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ASPPA

ASPPA

By ASPPA 6/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Funds held in inherited IRAs are not retirement funds and must be included in a bankruptcy estate, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 12. The Court’s 9-0 ruling in Clark v. Rameker, No. 13-299 (U.S. 6/12/14), aff’d 714 F.3d 559 (7th Cir. 2013)) was definitive in drawing a distinction between inherited IRAs and retirement funds, and between inherited IRAs and other funds to which the Bankruptcy Code’s exemptions apply.

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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

My wife is fond of recounting one of our early dates — the one when we ran out of gas. We were in the heart of a Chicago suburb at the time, not the middle of nowhere, and while the hour was late, I continue to maintain that it was a simple case of my misreading the gas gauge.

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By Nevin Adams6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Much is made these days of the application of behavioral finance and the implications for plan design — that is, the role of choice architecture in helping workers make “better” (if not more informed) benefit decisions. Valuable as these insights have been, however, I think much of human behavior (or lack thereof) in these matters can be more simply explained — and perhaps overcome. 

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By Nevin Adams6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

IRAs have been around a long time – as long as ERISA, in fact. Today, IRAs represent nearly $6 trillion in assets, approximately a quarter of the $23.7 trillion in retirement plan assets in the nation. As an account type, they currently hold the largest single share of U.S. retirement plan assets. READ MORE

John Adams

John Adams

By John Adams6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Allianz Global Investors has hired Robert Cruz to lead retirement sales efforts in the South Central region. Cruz was previously the vice president, defined contribution consultant at BlackRock. He will cover advisor DC relationships in Texas and the surrounding region and reports to Forrest Wilson, head of U.S. retirement sales for Allianz. READ MORE

By John Adams6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

OppenheimerFunds has announced their new Oppenheimer Emerging Markets Innovators Fund (EMIAX), which is available to retirement plans. EMIAX will invest in small- and mid-cap companies in the emerging markets with disruptive products, brands, business models or other strategic differentiators.  READ MORE

By John Adams6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

OneAmerica will acquire City National Bank’s San Diego-based retirement services record keeping business under an agreement between the companies announced June 25. Once the acquisition is complete, OneAmerica will become OneAmerica Retirement Services LLC. The company plans to maintain business operations at the San Diego location and keep clients working with the same service team.
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By John Adams6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

A new white paper prepared by The Wagner Law Group on behalf of Transamerica Retirement Solutions concludes that the firm’s Retirement Plan Exchange significantly reduces the burden of an employer’s fiduciary responsibilities compared to traditional retirement plans. READ MORE

By John Adams6/21/2014 • 0 Comments

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services has hired David C. Hiss as regional vice president, responsible for sales and relationship development with financial representatives and plan consultants in the Chicago Metro area.

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By John Adams6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

OneAmerica has announced the implementation of a three-region sales and distribution structure for retirement services that is expected to improve geographic proximity, create efficiencies and increase productivity.

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By John Adams6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Invesco’s DC Plan Analyzer app for iPad has been updated with a new interactive tool that provides plan sponsors a detailed cost comparison analysis.

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By John Adams6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s first ETF, JPMorgan Diversified Return Global Equity (JPGE), has officially launched for trading.

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By John Adams6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services is now offering 401(k) Admin Advantage, a service that will help simplify plan administration, minimize risks for plan sponsors and support independent services of plan advisors and third party administrators.

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By John Adams6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

LPL Financial is reporting an increase in advisor recruitment after a slowdown in the first and second quarters that they attribute partially to harsh winter weather.

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By John Adams6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

Many retirees have underestimated the retirement expenses associated with taxes, according to a recent survey by Lincoln Financial Group. 

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By John Adams6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The Standard has announced the appointment of two new retirement plan consultants for its Eastern Sales Region

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By John Adams6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division maintained record high scores for satisfaction among employers that sponsor retirement plans, even during their acquisition of The Hartford’s Retirement Plans Group, according to the 2013 Plan Sponsor Satisfaction and Loyalty study conducted by Chatham Partners.  

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By John Adams6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

For the first time in the same calendar year, Pershing is launching new versions of all its major platforms, including NetX360, NetX360 Mobile, NetXInvestor and NetXInvestor Mobile, as well as new versions of Albridge Wealth Reporting and a new Managed Investments portal integrated into NetX360.

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By John Adams6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Sheri Fitts, president of ShoeFitts Marketing, will be featured in a new monthly webinar series sponsored by Smarsh about navigating the complexities and nuances of social media in the financial services marketplace.

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By John Adams6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

This summer, LPL Financial anticipates the release of an upgrade to their newly released online retirement planning platform, Worksite Financial Solutions, which will give participants access to plan information on their mobile devices.  

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By John Adams6/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Ingham Retirement Group announced May 30 that it will offer LPL’s Financial Worksite Financial Solutions employee advice platform. Worksite Financial Solutions is an online service that gathers information on each employee participant's financial picture and life stage. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

According to a new white paper by SEI and FP Transitions, most financial advisors think they have built a business, but what they have really built is a practice that’s likely to end when they retire. Their research shows that a stark 99 percent of independent financial services and advisory firms go out of business when their founders retire. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Today the top plan advisors are highlighted by several organizations. For the most part, though, most of them have been around for a while and benefit from many years of experience. So where is the next generation of advisors coming from? To answer that question, NAPA set out to find the top young advisors — the profession’s “Young Guns.” The results of that effort: our list of the “Top 50 Plan Advisors Under 40.”    READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Though benefits brokers say they see a big opportunity in the changing health care landscape, nearly half are considering exiting the business and 67 percent know of peers who have done so in the past year. A survey commissioned by AFLAC found that while the usage of brokers has increased, smaller advisors seem to be the ones having the most issues adapting to health care reform. 

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By Fred Barstein6/27/2014 • 0 Comments

The long rumored divestiture of Frank Russell by Northwestern Mutual was completed with the announcement of a sale to the London Stock Exchange. The sale was reported to be for $2.7 billion. Experts speculated that for LSE, Russell’s index business, second only to S&P and slightly ahead of MSCI, was the key — although they do also pick up a mere $257 billion in assets. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

While there are already plenty of reasons why companies may not want to include their own stock in their ERISA plans, the U.S. Supreme Court just gave them another. A unanimous decision by the Court in the Fifth Third court case clearly puts fiduciaries on notice that the so-called Moench presumption is no longer valid and will not give them special protection for the use of company stock. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement assets grew by 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to the ICI. The growth was driven primarily by IRAs and DC plans, which grew at 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively. Retirement assets now account for an estimated 34 percent of all U.S. household assets. No wonder politicians, money managers and financial advisors are paying close attention to our industry. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

For those following the acquisitions of five IBDs over the last year (including Cetera and First Allied) by Nicholas Schorsch-led RCAP, recent news about ACRP, their affiliate which focuses on non-traded REITs, might seem ominous for their IBD efforts. But according to Mike Weil, one of the original founders of ACRP and head of RCAP, the reality is quite different. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Though he left the company he founded years ago, John Bogle of Vanguard fame still makes headlines. The Wall Street Journal reported on a presentation Bogle gave recently calling for a “Federal Retirement Savings Board” that would approve all investments that retirement plans could use and tax limits for the highest-paid executives. Bogle also called IRAs “fragile instruments” because withdrawals are too easy to make, but stopped short of endorsing mandatory retirement savings. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Yielding to industry concerns evidenced by 184 comment letters, FINRA withdrew its controversial rule that would have required advisors to disclose bonuses of $100,000 or more to clients. Rule 2243 is expected to resurface later this year after FINRA has had time to digest the comments. The Financial Services Institute supported withdrawal of the rule. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

After only a month at LPL’s Retirement Partners Group, Paul Mahan returned to Commonwealth, where he was head of their retirement efforts. Mahan will resume the role he held before departing to LPL in May.   
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By Fred Barstein6/23/2014 • 0 Comments

While there are growing questions about the use of a record keeper’s proprietary investments, those questions attract even more attention from regulators and the plaintiff’s bar when proprietary investments are used for an investment manager’s own DC plan.

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By Fred Barstein6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Further signaling a broadening focus by the mainstream press on retirement issues other than fees and IRA rollovers, Bloomberg published a wide-ranging article about the history of the DOL’s fiduciary rule and its proponent, Phyllis Borzi. Portraying her as the “Iron Lady” pitted against Wall Street and the considerable leverage it can bring to bear in Washington, the article provides a good summary of the issues and events surrounding the fiduciary rule — but without going into the unintended consequences that the rule in its current form would have on small investors.

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By Fred Barstein6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Remember when the Internet promised to do everything from clean your teeth to provide high-quality leads that cost very little? Well, the reality is a bit more sobering, but there are a number of online referral services to choose from, as outlined in a recent FAIQ article. Various services are profiled, mainly for individual investor leads, ranging from a take-off on Match.com to one that helps advisors get articles placed in the press, and a new one by a former FA called “FireMyAdvisor.”

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By Fred Barstein6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

In a classic case of the rich getting richer, Tier 1 DCIOs are getting bigger while smaller, late entrants are lagging as TDFs and QDIAs continue to have a strangehold on DC assets, according to Hearts & Wallet’s annual DCIO report. The DCIO market grew by almost 25% last year, outpacing the overall DC market and accounting for almost 50% of all DC assets — driven in part by dwindling DB plans. But, according to H&W, it only gets tougher from here.

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By Fred Barstein6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

As expected, a House budget subcommittee denied the SEC’s request for additional funding to hire more examiners so that it can audit more advisors. The full committee is expected to vote on the subcommittee’s proposed budget by the 4th of July.

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By Fred Barstein6/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Adding fuel to the fire, an attack on the IRA rollover industry by Bloomberg cites numerous examples of advisors preying on retirees rolling their 401(k) money into IRAs. One expert claims that IRAs are the “Wild West,” with limited oversight and regulation.

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By Fred Barstein6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Under pressure from unions, New Jersey Democrats are expected to propose a so-called “millionaire’s tax” to fund the $900 million in pension payment cutbacks that Gov. Chris Christie (R) proposed this year to balance the state’s budget. 

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By Fred Barstein6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

With RCAP making so much news with its aggressive acquisition strategy — buying five IBDs over the past year, including Cetera and First Allied — LPL was bound to respond. Speaking at a Morgan Stanley Financial conference last week, LPL’s CFO Dan Arnold claimed that RCAP’s acquisition strategy is. . . 

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By Fred Barstein6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

The lines between consultants and advisors in the DC industry have been blurred for a while. According to BlackRock’s Chip Castille, who spoke at a Reuters Summit, those lines will continue to blur as more advisors move up-market, regularly surpassing the $1 billion threshold. 

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By Fred Barstein6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

After a fruitless investigation into the practices of companies that delay match payments until the end of the year — made famous by IBM and infamous by AOL last year — Massachusetts’ chief securities regulator William Galvin called on Congress and the DOL to make what he claims are necessary changes.

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By Fred Barstein6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Though not directly endorsing the idea of third party audits of RIAs, senior executives at Schwab and TD Ameritrade lobbied Congress last week to consider the idea during the Investment Adviser Association’s lobbying day.

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By Fred Barstein6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

It may seem strange for the person who coined the term “blind squirrel” to explain not only why blind squirrels are here to stay, but also why they are helpful and even important to the entire DC plan ecosystem.

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By Fred Barstein6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has asked Labor Secretary Tom Perez to look at potential conflicts among pension consultants that recommend their own investments to clients, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

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By Fred Barstein6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Some say that size doesn’t matter. Don’t tell that to Nicholas Schorsch’s RCAP group, which has gone on an acquisition binge in the IBD world over the past year. The firm’s strategy has catapulted it into the second spot overall, trailing only LPL. ThinkAdvisor’s list of the top 25 independent BDs includes three of the four Cetera subsidiaries and First Allied.

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By Fred Barstein6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

There’s a new leader in 401(k) AUM. According to InvestmentNews, Vanguard took a slight edge over Fidelity at the end of 2013 by barely $1 billion. Vanguard now has $613.5 billion in AUM, compared with $612.4 billion for its Boston rival. Driven in part by market gains last year but also by the move to lower-cost passive investments, Vanguard enjoyed 28% growth in 401(k) assets compared with 17% for Fidelity. Fidelity still leads all others in 401(k) assets record kept at $1.2 trillion. 

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By Fred Barstein6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Speaking at a Municipal Securities Regulator Summit, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher warned that the unfunded pension and health care obligations of states and municipalities could be much worse than people realize. In fact, Gallagher said that each household would have to pay $14,000 for 30 years to fund the gap.

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By Fred Barstein6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Is the IRA market about to explode? Cerulli, using data on contribution habits of pre-retirees from DC plans, predicts massive outflows in their Evolution of the Retirement Investor 2013 report. But there are many reasons to be skeptical.

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By Fred Barstein6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

When it comes to ERISA fiduciary warranties, a Bloomberg/BNA report warns: buyer beware. Experts say that many of the warranties offered by providers, which are intended to protect plan sponsors from litigation liability, are nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

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By Fred Barstein6/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement policy has become such a hot topic that even the Queen of England is now chiming in. During this week’s speech at the annual State Opening of Parliament, the Queen echoed changes in the 2014 budget proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer affecting the UK’s DC plan policy. 

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By Fred Barstein6/5/2014 • 0 Comments

In a far-reaching PlanAdviser interview with 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney Jerome Schlichter, the focus was on plan fees and the duty that employers have in negotiating with third party vendors on behalf of their employees. 

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By Fred Barstein6/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Back in the day, when Mary Meeker — dubbed the “Queen of the Net” as Morgan Stanley’s Internet analyst — talked, people listened. Now, working with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, she has some words of wisdom for financial advisors on top tech trends, as reported in ThinkAdvisor.

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By Fred Barstein6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

At last month’s Executive Forum held by Fidelity’s National Financial group, which provides trading, clearing and custody services to broker dealers and RIAs, most executives described robo-advisors as a positive trend and one that’s here to stay. The group envisioned a blended model that is complementary and needed.  

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By Fred Barstein6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

Though 2013 was a banner year for the financial services industry in general and RIAs in particular, InvestmentNews reporter Mason Braswell predicts that this could be the calm before the storm, especially for middle tier firms with $100-$200 million of AUA. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

With their recent $52.5 million acquisition of Hello Wallet, Morningstar is taking a step to get more personal with investors, especially those in DC plans. Earlier this year the firm acquired By All Accounts for $28 million, giving advisors the ability to see a client’s entire financial picture, not just what’s in their 401(k) plan or assets that the advisor manages. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/1/2014 • 0 Comments

One of the fastest growing models for advisors — especially plan advisors — is the “hybrid” model, where the advisor can function as both a registered rep under a BD or as an IAR under an RIA and have the ability to receive both commissions and fees. But then you have to decide whether to join your BD’s corporate RIA or an independent group, or create your own group. READ MORE

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

By Jerry Bramlett6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

No matter how many times you say it — “past performance is not a predictor of future performance” — it just does not sink in. The challenge goes deeper than simply being an educational issue in that we have been hard-wired through many eons of evolution to be backward-looking, pattern-seeking creatures.  READ MORE

By Jerry Bramlett6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

A new study from Principal concludes that investors need to be more selective in both the countries they choose to invest in and the selection of individual securities in those countries. But there’s more to the emerging markets picture.

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By Jerry Bramlett6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent EDHEC-Risk Institute study reveals some interesting trends in the adoption of smart beta ETFs in Europe. 

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By Jerry Bramlett6/5/2014 • 0 Comments

This week, RIABiz posted an article highlighting two trends in the 401(k) ETF-only space.

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John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in New York, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry regarding lump sum distributions from underfunded defined benefit plans.
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By John Carl6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Michigan, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common scenario involving the payment of plan fees.

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By John Carl6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Ohio, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry involving a safe harbor 401(k) plan. 

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By John Carl6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Mississippi, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry related to SIMPLE IRA plans. READ MORE

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

Marcus Chandler

By Marcus Chandler6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

It will hardly come as news that our world has gone mobile. However, just how fast this sea change is occurring is astonishing, and the potential impact on your practice, brand and marketing strategy can no longer be ignored. 

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Jim Dornan

Jim Dornan

By Jim Dornan6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

We are very excited to announce that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House Majority Leader, has accepted NAPA’s invitation to speak at the 2014 NAPA DC Fly-In Forum. Cantor has frequently been mentioned as the successor to House Speaker John Boehner if Boehner chooses to step down before the next Congress. 

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John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Nondiscrimination tests, sometimes described as the “rocket science” of the tax compliance world, can make an employer run afoul. And that’s exactly what happened to 57,277 of the 401(k) plans that Judy Diamond Associates reports in a study it recently released. The study says that the plans in question failed the most recent nondiscrimination tests they conducted in compliance with IRS regulations. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Early withdrawals — loans taken against plan balances, hardship withdrawals and retirement account payouts when changing jobs — can provide participants quick infusions of cash that help meet pressing needs. But these forms of “leakage” can come at the expense of their future retirement security. A new analysis by EBRI provides empirical data on the full impact of leakage on 401(k) balances. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

At their current savings rate, many Americans will have tough choices to make as they age. Not only that, but a low savings rate has broader serious implications for the U.S. economy and its solvency. “Another Penny Saved: The Benefits of Higher U.S. Household Saving,” a paper by Oxford Economics, paints a sobering picture of the current savings rate and its consequences for retirement. But it also offers some suggestions regarding how to address and maybe even reverse it, and what could result from that. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Critics of 401(k)s argue that they will not deliver on what they promised. But MSN Money reports that the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has provided empirical evidence that their assessments may be very much off the mark.

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By John Iekel6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Automatic enrollment and automatic escalation can drive the solution to the retirement readiness problem, Putnam’s Bob Reynolds said in a recent interview with Forbes. Reynolds cited a study his firm and Brightwork Partners did in 2012 that found that automatic enrollment significantly increases the percentage of their income they will be able to replace in retirement.

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By John Iekel6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

Employees are more actively engaged in preparing for their retirement, an examination of financial trends in the first quarter of 2014 reveals. Financial Finesse reports that since the first quarter of 2012, there is good news regarding employees’ financial wellness.

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By John Iekel6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Investment committee members generally are satisfied with the diversity of the committees to which they belong, according to a study by Vanguard. Nearly 30% defined diversity of their investment committee in terms of members’ backgrounds, and nearly 40% said it concerned the experience and expertise of its members.

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By John Iekel6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

You may have a diploma on the wall, but learning never stops. Or at least it shouldn’t — and fiduciary skills are no exception to the wisdom of expanding knowledge and making sure one is equipped to meet current and future conditions and challenges.

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By John Iekel6/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Who are the favorite fund wholesalers of RIAs and advisors? A survey of 206 RIAs and 1,410 advisors conducted by Cogent found that Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), PIMCO, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton topped the list, according to a report in RIABiz.

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By John Iekel6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

A new Aon Hewitt study provides a look at plan sponsors’ concerns over plan costs and what they are doing about them. The good news: More than 82% of plan sponsors review plan fees and costs every year.

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By John Iekel6/10/2014 • 0 Comments

Many sobering reports have been issued regarding the degree to which U.S. workers are preparing — or not — for retirement. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Personal Savings Initiative (PSI) may not be the first effort that seeks to help turn the tide of poor savings rates, but it has heft and features a far-reaching and ongoing discussion of the problem and ways to address it.

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By John Iekel6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Most plan sponsors trust the advisors whose services they seek and secure. But the price of that confidence is an expectation that those advisors will work aggressively on behalf of participants. Those are among the results of a study by Brightwork Partners LLC for the Principal Financial Group. 

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By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and Aegon polled 16,000 employees in 15 counties in North and South America, Europe and Asia and found that while a growing number of respondents expect their finances — and their countries’ economies — to improve in the short term, that optimism does not translate to confidence about the more distant future. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Fear of running out of money during retirement is common the “mass affluent” — those with household incomes between $50,000 and $250,000 — but it’s mitigated by interest in saving, the importance of which is not lost on younger employees, according to a new BoA Merrill Lynch report. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/1/2014 • 1 Comments

Employees who are terminated may be gone, but they’re not always forgotten — at least regarding the retirement plan. A growing number of plans allow terminated employees to live on as participants, notes Robert Leahy of Alliance Benefit Group. READ MORE

Jennifer McKibben

Jennifer McKibben

By Jennifer McKibben6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

View the list of the Top 75 DC industry wholesalers. READ MORE

Judy Miller

Judy Miller

By Judy Miller6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

The Senate Finance Committee met June 26 to consider a modified chairman’s mark of revenue raisers to pay for an extension of the highway trust fund through the end of the year. The hearing adjourned with no action, but with the stated intention of reconvening to mark up a proposal early in the week following the July 4 recess.  READ MORE

John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman6/30/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 7, NAPA Net will be relaunching on a new online platform. The new platform will connect to the ASPPA member database, streamlining the process of registering for NAPA webcasts, certification programs, etc. We’ll also be updating and expanding the pages in the NAPA Partner Corner and adding information about the new NAPA Academy, 401(k) Practice Builder and more.  READ MORE

By John Ortman6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

What separates the generalist from the specialist? Dedication to understanding what is on the horizon from a policy standpoint and taking this knowledge back to clients. Clients expect that. And the best way to show that dedication is to attend this year’s NAPA DC Fly-In Forum, set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Washington.  READ MORE

By John Ortman6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Asset International, the company that owns PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISER, has been acquired by Genstar Capital, a leading middle market private equity firm that focuses on investments in targeted segments of the financial services, software, health care and industrial technology industries. The acquisition was announced June 20.

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By John Ortman6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

Does a participant’s distorted view of her or his ability to make wise financial decisions matter? And does it affect the participant positively or negatively? Data show that the answer to the first question is yes — confidence matters and can affect participants both positively and negatively, says Warren Cormier of the Boston Research Group.

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By John Ortman6/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Which has a bigger impact on outcomes: plan design or education/communication? That’s the number one topic after one week of voting via NAPA’s unique way of choosing workshop topics at next year’s NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT. In all, nearly 2,700 votes were cast during the week. After Week 1, here are the top 10 topics in order of popularity:

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By John Ortman6/17/2014 • 0 Comments

NAPA members in the greater Washington, DC area have a unique opportunity to participate as a guest in an upcoming forum that will bring together policy-makers, employers, financial institutions and civic and interest groups to tackle one of the most critical issues threatening America’s future prosperity: the need for higher savings to ensure the health of households and the national economy, including the vital role of retirement saving. 

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By John Ortman6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of the most-read posts on NAPA Net last week revealed five topics that caught readers’ attention: A summary of a Don Trone column on the 10 attributes of effective plan professionals, Fred Barstein’s post on the importance of vision-impaired tree-dwelling rodents, Jerry Bramlett’s take on the future of ETF-only 401(k) plans, the Supreme Court’s decision on inherited IRAs, and Rep. George Miller urging the DOL to investigate consultants’ potential conflict of interest.

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By John Ortman6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s back! Once again, NAPA is utilizing a unique “voting tool” to help choose workshop topics at the NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT. The SUMMIT is the only industry conference that invites attendees and others into the process of choosing, in essence, what the conference will focus on. You may recall that NAPA used the voting tool last summer as well. When all of the votes were counted back then, the total topped 20,000.

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By John Ortman6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

Matching TDFs’ various attributes to the needs of the plan, and the participants who are increasingly defaulted into them, is a significant and growing challenge for plan advisors, EBRI’s Nevin Adams notes in his most recent column in NAPA Net the Magazine.

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By John Ortman6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The Millennial generation views benefits, especially retirement plans, very differently than older generations do — a trend that will reshape key aspects of the relationships among participants, plan sponsors and advisors. In a fascinating article in the latest issue of Benefits Quarterly magazine, generational authority Neil Howe traces what it all means.

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By John Ortman6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the keys to a successful succession plan? In a ThinkAdvisor article, Richard Dragotta, a branch manager at LPL, offers two. The first is basing your approach on the realization that a succession plan should be a process, not an event, says Dragotta. 

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By John Ortman6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week’s list of the top five most-read posts on NAPA Net shows keen interest in the challenges faced by middle tier RIAs, an out-of-character liberal manifesto on pension reform from the Wall Street Journal, the Queen of England’s comments on retirement policy, Jerry Bramlett’s take on the future of ETF-only 401(k) plans and the future of class action ERISA litigation. 

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By John Ortman6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Recently, the Leadership Center for Investment Stewards, led by Don Trone, completed research into the 10 attributes that are shared by highly effective leaders and decision makers — with an eye out for attributes that are common to both groups.

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By John Ortman6/6/2014 • 0 Comments

In today’s entertainment-drenched culture, it seems that we’re inundated by make-believe heroes — Iron Man, X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, etc. Amid all the pop culture racket, it’s important to remember a vital truth that too many of us ignore: that real heroes are living among us, and we must not lose sight of them. They are are our own fathers and grandfathers. 

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By John Ortman6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

In a June 2 “Journal Reports” article that would be more at home in the left-leaning New York Times or Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal — once known as a conservative voice — delivered a liberal’s pipedream prescription for fixing what ails the 401(k). 

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By John Ortman6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week’s most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected interest in record keeper consolidation, the DOL’s fiduciary redefinition effort, a ruling in a class action fiduciary lawsuit against MassMutual, an outbreak of 401(k)-bashing at a Capitol Hill hearing on Social Security, and Fred Barstein’s commentary on Bob Reynolds’ goals for Putnam. READ MORE

Andrew Remo

Andrew Remo

By Andrew Remo6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

The political dynamic at play between the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding the annual federal spending bills also applies to taxes, as Congress considers tax legislation that includes provisions impacting IRAs and multi-employer pension plans. READ MORE

Ronald Triche

Ronald Triche

By Ronald Triche6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

On June 9, 2014, the NAPA Government Affairs Committee submitted a comment letter to the SEC in response to its request for comments regarding a proposed rulemaking on target date fund disclosures. In addition to supporting the SEC’s continued use of asset-based glide path illustrations (instead of changing to risk-based illustrations), the NAPA GAC recommended that the SEC require the following disclosures be made to retirement plan participants in relation to target date funds: 

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Alisa Wolking

Alisa Wolking

By Alisa Wolking6/12/2014 • 0 Comments

During the last week of May, NAPA PAC hosted a meeting with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), who serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, to discuss the prospects for federal tax reform and the Department of Labor’s proposed regulation on the definition of a fiduciary.

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