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Plan Optimization

BY Fred Barstein | 10/9/2013
The ICI tackles the reasons why people save and why companies set up retirement plans. Though intuitive, it’s always good to have data and analysis from an independent source, not only to make... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/8/2013
The Los Angeles Times weighs in on the raging debate over active versus passive investing. Comparing an “average” diversified large cap actively managed fund to an S... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 10/4/2013
The controversy over which advisors can be listed as fee-only on the CFP website continues, as InvestmentNews reports. In what was described as a reactive rather than a thoughtful approach, advisors... Read More
BY Ronald J. Triche | 10/4/2013
As discussed in my June 27, 2013 post, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. On Aug. 29, 2013, the IRS... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/27/2013
As the debate continues to rage over whether ETFs will become popular in 401(k) plans, Brightscope has released a list of the most popular funds. Vanguard’s Total Bond Market remained at the top of... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/24/2013
Should your clients have separate committees — one focused on fiduciary matters like investment and provider selection and monitoring, and the other focused on so-called settlor functions like plan... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/20/2013
As CalPERS contemplates a move toward more passive investments, the question arises of what the liabilities and consequences would be. Blogger Stephen Rosenberg of The McCormack Firm in Boston asks... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/17/2013
Call it “the Lehman Effect” or “the five-year witching hour,” but funds that suffered the most during the Great Recession are about to post stellar five-year returns — which they will no doubt be... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/13/2013
On Monday, Sept. 16, the CalPERS investment Committee will meet. The big topic: whether to move more aggressively to passive strategies. RIABiz’s Lisa Shidler describes how the retirement industry is... Read More
BY John Ortman | 9/6/2013
Of all the retirement “no-brainer” decisions facing participants, taking advantage of an employer match is probably the biggest — a guaranteed 100% or 50% return on investment. But what about... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 9/3/2013
Some advisors say that education in DC plans should be completely eliminated other than as a fiduciary hedge, arguing that instituting automatic features is more effective. But that sounds... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 8/29/2013
Industry blogger Michael Kitces raises doubts about the attractiveness of guaranteed living benefit annuity (GLBA) riders, which have the appeal of ensuring a certain withdrawal while providing an... Read More
BY NAPA Net Staff | 8/22/2013
Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” When considering how well something works, first look at the desired outcome. Jerry Ripperger of... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 8/21/2013
Net outflows for actively managed funds over the past five years have been $443 billion — while net inflows for passive funds were $245 billion. Nonetheless, some advisors and experts are predicting... Read More
BY John Ortman | 8/21/2013
MBM Advisors, a small advisory firm in Houston, has posted a 10-question FAQ on the requirements and operation of an auto-enroll safe harbor plan. The two-page list covers the basics (“What are the... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 8/19/2013
In a move that seems to signal that private equity firms are still interested in the retail market — especially retirement — Blackstone and Fidelity recently announced a daily valued mutual fund... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 8/15/2013
Passive investing is all the rage, taking market share from active funds. But will the new class of passive investments — called “factor” investing or “smart beta” — start to steal market share from... Read More
BY NAPA Net Staff | 8/15/2013
Recent research in the U.K. by Aon Hewitt has unveiled the top five lessons learned by organizations that have already undergone the initial implementation process for auto-enrollment. Sophia... Read More
BY John Ortman | 8/12/2013
An estimate of DC plan participants’ lifetime income based on their accrued benefits, if one is to be included on participants’ benefits statements, should be “concise and easy to administer,” ASPPA... Read More
BY John Ortman | 8/9/2013
Speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce/AARP conference July 26, Putnam CEO Robert Reynolds offered a three-step plan to improve retirement readiness:1. Go “full-auto.” Make the best practices set... Read More
BY NAPA Net Staff | 8/7/2013
Not only do individuals who take out 401(k) loans deplete their retirement savings by the sheer act of withdrawing money from their plan, but a recent report from New York Life confirms that those... Read More
BY John Ortman | 8/6/2013
Risk-averse investors have long turned to deferred income annuities to provide an income stream in retirement. In fact, while the overall annuity market has lagged since the 2008 market crash, DIAs... Read More
BY John Ortman | 7/31/2013
In the aggregate, how bad is the problem created by participants who leave their retirement accounts behind when they move to a new employer? Try this:• The average annual U.S. employee attrition... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 7/30/2013
As part of its “brandscape” reports, Cogent Research asked advisors to rate mutual funds based on which ones are best positioned to increase their market share with the advisor. The best-positioned... Read More
BY Fred Barstein | 7/29/2013
According to academic research from 1997-2011, investors will reward funds that outperform their benchmarks when the market is up but not when it’s down. When the market experienced negative returns... Read More