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Defined Contribution Plans

Ever wonder what would happen in a world without defined contribution plans? Or a world in which everyone had one? A new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute examines what impact these scenarios would have on retirement income adequacy. In recent years, various policy proposals have... READ MORE
A recent headline screamed that 401(k) savings rates have “stagnated” – but that’s missing the point. “Stagnated” in this case apparently means that the average savings rate in 2018 — both employee and employer contributions — was 10.6%, roughly the same as the 10.4% rate reported in the survey in... READ MORE
The House Ways & Means Committee has voted to extend a vast array of individual and corporate tax provisions, including special disaster-related rules for use of retirement funds. Disaster Relief Assistance The Committee late June 20 approved the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act... READ MORE
Defined contribution plans are practically ubiquitous. But like most things that are common, the mere fact that they are does not necessarily mean that comprehension of investing the funds they contain is. A recently released research paper discusses the problem posed by poor financial literacy and... READ MORE
The headline in a recent New York Times piece cautions that “Confusing Options May Be Coming to Your 401(k). It Could Cost You.”   Those “confusing options”? Retirement income. And, ironically, they might undermine support for the most significant piece of pro-retirement legislation in a decade... READ MORE
Words matter. Don’t think so? The publisher of a King James Bible in the 17th century who left out the word “not” in the commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery” and who suffered the consequences would beg to differ. And words matter in retirement plan communications as well, as recent analyses... READ MORE
ASPPA is always providing information and insights that will be valuable to its members! Following is a summary of upcoming webcasts and events. Live Webcasts  ASPPA Webcast: Late Deferral/Loan Deposits and Form 5330Thursday, June 6, 2019 2:00–2:50 p.m. ET Speaker: Kristina Kananen, QPA QKA,... READ MORE
For those who thought the notion of a financial transaction tax might be a passing fad, guess again. Presidential aspirant Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) have just introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2019, along with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (also a... READ MORE
So, how – or did – the volatility in the markets affect participant activity in 2018? Not very much, according to a new report. In fact, defined contribution plan participants pretty much kept on doing what they were doing, according to “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, 2018” ... READ MORE
The fire and ice of dragons in winter – the stuff of mythology. But even the seemingly commonplace can incorporate a dash of mythology as well, as a speaker at the recent Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) annual conference outlined – concerning, of all things, DC plans. In “Defined... READ MORE
There has been a lot of litigation in recent months alleging excessive fees and an imprudent reliance on proprietary funds by asset managers' own 401(k) plans. But a new study finds some interesting differences in plan design and participation. The findings are captured in a recent white paper... READ MORE
Perhaps consensus is a part of who we are as a people. But voices offering new ideas that challenge accepted mindsets are also part of who we are. And that applies to the discussion concerning retirement savings and preparedness as much as it does for anything else. There was lively debate in the... READ MORE
Mothers give us a lot, not the least of which is life itself. But as I was reading through all the accolades on social media over the weekend, I couldn’t help but be reminded of all my mother gave me. As is the case in many families, “Mom” was our family’s CFO. See, like many in his generation, my... READ MORE
Accumulation of retirement savings seems pretty cut-and-dried, although it certainly can be complicated. And then there’s decumulation, which a recent blog entry argues is equally important yet is largely under the radar screen. In “A Closer Look: Decumulation Confusion” Cammack Retirement’s... READ MORE
So is there a retirement crisis or not? House Budget Committee members and experts who testified before the committee on May 15 did not agree. But at least they did concur on one thing: the need to take action to bolster the retirement readiness of those who are not well-prepared. Testifying... READ MORE
Despite a rocky end to 2018 and predictions of an impending recession, those who stayed the course with their 401(k) were rewarded with a generous first quarter rebound on the 10-year anniversary of the stock market low. Buoyed by positive stock market performance as well as record contribution... READ MORE
Picking up where they left off in the last Congress, the bipartisan duo of Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) reintroduced their comprehensive “Retirement Security and Savings Act” on May 13.  The 132-page bill includes more than 50 provisions designed to strengthen Americans’... READ MORE
A key member of Congress has reintroduced legislation that would permit 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE and governmental 457(b) retirement plans to make matching contributions to workers as if their student loan payments were salary reduction contributions. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the... READ MORE
With billions of dollars continuing to leave the retirement system early every year, a new report looks at factors that lead individuals to take early withdrawals, as well as policies that may help reduce the incidence.  In “Additional Data and Analysis Could Provide Insight into Early Withdrawals... READ MORE
After several years of record-breaking plan and participant outcomes, 2018’s market turbulence appears to have contributed to an increase in troubling participant behavior.  T. Rowe Price’s “Reference Point” reveals that 401(k) pretax deferral rates continued to rise in 2018, increasing to 8.6% on... READ MORE

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