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‘If Advisors Aren’t Busy, Something’s Wrong with Them’: Corby Dall


Corby DallOne knock against (some) advisors is that they make retirement prep and planning unnecessarily complicated for their clients in order to be needed. True or not, SECURE 2.0 is complicated legislation with A LOT to it, and they are needed.  

“There are immediate things than can and should be done,” NAPA President Corby Dall said. “My biased opinion is that there is no better time than right now for a plan sponsor to hire an advisor, and there is no better time to be an advisor.”

Noting all the cool new features, options, and opportunities the legislation delivered, an uncharacteristically blunt Dall argued that if advisors aren’t currently busy, there’s something wrong with them.

He added that the first thing is to make plan sponsors understand what they’re up against. They have specific responsibilities and liabilities and need peace of mind.

“I don’t know how you do that without an advisor,” he said. “[NAPA’s] focus, in my view, is disseminating the information, breaking down SECURE 2.0, and helping every advisor understand the peculiarities of that act to ensure that everybody’s taking advantage of it. It’s a drawn-out process or will be for at least the next few months.”

Client Help

While it might dominate advisors’ attention, his clients are also aware of what happened, and he even drafted a few to help.

“We drip on them a lot and have been singing the praises of some [provisions]. We’ve tried to gin up support for the act for the last year or so. Anytime we had clients who had the ear of senators or representatives, we solicited their help. To that extent, they know that it’s big and that it’s happening.”

The student loan matching provision is particularly popular among sponsors, who have “harped” on Dall since Abbott received its 2018 private letter ruling.

“They heard little bits and pieces of it and would say, ‘When can we do that? When is that going to happen?’ So, the provision is now here, and people understand it’s here for us to take advantage of.”

Fun and Sun

Which means a significant amount of dedicated SECURE 2.0 content at the NAPA 401(k) Summit April 2 – 4 in San Diego.

“That’ll be fun,” Dall emphasized. “We’ll have plenty of time before the Summit for Brian Graff, Will Hansen, and the team to study up on it and deliver great info. I think it will snowball by then, and I’m really excited about that.”
It’s also when his time as NAPA president will end, and he’ll transition to immediate past president. We asked about his biggest surprise—something he did not expect from the role.
“I didn’t expect that I could do it because substantive [legislative] information is not my bailiwick, but I’ve found that there’s so much support from Brian Graff, his team, and the leadership council. So many people with good intentions are helping me through it. More than anything, it’s been a fabulous way to go deeper with my relationships and create a big family feeling. That’s the thing I’m good at.
He strongly recommended others get involved, claiming it’s an obligation.
“This is a great way to make a living, and it’s a great way to create solutions for those who really need us. More importantly, I think we all owe something back to this industry, and that’s how it will grow. If everybody puts in a couple of hours here and there and contributes to the PAC, solutions become evident, and the problems take care of themselves.”