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Nevin Adams


Nevin is the Portal Conductor of the Industry Trends & Research station.

He is ASPPA’s Chief of Communications and serves as Editor in Chief of NAPA Net and NAPA Net the Magazine.

Previously he was the Employee Benefits Research Institute’s Director of Education and External Relations, Co-Director of EBRI’s Center for Research on Retirement Income and Director of the American Savings Education Council. 

Nevin spent a dozen years as Global Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR magazine and, as well as the PLANADVISER Europe and PLANSPONSOR Europe magazines. He was the creator, writer and publisher of’s NewsDash, and was instrumental in launching the publication’s popular and distinctive conference series.

He also worked at Northern Trust in Chicago in a variety of management roles, culminating in the development of a proprietary recordkeeping platform, and at Wachovia Bank, leading their defined contribution/recordkeeping businesses. 

He has been honored three times by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) with their Media Recognition Award (in 2002, 2004 and 2013), and was listed as one of the Most Influential People in Defined Contribution by the 401kWire for five consecutive years.

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.

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).  

By Nevin Adams7/11/2014 • 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. (Summer 2014)

By Nevin Adams7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

My first car wasn’t anything special, other than it was my first car. It was an older model Ford, ran reasonably well, with one small problem — it went through oil almost as quickly as it did gasoline.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

By Nevin Adams5/11/2014 • 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. (Spring 2014)

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.

By Nevin Adams4/22/2014 • 0 Comments

One of the more surprising findings from the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey was that fewer than half of respondents indicate they (or their spouses) have ever tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved so that they can live comfortably in retirement.

By Nevin Adams4/7/2014 • 1 Comments

Over the past several years, a growing amount of attention has been focused on the decumulation of defined contribution plan balances. Much of that focus has, of course, been driven by concerns that individuals won’t have enough resources accumulated to fund a comfortable retirement.

By Nevin Adams3/28/2014 • 0 Comments

“How do they expect to retire on that?” In the week or so since the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey hit the streets, I think I’ve heard that question more than any other, both from advisors and reporters alike. “That” in this case is the widely cited finding of the survey that 36% of respondents have less than $1,000 in savings.

By Nevin Adams3/18/2014 • 0 Comments

There’s a particular spot on the Gettysburg battlefield where we always try to take a family picture. The background doesn’t change, but it’s interesting to watch how much we’ve changed over the years.

By Nevin Adams2/25/2014 • 0 Comments

This week is America Saves Week, an annual event where hundreds of national and local organizations promote good savings behavior and individuals are encouraged to assess their own saving status.

By Nevin Adams2/11/2014 • 0 Comments

In recent days AOL announced – and then withdrew – its intention to alter the timing of its 401(k) matching contribution. They were not the first employer to consider doing so, though they attributed the initial decision to additional expenses attributable to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

By Nevin Adams2/3/2014 • 0 Comments

Retirement plan advisors and the plan sponsors they support have worked long and hard to engage participants with the management and oversight of their retirement plan balances, with mixed results.

By Nevin Adams1/17/2014 • 1 Comments

Plan sponsors are increasingly looking at benefit costs, both health care and retirement. After all, in many organizations — and in most participant households — those costs must all be paid from the same budget. In a growing number of firms, “wellness” is a concept that has been extended to encompass not only health but financial matters as well.

By Nevin Adams1/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Leaving a job brings with it nearly as much paperwork as joining a new employer does. Granted, you’re not asked to wade through a kit of enrollment materials, but you do have to make certain decisions, including what to do with your retirement plan distribution.

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