November 2007

2007 PLANSPONSOR DC Survey: Picking Up the Pace

Two years ago, we wrote about the "next level" in defined contribution designs—a growing interest on the part of plan sponsors in focusing on service elements like participation rates, deferral amounts, and appropriate asset allocation—a precursor, if you will, for the designs that would eventually come to a fuller fruition in the Pension Protection Act.

Pace Cares

Seems like everyone I run into these days is busy—and has been busy for some time now. The conversation goes something like "How's it going?" "Great—just busy, real busy…but that beats the alternative, doesn't it?" Indeed, it seems that we have gotten so accustomed to a frenetic pace that we're afraid of the alternative.

It’s About Time

It may have lacked the hoopla of a midnight Harry Potter release but, in retirement industry circles, October's publication of the Department of Labor's final regulations on qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) was nearly as eagerly anticipated.

November 2007

PLANSPONSOR.com news articles that also appeared in the Upfront section of the November issue.

November 2007

We all have them: those front-line experiences that are -inevitable when one deals with the variety—and sensitivity—of issues associated with human beings and critical life events. Sometimes those stories are tragic, sometimes they are bizarre, and sometimes—admit it—they are just plain funny.

What’s Your Employee Identifier?

Managing to keep personal information has always been a key concern in our business—and we've recently seen instances where there have been inadvertent disclosures that have caused embarrassment, if not an identity-theft risk. We recently asked NewsDash readers what they used as the employee identifier on their retirement plan.

November 2007

Each month, Bells & Whistles -highlights recent product -introductions that plan -sponsors may find of interest. More -information on these -announcements can be found on www.plansponsor.com.

Another Look at ETFs: November 2007

As a regular feature in PLANSPONSOR (and in PLANADVISER as Hot off the Presses), Bells & Whistles ­highlights recent product introductions­ that our readers may find of interest.

Another Look at ETFs: November 2007

As a regular feature in PLANSPONSOR (and in PLANADVISER as Hot off the Presses), Bells & Whistles ­highlights recent product introductions­ that our readers may find of interest.

Getting Prepared for the PPA – Defined Benefit

In some respects, the basic principles of the Pension Protection Act were outlined, debated, and, in many cases, refined well ahead of its August 2006 passage into law. There remains little question, however, that its breadth and complexity left many items unfinished.

PPA Opens the Way – Defined Contribution

Currently, less than 50% of Quiksilver Inc.'s eligible employees participate in the company's 401(k). That, however, should change on January 1, 2008, when employees will begin to be automatically enrolled in the plan.

Fogged In?

The credit crunch squeezes real estate investments.

New Latitude

The Labor Department issues guidelines for fiduciaries picking a defined contribution plan annuity provider.

Viva VEBA

When General Motors Corp. announced a landmark agreement that will let the company shift $47 billion in retiree-medical liabilities, it undoubtedly inspired other employers to take a second look at VEBAs (voluntary employee beneficiary associations).

“Dire” Circumstance

Jane Edgar v. Avaya, Inc.; Garry McGuire, Sr.; Donald K. Peterson; Joseph P. Landy; Richard F. Wallman; Bruce Lasko; and John Does 1-30

Breathing Room

As October wound to a close, the Department of Labor finally published the much-anticipated final regulations on qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) under participant-directed indi­vidual account plans.

Free To Choose

Often, when I hear a presentation by some behavioral economist about the virtues of exploiting employee passivity to increase participation and improve asset-allocation decisions in 401(k) plans—a.k.a. automatic enrollment, investment defaults, and target-maturity funds—someone stands up at question time and asks: Isn't there something wrong with this?

Alternative “Investment”

For years, plan sponsors have relied on ERISA section 404(c), which enables a plan sponsor to avoid liability for the investment of plan assets where participants direct the investment of individual accounts.

Nouveau Niche

For connoisseurs of the exotic, a new breed of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) should appeal.

Another Look at ETFs. Under New Management

It has become well established that 401(k) participants do not have the time, skill, or inclination to manage their 401(k) accounts. "Participants are supposed to be good investment managers and, in truth, they are not," says Don Taylor, President of Trendz Advisors, Inc., in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Another Look at ETFs: Inside the Guide

Several months ago, I had a modest amount of money that I wanted to invest for the short term. I wasn't exactly sure just how long—longer than overnight, certainly, and probably longer than 30 days, but I wasn't exactly sure when I would have a better use for that money.

Nouveau Niche

For connoisseurs of the exotic, a new breed of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) should appeal.

Another Look at ETFs. Under New Management

It has become well established that 401(k) participants do not have the time, skill, or inclination to manage their 401(k) accounts. "Participants are supposed to be good investment managers and, in truth, they are not," says Don Taylor, President of Trendz Advisors, Inc., in Knoxville, Tennessee.