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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams5/27/2014 • 2 Comments

As retirement plan advisors well know, a growing concern for employers, workers and policymakers alike is the changing composition of the American workforce and what that might mean for benefit plan designs, succession planning and workforce management. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams5/19/2014 • 1 Comments

A couple of years ago, my wife and I sat down with an advisor to revisit our financial plan. Having gathered all the requisite information regarding assets, debt, insurance and retirement savings, he turned to me and asked how long I planned to work. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

"Houston, we have a problem." That’s perhaps the most famous line of dialogue from one of my favorite movies — 1995’s “Apollo 13,” the story of the ill-fated moon landing mission of the same name. READ MORE

John Adams

John Adams

By John Adams5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Morgan Stanley has added The Guardian Advantage and The Guardian Choice funding vehicles from The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company to its suite of retirement products. READ MORE

By John Adams5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services has hired Thomas Martin as Northeast regional vice president. Martin is responsible for sales and relationship development with financial representatives and plan consultants in eastern New York State and south Fairfield County, Conn. READ MORE

By John Adams5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services has added five new asset allocation options to its JH Signature platform, including target date suites from T. Rowe Price and American Century and additional Target Date and Lifestyle portfolios from John Hancock. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein5/30/2014 • 0 Comments

In the long term, betting against PIMCO's Bill Gross when it comes to bonds has proven to be dangerous. In the short term, however, the opposite has been true. Now that PIMCO’s fund has decided to go shorter on bonds — betting that interest rates will remain stable and that economic growth will be low — advisors and their clients need to decide which side they’re on. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

While there’s still a lot of skepticism about online advice — especially regarding so-called “robo-advisors” — Sigfig, a San Francisco-based newcomer, made a big splash when the leading online financial site, Yahoo Finance, announced that they will be partnering with them. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

According to research from Cerulli, the move toward passive investing continues. In 2013, $60 billion flowed into passive U.S. equity strategies compared to just $3.4 billion for active; and $31.8 billion flowed into passively managed taxable bond funds, while active strategies had a $9.8 billion outflow. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

What do people do with the money in their DC plan when they leave their employer? According to EBRI research, most people leave it where it is for a number of reasons — especially whether they intend to retire or keep working. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The so-called DOL “conflict of interest rule for investment advice” — formerly known as the fiduciary redefinition rule — has been delayed until January 2015. The delay was revealed in a Federal Register posting of the DOL’s semiannual regulatory agenda. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

With sights clearly set on Fidelity, Putnam’s CEO Bob Reynolds has put together a firm that has at least a chance to challenge the top retirement provider. As outlined in a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, Reynolds sees the opportunity to build a market leader. That, of course, is what Reynolds built at Fidelity when he led their retirement business — nearly ascending to the top job there before leaving in 2007. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Denying MassMutual’s motion for summary judgment in the long-running Golden Star v. MassMutual class action suit brought by similarly situated plan sponsors, a federal district court in Massachusetts ruled that the record keeper was a functional fiduciary based on discretionary pricing controls and the administrative services it provided. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/27/2014 • 2 Comments

Last year, the CFP wiped out the compensation model for all certificants because of concerns about misinformation by some who checked the “fee-only” box when they should not have. So rather than have CFPs selectively make the change on their own, the CFP Board preferred a “redo” for everyone. Now, they have sent a letter to all 70,000 CFPs announcing a new investigation process to identify those who inaccurately disclosed their compensation model. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/27/2014 • 0 Comments

According to Vanguard, adoption and usage of Roth 401(k) plans has been tepid at best. At the beginning of 2013, to avoid a fiscal “cliff,” the federal government came up with a way to raise an estimated $12 billion by making it easier to convert pre-tax retirement assets in DC plans to Roth plans. The initial results were very slow, according to Charles Schwab, and — at least based on data from Vanguard’s plans and participants — the momentum has not picked up. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/23/2014 • 0 Comments

The consensus among DC industry consultants, executives and experts is that record keeper consolidation will continue. Driven by rising technology costs, lower fees and increased intellectual capital needed to remain competitive, the prognosis is for fewer providers — which will result in higher fees and worse service. Industry consolidation has sped up in 2014, with six deals already — matching all of 2013. As a result, we’ve just updated our DC Consolidation List. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher’s suggestion that RIAs should be required to hire third-party examiners, SEC Chair Mary Jo White told the ICI general membership meeting in Washington that she is open to the idea, InvestmentNews reports. White called the idea creative, and suggested that Gallagher should propose the rule. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Blogging recently about the spread of state initiatives to require private companies to offer retirement plans to their workers, a Washington Post reporter likened the movement to “Obamacare for retirement.” The blog post — and many other press reports like it — reflects the fact that mainstream media outlets are beginning to pick up on the retirement coverage issue. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

While assets in IRAs are larger than assets in DC plans, the vast majority of their growth comes from rollovers, according to research from EBRI. Of the 2.4 million accounts that received contributions, 1.3 million came from rollovers — but those accounts had 10 times the amount of contributions. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

To dispel the rumor that Detroit workers can avoid cuts to their pensions by retiring early, Detroit held a series of forums led by the spokesperson for the city’s Emergency Manager. The forums were held after documents and emails were spread indicating that those who retired before July 1 would not have their pension benefits cut. Fifty people put in their retirement papers as a result. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/21/2014 • 2 Comments

Worried that the SEC might miss the next Ponzi scheme because of its limited resources, Commissioner Daniel Gallagher suggested that RIAs be forced to hire third parties to conduct examinations. Gallagher made the comments in a Q&A session with FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum at FINRA’s annual conference, InvestmentNews reports. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/21/2014 • 0 Comments

During the Stockton, Calif. bankruptcy trial last week, Judge Christopher Klein implied that cutting pension obligations is not off the table — perhaps following the lead of Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/20/2014 • 0 Comments

While TDFs have less assets than target risk funds (TRFs), they grew at a faster clip in the first quarter of this year, gaining 5% or $30 billion. TRFs lost $1.5 billion over that same period. Overall, TDFs stand at $648 billion, according to a recently released Ibbotson report. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/19/2014 • 0 Comments

At a Washington, DC roundtable discussion sponsored by the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), Harvard professor Brigitte Madrian presented research findings illustrating the dangers of low deferral rates when using auto-enrollment. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/19/2014 • 0 Comments

In a speech last week in Washington, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) laid the groundwork for moving more state workers into a blended 401(k)/DB plan to fill a $807 million hole in the state’s $33 billion budget. Currently, the state’s retirement plan is underfunded by an estimated $51 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/19/2014 • 0 Comments

TDFs are all the rage these days. But did you know that target risk funds (TRFs) have more assets? According to a Q1 2014 report by Ibbotson, a Morningstar subsidiary, TRFs have $722 billion of AUM. That compares to $618 billion for TDFs. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

In a far-reaching white paper, BlackRock takes on the question of which is better: “to” or “through” TDFs. With the growing popularity and nearly ubiquitous presence of TDFs in DC plans, the question is critical for advisors and their clients. The resounding conclusions of the authors of the white paper is that “to” funds are better than “through” funds. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2014 • 1 Comments

Are lump sum matches all bad? When AOL decided to switch to lump sum payments due to higher health care costs, they relented after a public uproar — even though other plan sponsors like IBM had already made the same move. But is no match better than lump sum? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Always interesting and often controversial, BrightScope released its list of the 100 most “social” advisors — those that rank the highest in their use of social media. RIABiz writer Lisa Shidler provides commentary to the list, listing the top 25 and interviewing many of them. The bottom line: There is little correlation between social media ranking and AUM. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/15/2014 • 1 Comments

With the growth of auto-plan features, plan sponsors are subject to many misconceptions and fears that prevent them from doing the right thing for their employees. Missouri-based Pension Consultants Inc. identifies the seven biggest misconceptions about auto features, and provides solid answers that plan advisors can use with reluctant clients: READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/15/2014 • 0 Comments

The growth of index and TDFs is not greatly exaggerated, according to a 20-page ICI report covering 2013. And for a variety of reasons, overall fund fees continue to decline — a growing percentage of both index and active funds now have expenses in the lowest fee decile. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Wasting little time after the Cetera acquisition was approved, Nicholas Schorsch-led RCS Capital started the process of rationalizing the nine broker dealers it has acquired — which includes about 9,000 reps — by naming Larry Roth to lead the enterprise. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

In an extensive interview with ThinkAdvisor's Melanie Waddell, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher questions the need for the uniform fiduciary rule proposed under Dodd-Frank. Gallagher says that the negative perception of brokers is due in part to the fact that FINRA examines a much greater percentage of brokers than the SEC can. As a result, brokers can be seen as "miscreants" because so many more are cited for issues — while advisors may be seen as pure because so few are cited, partly because such a relatively small number are reviewed. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Concerns about the impact and usefulness of the 408(b)(2) summary guide rule proposed by the DOL in March are building and coalescing. Groups representing large plan sponsors and advisors have expressed concern about the proposal. And earlier this year, a coalition of industry groups that includes SPARK, which represents record keepers and DCIOs, was equally apprehensive about the new rules. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2014 • 1 Comments

Though Charles Schwab still seems to be committed to putting them into DC plans, are ETFs — as one advisor stated in a P&I article — a square peg in a round hole? Schwab claims that 10% of their 955 DC clients with $96 billion in assets are either moving to or interested in their passive platforms. But a Towers Watson consultant told P&I that the benefits of an ETF — intraday liquidity and tax efficiencies — have little value within DC plans. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2014 • 1 Comments

The fact that the giant DC providers are starting to go after the very smallest 401(k) plans should come as no surprise. However, the movement is another example of how the DC market is maturing. A recent Reuters article highlights how Vanguard has quietly quadrupled its assets in the under-$20 million 401(k) market since 2012, when it began a relationship with outsourcer Ascensus. Meanwhile there are signs that T. Rowe Price, which uses DST record keeping services, is also focused down-market. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/12/2014 • 0 Comments

SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar has accepted NAPA’s invitation to speak at the 2014 NAPA DC Fly-in Forum, set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1. In January, Piwowar, the SEC’s newest commissioner, expressed concerns that the agency’s rulemaking on the uniform fiduciary rule could cause confusion. Piwowar advocated instead for more disclosure and investor education. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/12/2014 • 0 Comments

IRA rollovers continue to grow at a steady pace, according to Cerulli’s latest report, “Retirement Markets 2013: Data & Dynamics of Employer-Sponsored Plans.” In 2012, there was an estimated $321.3 billion in IRA rollovers, up 7.3% from the previous year; Cerulli estimates that 2013 will be even larger, at $357.7 billion, up 11.3%. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Echoing the famous quote by savvy investors, many DC investors are more concerned about return of capital than return on capital. To that point, as well as longevity risk, a LIMRA’s Secure Retirement Institute study showed meaningful increases for in-plan guaranteed incomes in 2013. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Speaking at a Washington legislative update meeting on May 5, EBSA Director Phyllis Borzi said that while there is no set date for the redefinition of fiduciary rule, she will not wait forever. Most insiders predict that the rule will not be released before the congressional elections in November. BNA’s report quotes Borzi as saying that she has slowed the process to accommodate further industry input. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

There are reports that branch managers are using FINRA’s pending recruiting bonus disclosure rules to put the squeeze on reluctant advisors. Claiming that Rule 2243 will be effective by Labor Day, recruiters are pushing advisors to make the move so they don’t have to disclose their bonuses to clients. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/8/2014 • 0 Comments

Are early withdrawals from 401(k) plans replacing home equity loans as the new piggy bank for American workers? There’s evidence that as the number of home equity loans has dropped, there is more pressure on workers to tap their 401(k) plans for emergencies and extra cash. The volume of home equity loans has dropped 38% since 2007. And last year, the government collected 37% more from early withdrawals than it did in 2003. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2014 • 1 Comments

Remember the good old days when everyone retired with a DB pension? If you do, your memory is not very good, according to many speakers at a session that The Pension Research Council held at Wharton recently. “Reimagining Pensions: The Next 40 Years” marked the 40th anniversary of ERISA. Though workers in DC plans struggle with two impossible tasks — market volatility and longevity — that are the responsibility of employers in DB plans, not as many workers were covered as you may have thought. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Reacting to our May 5 NAPA Net post, “Questions Linger About RK Sale by JP Morgan,” Michael Falcon, the firm’s head of retirement, responded promptly with answers to each of the questions we raised in the wake of the sale of JP Morgan's record keeping unit to Great-West. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2014 • 2 Comments

Since today is “Siete de Mayo” — May 7 — we thought it an appropriate day to highlight Christopher Carosa’s recent article about seven megatrends affecting the future of the retirement industry: READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the dangers of using the proprietary investments of a record keeper? Lawsuits. In fact, over the last decade or so, there have been 18 claims filed, including recent ones filed against MassMutual and Fidelity, as chronicled in a detailed chart compiled by the Groom Law Group. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Wire houses looking to recruit experienced advisors and gather more assets are reported to be looking at bank brokers, a market once eschewed by bigger brokerage firms. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Asset International, the company that owns PlanSponsor and PlanAdviser, is in active discussion with potential buyers, according to a report by The Deal. Austin Ventures, led by “CEO in residence” Jim Casella, bought AI in 2008 and added mutual fund research company Strategic Insight in 2009 along with other, smaller enterprises. The company has focused on data and research, publishing and events in the financial services market. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Now that the fanfare about the sale of JP Morgan’s record keeping group to Great-West has settled down, there are a few lingering questions. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

What distinguishes the top-performing advisory practices? In their annual study, Moss Adams and Investment News set out to identify which activities the top firms use more than others. Here are the seven habits that seem to stand out: READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

JP Morgan, one of the leaders in TDF analytics, has released a new version of its Target Date Compass that includes expanded analysis, a more intuitive user front end, simplified charts and a more tablet friendly interface. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Perhaps signaling confidence in the economy by small business owners, contributions to self-employed 401(k)’s, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs have increased dramatically since the Great Recession, according to Fidelity research involving 200,000 small businesses. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Australia seems to always stay ahead of the pension curve. Now Australia is taking another step ahead by raising the retirement age, to 67 in 2023 and then 70 in 2035. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/2/2014 • 3 Comments

Will the squeeze on health benefit brokers caused by Obamacare push them into the 401(k) market? According to an InvestmentNews article, there’s evidence that while individual benefit brokers will have a hard time penetrating the 401(k) market any time soon, large firms are looking into it, with many collaborating with established retirement advisory shops. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/2/2014 • 1 Comments

Will private equity investing go mainstream? Based on actions by NASDAQ’s OMX Group and large PE firms, the answer is getting closer to “probably” than ever before. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Buoyed by a strong bull market, more 401(k) participants are putting their money into equities, according to a study of 1.3 million participants at large companies conducted by Aon Hewitt and reported in the Wall Street Journal. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2014 • 2 Comments

In a stunning move, LPL’s Retirement Partner Group led by Bill Chetney has hired Paul Mahan, Commonwealth’s head of retirement, as SVP of retirement services. He will report directly to Chetney. It’s not yet clear what Mahan’s duties will be but he will be moving his family to the San Diego area. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

The news in Putnam’s fourth annual Lifetime Income Score is good, as more Americans are on track to replace their income in retirement. Based on information from more than 4,100 households, overall, U.S. workers are on track to replace 61% of their income — but for people with a retirement plan at work, that number is 75%; it’s 82% for those who use a financial advisor. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Transamerica’s 15th annual retirement survey measures the effects of the Great Recession on three generations of savers, finding different attitudes and actions by each group. Boomers, the pioneers of self-funded retirement, have started the process late and will compensate by working longer. Gen Xers have embraced and value their 401(k)s, enjoying full careers with a DC account — but they are more likely to have taken out loans and made withdrawals. And Millennials are confident they can retire before 65. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Utah-based American Pension Services, led by Curtis DeYoung, has been charged by the SEC with fraud, based on an alleged $22 million loss in self-directed IRAs. While DeYoung had no discretion, he allegedly commingled funds, made risky investments in friends’ businesses (some of which ended up in bankruptcy), forged buy direction letters and sent out erroneous account statements. READ MORE

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

By Jerry Bramlett5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week Fidelity Investments released a study which found that “the majority (63%) of Fidelity’s 401(k) investors are taking a ‘Do It Yourself’ approach to 401(k) investing” while only “37% are taking a ‘Do It for Me’ approach and using professional management. READ MORE

By Jerry Bramlett5/22/2014 • 1 Comments

A recent study conducted by Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt, “Help in Defined Contribution Plans: 2006 Through 2012,” explores the impact of using “help.” The study defines “help” as either having more than 95% of DC investor assets in two or less target date funds (TDFs), 100% of assets in a managed account or utilizing online advice. READ MORE

By Jerry Bramlett5/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Two interesting studies on improving DC investor outcomes were published last week: a Pension Research Council working paper and a commissioned study prepared for John Hancock Life Insurance Company by Burgess Management & Research. READ MORE

By Jerry Bramlett5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent Hewitt EnnisKnupp (HEK) blog post, “A Primer on Custom Target Date Funds,” provides an excellent short overview on custom target date funds (CTDFs). The post focuses on defining what a CTDF is, why plan sponsors change from traditional TDFs to custom TDFs, CTDF drawbacks and the myths that need to be addressed with plan sponsors. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl5/27/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from a financial advisor in Michigan, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common question related to DB plans and annuity providers. READ MORE

By John Carl5/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Minnesota, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry related to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA or HR 2847). READ MORE

By John Carl5/13/2014 • 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 related to employer securities as a retirement plan investment option. READ MORE

By John Carl5/7/2014 • 0 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 related to bankruptcy protection of retirement plan assets. READ MORE

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

More often than not, employees who obtain investment advice do not follow it — and that’s among those who bother to seek it in the first place. EBRI’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey suggests that advisors have some work to do in boosting plan participants’ interest and confidence in professional advice. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/23/2014 • 0 Comments

A May 21 Senate Finance subcommittee hearing purported to be about strengthening Social Security morphed into a critical discussion of the merits of the defined contribution system and industry. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/21/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent study by Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt says that target date funds work best if a plan participant invests all or nearly all of their retirement assets in them. The study found that more than 60% of participants who hold money in TDFs also invest in other funds, and that the average allocation to TDFs was 35% of their retirement fund assets. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Auto enrollment and escalation can be very useful in boosting plan participation and setting in motion all the good effects that result from that. But like medicines, they should be used properly — and if they’re not, they can cause harm. So argues a new white paper from Milliman, “Auto enrollment: Two Sides to Every Coin.” READ MORE

By John Iekel5/15/2014 • 5 Comments

Some 30% percent of small businesses say it is at least somewhat likely they will eliminate their existing retirement plans if the DOL adopts its proposed, expanded definition of a fiduciary, according to a study by Greenwald & Associates released May 14. In addition, almost half the small businesses that do not have a plan but are considering adopting one say that the regulation would make them less likely to adopt a plan. READ MORE

John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

The issue of income inequality is seen by many politicians in Washington as an opportunity to portray successful, wealthy individuals as those “denying” others their rightful share of the pie, writes Brian Graff, NAPA's CEO/executive director, in the latest issue of NAPA Net the Magazine. "Regrettably, income inequality as misapplied to retirement policy is a theme that our industry will need to get accustomed to hearing.” READ MORE

By John Ortman5/27/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of most-read posts on NAPA Net last week reveals interest in NAPA’s updated record keeper consolidation list, Capitol Hill testimony from 401(k) critic Teresa Ghilarducci, a proposal from an SEC commissioner to force RIAs to pay for third-party audits, coverage of retirement issues hitting mainstream media outlets, and assets in target risk funds outstripping those in TDFs. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/22/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the top things that wholesalers do that bug plan advisors the most? As opposed to best practices, bad practices are guaranteed to put a wholesaler in the penalty box — and keep them there. They hurt the provider even if their products, services and funds are top performers. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/19/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of the five most-read posts on NAPA Net last week reflected interest in the potential impact of the DOL's fiduciary redefinition on small businesses, what's driving large record keepers' movement toward the small plan market, industry reaction to the DOL's 408(b)(2) disclosure summary guide proposal, Sen. Marco Rubio's comments about the federal TSP and Social Security reforms, and a new BlackRock study of the efficacy of "to" versus "through" TDFs. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/19/2014 • 0 Comments

vWise has hired Danny Streiff as Senior Vice President of Sales – Mid-Market. Streiff is the former founder and president of Matrix Communications Technologies (now part of Broadridge). He started MCT in 2003 and sold it to Matrix Financial Solutions in late 2007. Most recently Streiff had great success in the position of National Account Sales at Reliance Trust Company. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

If you’re among the 1,500 or so advisors and other industry insiders who attended the 2014 NAPA 401(k) Summit in New Orleans, you may remember the video that kicked off the opening general session. There’s good news for both attendees and those who couldn’t make it to New Orleans: We’ve just loaded the popular video on NAPA Net. You’ll find it in the right hand column of the news page on the portal. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Voya Financial’s Retirement Solutions business has announced two new hires to support the company’s Large Corporate retirement plans market. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/16/2014 • 0 Comments

A subtle power shift in the advisor-sold DC market will change the industry’s landscape forever, writes NAPA Net editor in chief Fred Barstein in the latest issue of NAPA Net the Magazine. In the past, record keepers in the advisor-sold space did well because they were focused on one market segment and were able to effectively wholesale to “blind squirrels.” But in the future, Barstein notes, the winners will have to be able to sell to the small and mid-to-large DC markets while shifting their sales focus to experienced plan advisors. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has announced the launch of a technology-driven set of retirement tools to help advisors talk about goals-based financial planning with clients. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/12/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in seven industry megatrends identified by Christopher Carosa, JP Morgan head Mike Falcon’s answers to questions about the sale of his firm’s record keeping operation to Great-West, Jerry Bramlett’s take on custom TDFs, the status of the DOL’s fiduciary definition regulation, and the seven habits of top-performing firms. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/12/2014 • 0 Comments

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has created a task force to explore how his state can improve retirement security for private sector employees, with an eye toward recommending further action. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/8/2014 • 0 Comments

An important trend in the industry — a shift in influence from the fund provider/record keeper to the fee-based independent advisor — will put advisors in a key position, asserts Jerry Bramlett in the current issue of NAPA Net the Magazine. As a result of that trend, says Bramlett, advisors will find themselves in a position to tie together the core fund lineup and the best asset allocation program, using custom asset allocation models. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

The current DC system offers a solid foundation for retirement success, but key stakeholders must do their part to ensure a path to financial security in later years, according to Dan Houston, president of retirement, insurance and financial services at the Principal Financial Group®, who asserts his views in a new book on aging. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Retail investors are not being fleeced by high-frequency traders using programs to jump ahead with buy and sell orders that fetch better prices, SEC Chair Mary Jo White asserted April 29. “The markets are not rigged,” White told a hearing held by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Service Committee. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in employee benefit brokers expanding into the 401(k) market as Obamacare affects their practices, plan advisors’ effect on DC plans, Don Trone’s commentary on the role of rank-and-file participants on investment committees, new compensation models under consideration at brokerages, and Paul Mahan’s move from Commonwealth to LPL. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Most retirement plan oversight duties fall to a small core of employees who accept fiduciary responsibility for the company retirement plan but are often completely lacking any formalized training or education, notes Staff Chalk in his “Inside the Plan Sponsor’s Mind” column in the latest issue of NAPA Net the Magazine. READ MORE

By John Ortman5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Goldman Sachs Asset Management will acquire smart beta specialist Westpeak Global Advisors, P&I reports. The deal is expected to close in June. READ MORE

Andrew Remo

Andrew Remo

By Andrew Remo5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Lauding the federal Thrift Savings Plan as “one of the most efficient savings plans in America,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) urged that the DC plan for federal employees be made available to private workers nationwide. Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, floated the idea in a May 13 speech at the National Press Club in Washington. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo5/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The Connecticut legislature passed legislation May 8 that would establish a board to first study, and then implement, a public retirement plan for private sector employers. The measure awaits the signature of Gov. Dannel Malloy (D). READ MORE

NAPA Net Staff

NAPA Net Staff

By NAPA Net Staff5/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Pooled stable value funds are one of the least understood investment options in defined contribution plans, yet they make up at least 15% of the total assets. Of the many investment types in the fixed-rate marketplace, pooled stable value funds are one of the most transparent, and as such, open to analysis. READ MORE

By NAPA Net Staff5/2/2014 • 0 Comments

A relative about to turn 62 wanted to discuss his retirement with me recently. He had started out as a delivery truck driver and advanced to commercial pricing. His situation looked like this: $400,000 in profit sharing and 401(k) plans, a monthly Social Security benefit of about $1,800 with early retirement at 62 and the payout from a frozen DB plan of $720 per month. READ MORE

Don Trone

Don Trone

By Don Trone5/29/2014 • 1 Comments

How does that title grab you? Did it catch your attention? Make you smile? Think about all the plan sponsor meetings you’ve conducted where you have tried to teach trustees the multi-dimensions of a fiduciary standard of care. Didn’t get you anywhere, did it? READ MORE