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Chipping away at entitlement reform

March 5, 2018

The 2034 deadline when the Social Security trust funds are scheduled to run dry gets closer every day. At that point, there would be enough revenue from earmarked payroll taxes to pay about 75% of promised benefits — assuming Congress does...

Social Security: Advisers must stay current on regulations

March 3, 2018

Imagine finding​ out that your widowed mother's monthly Social Security benefit check was less than she was entitled to. You'd likely be furious and more than a little ashamed for not having watched out for her best interests more closely....

Pension risk transfers swelled nearly 70% in 2017

March 2, 2018

Employers offloaded pension liabilities at nearly record levels in 2017, a reflection of the fact that pension plans have become more costly to keep on the books, longevity has increased and 401(k) plans have grown more popular. Rising interest...

Warren, Daines bill would help establish a database for orphaned 401(k) accounts

March 2, 2018

Two senators are trying to help workers locate retirement savings they may have forgotten when they switched jobs. On Thursday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced the Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act,...

Massachusetts finds MetLife 'missing' pensioners, Galvin says

March 1, 2018

The Massachusetts securities regulator has found hundreds of retirees in the state who are owed pension payments by MetLife and whom the insurer said it had been unable to locate. MetLife provided the names to Secretary of the Commonwealth William...

Defined-contribution plans showing returns closer to those of pensions

March 1, 2018

In the past decade, defined contribution plans have seen returns creep closer to those of their defined benefit brethren, as more DC plans have seen improved asset mixes and better plan designs, with more automatic enrollment and better default...

Startup offers annuities online on a subscription plan

March 1, 2018

Matt Carey studied Arabic at the University of Pennsylvania, preparing for what he hoped would be a career at the Central Intelligence Agency. Eleven years later, he's pitching annuity contracts. He's actually happy about that. A summer job...

Georgetown sued for allegedly violating fiduciary duties in its 403(b) plans

March 1, 2018

Participants in two Georgetown University defined contribution plans sued the university, alleging that its management of the plans violated its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The participants, who are seeking...

How low can 401(k) advisory fees go?

February 28, 2018

The race to the bottom is accelerating, and the bottom is nowhere in sight. Even before the regulatory spotlight shone brightly on defined-contribution plan fees as the result of Department of Labor rules promulgated in 2012, many plan sponsors,...

Even the strongest retirement plans can be derailed by health care costs

February 26, 2018

Rising health care costs have long been the bane of working Americans, but most people don't give enough thought to how escalating health care costs in retirement can derail even the most solid financial plan. "While the exact cost varies for...

Popular 403(b) resource launching directory of fiduciary advisers

February 26, 2018

A popular resource for participants in 403(b) plans, which are retirement plans for educational institutions, nonprofits and churches, is trying to stop what it sees as abusive sales conduct toward retirement savers by launching a directory...

NYU lawsuit becomes first 403(b) fee case to go to trial

February 23, 2018

A lawsuit charging New York University with charging excessive fees in its retirement plan is heading to trial, after a federal judge on Thursday denied the university's motion for summary judgment in the case. However, the judge on Friday entirely...

Hub International acquires RIA with $850 million in retirement plan assets

February 21, 2018

Hub International, a firm new to the ranks of 401(k)-focused RIA aggregators, has acquired a Texas-based advisory firm overseeing roughly $850 million in retirement-plan assets. IPS Advisors, based in Dallas, is also an independent life and...

Future retirees more vulnerable to income shocks

February 21, 2018

The two major shocks that hit the elderly today are a spike in medical expenses and a sharp drop in income upon becoming a widow. While some of today's retirees are financially fragile, most appear able to absorb shocks without incurring hardship,...

DOL fiduciary rule continues to take toll on annuity sales

February 21, 2018

The Department of Labor fiduciary rule and the interest-rate environment delivered a one-two punch to annuity sales last year, pushing them down for the third consecutive year. Compared with the previous year, overall annuity sales dipped 8%...

Active TDF managers push to compete on fees

February 20, 2018

Asset managers with actively managed target-date funds are pushing to lower fees in an environment of heightened cost sensitivity. Litigation accusing employers of having high retirement-plan fees and the difficult-to-benchmark nature of TDF...

What's the right number of funds in a 401(k) plan?

February 16, 2018

Just what is the optimal number of funds to have in a defined-contribution plan? It's a tricky question, and depends on a number of factors such as the profile and mindset of the plan sponsor and its employees. However, there's a sweet spot...

Social Security underpaid 82% of dually entitled widows and widowers

February 16, 2018

I read a lot of audit reports from the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General, but I don't think I have ever read one as damning as the one issued on Valentine's Day. The purpose of the internal audit was to determine whether...

T. Rowe Price expands partnership with Financial Engines

February 15, 2018

Financial Engines announced Thursday an expanded relationship with T. Rowe Price to bring all of Financial Engines' managed-account services to participants of retirement plans that T. Rowe Price administers. With the change, defined-contribution...

New tax law provides opportunity for tax-rate arbitrage on Roth IRAs

February 15, 2018

The new, lower 2018 tax rates have made Roth IRA planning more valuable for your clients. These lower rates provide a limited opportunity to help some clients profit from tax-rate arbitrage by capitalizing on the spread between 2017 and 2018...

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