Are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) finally poised to charge onto the 401(k) stage with full vigor and perhaps even challenge mutual funds for supremacy as a fund option?
Health savings accounts (HSAs) remain more the exception than the rule in corporate America—both in terms of employers adding them and workers choosing them.
The rise of "automatic" asset-allocation solutions like target-date funds has not eliminated the need for personalized advice among 401(k) participants.
Master trust/custody has always been a technology-driven business but, as demand for services by clients increased, the investment capital needed to create new technology increased exorbitantly, and custodians had to make a decision as to whether they wanted to remain in this sector or sell existing businesses to companies willing to make this aspect of the financial services sector a specialized field.
Section 409A continued to dominate the nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) universe in 2007 and is the most signifÂicant development in the field in the last 15 years, say experts.
It is rare to get full accord on any trend line question concerning performance measurement but, asked to cite the most significant developments in this field over the past 15 years, one thing stands out: performance presentation standards.
Private equity has been one of U.S. institutions' best performing assets of the last 10 years.
Plan sponsors are just starting to talk about adding new retirement-income options to their investment lineups, says adviser Larry Deatherage, but talking is about all they are doing for now.
"The adviser marketplace seems to be moving very quickly away from risk-based default funds to target-date funds," says adviser Allan Chappelle, President of Chappelle Consulting Group, Inc., in Birmingham, Alabama.
After years of talking about the need, the defined contribution (DC) industry finally has shifted its focus from the accumuÂlation phase of retirement income to the distribution phase.
Plans are adding the Roth 401(k) as a feature very aggressively, says adviser Vince Morris, Vice President of Retirement Plan Services at Kansas City-based Bukaty Companies, but not many employees have gone for it.
Particularly in a period of market volatility, plan sponsors are looking for low-risk alpha, and securities lending fits the bill to a "T."
For years, self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs) were almost the exclusive domain, within defined contribution plans, of highly sophisticated investors or those with large account balances who just were not satisfied with the options available on their retirement plan menus.
Despite intense lobbying, capital preservation funds were not approved as qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) for automatic enrollment plans.
Despite the regulatory and accounting changes that have taken place in the last few years, equity compensation is still a great way to reward employees, explains Bill Dillhoefer, Vice President at Net Worth Strategies, Inc.
Many people now think of target-date funds as the industry standard for a default investment, says Jennifer Flodin, COO at Chicago-based Plan Sponsor Advisors, LLC.
The big news in 2007 regarding total retirement outsourcing (TRO) was that there really was not any new news—but TRO continues to escalate in popularity with plan sponsors of all sizes, and demand for TRO services continues to increase.
In 2001, Peter Pronovost set out to save hundreds of lives with a few pieces of paper.
The largest single investment for many pension plans is large-cap U.S. equities.
With the issue of final 403(b) regulations and impending implementation dates, it is a time of very significant change for 403(b) plan programs.
Alternative Investments: Generally speaking, any investment class other than stocks, bonds, or cash.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the pension world concentrated its efforts on the asset side of plans, taking advantage of the strong stock markets.
Collective investment trusts, sometimes referred to as collective, or commingled, funds, are hardly a new idea.
With the automated-plan concept taking hold, 401(k) participant education is emphasizing investment-related topics less, says adviser Douglas Prince, Indianapolis-based Managing Director of The Prince Group at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was nearly 20 years old when PLANSPONSOR debuted as a quarterly publication in 1993.
While it's been a relatively mild winter here, it's been cold enough—and our house old enough—that opening the various utility bills has been akin to a monthly exercise in economic roulette.
Ann Combs is one of those rare talents who has successfully made the transition from public sector to private—and back.
The state of General Motor's pension fund is and was always going to be scrutinized carefully.
When Bill Sharpe co-founded Financial Engines in 1996, he already had established a well-deserved reputation not only in academic circles, but also with some of the nation's largest pension fund managers as a true visionary.
David Swensen has been the chief investment officer at Yale University since 1985.
It would be an understatement of mythic proportions to say that Eliot Spitzer is a polarizing figure in our industry.
In 1987, with some like-minded fixed-income Young Turks, mostly from First Boston, Larry Fink pitched his idea about a new type of asset management firm to a highly respected strategic consultant, Charles Ellis of Greenwich Associates.
These last 15 years have changed the face of asset management: Firms that were boutiques in 1990 are now huge multi-class asset management firms, hedge funds have mushroomed, and strategies that were once cutting-edge are now commonplace.
If the retirement plan industry ever decided to produce "Mythbusters," its host surely would have to be Dallas Salisbury.
Connecticut, for all its white picket fences and cozy Yankeeism, has a storied history of political corruption.
Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohenhe legal profession has its share of detractors—even Shakespeare suggested that we "first, kill all the lawyers"—but, in an arena fraught with concerns about the reach of fiduciary liability, Fred Reish has been a voice of calm and thoughtful reassurance.
Making laws, Otto von Bismarck famously observed, is like making sausages—you don't want to look too closely at the inner workings.
In financial services, this has been the generation of the mutual fund complexes: Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab have become iconic brands.
Over the long history of workplace retirement plans, legislation nearly always has meant more work, more limitations, and fewer reasons for employers to sponsor these programs in the first place.
For as long as there have been workplace savings plans, plan sponsors have worried about how best to get participants to take advantage of these programs, a concern that has grown alongside the nation's increased reliance on defined contribution designs.
On a beach in Baja, Mexico, in 2002, Bill Chetney, a free spirit whose unusual career path had included stints as a butcher, an adviser, the build-up and sale of a 401(k) business (ReliaStar Financial Corporation's DC operation to ING), and several months tramping solo around the Antipodes, outlined a vision to a journalist.