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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 Adams7/30/2013 • 0 Comments

As most retirement plan advisors are well aware, behavioral finance drives much of the discussion around retirement plan design innovations these days, for the very simple reason that it seems to help explain what might otherwise be viewed as irrational behaviors.

By Nevin Adams7/23/2013 • 4 Comments

As advisors know, over the last several years, the trend in employment-based retirement plans has been to put in place structures to make more decisions for workers through the expansion of automatic enrollment plan designs.

By Nevin Adams7/16/2013 • 0 Comments

Recently, we looked at how the trends in employment-based retirement plans and employment-based health plans seem to be heading in opposite directions; fewer choices for workers to make in the former, and more in the latter.

By Nevin Adams7/9/2013 • 0 Comments

In recent days, word that the Federal Reserve sees an end to its current policies has brought some short-term volatility to the stock market. An EBRI analysis includes warning signs about longer-term consequences that policy makers should consider.

By Nevin Adams6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

For all the richly deserved focus on retirement savings accumulations, a growing number of advisors are now focusing on how those already in (and fast approaching) retirement are actually investing and drawing down those savings.

By Nevin Adams6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

More and more Americans are finding themselves with multiple savings accounts, not only because of the relatively consistent pattern of job change in the American economy, but because those job changes frequently result in rollovers to individual retirement accounts.

By Nevin Adams6/10/2013 • 0 Comments

I’ve never been much good in the kitchen. I’ve neither the patience and discipline to follow most recipes, nor the innate sense for the right balance of ingredients that those with culinary talent seem to have.

By Nevin Adams6/4/2013 • 0 Comments

Going to see “Iron Man 3” recently with no real expectations turned out to be a good decision, certainly from the standpoint of my enjoyment of the newest version. Not having established a set of expectations can make for a pleasant surprise at the theater — but, as retirement plan advisors well know, it’s likely to result in a surprise of a completely different sort in retirement.

By Nevin Adams5/28/2013 • 2 Comments

Recently, the Wall Street Journal’s Anne Tergesen wrote a story titled, “Mixed Bag for Auto-enrollment.” Citing data presented at the recent EBRI Policy Forum, the article claimed that “employees who are automatically enrolled in their workplace savings plans save less than those who sign up on their own initiative.”

By Nevin Adams5/21/2013 • 4 Comments

In this year's Retirement Confidence Survey, we asked plan participants what percentage of total household income they thought they would need to save each year to live comfortably throughout their retirement. While the most common answer was “don’t know/refused,” the second-most common response was… 20% to 29%. That was an eye-opener to me, and I’m guessing to most who are reading this.

By Nevin Adams5/14/2013 • 0 Comments

Generalizations are often misleading, but I think it’s fair to say that some people (specifically those of the male gender) are notoriously reluctant to ask for directions — even when it’s painfully clear to everyone else traveling in their company that they are “lost.”

By Nevin Adams5/3/2013 • 0 Comments

The recent release of EBRI’s 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey got a lot of attention. A striking number of inquiries about the report focused on what could be done about retirement confidence.

By Nevin Adams4/30/2013 • 2 Comments

Last week, PBS’ “Frontline” program aired a segment on retirement entitled “The Retirement Gamble.” Let's take a close look at the program's perspective and representations.

By Nevin Adams4/23/2013 • 0 Comments

The recently released White House budget proposal for 2014 includes a plan to raise $9 billion over 10 years by imposing a retirement savings cap for tax-preferred accounts. While initial reports focused on the aggregate dollar limit of $3 million included in the text, it soon became clear that that figure was merely a frame of reference for the real limit – the annual annuity equivalent of that sum, $205,000 a year in 2013 for an individual age 62.

By Nevin Adams3/21/2013 • 1 Comments

Earlier this year EBRI was approached by Money magazine to use the EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model® to evaluate a number of potential retirement preparation scenarios, taking into account varying levels of household income, debt, marital status, retirement plan participation, health, etc. Selected results from that analysis, published in Money’s March issue, showed the impact that various factors could have on the chances of running short of money in retirement.

By Nevin Adams3/15/2013 • 0 Comments

For almost a quarter-century now, EBRI's Retirement Confidence Survey has meticulously tracked the evolving trends in Americans’ confidence about retirement. Next Tuesday, March 19, we’ll unveil the results of the 23rd annual RCS, the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind. You can count on it providing some fascinating insights on where workers and retirees are, where they’ve been, and where we all need to be—with a growing sense of where we want to be tomorrow.

By Nevin Adams3/12/2013 • 0 Comments

If you’re a parent, sooner or later your children will inform you that “that’s not the way things are now!” It’s a potent retort to whatever social more is at issue because, whether it involves a choice in dress, curfew, etc., our perspectives are often shaped — and sometimes distorted — by our recollection of the way things were for us at comparable points in our own past.

By Nevin Adams2/26/2013 • 1 Comments

In retirement plans, one of the more intransigent concerns for policy makers, providers, advisors and plan sponsors alike is what has been called the “annuity puzzle” — the reluctance of American workers to embrace annuities as a distribution option for their retirement savings.

By Nevin Adams2/12/2013 • 0 Comments

“401(k) breaches undermining retirement security for millions,” read the headline of a recent article in the Washington Post. No, we’re not talking about some kind of data-hacking scandal or new identity theft breach. Rather, those “breaches” are loans and withdrawals from 401(k) plans. Providing the impetus for the article was a report by HelloWallet indicating that, “more than one in four workers dip into retirement funds to pay their mortgages, credit card debt or other bills.”

By Nevin Adams2/5/2013 • 1 Comments

When it comes to projecting possible outcomes in situations where there might be hundreds or even thousands of different results, it’s not uncommon to pick a single point to focus on. The downside of this approach, of course, is that it overlooks what advisors all know — that there is a wide range of possible outcomes, some of which are more probable, and some less so. The alternative, stochastic modeling, doesn’t just pick a single likely result, but uses random variations to look at what a broad range of conditions might be like.

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