A Banner Year for Annuities?

Following a year in which sales were flat, 2014 could be a big year for variable and indexed annuities in terms of sales and product development, according to an InvestmentNews report. “The tail winds are with variable annuities because of the shift in [capital gains] tax rates,” says one analyst.   Read More

The Biggest Stories of 2013

Efforts by states and municipalities to address the crisis in public pension plans was judged the biggest story of the year by our friends at Pensions&Investments, edging out “dysfunction in Washington” and Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy saga. Rounding out PI’s top 10 stories of the year:   Read More

Last Week’s Top 5 Posts on NAPA Net

Last week’s top 5 most-read posts on NAPA Net reflected keen interest in Ted Benna’s perspective on improving DC plans, the San Jose judge’s ruling that city workers’ pensions may not be cut, the mutual fund complex monopolizing 98% of U.S. equity inflows, making the case for formal training for plan fiduciaries, and a look at “disclosure overload.”   Read More

Mega-RIA Investing in Online Advice

With $18 billion in AUM and robust existing infrastructure including personnel, expertise and technology, Edelman Financial Services’ “Edelman Online” service has a leg up on the competition in the crowded online advice marketplace. Another key factor in their success: access to an advisor.   Read More

Judge Prohibits San Jose from Cutting Pensions of City Workers

Even though the voters of San Jose passed a referendum last June to allow the city to cut city workers’ pensions and health benefits, Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas ruled that the referendum violates California law, finding that California law does not allow San Jose to make workers to pay an additional 16% or switch to a less generous plan.   Read More

How Can Plan Fiduciaries Discharge Duties Without Formal Training?

While the DOL has not yet required plan fiduciaries to get formal training, it seems to be leaning strongly in that direction, according to the law firm of Bryan Cave. It certainly does make sense to question how people without the right training can govern and run a retirement plan under ERISA’s complex requirements — requirements that involve personal liability, including (and perhaps especially) for business owners.   Read More

Giving Back

Many of us view our role in the DC industry as a way of helping people while providing for ourselves and our families. In a profession that sometimes enjoys a less-than-stellar reputation, working with plan participants who may never speak to another advisor can be very rewarding — and a unique way for financial advisors to give back in the course of conducting their everyday work.   Read More

Disclosure Overload

As everyone in the retirement industry knows, retirement plan participants are inundated by a deluge of disclosures required by multiple reporting requirements set by a variety of government agencies. Posting recently about a Nov. 21, 2013, Government Accountability Office report on pension reporting and disclosure requirements, two attorneys at Bryan Cave summarized some of the things the GAO found.   Read More