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 Iekel6/8/2014 • 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

By John Iekel5/6/2014 • 0 Comments

The Great Recession wrought a lot of havoc — and 401(k)s did not escape the maelstrom. Many consider the recovery of the U.S. economy to be very gradual; a recent report by Gallup indicates that the same may be said for that of confidence of those not yet retired in 401(k)s as a primary source of retirement income.  READ MORE

By John Iekel4/30/2014 • 0 Comments

The Moving Ahead for the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) pension-funding stabilization provisions, which have been in effect for two years, are most likely to be applied to the determination of funding requirements of larger plans, those with lower funding ratios and plans with a higher number of inactive participants, a new Society of Actuaries (SOA) study shows. The SOA based its research on the data that defined benefit plans reported on their 2012 Form 5500 filings, the most recent the federal government has made publicly available. READ MORE

By John Iekel4/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Target date funds play an increasingly important role in retirement plans, and monitoring a plan’s TDF options is fast becoming one of the most important fiduciary obligations plan sponsors face in managing their retirement plan investment lineup. According to a white paper by Cammack Retirement Group, TDFs hold more than half a trillion dollars, including DC plan assets, and there’s no end in sight. READ MORE

By John Iekel4/27/2014 • 0 Comments

More and more employers are making Roth accounts available within their DC plans — and more employees are taking them up on the offer, according to a new white paper from Aon Hewitt. The number of employers that offer Roths within their DC plans more than quadrupled over the last six years, hitting 50 percent by last year. 
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By John Iekel4/21/2014 • 0 Comments

Pension funding status slipped in March and liabilities grew, says a report by consulting and actuarial firm Milliman, Inc. Milliman reports that for 100 of the largest U.S. DB plans, pension liabilities grew to the tune of a collective $5 billion. Milliman blamed a drop in the monthly discount rate to 4.30 percent, down 0.08 from February’s 4.32 percent.  READ MORE

By John Iekel4/13/2014 • 0 Comments

The funding ratio of DB benefit plans sponsored by employers in the S&P 1500 offer fell slightly in March. Mercer found that the funding ratios of those companies’ DB plans slipped to 85 percent; it had been 87 percent in February.  READ MORE

By John Iekel4/6/2014 • 0 Comments

Target date funds reflect that flexibility and engagement have become firmly entrenched aspects of retirement plan management for both participants and plan sponsors. In a NAPA webinar, “Target Date Trends and Evaluation,” T. Rowe Price’s Jerome A. Clark discussed how TDFs reflect greater discretion over how funds are managed. READ MORE

By John Iekel4/5/2014 • 0 Comments

Research released by EBRI March 18 shows that a sizable portion of the population has saved very little. That’s sobering by itself, but a closer look reveals more regarding what that means for retirement plan participants and sponsors. READ MORE

By John Iekel4/3/2014 • 0 Comments

The words have barely faded from the teleprompter, but retirement experts have wasted no time in expressing caution regarding the “myRA” retirement accounts President Obama unveiled in his State of the Union Address. Chris Carosa of Fiduciary News provides a comprehensive list of 10 reasons to be cautious about myRAs. READ MORE

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