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Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

Nevin Adams

By Nevin Adams7/25/2014 • 0 Comments

In just a few weeks the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) will be making preparations to launch the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS). It is, by far, the longest-running survey of its kind in the nation. Indeed, this will be its 25th year. Think for a moment about where you were a quarter century ago, what (or if) you thought about retirement, what preparations you had made … then consider for a moment what you have done in the years since. READ MORE

By Nevin Adams7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

As a growing number of Americans near, and head into, retirement, policymakers, retirement plan advisors, plan sponsors and individual workers alike increasingly wonder — will Americans have enough to live on when they retire? Unfortunately, as a recent EBRI publication notes, the answers provided are as diverse, and sometimes disparate, as the projection models that produce those results.
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By Nevin Adams7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

A frequent criticism of the 401(k) design — and one frequently invoked by retirement plan advisors — is that it was “never designed” to provide a full retirement benefit, unlike, as it’s often stated or implied, the defined benefit plan. In fact, these days much of the talk about improving and enhancing the 401(k) is described as “DB-ifying” the 401(k).   READ MORE

John Adams

John Adams

By John Adams7/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Nationwide Financial is now offering the Nationwide Diverse Managers Fund (NWWFX) to retirement plan clients. The fund seeks to provide capital appreciation and income by investing in a globally diversified portfolio of equity and fixed-income securities. It consists of four individual investment sleeves that are managed by separate minority- and women-owned investment firms, including Garcia Hamilton & Associates, Herndon Capital Management, Strategic Global Advisors, LLC, and Ariel Investments.

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By John Adams7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Voya Financial, Inc. has launched myOrangeMoney, the latest in the company’s suite of retirement readiness capabilities, which allows individuals to see how accumulated savings translate into estimated monthly income in retirement.  READ MORE

By John Adams7/23/2014 • 0 Comments

BlackRock has recently published new research exploring the economics supporting a “to” approach to target date funds rather than a “through” approach, or reaching the final equity allocation at the target date instead of continuing to reduce risk past the target date. BlackRock contends that “to” funds are also preferable from a common sense perspective.  READ MORE

By John Adams7/21/2014 • 0 Comments

MassMutual Retirement Services has appointed eight new relationship managers, making for a total of 98 managers who serve more than 36,000 retirement plans. The appointments are part of a plan to increase the number of relationship managers to 110 in 2015 to keep up with record sales. READ MORE

By John Adams7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

The Pension Resource Institute has reached a partnership agreement with FRA PlanTools that allows subscribers to PRI to easily order and access FRA PLANbenchmark reports. The PLANbenchmark tool allows retirement plan professionals to input information about a specific plan or client. The data is then analyzed and turned into a customized report that shows plan sponsor clients how their plans stack up against the wider market. READ MORE

By John Adams7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Due to the success of Pensionmark Retirement Group’s Advisor Support Program, as well as the aging population of advisors in the marketplace and advisors’ increased interest in transition strategies, Pensionmark has formalized their Practice Acquisition Group. This group aids retirement-focused advisors looking to sell some or all of their practice, today or at a predefined target date and price in the future. The group also has defined strategies for business succession planning and partial buyouts, where advisors may want to transition only one portion of their practice. READ MORE

By John Adams7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

American pre-retirees between the ages of 55 and 64, with median income and retirement savings, could replace as much as two-thirds of their on-the-job earnings in retirement, despite increased costs for generating retirement income, according to BlackRock’s new retirement readiness analysis.  READ MORE

By John Adams7/10/2014 • 0 Comments

The companies of OneAmerica have launched OneCheck, a set of tools and reports monitoring retirement plan health for participants and sponsors. It contains many tools aiding in retirement preparation, including the OneCheck Plan Report, which provides a plan-level analysis of an employee group’s average income replacement ratio using assumptions provided by the plan sponsor. READ MORE

By John Adams7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Transamerica Retirement Solutions has released a report in partnership with the American Hospital Association examining trends affecting DC and DB benefit plans in the not-for-profit health care market. The report reveals that health care plan sponsors are making adjustments to help employees adequately prepare for and be engaged in retirement. READ MORE

By John Adams7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Four of Eaton Vance’s mutual funds now offer Class R6 shares: the Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID-Cap Fund, the Eaton Vance Income Fund of Boston, the Eaton Vance Large-Cap Value Fund, and the Parametric Emerging Markets Fund. The funds’ Class R6 shares are offered at net asset value to employer-sponsored retirement plans and certain other investors and are not subject to any distribution, service, sub-accounting, record keeping or similar fees. 
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By John Adams7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Guardian Retirement Solutions has appointed six new wholesalers to its 401(k) national sales team in order to meet growing market demand as they extend their reach across RIA, broker-dealer and the benefit broker segments.  All six will join the firm as regional VPs of Retirement Plan Sales for their respective regions. READ MORE

By John Adams7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Envestnet Inc. has agreed to acquire Placemark Holdings Inc. for $66 million in cash. Placemark Chairman and CEO Lee Chertavian will join Envestnet as Group President of Envestnet|Placemark, and others of the most senior members of Placemark’s management team will have significant roles at Envestnet. READ MORE

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

Fred Barstein

By Fred Barstein7/31/2014 • 0 Comments

As expected, NFP announced July 29 that 401(k)Advisors and RPAG have been integrated into NFP, with Vince Giovinazzo and Nick Della Vedova leading the retirement program there. Separately, it was reported that Fred Greenstein, who had previously recruited advisors for Financial Telesis (FTI) in addition to working with RPAG, has joined NFP. 
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By Fred Barstein7/30/2014 • 0 Comments

The hybrid model for advisors is growing quickly, especially in the DC market. But will that trend catch on with broker dealers? According to a report in RIABiz, results at Wells Fargo’s independent FiNet indicate that the answer may be yes — although Wells is the only wire house to allow advisors to use its impressive brand as an independent rep.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Getting your clients, especially smaller plan sponsors, to pay attention to the litigation risks of DC plans can be hard, even in the wake of recent wins by plaintiffs. A recent article in CFO.com may help you get the attention of clients and prospects. The article features a list of seven best practices for plan sponsors.

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By Fred Barstein7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

While traditional financial advisors might scoff at the viability of pure robo-advisors, even with an estimated $15.7 billion AUM, it’s hard to ignore the efforts of indexing giant Vanguard and retail brokerage house Charles Schwab. Though Schwab was vague about the details of their efforts, CEO Walt Bettinger said that their offering would be “ground breaking.” Speculation is that Schwab’s service will focus on ETFs, leveraging its Windhaven unit.

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By Fred Barstein7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

It has been reported that three 401(k)Advisors staffers joined Bill Chetney’s newly formed Global Retirement Partners OSJ, which is affiliated with LPL, late last week. Earlier this month, Chetney and LPL acquired Financial Telesis (FTI), which had been closely aligned with 401(k)Advisors and RPAG until NFP bought the two entities after having made an investment years ago. The latest transaction caused a rift with FTI, leading in part to the sale to LPL and Chetney. The groups are now fighting over the more than 400 advisors registered with FTI.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on supplying advisors and broker dealers with value-added services and tools for free by providers. But what’s their impact? A new study by Chatham, led by Josh Dietch in collaboration with Bruce Harrington and Greg Melton, set out to answer that question through surveys with advisors, DCIOs, record keepers and broker dealers. The study ranked the top providers and created a loyalty index. Though having value-add does create awareness and can differentiate a provider, generally it is most effective in opening doors and breaking a tie. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Claiming that he’s more hurt than angry with Financial Telesis founder Jim Williams for selling his firm to LPL, RPAG CEO Vince Giovinazzo said that his firm was scrambling to help RPAG members that are part of FTI during the transition.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC adopted new rules affecting the $2.6 trillion money market industry July 23, imposing a floating NAV like other mutual funds rather than a fixed $1 value. The purpose of the rules is to alert investors about the risk of investments that were thought to be guaranteed.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/23/2014 • 0 Comments

In another indication of how mainstream and important 401(k) plans have become, Bloomberg has jumped into the market, ranking the plans of the 250 largest companies. Using 2012 DOL data, reporters used various criteria to review what’s offered to new employees — including match, investments, vesting and auto-enrollment. Biotech and energy companies ranked at the top, while retail companies were at the bottom. Big surprise. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

In what has been a groundbreaking case study for state and municipal pension plans, Detroit retirees agreed to a 4.5% cut in benefits and no cost of living increases. If the former municipal workers had not done so, they could have faced larger cuts and the city might have lost hundreds of millions of dollars of funding from foundations and the state. Firefighters and police were spared cuts, although they will get lower cost of living increases.
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By Fred Barstein7/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Rolling a 401(k) account into an IRA is not only a popular choice for most participants, for some it’s the only option they have. As illustrated by a July 18 CNN article highlighting the issues and potential dangers associated with rollovers, the general media is definitely paying attention.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

In a case that has implications for a new Illinois law limiting state workers’ pension rights, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled July 3 that health care for retired state workers is a constitutionally protected right, reversing a lower court’s ruling.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Passive strategies continue to dominate not only the investing world but also the TDF market, driving prices down and leading to better performance, according to a recent Morningstar report. The average asset-weighted TDF fee dropped to 84 BPs at the end of 2013, down nearly 20 percent since 2008 and 8 percent since 2012. Taking an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy, Fidelity now has the lowest-cost TDF at 16 BPs, edging out Vanguard at 17 BPs. 
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By Fred Barstein7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

In another stunning move heralding more industry consolidation, LPL and Bill Chetney have agreed to acquire “certain” assets of Financial Telesis (FTI). As a result, Chetney will resign as president of LPL’s Retirement Partners. He will be replaced by Dave Reich, who will become EVP of the LPL division.

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By Fred Barstein7/3/2014 • 0 Comments

When it comes to the DOL’s fiduciary rule, most of the focus within the DC industry has been on the effect the rule would have on advisors. But make no mistake: Record keepers are keenly aware of what it could mean to them as well. At the IRI’s recent Government & Legal Regulatory conference, insurance record keepers warned that if they were deemed to be fiduciaries under the expanded definition proposed by the DOL — a definition that arguably would prohibit the use of proprietary investments or acceptance of revenue sharing — the industry would experience severe contraction. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

As expected, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a tax increase intended to increase payments to the state’s pension plan, which is expected to be underfunded by $51 billion in 2018. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Will the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning the so-called Moench presumption of prudence for company stock spawn a new wave of lawsuits by the plaintiff’s bar? It looks that way, with a recent investigation of RadioShack begun by a New York-based law firm specializing in securities fraud, ERISA and employment class actions. RadioShack stock has lost 90 percent of its value since 2010. READ MORE

Todd Berghuis

Todd Berghuis

Todd Berghuis

By Todd Berghuis7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent article appearing in the retirement industry press made a bold, but not necessarily accurate, statement about the consolidation of qualified plan recordkeepers and the services they provide. First, the assertion that “rising technology costs, lower fees and increased intellectual capital needed to remain competitive” will lead to consolidation, and will reduce the total number of retirement plan recordkeeping service providers. That much may very well prove to be true. The bold statement came next, claiming that this consolidation “will result in higher fees and worse service.” READ MORE

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

Jerry Bramlett

By Jerry Bramlett7/30/2014 • 0 Comments

In a recent article in The New York Times, “In Investing, 'When' Matters Just as Much as 'What,'” the author illustrates a hard truth about investing: When investors start saving has a dramatic impact on the amount of money they will have at retirement. 
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By Jerry Bramlett7/23/2014 • 0 Comments

In 2009, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Bill Gross coined the term, “new normal.” Gross is once again defining the future markets in a simple thematic phrase. His new phrase, “new neutral,” represents a view that the Fed will keep rates close to zero (on a real basis) for at least the next three to five years, if not longer.
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By Jerry Bramlett7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent article in The New York Times, “Fund Investors Basking Under Many Clouds,”  considers what seems to be complacency on the part of  “investors who have displayed a growing appetite for risk and a striking lack of concern about any reversal of fortune.” 

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By Jerry Bramlett7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The Wall Street Journal published an article July 6 entitled, “Percentages vs. Dollars — a Battle for Investors' Attention.” Basically, the article contends that, “percentages don't seem like real money to many people. In particular, some experts worry that investors don't fully grasp the magnitude of risks and expenses when they see them in percentage form.” READ MORE

By Jerry Bramlett7/2/2014 • 0 Comments

In a recent Motley Fool post, the author states: “a new start-up company is looking to bypass the management fees that ETFs charge, instead giving you direct access to baskets of stocks for a single inexpensive commission — and letting you tailor the portfolio to your own particular needs.” 

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Mike  Bushnell

Mike Bushnell

Mike Bushnell

By Mike Bushnell7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Envestnet Retirement Solutions, a leading provider of unified retirement technology and services to retirement advisors, has completed its acquisition of Klein Decisions Inc. Klein is a firm that provides participant advice and guidance solutions to retirement plans. The acquisition marks Envestnet’s first managed account offerings within retirement plans, and serves to strengthen their product and service offerings for retirement advisors. READ MORE

John Carl

John Carl

By John Carl7/28/2014 • 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 about a 401(k) plan participant’s annual Section 402(g) limit on salary deferrals.

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By John Carl7/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Maryland, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry related to employee eligibility for deferring into a 401(k) plan. READ MORE

By John Carl7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in Texas, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry related to Form 5500 reporting. READ MORE

By John Carl7/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to a question from an advisor in California, the ERISA consultants at the Columbia Management Retirement Learning Center Resource Desk addressed a common inquiry related to 403(b) plans and Form 5500 reporting. READ MORE

By John Carl7/1/2014 • 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 related to mandatory plan document amendments. READ MORE

Ray Harmon

Ray Harmon

Ray Harmon

By Ray Harmon7/31/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Senate passed legislation July 29 to fund the nation’s Highway Trust Fund — legislation that does not include a pension smoothing provision. The vote tally on the $8.1 billion bill was 79-18.  READ MORE

By Ray Harmon7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

In an opinion piece in July 22's edition of The New York Times, Gene B. Sperling, former Director of the Economic Council under the Office of White House Policy for President Obama, put on a white lab coat and diagnosed the tax incentive system for private retirement savings with a serious illness by cherry picking data points to paint his desired picture.  READ MORE

John Iekel

John Iekel

John Iekel

By John Iekel7/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Should your compensation be fee-based or commission-based? Cerulli Associates’ most recent report on how advisors get paid, which it issued in 2013, says that 57% of advisors are fee-based. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, for example, reports that 37% of its AUM were in fee-based accounts as of March 31, 2014; LPL Financial is one of many firms that have encouraged advisors to charge their clients fees for more than 10 years.   READ MORE

By John Iekel7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Behavioral finance expert and Swiss professor Thorsten Hens is refining behavioral finance tools to make it possible for advisors and financial institutions to use them in an even more precise manner. Thinkadvisor reports that Hens is developing a model that would allow advisors and investors an interactive way to view risk, and is teaming with neuroscientists to discern whether biology plays a part in willingness to accept — or aversion to — risk. READ MORE

By John Iekel7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s easy for inertia to take over when financial decisions have to be made, especially when it comes to investment choices in a 401(k) plan. In “Using Re-enrollment to Improve Participant Investing and Provide Fiduciary Protections,” a white paper prepared for JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fred Reish and Bruce Ashton discuss one solution — re-enrollment, or requiring participants to re-invest in the plan by making new decisions about how the funds in their retirement accounts are invested. READ MORE

By John Iekel7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Expenses charged to 401(k) plan participants declined in 2013, says a new study from the Investment Company Institute (ICI). In “The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees and Expenses, 2013,” the ICI reports that last year, participants spent less when they invested in equity, hybrid and bond funds.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Is Washington obsessed with rollovers? Brian Graff, Executive Director/CEO of NAPA and ASPPA, thinks so. “There’s no one who doesn’t care about this issue. There is an obsession with the rollover issue in DC,” said Graff in NAPA's July 22 members-only webinar, “Washington Update: Rollovers, Rollovers, Rollovers — It’s All About Rollovers.” He and NAPA’s Director of Government Affairs Ron Triche discussed the ways in which rollovers are front and center on the federal radar screen. 
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By John Iekel7/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Investing in microcap companies can be easy and attractive — their stocks are low-priced. But as a recent SEC posting notes, the risks in investing in microcaps include volatility and liquidity.
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By John Iekel7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Seventeen states have, or are, considering measures that would allow private-sector employers to automatically enroll employees in IRAs. None of these measures has yet resulted in a law that does, although three states — California, Connecticut and Oregon — have enacted measures that create boards to study the matter, and an executive order in Maryland does so. But 14 of these states, if they enact an auto IRA law, will face an inconvenient little problem — they already have laws on the books that prevent such arrangements.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Target date funds are growing and likely to comprise a larger percentage of 401(k) assets, says Paladin Registry, an independent educational resource for investors.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 9, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed into law a measure that makes it illegal to transfer or assign public pension benefits. The Show-Me state is the first to enact such legislation.   READ MORE

By John Iekel7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Millennials’ embrace of savings is robust, says a report the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies issued July 15. The report says that employees born between 1979 and 1996 have a strong interest in saving and preparing for retirement.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Beware: July 31 is right around the corner. That’s the day by which most plans must file the dreaded and onerous Form 5500. The clock is ticking on filing the form that reports on 2013.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

More than one-third of RIAs have doubled their assets under management since 2009, according to a new Charles Schwab study. In “The Power of the Independent Advice Business Model,” Schwab says that in 2013, RIAs showed record growth and had the highest profitability in any year they have measured. (The annual study began in 2006.) For the 2014 benchmarking study, Schwab looked at 1,132 firms with AUM of almost $750 billion.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS announced on July 11 that it is withdrawing a proposal it made in 1981 for an amendment to regulations governing IRA rollovers. The proposed amendment to Treas. Reg. § 1.408-4(b)(4)(ii) would have applied the rollover limitation on an IRA-by-IRA basis. 
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By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent settlement agreement announced by the DOL provides plan trustees and advisors with some serious food for thought. As the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP reports, the $5.25 million settlement ended a suit in which the DOL said the trustee of Sierra Aluminum Company’s ESOP did not do all that it should have to verify the accuracy and credibility of the financial statements and assumptions on which it based its support of the ESOP’s purchase of 3.4 million shares of company stock.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Defined benefit plans, as well as defined contribution plans, are both yielding ground to the expanding cash balance plan segment. Both Kravitz, a firm that designs, administers and managing corporate retirement plans, and Russell Investments have released information showing that such hybrid plans — which have attributes of DB and DC plans — are growing in numbers and assets. 

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By John Iekel7/10/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has announced that its ERISA Advisory Council will be examining issues and considerations related to facilitating lifetime retirement plan participation. The council will examine some of the factors that lead participants to leave their assets in, or move them out of, a plan.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/2/2014 • 0 Comments

We work to ensure a secure retirement for Americans and preserve and advance the American Dream every day. But sometimes it’s good to step back a little and recall the living national heritage that is the backdrop behind our efforts and the amazing society of which those we serve are a vital part. READ MORE

By John Iekel7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

The Treasury Department issued a rule July 1 that essentially allows employees to convert part of their IRA or 401(k) balances into a longevity annuity. Under the rule, an IRA or 401(k) can allow participants to use $125,000 or up to 25 percent of their IRA or 401(k) — whichever is less — to buy a longevity annuity. The dollar limit will be adjusted for inflation in $10,000 increments. 
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John Ortman

John Ortman

By John Ortman7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Is there good reason to fear robo-advisors? While Vanguard is getting traction with their $13 billion Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, and Schwab is preparing to step up to the plate, so far most robo-advisor startups haven’t exactly made the case that they possess the knowledge or experience to make the grade when it comes to entrusting one’s nest egg to an accomplished professional.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of the top five most-read posts on NAPA Net last week included Bloomberg’s first 401(k) ranking list, John Carl’s take on excluding employees from a plan, a new rule from the SEC on money market funds, the emergence of IRA rollovers as a high-profile issue, and Chatham Partners’ new study on value-adds. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Transamerica Retirement Solutions has appointed Bill Feldmaier as division vice president for the company's central region retirement plan sales. Feldmaier will lead Transamerica's team of central regional vice presidents for all retirement plan sales activities in the small-plan market. He will report to Jason Crane, executive vice president and managing director of retirement plan sales.

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By John Ortman7/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement-sector veteran Nevin Adams will join ASPPA next month to head its rapidly expanding media and marketing businesses, including NAPA Net and NAPA Net the Magazine. Adams has been a Portal Conductor for NAPA Net since its launch in October 2012 and a columnist for the magazine since its launch in September 2013. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of the five most-read posts on NAPA Net last week included The IRS’ decision to withdraw a proposed amendment to the IRA rollover regulations, responsibility for filing the Form 5500, today’s NAPA webcast on rollovers, wrongdoing by public pension managers and commentary on Nobel Laureate Robert C. Merton’s prescription for fixing the 401(k) system.

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By John Ortman7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

The final votes are in on the voting tool we’re using to help choose workshop sessions at the 2015 NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 22, NAPA’s Executive Director/CEO Brian Graff and Director of Government Affairs Ronald J. Triche will discuss the latest actions being taken by regulators at SEC, FINRA and the DOL and how they will affect your business. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best advice — it just needs to be communicated clearly and internalized fully by participants, not just go in one ear and out the other. In a two-part series on Forbes.com, Buckingham Asset Management’s Tim Maurer provides a perfect example of this. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Detroit may well be the poster child for municipal pension irresponsibility (though if there were an award for that, it would be extremely competitive). But give credit where it’s due: the Motor City has also been a model for how to dig out of the public pension hole.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Joseph Dunbar has joined SageView Advisory Group’s not-for-profit team as an investment adviser based in the firm’s Boston office. He will focus on building out financial wellness strategies for current firm clients. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/17/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s almost over! Today is the last day to raise your voice and tell us what topics should be on the agenda of the 2015 NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT. In all, nearly 11,000 votes have been cast so far. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Many plan sponsors continue to maintain 80% or more of their equity allocation in domestic stocks, despite the fact that U.S. companies now account for only about half of the total global market capitalization and a far lower percentage of revenue. In a new white paper from Portfolio Evaluations, investment analyst Christina Popova argues that a greater global focus is required to truly diversify a portfolio’s exposure and broaden its potential sources of investment returns. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/17/2014 • 0 Comments

Efforts by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to charge advisors a special user fee to fund an increase in SEC examinations were rejected twice this week, first by the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the SEC’s budget, and subsequently by the full House of Representatives.

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By John Ortman7/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Are graft and fraud the next big thing for state pension plans? An industry segment already beset by massive underfunding, bankruptcy court proceedings and other litigation, politics and pension envy doesn’t need any more bad news. But that may be exactly what it gets.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Last week’s top five most-read posts on NAPA Net included coverage of LPL’s acquisition of Financial Telesis, Todd Berghuis’ take on recordkeeper consolidation, guidance from the SEC on mutual funds disclosures, FSI’s poll indicating opposition to the DOL’s fiduciary rule and Jerry Bramlett’s commentary on fee structure.
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By John Ortman7/12/2014 • 0 Comments

A growing number of participants are rolling over their 401(k) plan benefits to other 401(k) plans or to IRAs. That's a good thing because it keeps money intended for retirement in the private retirement system. However, with the increased use of rollovers comes increased scrutiny and regulation by the SEC, FINRA and the DOL.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Nobel Laureate Robert C. Merton created quite a stir last month. In an article published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, Merton accused 401(k) sponsors and administrators of managing their plans with the wrong goal in mind. Instead of focusing on asset value as a target, he wrote, 401(k) plans should be reengineered so that participants focus on a target income in retirement.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

The confluence of two forces is just beginning to the reshape how Americans view their retirement years. First, people are living longer, healthier lives. “This means many people have at least 15-20 years after they retire,” Nancy Collamer, the founder of MyLifestyleCareer.com and author of the book Second-Act Careers, tells Christpoher Carosa in a FiduciaryNews article. “What are they going to do to fill that time and how will they make their money last?” she asks. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Since the SEC reopened the comment period on its target date fund proposal in April, the commission has received 29 comment letters generally favoring appropriately tailored enhanced disclosure requirements for TDF marketing materials, SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said July 10. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

As savvy plan fiduciaries and advisors know, the best way to survive a plan audit is to avoid it in the first place. Once an audit is triggered, however, only the most carefully governed plans can expect a clean bill of health, Bruce Ashton, an attorney with Drinker Biddle & Reath, notes in a recent PLANSPONSOR article. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/10/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the best ways to comply with the regulations on providing advice to participants and avoid conflicts of interest? That’s currently the number one topic on NAPA’s unique voting tool, an innovative method for choosing workshop topics for next year’s NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT. In all, nearly 9,000 votes have been cast so far. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/10/2014 • 0 Comments

Opposition to the Department of Labor’s pending fiduciary definition rule among advisors continues to hold strong at 90 percent, according to a Financial Services Institute poll released July 9. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC has released guidance on summary disclosures for mutual funds, recommending the use of “plain English” and advising that the disclosures should not exceed four pages. The guidance lists five “rule and form requirements that, while not exhaustive of the disclosure requirements, are intended to focus funds on providing investors clear and concise disclosure,” including addressing non-principal strategies and risks in the prospectus and avoiding cross-references. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Stephen Rosenberg of The McCormack Firm, LLC in Boston offers a concise summary of the meaning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer case. Rosenberg’s blog post features a roundup (with links) of the best online analyses of the meaning and impact of the decision, which rejected the widely applied “Moench presumption” in stock-drop cases.

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By John Ortman7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The list of the five most-read posts on NAPA Net last week indicated interest in our list of the top 50 plan advisors under age 40, changes allowing longevity annuities in 401(k) plans, the likelihood of class action in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third decision, and Judy Diamond data on a high number of failed nondiscrimination tests.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

If the DOL is successful in its efforts to impose a broader definition of a plan fiduciary, the business model of the non-fiduciary advisor being compensated by a plan provider is at risk of becoming obsolete.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

MassMutual Retirement has appointed Vince Rainforth as national practice leader for not-for-profit (NFP) retirement plans as the insurer looks to expand its footprint in the increasingly competitive $1 trillion marketplace.
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By John Ortman7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the best practices in helping clients comply with ERISA’s fiduciary standard? That’s currently the number one topic on NAPA’s unique voting tool, an innovative method for choosing workshop topics for next year’s NAPA 401(k) SUMMIT. In all, nearly 6,500 votes have been cast so far. As of today, July 2, here are the top 10 topics in order of popularity.

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By John Ortman7/1/2014 • 0 Comments

A growing number of participants are rolling over their 401(k) plan benefits to other 401(k) plans or to IRAs. That’s a good thing because it keeps money intended for retirement in the private retirement system. However, with the increased use of rollovers comes increased scrutiny and regulation by the SEC, FINRA and the DOL. READ MORE

Andrew Remo

Andrew Remo

By Andrew Remo7/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Congress is expected to wrap up its business for the summer in the next two weeks as members continue to work through an extremely limited set of issues in which the two parties can find common ground in this election year.  READ MORE

Tom Rowley

Tom Rowley

By Tom Rowley7/17/2014 • 0 Comments

IRA statements serve as a dashboard for your retirement vehicles because they provide critical information about how well your investments are functioning to move you toward your financial goals. And while it’s virtually impossible to ignore a red warning light on your dashboard, it’s easier to overlook or delay reading your account statements. But don’t do it — ignoring your statements could prove much more costly than engine damage. READ MORE

NAPA Net Staff

NAPA Net Staff

Ronald Triche

Ronald Triche

By Ronald Triche7/30/2014 • 0 Comments

Recently, members of NAPA's leadership met with representatives of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to gain insights for a new study the GAO is conducting on the use of qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) in 401(k) plans.  READ MORE

By Ronald Triche7/30/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 29, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published findings from a recent study undertaken at the request of retiring U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.). READ MORE

By Ronald Triche7/2/2014 • 0 Comments

On July 2, 2014, the NAPA Government Affairs Committee submitted a comment letter to the DOL in response to its request for comments regarding a proposed rulemaking on target date fund disclosures. The comment letter recommends that the DOL require that five disclosures be made to retirement plan participants regarding TDFs. READ MORE

Don Trone

Don Trone

By Don Trone7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

ERISA requires fiduciaries to demonstrate their procedural prudence. Besides being a legislated and regulated requirement, it also makes good business sense. We can reduce the risk associated with a particular investment decision-making process by incorporating prudent practices — the more practices, the lower the risk. We refer to this in our training as “The Law of Decreasing Risk.”  READ MORE

Jon Vogler

Jon Vogler

By Jon Vogler7/25/2014 • 0 Comments

A policy change affecting inherited, or “stretch,” IRAs —  which currently allow distributions to be extended over the life of the beneficiary, potentially many years for young recipients — may be implemented in the near future as a revenue raiser to help pay for unrelated legislation. READ MORE

Alisa Wolking

Alisa Wolking

By Alisa Wolking7/28/2014 • 0 Comments

NAPA PAC hosted an event July 24 with Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues of importance to plan advisors, including tax reform and the upcoming Department of Labor regulations on the definition of fiduciary. NAPA joined with like-minded trade associations to host the event. READ MORE