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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 Adams1/29/2013 • 0 Comments

Trying to figure out how much money an individual or couple needs to live on in retirement is, to put it mildly, a complicated business. As advisors well know, it depends on a range of factors, including the age at which the individual retires, where they live, how they live, marital status and health. It can also be impacted by the markets, both before and after retirement.

By Nevin Adams1/24/2013 • 0 Comments

You may remember little else about the 1989 film “Field of Dreams,” but odds are you’ve invoked a version of what is probably its most famous line: “If you build it, he will come.” Unfortunately, for most retirement plan participants, building retirement savings is more complicated than constructing a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.

By Nevin Adams1/17/2013 • 0 Comments

I was driving home recently when my dashboard lit up with a warning that in just 63 miles, I’d run out of gas. I appreciated the warning — my car has one of those gauges that seems to fall faster once you get under a quarter of a tank — so it was nice to get not just a warning, but a specific target. Armed with that knowledge, I proceeded to drive home — and later that night to drive to a destination that, while some distance away, was still well within the parameters established by the warning gauge.

By Nevin Adams1/8/2013 • 3 Comments

Sooner or later, at just about every retirement plan conference, you’ll hear someone — and generally more than just one someone — cite the statistic that “only about half of working Americans are covered by a workplace retirement plan.” In fact, as an advisor, I’d be surprised if you hadn’t passed along that piece of information to a client or prospect at least once.

By Nevin Adams12/26/2012 • 0 Comments

Years ago, when my kids were still kids, we discovered an ingenious website that purported to offer a real-time assessment of your “naughty or nice” status. As parents, we rarely invoked the name of Santa to encourage good behavior, but no tone of voice or physical threat ever had the impact of that website — if not on the kids’ behavior (they were kids, after all), then certainly on the level of their concern about the consequences.

By Nevin Adams12/3/2012 • 0 Comments

The total amount of assets held by private-sector retirement plans increased 14%, to $6.3 trillion, in 2010, according to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Defined benefit plan assets increased 12%, to $2.4 trillion, and defined contribution plan assets increased by 16%, to $3.8 trillion.

By Nevin Adams11/16/2012 • 0 Comments

A recent EBRI Issue Brief found that families with any type of individual account retirement plan not only have larger amounts of wealth, but that wealth is substantially larger across each and every income group and head-of-household age group. Consider this: The median household wealth for a family with annual income of less than $25,000 that had an individual account retirement plan was $118,000, while the median household wealth for a family in the same income category, but with no individual retirement account, was $5,800.

By Nevin Adams11/9/2012 • 0 Comments

Life is full of uncertainty. Events and circumstances, as often as not, happen with little if any warning. However, hurricanes you can see coming a long way off. In theory, at least, that provides time to prepare. But as I was reminded as we made last-minute preparations ahead of Hurricane Sandy recently, sometimes you don’t have time enough. I suppose a lot of retirement plan participants are going to look back at their working lives that way as they near retirement.

By Nevin Adams10/24/2012 • 0 Comments

Like so many of our assumptions about retirement, the withdrawal rule of thumb — the rule of thumb that many financial advisors rely on as a formula for how much money can be withdrawn from retirement savings every year (generally adjusted for inflation) without running out of money — has drawn additional scrutiny, especially in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. What’s not clear is whether adhering to that guideline produces an income stream in retirement that will be enough to live on.

By Nevin Adams10/19/2012 • 0 Comments

was asked recently about the so-called “4% rule.” That’s the rule of thumb that many financial advisors rely on as a formula for how much money can be withdrawn from retirement savings every year (generally adjusted for inflation) without running out of money. At the time, my comment was that the 4% guideline is just that — a guideline. What’s not as clear is whether adhering to that guideline produces an income stream in retirement that will be enough to live on.

By Nevin Adams10/17/2012 • 1 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the need to fix the “broken” 401(k) plan. As often as not, this sentiment arises as part of a discussion where folks, including retirement plan advisors, wistfully talk about the “good old days” when everybody had a defined benefit pension, and people didn’t have to worry about saving for retirement. The only problem is: Those “good old days” never really existed, nor were they as good as we remember.

By Nevin Adams10/11/2012 • 0 Comments

If you think it’s complicated trying to determine an individual’s retirement funding needs, imagine trying to do so for all American workers. When EBRI modeled the retirement savings gap of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers earlier this year, we found that in terms of the gap between retirement savings and anticipated post-retirement expenses, American households are better off today than they were nine years ago—even after the financial and real estate market crises in 2008 and 2009.

By Nevin Adams9/30/2012 • 0 Comments

NAPA Net Conductor Nevin Adams highlights his favorite websites that advisors can use for research and statistics, including EBRI, The Bureau of Labor Statistics, IRS, DOL/EBSA, The Ballpark E$timate and American Savings Education Council. While it’s difficult for an advisor to be a thought leader, citing relevant and useful statistics to clients, as well as leveraging thought leaders like Nevin, have a better chance of retaining clients and winning new business.

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