Celebrating 20 Years of PLANSPONSOR

Twenty years ago, in the pages of the inaugural issue of PLANSPONSOR, a cautionary note appeared: Although “defined contribution plans are sweeping the nation,” the story said, it was “not yet clear whether anyone can save 401(k) investors from themselves.”

Survey Says

What Developments Most Influenced the Retirement Plan Industry?

Bells & Whistles

Each month, Bells & Whistles highlights recent product introductions that plan sponsors­ may find of interest. 

2013 PLANSPONSOR Lifetime Achievement Award

At the 2013 PLANSPONSOR/PLANADVISER Awards for Excellence, the annual PLANSPONSOR Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Joe Mansueto, chairman and CEO of Morningstar Inc. 

The Vision Award

Charles Ruffel is the founder and director of Asset International, Inc., parent company of PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISER.


Some quotes, survey statistics and musings to use in employee communications, or just as a break in the grind.

Plotting a Course

DC plan investments offer plan participants a path to retirement savings

Making Retirement Income Products Work

“Ten thousand Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day,” says Catherine Collinson, president of the Los Angeles-based Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. “It is a problem begging to be solved.”

Plans Have Turned Back to Asset-Allocation Funds

Over the past 20 years, we have come almost full circle in retirement plans’ use of asset-allocation funds, says Laurie Nordquist, an executive vice president and director at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, a unit of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank.

Manning your Way

Navigating the many steps in DC retirement plan administration

Packaging the DC Plan

The 401(k) defined contribution (DC) plan has its origins as part of the 1978 Tax Reform Act, where it languished in obscurity until 1980, when benefits consultant Ted Benna took note of the provisions and determined how they opened the door to creating a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement. 

The Changing Role of Adviser

If you could step into a time machine and go back to 1993, says Trisha Brambley, president of Retirement Playbook Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania, you would see a very different kind of adviser supporting retirement plans—“and we’d all have bigger hair.”

Then and Now

As some advisers have become increasingly focused on supporting plan sponsors—and, hence, their scope of advisory work has narrowed—the responsibilities they engage in for retirement plans have increased, becoming more nuanced and detailed. 

Harvesting Ideas

Finding the best options in a field of DC plan designs 

DB Plan Risk Transfer: Plan Sponsors Play a Waiting Game

Risk transfer is on the minds of many defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors, but, with the current economic environment, it is more often planned for than actually done, says Jack Abraham, principal and leader of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Human Resource Services retirement practice in Chicago.

Securities Lending Is Back

In the aftermath of the financial shake-up five years ago, many defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors ended or paused their securities lending activities. 

Technology and the DB Custodian

Technology is not just something that provides a competitive edge for defined benefit (DB) custodians—it has become the essence of their survival.