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/11/2013 • 1 Comments

ETFs continue to struggle to gain traction in the DC market, with little or no interest in the large market for plans with more than $100 million and tepid interest at best in the smaller markets. The reason? Plan sponsors are able to get index funds, collective trusts and SMAs for the same cost, or less, without the additional administrative costs and trading issues. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/11/2013 • 1 Comments

Perhaps concerned about FINRA’s suggestions that it should take over all advisor examinations, members of the Investment Adviser Association lobbied Congress last week in support of a bill introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that would increase SEC fees on IRAs to fund more examinations. Currently, the SEC examines 8% of the approximately 11,000 RIAs. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/10/2013 • 2 Comments

In a white paper prepared by BNY Mellon, retirement head Rob Capone suggests that returns in DC plans lag DB plans because of limited diversity and too high a percentage of assets in equities. The white paper suggests that the right combination of real estate, emerging market debt and liquid alternatives could improve returns in DC plans and reduce volatility, while protecting against inflation as well. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/10/2013 • 1 Comments

In the first of a three-part series, blogger Chris Carosa reviews why having too many choices actually hurts participant outcomes. While that’s no secret, Carosa, citing research from Columbia befi professor Sheena Iyengar, provides some concrete reasons and promising solutions. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/7/2013 • 0 Comments

The SEC has proposed its long awaited rule on money market funds. The rule was instigated as a result of the run on MMFs after the 2008 crisis, when many funds broke the buck. But rather than propose one type of MMF, the SEC’s proposed rule allows for two types of MMFs depending on their underlying investments. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/7/2013 • 0 Comments

According to research by Cerulli, assets flowing into managed accounts continue at a torrid pace, with market leader Financial Engines showing a 35% increase in 2012. Overall, assets in managed accounts grew to $108 billion, with other leading providers like Morningstar, Guided Choice and Fidelity showing gains of 26%-48%. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/6/2013 • 0 Comments

NAPA will host a webcast free to members on June 19, from 2:00-3:00 ET featuring top plan advisor Barbara Delany, a principal at StoneStreet Equity, providing practical and specific direction to retirement plan advisors who are charged with overseeing the investment function of qualified plans, relating specifically to the use of the stable value asset class. Non-NAPA members may join for $99. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/5/2013 • 5 Comments

How can we speed up the the slow pace of innovation in the 401(k) market? In a recent P&I article, UCLA professor Shlomo Benartzi and Duke professor John Payne propose the creation a “safe haven incubator” where ideas vetted by a committee of academics, government officials and business people would be tested by plan sponsors given safe haven for their efforts. Ideas that seem to work would be validated by academics and rolled out nationally. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/5/2013 • 0 Comments

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration announced that it has approved a process for JP Morgan, acting as custodian, and ADP as record keeper, to terminate and wind up 180 abandoned plans. The EBSA is also getting active with plans of bankrupt companies, as we recently reported, with a lawsuit filed in New York. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/5/2013 • 0 Comments

According to Mercer, Australia has the second best retirement system, following only Denmark. (The U.S. is ranked ninth.) One of the reasons is their “Superannuitization” pension plan, which has $1.52 trillion — or about half the assets in U.S. 401(k) plans, though the U.S. has 14 times the population. Ninety percent of Australian workers participate. What’s Australia’s secret? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/4/2013 • 0 Comments

At last week’s Rand Behavioral Finance Forum, academics, government officials and industry people gathered in Washington to share ideas and research on how behavior finance can help consumers with a focus on retirement. Only one record keeper, Hugh O’Toole from MassMutual, presented — among a bevy of top researchers. O'Toole focused on how his firm has implemented many behavioral finance theories to achieve dramatic improvements in outcomes for its clients. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/3/2013 • 0 Comments

The Employee Benefit Research Institute, which has the most extensive database of DC plans (with detailed information on more than 60,000 plans and 24 million participant records), also has a rich IRA database with more than 20 million records. As more money pours into both traditional and Roth IRAs, that pool of money becomes more important to watch, accounting for approximately 25% of all retirement assets — a percentage that’s growing. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/3/2013 • 0 Comments

The Investment Company Institute just published a guide to important retirement plan metrics that busy plan advisors may want to keep handy. The guide also includes links to other important information. READ MORE

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

Kathleen Beichert

By Kathleen Beichert6/6/2013 • 0 Comments

As U.S. equity markets continue to surpass nominal highs in 2013, investors may be wondering how international markets — which account for nearly half of global equity market cap these days — are faring. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl6/25/2013 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Georgia, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry involving the requirement to purchase an ERISA fidelity bond for the plan. READ MORE

By John Carl6/18/2013 • 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 involving Roth IRAs vs. designated Roth contributions in 401(k) plans. READ MORE

By John Carl6/11/2013 • 2 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 regarding the differences between the two types of after-tax contributions possible in 401(k) plans (i.e., designated Roth contributions and employee after-tax contributions). READ MORE

By John Carl6/5/2013 • 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 scenario involving the question of who is a spouse in states that have enacted same-sex marriage laws, and the impact such laws have on 401(k) plan participants. READ MORE

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

By Marcus Chandler6/7/2013 • 0 Comments

To understand just how big the opportunity to leverage fee disclosure regulations as a door opener to new prospects still is — and will be for years to come — let’s first look at the numbers. READ MORE

Warren Cormier

Warren Cormier

Warren Cormier

By Warren Cormier6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

The question in the headline arises from a hypothesis that people who work for not-for-profit organizations are more mission-driven and more sensitive to organizational values, and less concerned about compensation for the work they do. In the 2013 Annual DCP Participant Study conducted by Boston Research Group, the question about the differences and similarities between 401(k) and 403(b) participants was addressed. READ MORE

By Warren Cormier6/6/2013 • 0 Comments

Speaking with plan sponsors and record keepers across the DC industry, one would conclude that the much-anticipated fee disclosure to participants was a non-event. Some likened it to the Y2K of the DC industry. The just-completed Boston Research Group annual national survey of 7,000 active DC participants looked into participants’ awareness and reaction to fee disclosure in great detail. READ MORE

Jim Farley

Jim Farley

Jim Farley

By Jim Farley6/3/2013 • 6 Comments

When you really think it through, changing the 401(k) investment approach from participant-directed to offering portfolios selected by the plan sponsor or an investment fiduciary has merit. It allows those who are most qualified to make asset selections do what they do best. The participant’s choices get boiled down to just a few important questions: “How much do you need to save?” “Are you aware that your employer is giving you $X for every dollar you contribute?” READ MORE

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

Sheri Fitts

By Sheri Fitts6/6/2013 • 2 Comments

As recently as just a few years ago, advisors were able to get by with a very minimalist website with a logo, a bio, a photo and perhaps a map to your office. But times have changed. READ MORE

Jennifer McKibben

Jennifer McKibben

By Jennifer McKibben6/25/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top 5 most-read stories on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in the top 10 record keepers, approval of the fiduciary definition bill, style boxes’ lack of significance to participants, FINRA’s social media spot checks and the non-existence of passive TDFs. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top 5 most-read stories on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in 401(k) fund fees, reevaluating participant self-direction, 408(b)(2) prospecting, expenses from plan assets and the type of plans small business owners want. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben6/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Plan sponsors and their advisors have the duty to monitor, evaluate and act with prudence regardless of the assets they manage. While substantial resources and information are available to the advisor for registered fixed income instruments, equities, mutual funds and ETFs, the same cannot be said for stable value assets. A June 19 NAPA webcast sponsored by Transamerica Retirement Solutions will provide practical and specific direction to advisors. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben6/10/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in the SEC’s money market fund rule, assessing the health of your website, retirement lessons from Australia, the breakdown of last week’s CBO report, and FAQs on 401(k)s from ICI. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben6/3/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read stories on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in threats to retirement tax incentives, a new DC-like DB plan, ING’s potential takeover, EBSA’s enforcement strategy, and updates to industry lists. READ MORE

Rick Meigs

Rick Meigs

By Rick Meigs6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

Tom Clark at FRA/PlanTools has spent considerable time and energy delving into and analyzing the DOL's Form 5500 database for usable prospecting information. He shared some insights and tips that I think you will find useful in your business development efforts. READ MORE

Judy Miller

Judy Miller

By Judy Miller6/3/2013 • 0 Comments

Last week the Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the distribution of major tax expenditures, including the expenditure for “net pension contributions and earnings.” The initial reaction to the report was predictable — headlines that the tax expenditures primarily benefit the “wealthy.” But as Wall Street Journal online columnist James Taranto noted, the CBO report said no such thing. READ MORE

Lew Minsky

Lew Minsky

By Lew Minsky6/6/2013 • 0 Comments

A newly released Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) paper, “Is It Time to Diversify DC Risk with Alternative Investments?” explores the potential for greater inclusion of alternative investments in DC plans. READ MORE

John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman6/28/2013 • 0 Comments

The two most influential members of the U.S. Senate when it comes to tax issues revealed yesterday that they intend to take a ‘“blank slate” approach to tax reform. In a “Dear Colleague“ letter, Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the committee’s ranking member, indicated that their plan for tax reform is to begin with “a tax code without all of the special provisions in the form of exclusions, deductions and credits and other preferences that some refer to as ‘tax expenditures,’” and asked for input from other members of the Senate as a first step in revamping the Code. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/28/2013 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration has announced a one-month extension of the comment period on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking focusing on lifetime income illustrations given to DC plan participants, to Aug. 7. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Citing TDFs’ benefits to participants and the safe harbor protection offered to fiduciaries under the QDIA rules, Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton of Drinker Biddle advise plan fiduciaries to add TDFs to their investment lineups and encourage as many existing participants as possible to invest in them. A default through reenrollment is a particularly effective way of achieving the latter goal, Reish and Ashton note in a new white paper — although a “mapping” or an investment reset process can be effective as well. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/27/2013 • 1 Comments

Christopher Carosa over at Fiduciary News polled several prominent investment advisors about the basic investing concepts that are most important for 401(k) participants to understand. He came up with seven. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/20/2013 • 0 Comments

After a little more than three weeks' worth of voting — totaling more than 2,000 votes — here are the top 10 ideas in our online poll of ideas for sessions at next year’s NAPA 401(k) Summit, March 23-25 in New Orleans. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Collective investment trusts — funds operated by a trust company or bank that handle a pooled group of trust accounts — continue to grow in popularity as an alternative to mutual funds in 401(k) plans. At a workshop session Tuesday at the 2013 SPARK National Conference in Washington, DC, David Hand of Hand Benefits & Trust provided the latest numbers, including 1,300 products on 16 major platforms. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Volunteering provides a great opportunity for networking, deeper involvement in the organization and a closer look at how NAPA directly affects our industry. It can also be a pathway to NAPA leadership positions. In particular, the 401(k) SUMMIT Steering Committee is currently seeking volunteers to serve on one of four teams that are tackling various aspects of the 2014 SUMMIT, to be held March 23-25, 2014 in New Orleans. To make it easy to volunteer, we’ve created a simple process for submitting your name and area of interest. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Now that the back end of the record keeping business is fully commoditized, a significant portion of the competition for business is now based on fees for services. This is never a good sign — just ask your friends in the airline industry. As a result, record keepers need to start articulating their value to better differentiate themselves — a need that Sungard’s Greg Clark highlights as the Number 1 issue facing the industry today. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

After a little more than two weeks' worth of voting — totaling more than 1,200 votes — some leaders are emerging in our online poll of ideas for sessions at next year’s 401(k) Summit. Topping the list: how to design and implement a 21st Century investment option menu. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

Quick: Can you list the types of expenses that can and cannot be paid from the assets of a retirement plan? How about the requirements that must be met before expenses can be paid from plan assets? The methods for allocating expenses between plans and among participants? The consequences of paying improper expenses from plan assets? READ MORE

By John Ortman6/12/2013 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched an online toolkit to help employees identify key issues related to retirement planning. The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration developed the toolkit in cooperation with the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in an effort to help workers understand important decisions related to employment-based plans, Social Security and Medicare. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/7/2013 • 0 Comments

Minnesota Congressman John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, will be in New York City for a breakfast meeting including NAPA members on Tuesday, June 11 at 8:30 a.m. NAPA members have been invited by Rep. Kline’s office to discuss the soon-to-be-released definition of fiduciary regulations.  READ MORE

By John Ortman6/7/2013 • 0 Comments

More and more 401(k) advisors are eyeing the 403(b) market as a good place to expand their practices. If that describes you, there’s a once-a-year opportunity coming up at the end of this month: The NTSAA 403(b) Summit. The Summit is the big annual event of the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association, NAPA’s sister organization within ASPPA that represents 403(b) and 457 advisors. This year’s NTSAA Summit will be held June 23-25 in Chicago. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/4/2013 • 0 Comments

As we reported last week, NAPA has launched an innovative online voting tool to pick the best ideas for session topics at next year’s 401(k) Summit, utilizing the same technology used by Frito-Lay earlier this year to choose “America’s favorite” potato chip. After a little more than a week’s worth of voting — totaling nearly 500 votes — the ideas in the lead include READ MORE

Andrew Remo

Andrew Remo

By Andrew Remo6/27/2013 • 0 Comments

The Oregon State House of Representatives approved a bill on June 24 that would create a task force to develop recommendations for establishing an “Oregon Secure Retirement Plan” to offer retirement investment plans to individuals. Unlike the legislation passed in California last year, the Oregon bill outlines a state-run program that simply would compete with private providers without expanding coverage by requiring employers to offer a workplace retirement plan. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo6/20/2013 • 2 Comments

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services approved a bill yesterday that, should it become law, would delay the rule making process currently underway at the Department of Labor on the definition of a fiduciary. The Retail Investor Protection Act (H.R. 2374), which passed the committee by a 44-13 vote, prevents the Secretary of Labor from prescribing any regulation under ERISA defining the circumstances under which an individual is considered a fiduciary until 60 days after the Securities and Exchange Commission issues a final rule relating to standards of conduct for brokers-dealers under Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act. READ MORE

Marcy Supovitz

Marcy Supovitz

By Marcy Supovitz6/13/2013 • 0 Comments

The growth in NAPA membership this year has been simply astounding. Since Jan. 1 we’ve grown to nearly 6,000 members — a year-to-date increase of 50%. The lion’s share of this growth has come through our new Firm Partners — so far this year, more than 30 firms have signed on. This means that halfway through the year, our roster of Firm Partners has grown by about one-third, to just shy of 100. READ MORE