Industry Trends and Research

“Industry Trends and Research” covers significant research and trends impacting ASPPA members' practices.


 

 

Industry Trends and Research

Industry Trends and Research

By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Early withdrawals — loans taken against plan balances, hardship withdrawals and retirement account payouts when changing jobs — can provide participants quick infusions of cash that help meet pressing needs. But these forms of “leakage” can come at the expense of their future retirement security. A new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) provides empirical data on the full impact of leakage on 401(k) balances.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Proposed increases in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums are a fool’s errand at best, says a report prepared for the American Benefits Council (ABC). “Further PBGC Premium Increases Pose Greatest Threat to Pension System,” a report Quantria Strategies, LLC prepared for the ABC, warns that it would it be more than pointless to raise PBGC premiums — it would be counterproductive. 
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By John Iekel6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

At their current savings rate, many Americans will have tough choices to make as they age. Not only that, but a low savings rate has broader serious implications for the U.S. economy and its solvency. “Another Penny Saved: The Benefits of Higher U.S. Household Saving,” a paper by Oxford Economics, paints a sobering picture of the current savings rate and its consequences for retirement. But it also offers some suggestions regarding how to address and maybe even reverse it, and what could result from that. READ MORE

By John Iekel6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Critics of 401(k)s argue that they will not deliver on what they promised. But MSN Money reports that the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) has provided empirical evidence that their assessments may be very much off the mark. 
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By John Iekel6/18/2014 • 0 Comments

Investment committee members generally are satisfied with the diversity of the committees to which they belong, according to a study by Vanguard. Nearly 30 percent defined diversity of their investment committee in terms of members’ backgrounds, and nearly 40 percent said it concerned the experience and expertise of its members. 
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By John Iekel6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Have you voted yet in the market research ASPPA is conducting? The results are rolling in, but you can still participate in ASPPA’s effort to identify industry trends that regularly cause the most pain.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/11/2014 • 0 Comments

Which factors most influence plan sponsors when they choose a plan provider? At the top of the list: trustworthiness and customer service, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP). Next are technology, education, administrative service and pricing, according to a Planadvisor article.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Plan sponsors are committed to helping plan participants prepare for their retirement, says a study Brightwork conducted for the Principal Financial Group. The study looked at the responses of 283 plan sponsors, all of whom offer a 401(k), have more than 50 eligible employees and use the services of a paid professional to help them choose and monitor investment and service providers, design plans, conduct enrollment meetings and resolve problems with service providers.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/8/2014 • 0 Comments

The federal government and U.S. workers agree that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. Obamacare — will affect the timing of retirements. However, IFAwebnews reports that there’s a wide gap between what the government and many workers expect that effect to be, according to a survey conducted for MoneyRates.com.

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By John Iekel6/8/2014 • 0 Comments

ASPPA is conducting market research with TPAs and consultants in mind to help develop our educational offerings. Please take five minutes to participate in a fun, interactive online voting tool — tell us what industry trend regularly causes you the most pain and prevents you from becoming more successful.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/3/2014 • 0 Comments

When it comes to having sufficient funds during retirement, expectations are low and fears rife everywhere, according to a recent study. In “The Changing Face of Retirement: The Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2014,” the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies and Aegon polled 16,000 employees in 15 counties in North and South America, Europe and Asia and found that while a growing number of respondents expect their finances — and their countries’ economies — to improve in the short term, that optimism does not translate to confidence about the more distant future. 
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By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Employees who are terminated may be gone, but they’re not always forgotten — at least regarding the retirement plan. A growing number of plans allow terminated employees to live on as participants, notes Robert Leahy of Alliance Benefit Group.  READ MORE

By John Iekel6/2/2014 • 0 Comments

Fear of running out of money during retirement is common, but it’s mitigated by interest in saving — the importance of which is not lost on younger employees, according to a new BoA Merrill Lynch report. The Spring 2014 Merrill Edge Report is based on a semi-annual study that looks at the concerns of the “mass affluent” — those with household incomes between $50,000 and $250,000. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

More often than not, employees who obtain investment advice do not follow it. And that’s among those who bother to seek it in the first place. The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey suggests that advisors have some work to do in boosting plan participants’ interest and confidence in professional advice.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

This white paper by Lowell M. Smith of Inspira looks at the problems posed by uncashed pension checks, which include handling interest on the funds awaiting transfer, notification requirements and how appropriate corrective actions are, not to mention the added complication of there being no clear guidance from the IRS and the Department of Labor on the subject. This paper examines the regulatory issues surrounding uncashed checks as well as possible solutions for handling them. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Exercising the fiduciary duties of prudence and disclosure regarding target date funds (TDFs) can be challenging, and a white paper by Richard Glass of Investment Horizons, Inc. discusses the issues 401(k) fiduciaries face and provides suggestions for addressing them.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/21/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent study by Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt says that if a plan participant invests all or nearly all of their retirement assets in target date funds (TDFs), it can affect returns. Barrons also weighs in on the issue, quoting Bloomberg’s Ben Steverman.  
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By John Iekel5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Workers are more concerned about — and more interested in doing something about — their retirement income than they are about financing their health care, a new Towers Watson study reveals. In fact, not only are they more concerned about setting something aside for their retirement, a majority said they are even willing to trade other benefits for guaranteed retirement income later.  READ MORE

By John Iekel5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

Much has been made about providing fee disclosure statements to plan sponsors and participants. But a paper by Mercer and the Stanford Center on Longevity, “Retirement Income Statements May Help Avert a Looming Crisis,suggests that participants would be at least as interested — if not moreso — in electronic statements about projected retirement income from their accounts. READ MORE

By John Iekel5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

The funded status of private- and public-sector pension plans is a classic example of bad news/good news. To wit: Corporate pensions’ funded status fell in April, but only very slightly; and some states’ pensions are in bad shape, but funding of public-sector pension plans overall is improving.  READ MORE

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