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Defined Contribution Plans

When it comes to managing 401(k) investment allocation transactions, a new study suggests that the usability of key website features represents one of the most persistent problems across provider interfaces.   Two seemingly tangential features that came up continually during Corporate Insight’s... READ MORE
As the world’s largest retirement market, current trends in the U.S. will have a disproportionate impact on leading financial services firms over the next two decades, says a new report.  While noting that retirement “is and will continue to be” one of the largest growth opportunities for wealth... READ MORE
Beachgoers weren’t the only ones taking some time off in July, as 401(k) trading activity among 401(k) plan participants logged only one above-normal day, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index. This comes following a busy second quarter, which registered the heaviest quarter of net trading... READ MORE
Are you worried — or excited — about the prospects for “open” MEPs? Either way, we’ve got you covered at the TPA Growth Summit!  It’s the second year for this extraordinary gathering of owners, leaders and sales professionals, including some of the nation’s leading third party administrators.... READ MORE
Periodic checkups with a physician are a good thing; they can provide reassurance that all is well and sometimes identify problems so they can be addressed and health restored forlong-term vitality. Much the same can be said of checkups of employee benefit plans, observes a recent blog entry.  In... READ MORE
Aligning your HSA with your 401(k) can help drive employee engagement.  As Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) continue to soar in popularity, many plan sponsors continue to express challenges in communicating to employees about their HSAs. One trend among plan sponsors has been to align the HSA with... READ MORE
New research shows that small business plan participants are benefiting from enhanced plan design features, but some findings suggest that more can be done.  Vanguard’s sixth annual “How America Saves: Small business edition,” reveals that employees enrolled in plans with an automatic enrollment... READ MORE
The Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee in July 24 remarks argued that it is time to get the SECURE Act over the goal line.  “There are not many examples of the sort of bipartisanship [we saw] on the SECURE Act that you can look to,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) explained to delegates at... READ MORE
The cost of investing in equity and hybrid mutual funds through 401(k) plans fell again in 2018, continuing a trend that has persisted for nearly 20 years.  In 2000, 401(k) plan participants incurred an average expense ratio of 0.77% for investing in equity mutual funds, but by 2018, that figure ... READ MORE
A steady stream of trades in one direction made for the heaviest quarter of net trading since the third quarter of 2016, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index. The firm’s second-quarter observations show that net transfers for the quarter were 0.61% of balances, compared to 0.50% for the... READ MORE
There are many important topics to cover when educating plan participants about a 401(k) plan and saving for retirement. In the process, it’s not hard to miss some matters that should be covered. A recent blog entry argues that five important topics often are omitted. In “5 Top Education Topics... READ MORE
Most DC plan sponsors feel a high level of responsibility for participants’ financial wellness, but a new survey finds that many are not taking proactive measures to position them for success.   J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s fourth biennial survey of U.S. defined contribution plan sponsors finds... READ MORE
In what marked the S&P 500’s best first-half performance since 1997, the average 401(k) balance also turned in a solid performance. According to estimates from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the average 401(k) balance for those aged 25-34 with 1-4 years of tenure... READ MORE
New reports indicate that retirement assets and investment options are growing, and that Americans are feeling optimistic and yet also overwhelmed about finances. Retirement Assets Grow Since the end of last year, total U.S. retirement assets were up 7.4%, reaching $29.1 trillion at the end of... READ MORE
Our industry has long disparaged the apparent “overindulgence”1 of participants in the stock of their employer as a retirement investment. However, for plan fiduciaries – and those who advise them – there may be a more pressing concern. Anyone who has been paying attention to 401(k) plan... READ MORE
Traditional pension plans are still present, but shrinking — particularly in the private sector. What will fill that void? A recent column argues that the 401(k) can fill the void the decline of the DB plan creates, and then some. In “401(k)s Can Fill the Pension Gap,” American Enterprise... READ MORE
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

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