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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 Adams1/6/2014 • 0 Comments

This is the time of year when in many parts of the country, the weather — and weather forecasters — dominate the nightly news coverage, certainly when the predictions are dire. Having lived in several different parts of the country, I can assure you that the bigger the projected snowfall, the more hyped the coverage.

By Nevin Adams12/23/2013 • 2 Comments

People are often grouped into one of two camps: the optimists, who generally see the glass as half full; and those who are more pessimistic, who are said to view the glass as half empty.

By Nevin Adams12/16/2013 • 0 Comments

Ask any benefits manager why their organization offers benefits to their workers — or why they offer a 401(k) — and my experience suggests that the reliably consistent answer is “to attract and retain the best workers.”

By Nevin Adams12/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Being positioned to offer advice through the plan may turn out to be less of a challenge than getting participants to take it. (Winter 2013)

By Nevin Adams12/10/2013 • 0 Comments

Plan advisors know that IRAs are a vital component of U.S. retirement savings, representing more than 25% of all retirement assets in the nation. However, despite IRAs’ importance in the U.S. retirement system, there is a limited amount of knowledge about the behavior of individuals who own IRAs.

By Nevin Adams12/2/2013 • 0 Comments

In recent days, we have commemorated both the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy and the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Occasions such as these are natural opportunities for us to look back and reflect on the past — to consider what has happened since — and to consider what might have been.

By Nevin Adams11/26/2013 • 0 Comments

When EBRI was founded 35 years ago, I was about six months into a job doing pension accountings for a large Midwestern bank. At the time, I didn’t realize I’d still be working with those kinds of issues in 2013 — in fairness, like most recent college graduates, I wasn’t really thinking about anything that was 35 years in the future.

By Nevin Adams11/12/2013 • 0 Comments

Even retirement plan advisors know that at certain times of the year, all that plan sponsors want to think about is health care. For both plan sponsors and workers, health care is a growing planning concern for their retirement years.

By Nevin Adams11/11/2013 • 0 Comments

Employees who have done a retirement needs assessment are more confident about their prospects than those who have not, and those who sought the services of a paid financial advisor set more realistic savings goals than those who did not. (Fall 2013)

By Nevin Adams11/5/2013 • 0 Comments

“Replacement rates” — roughly defined as the percentage of one’s pre-retirement income available in retirement — arguably constitute a poor proxy for retirement readiness.

By Nevin Adams10/31/2013 • 0 Comments

At some point in just about every police drama, potential suspects are vetted against the following criteria: Did they have the motive to commit the crime, and did they have the opportunity?

By Nevin Adams10/29/2013 • 0 Comments

It’s easy, in the normal press of life, to put off thinking about retirement, much less thinking about saving for a period of life many can scarcely imagine. Here are six reasons that can help those you work with focus on saving for retirement now.

By Nevin Adams10/8/2013 • 0 Comments

In this era of reality TV, where the antics (and worse) of the formerly rich and infamous are on display in ways that could not even have been imagined a decade ago, I seem to find myself increasingly shaking my head and muttering, “What were they thinking?” The answer, as often as not, seems to be, “they weren’t”.

By Nevin Adams9/17/2013 • 0 Comments

There’s an old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” It’s a sentiment expressed by many a benefits manager (or retirement plan advisor) who has devoted significant time and effort to plan design, only to find the adoption rate by individual workers to be “disappointing.”

By Nevin Adams9/10/2013 • 0 Comments

Growing up, I remember late night TV programs being punctuated by commercials touting a series of interesting products — everything from a rod-and-reel contraption that would fit in your pocket to a special set of knives that would, apparently, slice through any substance in the known universe without ever having to be sharpened.

By Nevin Adams9/3/2013 • 0 Comments

IRAs hold more than 25% of all retirement assets in the United States, which makes them a vital component of the nation’s retirement savings. In fact, as an account type, IRAs currently hold the largest single share of U.S. retirement plan assets.

By Nevin Adams8/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Planning for retirement is often compared to preparing for a big trip: trying to figure out what you’ll need for the journey, estimating the fuel you’ll need — but ultimately not being precisely sure at the outset how long the trip will last.

By Nevin Adams8/20/2013 • 0 Comments

While higher-income individuals have higher account balances, those balances are in rough proportion to their incomes — that is, they are not “upside down,” EBRI Research Director Jack VanDerhei has found.

By Nevin Adams8/13/2013 • 3 Comments

“Consumerism” is sometimes touted as a rationale behind the new wave of retirement plan fee disclosures — the presumption being that, if individuals (and plan sponsors) knew, and better understood, what they were paying, they might make different, and “better” decisions. There’s a similar logic afoot with consumer-driven health plans.

By Nevin Adams8/5/2013 • 0 Comments

It has become something of a truism in our industry that defined benefit plans are “better” than defined contribution plans. Even the recent (arguably positive) changes in defined contribution design are often said to represent the “DB-ification” of DC plans.

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