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Hot Topics

Today’s “hot topics” are tomorrow’s opportunities, and in a rapidly changing marketplace, the only way to stay ahead is to know not only what’s going on, but what’s ahead.


As the impact of the Coronavirus intensifies, retirement plan advisors and other industry stakeholders are seeking reliable information about business continuity regarding their firms and the potential effects on plan administration and client services. This resource page contains links to ARA communications to Congress, Treasury, the IRS and the DOL; NAPA’s news coverage; legislation on Capitol Hill; regulatory and other guidance from federal agencies; and recommended online commentary for plan advisors and plan sponsors.


The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is one of the most significant pieces of retirement legislation in more than a decade. The wide-ranging legislation draws from several bipartisan bills to improve upon the success of the private employer-based retirement system by seeking to make it easier for businesses to offer retirement plans and for individuals to save for retirement. This topical resource page includes links to the legislation, related legislative documents, our news coverage and various recommended resources.


At the start of 2021, the SECURE Act’s much-anticipated pooled employer plans (PEPs) became official, allowing pooled plan providers (PPPs) to begin offering PEPs, letting unrelated employers participate in the same retirement plan without having to meet the common-nexus requirement that had been the standard for multiple employer plans (MEPs). As firms gear up to offer PEPs and employers consider whether to join a PEP, we have added a new resource page that includes links to the legislation, related regulatory guidance, ARA comment letters, and commentary and analysis by industry thought leaders. 

Game Changers: The DOL and SEC Fiduciary Rules

By almost any account, the Labor Department’s attempt to create a new fiduciary standard for advisors dominated the focus of much of the industry during the past several years. That rule, vacated in mid-March 2018 by the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the 5th Circuit, continues to have an impact even today. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has (re)entered the fiduciary fray with its own version of a new fiduciary standard. This topic contains the latest news, commentary, and insights on these “game changers.”

Participant Outcomes

A big part of plan advisors’ jobs is to prepare workers for their decumulation years, yet many in the industry tend to focus on savings accumulation prior to retirement. In an effort to change this mindset, we asked industry thought leaders to weigh in on outcomes-oriented plan designs, building better investment menus, using plan metrics effectively, and much more.

State-Run Auto-IRA Plans

In recent years, a growing number of states – concerned both about retirement savings shortfalls, the nation’s retirement savings coverage gaps, and the potential for a looming social safety net burden – have stepped forward with solutions of their own.  Most have been built on an automatic Roth IRA foundation, fueled, though not funded by, an employer mandate. On this topic, you can find out which states have not only examined, but started these programs – and how they’re faring.