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Cross-selling poised to be next 401(k) 'battleground' issue

May 13, 2019

Cross-selling products and services to 401(k) plan participants — on the part of both record keepers and financial advisers — is shaping up to be among the most contentious issues in the retirement-plan market. The issue comes down to the...

Whistle-blower Ted Siedle sees pensions as hotbed for fraud

May 10, 2019

Ted Siedle has a bleak outlook about U.S. retirement security. That's the case particularly with public pensions, which Mr. Siedle suggests are essentially hotbeds for fraud and theft. Mr. Siedle is a bit of an authority on the subject — he...

Average Fidelity 401(k) balance increases sixfold over past decade to almost $300,000

May 9, 2019

Investors who've had 401(k) accounts at Fidelity for a decade saw their average balance increase sixfold to almost $300,000 since the market bottomed after the global financial crisis, the company said. Workers saving for retirement saw their...

Actively managed TDFs are getting edged out

May 9, 2019

Passively managed target-date funds are sucking the life force from their actively managed counterparts. The money flowing into passive TDFs — those that invest primarily in funds that track a broad market index like the S&P 500 — has increased...

Eaton Vance settles 401(k) lawsuit for $3.45 million

May 8, 2019

Eaton Vance will pay $3.45 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging it mismanaged its company 401(k) plan and profited at the expense of its employees by offering them in-house mutual funds. The settlement furthers a trend playing out...

What happens during the 60 days stays in the 60 days

May 8, 2019

A lottery ticket retirement strategy failed to produce results. In a desperate attempt to pay his debts and stave off bankruptcy, Richard Jones withdrew $50,000 from his IRA and spent $30,000 on lottery tickets. He lost the $30,000 and, within...

What 401(k) advisers can learn from a viral social media post

May 8, 2019

Not too long ago I took my wife out to dinner, something I don't do enough. We went to a local place here in Austin. The overall experience was wonderful. When we got the bill, I noticed something a little unusual at the bottom: A separate fee...

Future retirees often overestimate Social Security benefits

May 8, 2019

Chalk it up to wishful thinking, or merely misinformation, but many future retirees overestimate how much they are likely to receive from Social Security, according to an annual survey released Wednesday by the Nationwide Retirement Institute....

401(k) adviser fees are upside down

May 7, 2019

Most 401(k) and 403(b) plan fees, especially for plan advisers and record keepers, are upside down. Their fees are based on plan assets, while their costs are based on activity and the number of participants. As defined-contribution plan sponsors...

Trump could cost future retirees billions

May 6, 2019

Last year, the Trump administration abandoned a regulation designed to protect U.S. savers from conflicted investment advice. Known as the fiduciary rule, it would have required more brokers and insurance agents to disclose when they're getting...

Hints about Social Security COLA and Medicare premiums in 2020

May 6, 2019

Buried in the recent Social Security and Medicare Trustees' Report were some hints about next year's projected cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits and likely increases in Medicare premiums for 2020. The fact that the Medicare...

How should advisers treat rollovers from 401(k)s to IRAs?

May 3, 2019

Recommendations that 401(k) participants take distributions from their plans and roll them over to individual retirement accounts are coming under increasing scrutiny. That scrutiny is focused on both the quality of the recommendation, including...

Alexander Acosta is the Night King from 'Game of Thrones'

May 2, 2019

For those of us who love the HBO series "Game of Thrones" — and I'm guessing that's pretty much everyone reading — one question has nagged for the majority of the show's run: Just who is this Night King guy? We know a few things. The signature...

Widows, widowers and Social Security

May 1, 2019

I've seen an uptick in questions from financial advisers about their widowed clients and what happens to their Social Security survivor benefits if they remarry. The good news is that surviving spouses have more claiming options than other types...

Finra panel awards $454,813 to lawyer who says Morgan Stanley mismanaged retirement fund

April 30, 2019

A Finra arbitration panel awarded $454,813 to a lawyer in a case against Morgan Stanley over how the brokerage managed his retirement fund. The Carpenter Law Firm defined-benefit plan alleged that Morgan Stanley failed to devise an appropriate...

Congress should let innovation fuel lifetime income projections

April 30, 2019

It's great to see Congress and regulatory agencies taking an interest in promoting and encouraging greater access to lifetime income projections in 401(k)s and other retirement plans. That such projections should be mandated as a one-size-fits-all...

Why 401(k) advisers should stress-test client portfolios

April 29, 2019

Managing risk and return is a central responsibility of every investment fiduciary. Asset allocation and securities selection are the blunt instruments used to shape the contours of a portfolio's risk and return profile. The process of building...

Criticism of Richard Thaler proposal must not prevent discussion

April 27, 2019

The idea recently put forward by Nobel laureate Richard Thaler to allow Americans to contribute a portion of their 401(k) balances to the Social Security Administration in return for a higher income stream has been criticized from some in the...

When to do a retirement-plan rollover, and when to avoid it

April 26, 2019

During the Department of Labor fiduciary debate, one of the biggest issues was the benefits and drawbacks of rolling 401(k) and other employer-sponsored retirement plans into individual retirement accounts. The government made the argument that...

American Funds, Empower forge partnership on 401(k) managed accounts

April 26, 2019

Empower Retirement, one of the largest retirement-plan record keepers, and Capital Group, which sponsors the American Funds investment brand, have forged a partnership on 401(k) managed accounts that experts say offers a blueprint for how asset...

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