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401(k) Fridays Podcast

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 30, 2016

Happy New Years and I hope that 2017 gets off to a great start for you both perennially and professionally!  After a wild 2016, I am happy to say that this is the last episode of the year which is rebroadcast of a prior episode before we release the first of many exciting new episodes in 2017!  This episode with Dr. Joe Coughlin, the founder and director of the MIT AgeLab is one of my personal all time favorites.  Not only was he a great guest, but he shared a lot of interesting insights on generations, the evolving workforce and the future of retirement.  As I re-listened to this episode earlier today and compared my recent notes from with the ones from the first time I released it I was pretty surprised that I had some very different take aways from our conversation this time around!  So, if you have already heard my conversation with Dr. Joe, I would suggest you take another listen, you’ll probably pick up a few new tidbits of knowledge that could help you position or refine your benefits, retirement or workforce strategy for the future!  If you haven’t listened to it, you’re in for a treat!

 

On a side note, we publish a post about each weekly podcast episode on LinkedIn which includes an episode summary, links and timestamps of interesting points we discuss.  If we’re not connected on LInkedIn, next time you log on search Rick Unser and either follow me or send me a connection request.  To my knowledge, for better or worse, I am the one and only! 

 

Finally, our new episodes resume on January 6th 2017 with our 50th episode featuring Meghan Murphy, the director of thought leadership at Fidelity workplace investing where we discuss four 401(k) trends too big to be ignored in 2017.  

 

Guest Bio

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He teaches policy and systems innovation in MIT’s Sloan School of Management Advanced Management Program and the Department of Urban Studies & Planning. Author of over 150 academic publications, his research explores how demographic change, technology and social trends converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Coughlin publishes the online publication Disruptive Demographics and is a regular contributor to Wall Street Journal MarketWatch. Coughlin is one of Fast Company Magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and one of the Wall Street Journal’s “12 pioneers inventing the future of retirement and how we will all live, work, and play tomorrow.” The Financial Times profiled him as a ‘guru in global aging’ and Money Magazine dubbed him a ‘retirement game-changer’. He is a Behavioral Sciences Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Fellow of Switzerland’s World Demographics & Ageing Forum, advising and speaking to businesses, governments, and non-profits worldwide. Coughlin spoke at Falling Walls in Berlin on the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Stockholm. Dr. Coughlin speaks and consults to industry providing strategic insights and strategy to the financial services and insurance, real estate and healthcare industries in North America and Europe. 

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

Dec 23, 2016

Happy Holidays everyone!  As a little treat here are two of our more popular episodes bundled into one for your listening pleasure.  Both episodes feature Jason Roberts, ERISA Attorney and the Founder and CEO of the Pension Resource Institute which provides strategic consulting and training to retirement plan service providers and fiduciary education to plan sponsors.  In the first part of the podcast we discuss how current 401(k) and ERISA litigation is shedding new light on fiduciary responsibilities and best practices as well as why Jason feels that spending too much time reviewing plan investments might not provide the fiduciary protection you have been lead to believe it does! 

In part two we build on many of the concepts in part one, with a specific focus on conflicts, compensation and reasonableness.  Why those three terms, well according to Jason, they are at the heart of roughly 90% of the recent 401(k) litigation.  Also, Jason shares strategies to determine fee reasonableness in light of value, six open ended questions to evaluate service providers and explains the concept that low cost at all cost might not be the best fiduciary protection strategy! 

Also, this episode along with several others has been approved for HR Recertification Credits!  Go to 401kfridays.com/ce for more information.  Finally, our new episodes resume on January 6th 2017 with our 50th episode featuring Meghan Murphy, the director of thought leadership at Fidelity workplace investing.

Guest Bio

Jason Roberts is the Founder and CEO of the Pension Resource Institute (PRI) providing strategic consulting and training to retirement plan service providers and fiduciary education to plan sponsors. 

Prior to founding PRI, Jason was a partner and co-chair of the Financial Services Group at a leading, national ERISA law firm where his practice focused on employee benefits and securities regulation. Jason continues to provide counsel on ERISA and investment-related matters at Retirement Law Group, PC and is frequently retained as an expert on fiduciary responsibilities, Department of Labor (DOL) investigations and retirement plan product development, design and implementation.

Jason was named as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine. He is an active member of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) and American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). In 2014, Jason was appointed, for a two-year term, as an advisor for the Beach Cities Health District's finance committee.

Jason is a nationally-recognized speaker and has published numerous articles on fiduciary best practices, ERISA compliance and securities regulation. He is frequently quoted and interviewed by both professional and public publications.

Jason received his B.S.B.A. in Finance & Banking from the University of Missouri and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. He is a graduate of FINRA’s Compliance Boot Camp and has obtained the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

Dec 16, 2016

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is evaluating your retirement consulting or 401(k) broker relationship, this is a must listen episode.  My guest Trisha Brambley, is the CEO of Retirement Playbook.  Her firm’s sole focus is working with retirement plan sponsors and fiduciaries who are interested in benchmarking their advisor or in conducting a plan advisor search.  Over the past several years, Trisha and her firm have helped hundreds of employers of all shapes and sizes.  And as you’ll hear, she isn’t shy about sharing her experience and perspectives to help employers realize better outcomes from their plan advisor searches in the future.  She also shares several reasons why she thinks more employers will be conducting advisor searches or hiring advisors for the first time in 2017 and beyond.  

Before we get started, I am excited to tell you that the next new episode we will release in early January will be our fiftieth episode, thats 5-0!  Thank you to all of our listeners who have shared feedback, questions and challenges you’re facing in your retirement plan with us, it has truly helped shape the content, selection of guests and questions I ask!  Be sure to check out our robust library of prior episodes where you can explore on demand interviews with attorneys, investment managers, professors, industry leaders, fellow employers and others who share a wealth of information for employers, plan fiduciaries, investment committee members, etc.  The topics range from fiduciary best practices, investment commentary, legal and regulatory updates, plan design trends, employee engagement strategies and much more!  Simply go to www.401kfridays.com/podcasts to check it out!  Please keep sharing your input on topics, ideas to add value or questions I should be asking in 2017!  

Finally, in the spirit of sharing during the holiday please tell a friend, colleague or the members of your professional network about the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, I promise we have a lot of exciting things in store for 2017!

Guest Bio

Trisha is a recognized authority in the 401(k) industry. Trisha was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Labor to serve on the ERISA Advisory Council for a three-year term (2006). During her tenure, she prepared recommendations on target date fund analysis, stable value issues and participant financial education. Additionally, she served as Chair for the study of stable value funds (2009) and Vice Chair of the Council (2008). She has been included on 401kWire's annual “Most Influential” list multiple times. She is a “Member-at-Large” of the Retirement Advisor Council, a national organization that advocates for successful qualified plan and participant retirement outcomes through the collaborative efforts of experienced, qualified retirement plan advisors, investment managers and defined contribution plan service providers.

Prior to creating Retirement Playbook, Inc. (2011), Trisha founded Resources for Retirement, Inc. (1995). Among the country's first plan advisory firms, Resources for Retirement, Inc. was included annually, during its lifetime, in PLANSPONSOR’s “Top Advisory Firms and Best Consultants.”

Earlier, Trisha was a member of the team that developed the country’s first 401(k) plans. During her tenure, she was involved in all aspects of bringing the new plans to life, including the creation of the first 401(k) education programs and assembling plans matched to clients’ employee populations.

Trisha’s comments have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Bloomberg Businessweek. She speaks frequently on retirement plan issues at national forums, including the Plan Sponsor Council of America and the Center for Due Diligence.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

 

Dec 9, 2016

If you were curious or brave enough to check out this episode, I promise you it does not disappoint!  For background, the most common theme we heard from our guests on our recent three part podcast mini series on 401(k) investment menu design was that investment committees should consider investment strategies outside of traditional stock & bond offerings other wise know as alternative asset classes, or the third pillar.  To help everyone get their arms around things I could not have asked for a better guest than Rob Arnott, he manages nearly $30 Billion of third pillar assets for PIMCO and he is also the Founder & Chairman of Research Affiliates.  As I hope you have come to expect from our guests on the podcast, Rob does an excellent job of explaining concepts which quite frankly others can make boring or confusing, in a way that is fast paced and easy to follow.  He also gives some concrete ideas and examples you can bring to your next 401(k) investment committee meeting to start the discussion! 

As a reminder, this isn’t the first time we have explored various investment strategies for your 401(k) plan on the podcast, if you want to check out others, go to www.401kfridays.com/investments.  Without further ado, I hope you enjoy the many truisms of Rob Arnott!

Guest Bio

Rob Arnott is the founder and chairman of Research Affiliates. He is also portfolio manager on the PIMCO All Asset and All Asset All Authority family of funds and a suite of PIMCO products based on the RAFI™ Fundamental Index™ approach.

Over his career, Rob has endeavored to bridge the worlds of academic theorists and financial markets, challenging conventional wisdom and searching for solutions that add value for investors. He has pioneered several unconventional portfolio strategies that are now widely applied, including tactical asset allocation, global tactical asset allocation, tax-advantaged equity management, and the Fundamental Index approach to investing. His success in doing so has resulted in a reputation as one of the world’s most provocative practitioners and respected financial analysts.

Rob managed two asset management firms before founding Research Affiliates. As chairman of First Quadrant, LP, he built up the former internal money manager for Crum & Forster into a highly regarded quantitative asset management firm. He also was global equity strategist at Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup), the founding president and CEO of TSA Capital Management (now part of Analytic Investors, LLC), and a vice president at The Boston Company.

Rob Arnott received a BS summa cum laude in economics, applied mathematics, and computer science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.​

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

Dec 2, 2016

Ok, so you offer a 401(k) plan for your employees, you review participation and contribution rates, analyze your investments and negotiate plan fees.  You should feel good that you have taken many of the steps to be a diligent retirement plan fiduciary.  But, if you truly want to provide your employees with a 401(k) that is more than a just a savings plan, if you want to develop a benefit that both your employees and company will value, there is more work to be done to make that leap to provide a true retirement plan.  As you will hear, my guest Glenn Dial, Managing Director and Head of Retirement Strategy at Allianz Global Investors has given this transformational concept a lot of thought and has some great insights to share with our listeners.  We hit a few thought provoking questions such as is it wrong to focus on promoting a 401(k) savings plan which uses high average participant account balances as the measurement of success?  We also delve into strategies on how to move and measure your progress of transitioning from a 401(k) savings plan to a retirement plan.  Glenn also shares thoughts on how to address and answer questions around measuring the return on investment from employer contributions.  On that note, we also discuss if you want to develop more of a retirement plan, should that employer contribution be a match or profit sharing contribution, and how does an increasingly more mobile workforce factor into this conversation? 

Remember, many episodes of the podcast have been submitted or pre-approved for both SHRM and HRCI recertification credits.  Check it out at 401kfridays.com/ce to see how you can listen, learn and earn!  

Guest Bio

Mr. Glenn Dial is a managing director with Allianz Global Investors, which he joined in 2011 as Head of Retirement Strategy. Mr. Dial has more than 20 years of retirement-industry experience. He previously held senior-management positions with JPMorgan and Ceridian. Mr. Dial holds three patents as the co-inventor of the “method and system for evaluating target-date funds” and is also credited with developing the target-date fund category system commonly referred to as “To versus Through.” He is the author of a monthly newsletter titled, “Dialed In to Retirement.”

Glenn is one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Defined Contribution industry according to the 401kWire.com survey in 2015, 2014, 2013.

He has a B.S. /B.A. in finance from the University of Central Florida and an M.B.A. from Rollins College. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

Nov 25, 2016

We have been getting a lot of questions about what the future holds for the global economy and financial markets in the wake of the US elections.  So, I was excited to have Dr. David Kelly, a CFA charterholder and the Chief Global Strategist and Head of the Global Market Insights Strategy Team for J.P. Morgan Asset Management join me on the podcast.  I have always appreciated Dr. Kelly’s ability to take complex and confusing economic and market concepts and relay them in a way that is easy to follow, understand and take action on , even for those of us who don’t have a finance or economics degree!  Don’t miss his thoughts on the go forward prospects for inflation, interest rates, the impact of the US election and Brexit, the real state of unemployment and probably most important how all of this relates to your retirement plan and investment menu.  He also has some pretty memorable quotes that are still rattling around in my head, be sure to share with us which ones were your favorites!  

If you are not subscribed to the podcast, search 401(k) Fridays on iTunes or your favorite podcast app or go to 401kfridays.com/subscribe today, we release a valuable new episode every Friday!  And now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dr. Kelly!

Guest Bio

Dr. David Kelly is the Chief Global Strategist and Head of the Global Market Insights Strategy Team for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. With over 20 years of experience, David provides valuable insight and perspective on the economy and markets to thousands of financial advisors and their clients.

Throughout his career, David has developed a unique ability to explain complex economic and market issues in a language that financial advisors can use to communicate to their clients. He is a keynote speaker at many national investment conferences. David is also a frequent guest on CNBC, and other financial news outlets and is widely quoted in the financial press.

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Asset Management, David served as Economic Advisor to Putnam Investments. He has also served as a senior strategist/economist at SPP Investment Management, Primark Decision Economics, Lehman Brothers and DRI/McGraw-Hill.

David is a CFA® charterholder. He also has an Ph.D and M.A. in Economics from Michigan State University and a B.A. in Economics from University College Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  

We are quickly approaching our 50th podcast episode!  In prior episodes we have explored timely and relevant topics for employers and retirement plan sponsors ranging from fiduciary best practices, behavioral finance, plan design trends, financial wellness and much more!  To explore our growing library of content, if you are subscribed to the podcast, scroll through your podcast app and pick a few episodes that catch your interest, or go to 401kfridays.com/podcasts to find prior episode descriptions, guest bios bonus information and more!

Nov 18, 2016

This is the final installment of our three part mini-course on investment menu construction.  Each of the three episodes were designed to help employers and their retirement plan committee members understand the current thinking on investment menu design.  If you missed part one where we discussed investment menu design trends or part two where we covered how to select individual asset classes and investments, you may listen to them on demand by searching 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app on your mobile device or on your computer by going to www.401kfridays.com/investments.  In this episode we tackle the seemingly simple but vitally important topic of selecting and evaluating target date funds as well as capital preservation strategies and something called a multi-asset alternative strategy.  To help guide us through these topics I have Frank Salb a CFA Charterholder and the Vice President and Director of Investment Services with Lockton Retirement Services.  During our conversation we address important topics such as the biggest mistakes employers make when evaluating target date funds, should downside and upside risk be looked at the same and how could different capital preservation strategies react during a rising interest rate environment.  Oh, and he also addresses that multi-asset alternative thing.  Now, here is my conversation with Frank!

Guest Bio

As the Vice President & Director of Investment Services for the Lockton Retirement Services, LLC, Frank leads national initiatives and projects to improve Lockton’s overall client experience. Frank is a CFA Charterholder.  Prior to joining Lockton he worked as a Senior Investment Analyst at American Century Investments.  Frank graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Finance and Economics.  

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

 

Nov 11, 2016

Episode Description

When I first started to research this episode, the idea of talking about financial wellness with what I thought of as a tax or accounting firm seemed a bit off the mark.  However, after my first conversation with our guest Kent Allison, a Partner and National Leader of PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Practice all my concerns quickly went away!  As you will hear, not only does Kent and his team advise large multi-national organizations on financial wellness strategies, but he is also the author of the PwC Annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey which is now in its  seventh year.  Kent were able to get together while he was in Los Angeles and record this episode where he shares his expertise and perspective on topics such as the key differences between financial literacy programs and financial wellness, what obstacles can impact the success of a financial wellness program and how poor financial health can have a bigger impact on your employees than poor physical health.  Also, be sure to listen for some great ideas on helping HR & Finance communicate effective about employee financial wellness. 

To download a copy of the PwC Financial Wellness Survey go to www.401kfridays.com/pwc.  While you are there, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and our email list so you don’t miss any future episodes! 

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Kent!

Guest Bio

Kent is the National Leader of PwC’s Employee Financial Wellness Practice, which specializes in providing un-biased financial wellness and counseling services to employees of domestic and multi-national organizations.

Recognized as one of the world’s leading advocates of employee financial wellbeing, and the author of PwC’s Annual Employee Financial Wellness Survey, Kent has served as a strategic advisor to leading financial institutions, worked with various government entities focused on improving financial literacy, consulted with the US Military to address the needs of its personnel and is involved with various initiatives in the not-for-profit and charitable arena.

He is a regular guest speaker at conferences across the globe, is frequently quoted in the press and has served as technical advisor and key contributor to four books on financial planning.

He is a CPA, a Personal Financial Specialist, a graduate of Rutgers College and a long, suffering fan of their sports teams.  

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Nov 4, 2016

Episode Description

Thanks to my parents diligently setting aside money in savings bonds and my decision to attend an in-state school I was very fortunate to graduate from college nearly twenty years ago without the burden of student loan debt to repay.  However, for many people over the years and especially today, that is not the case. My guest, Tony Aguilar, the co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Genius does a great job of laying out the realities and challenges for many of your employees who have student debt. What you might be surprised to hear is that nearly half of your workforce could be impacted and its not just a millennial thing!  Tony also does a nice job framing how employers have been adding solutions to help employees with their student loan debt as part of their wellness programs and how some employers are even making contributions towards employee student loans as a recruiting and retention tool!  What is the tie in to retirement you ask, well it wouldn’t be the 401(k) Fridays podcast if we didn’t address that at some point.  As you will hear, paying off debt has an impact on your employees’ ability to save for retirement, however I was pretty excited to learn about some of the new tools and resources employers may offer to help to tackle both loan repayments and retirement savings! 

Thank you to our email subscribers for submitting questions ahead of time, I was able to work many of the into our conversation.  If you are not on our email list go to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe and join today! 

 I learned a lot from this episode, I hope you do as well.  

Guest Bio

Tony Aguilar is co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Genius, Austin-based inventor of the first complete student loan employer benefits solution. Today he uses his years of experience as a financial advisor and founder of Amiti Advising and Campus Slice to help crush America’s $1.3 trillion student loan problem. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and on CNN, his commitment to helping professionals get ahead and live a life free from debt is the common thread in all of his work. When he’s not leading the team at Student Loan Genius, Tony is spending time with his 3-year old daughter. He can also be found guest lecturing at the University of Texas and Concordia University on entrepreneurship and personal finance, serving as Chairman of Concordia University’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board, or mentoring fellow social entrepreneurs and startups.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 28, 2016

Episode Description

You might be asking yourself, what else is there and why should I consider any investment vehicle other than a mutual fund?  Well, if those thoughts passed through your head, this episode is a great way to get answers to those questions!  To explore the topic I have Jeff Kletti, a CFA and the Senior Vice President of Investments at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Trust with me today.  With all of the attention and focus on 401(k) plan fees and the rapid improvements in technology, alternative investment vehicles such as Collective Investment Trusts, commonly referred to as CITs, Separate Accounts and Exchange Traded Funds otherwise know as ETFs are gaining more assets each year within 401(k) plans.  We start with thoughts on why retirement plan sponsors are even entertaining investment vehicles beyond traditional mutual funds.  Then we unravel how they are either similar or different from mutual funds.  Jeff also provides great questions for plan fiduciaries to ask when exploring alternative investment vehicles. My hope is the that you walk, or drive away for that matter, with a better understand of when alternative investment vehicles could make sense and how to evaluate and determine if they would be suitable or beneficial for your plan and participants.  As a reminder, we release a valuable new episode each Friday, if you are not already subscribed to the podcast, please visit www.401kfridays.com/subscribe or search 401(k) Fridays on your favorite podcast app today!  Now, I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Guest Bio

Jeff Kletti is Head of Investments for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In this role Jeff is responsible for leading asset consulting, discretionary asset management, investment operations, and the compliance and risk management activities for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust’s discretionary clients. Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust provides retirement plan services to more than 5,000 employer-sponsored retirement plans and custody accounts, representing 4 million participants and more than $330 billion in retirement account assets.

Jeff has over 25 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, he was the director of investment management at Allianz Investment Management SE. In this position Jeff served as president of AIM LLC, a registered investment adviser, portfolio manager AZL Fusion Funds, chairman of the AZL Funds board of trustees, and trustee of the Allianz of America pension committee.

Jeff holds a B.A. in finance from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and an MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota. He is a CFA® charter holder.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 21, 2016

Episode Description

I am proud to say that this episode, well except for the title, was greatly influenced by input I received from our email subscribers!  To everyone who shared feedback on what you wanted me discuss with Tom Clark, ERISA Attorney and Of Counsel at the Wagner Law Group, thank you!  As a reminder, as an email subscriber you get advance notice of many of our podcast guests and the opportunity to submit questions and topics for me to cover with them.  If you have not subscribed to our email list yet, go to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe today and join the community!  In my conversation with Tom, based on your feedback we first focus on the current trends in 401(k) litigation and then close with updates on what employers should know about DOL activities.  Tom, does a great job breaking things down in an easy to understand, yet impactful way which will leave you with plenty to think about going into 2017.  Some of my favorites were his input on how 401(k) lawsuits get started, a behind the scenes glimpse of what plaintiffs’ attorneys must do to bring a 401(k) lawsuit and some changes and decisions many plan sponsors should anticipate in the coming months due to recent DOL activity.  After you listen, love to hear your perspectives on whether 2017 will bring you and your fellow plan fiduciaries, pain or help you continue down a path towards gain!  Send me an email at info@401kfridays.com.  This is a fast moving and information packed episode, enjoy!

Guest Bio

Tom is Of Counsel with The Wagner Law Group, a law firm specializing in ERISA & Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, and Employment, Labor & Human Resources Law. His expertise encompasses all aspects of employee benefits programs, including the design, implementation and compliance of retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive and incentive compensation arrangements. He also has a robust practice assisting industry service providers in meeting their ERISA compliance and general business needs. 

Tom is also a well-seasoned ERISA litigator. Earlier in his career, he worked for the law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton including on such landmark cases as Tibble v. Edison, which was heard this year by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Tom is Editor-in-Chief of the Fiduciary Matters Blog, a blog visited over 150,000 times since its first publication in March 2013. He also teaches ERISA Fiduciary Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, his alma mater.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 14, 2016

Episode Description

Alright, let me know if you have heard this one, a lawyer, an insurance broker and a retirement consultant walk into a bar, oh that’s right this is for the podcast.  We’ll have to save that one for another time  However that does resemble the motley crew we have assembled to discuss the evolving world of cyber risk or cyber threats and how they can impact 401(k) and other employer benefits plans.  The lawyer in our conversation is Brian Finch, a partner at Pillsbury Law and member of their Cyber Security Task Force, and the insurance broker is Ben Beeson, SVP and Cyber Risk Practice Leader with Lockton Insurance Brokers.   Our conversation starts with a great background and overview of the risks, bad actors, motivations and methods cyber criminals are using to steal money, data, hack organizations or otherwise wreak digital havoc.   Next we move into how these evolving cyber threats may impact the retirement industry which obviously has trillions of dollars of assets and very sensitive and personal information on millions of individuals.  As a take away, there are some great questions for you to include in your due diligence discussions with your current or potential new service providers, concepts to ensure you explore in your service agreements or contracts and other information to help you walk away with strategies to help keep your employee protected and minimize the risk associated with cyber threats at www.401kfridays.com/cyber.  I took a lot away from the information that Brian and Ben shared, I hope you do as well!

Guest Bios

Ben Beeson leads the Cyber Risk Practice at Lockton Companies, the world's largest privately held insurance brokerage. Ben guides boards of directors and executive leadership on how best to mitigate emerging cyber risks to mission critical assets that aligns with the business strategy. His experience ranges from addressing data security and privacy liability to companies in the utility, financial, healthcare, retail, and hospitality industries, to risks from a cyber attack to the energy, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

Prior to moving to Washington D.C., Ben spent most of his career in the UK working within the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, an entrepreneurial culture creating innovative solutions to address emerging risks. 

Ben continues to be involved in the development of US Cybersecurity policy having testified before Congress in 2015, his support in the development and roll out of the NIST framework and through his membership of Business Executives for National Security, (BENS).

Ben is a regular author and commentator on Cybersecurity issues with recent appearances on CNN and Fox News and his chapter contribution to the NYSE's first definitive Cybersecurity guide for Directors and Officers entitled "Navigating The Digital Age."

Brian Finch is a partner in the law firm’s Public Policy practice and is based in Pillsbury’s Washington, DC office. Named by Washingtonian magazine in 2011 as one of the top 40 federal lobbyists under the age of 40 and by Law360 as one of its “Rising Stars” in Privacy Law in 2014, Brian is a recognized authority on global security matters. He specializes in counseling on regulatory and government affairs issues involving the Department of Homeland Security, Congress, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. Brian in particular focuses his practice on assisting clients with matters involving cyber security, national defense and intelligence policies, homeland security concerns, and in general providing proactive advice to mitigate liability in the event of a significant security incident.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Oct 6, 2016

Episode Description

This episode is part two of our three part mini course on constructing a 401(k) investment menu.  In part one, we covered current thinking, trends and benchmark data on investment menu design, questions to ask your service providers before you start and much more!  If you have not listened to that episode, I would encourage you to check it out on iTunes or your favorite podcast app!  Now, back to part two where we discuss the next steps of investment menu design, determining the asset classes you will make available to your participants and then selecting individual investment options.  To help navigate the conversation I have Jamie Axford, a Director at Putnam Investments.  I realize that for some just mentioning the term “asset class” during a plan review or investment discussion can send you scurrying of your phone to check you emails, however I would encourage you to hang in there for our conversation today.  Jamie does a great job of defining some words and concepts that many people have heard but might not have fully understood.  He also provides some great perspective on reviewing different investments, how some investment scoring systems could lead to riskier investments and some other questions you can bring with you to your next 401(k) investment review! 

 

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to the podcast or our email list please go to 401kfridays/subscribe today!  

 

Guest Bio

Mr. Axford is Director, DCIO Consultant Relations, at Putnam Investments. In this role, he is responsible for managing relationships with consultants who are focused on the retirement plan space. Mr. Axford joined Putnam in 2012 and has been in the investment industry since 1989. He holds an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation and is also a member of the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives (AIMSE). Mr. Axford holds his Series 6, 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses with FINRA.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Sep 30, 2016

Episode Description

You have likely had someone pitch or discuss with you the idea of introducing financial wellness to your employee population, or if you haven’t, the conversation is undoubtedly coming soon!  In this episode we tackle the not so simple questions of what is financial wellness, how do we know if someone is financially healthy and is Financial Wellness here to stay or is this another passing fad in the benefits arena.  To help explore the topic I have Doug Murray, EVP and Mary Hollingsworth, SVP and Director of Product Strategy at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement. A few key points to listen for are who should be defining what financial wellness means, employers or their service providers, the motivations around introducing financial wellness to your workforce and how to set goals and measure outcomes for a financial wellness offering. An interesting point that we discuss and one to ponder, if you shift your focus to promoting more holistic financial wellness within your workforce, are you okay that the message some of your employees could get is that it doesn’t make sense for them to participate in your 401(k) plan right now?  Love to hear your feedback on that, send me an email at info@401kfridays.com. 

If you’re not subscribed to our email list already, go to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe, going forward we’ll be notifying our email subscribers of future podcast guests and you will have the exclusive opportunity to submit topics or questions for me to address with them on the show! 

Guest Bios

Doug Murray is part of the senior leadership team for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In this role, he is actively involved in setting overall strategic direction for the group. As the national director of institutional sales, Doug leads distribution efforts across all products and market segments.

Doug has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with majors in finance and risk/insurance. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute.

Doug is active in the retirement industry and in his community. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and on the Board of Directors at Partnership Resources, Inc., a local nonprofit organization. Doug is also a member of Wells Fargo’s Minnesota Leadership Council. 

Doug lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife Karen and teenage children Madison and Ian. His interests include traveling with his family, golf, and cooking.

Mary Hollingsworth is the director of Product Strategy and Positioning for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. In this role, Mary leads institutional product strategy for defined contribution, defined benefit, trust and custody, investments and digital strategies. She also is responsible for the overall positioning and communication of products and services to clients and the external market place.

Prior to her current role, Mary was director of Participant Solutions. She oversaw the participant experience including the call center, participant education and communication services, and asset retention. Mary joined Wells Fargo in 1999 with responsibility for the call center, client services, training and development, and quality.

Mary came to Wells Fargo from Fidelity Investments where she served as national director of quality for Retail Operations. Prior to Fidelity Investments, Mary worked at Arthur Andersen as quality officer for the Chicago office operations. Mary received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Marquette University.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

 

Sep 23, 2016

Episode Overview

Have you ever wondered why other employers and plan sponsors either stay with or make changes to their retirement service providers?  Has it been a little while since you have been out to the market to evaluate your retirement service partners and want to what your peers are looking for in record keepers and consultants?  If so, then my conversation with Josh Dietch, Managing Director at Chatham Partners should be helpful!  Who is Chatham Partners and how can they speak credibly about what employers are thinking?  In short, they are the go to firm the retirement industry uses to gather feedback on their services and analyze why they either were successful or not in a securing or retaining relationships with employers.  During my conversation with Josh, we hit on so many great topics such as the valued and commoditized offerings of retirement service providers, how the drive for low fees is forcing providers to ration service, the paradox of participant education and how the new DOL fiduciary rule might impact provider searches and evaluations in the future.  There is a little “inside baseball” talk in this episode, but I think you will find it enlightening and could help put some of the responses or strategies of your service providers in perspective. Last thing, I would really be interested to hear which points we covered had you nodding your head in agreement or shaking it in disagreement.  Shoot me an email at info@401kfridays.com with your thoughts. Now, here we go!

Guest Bio

Joshua Dietch joined Chatham Partners in 2005 and is a Managing Director. In this capacity, Joshua manages research and consulting engagements that focus on client retention and new business development processes. Prior to joining Chatham, Joshua was Director, Product Marketing and Management with ADP Retirement Services managing product development and marketing for ADP's defined contribution and executive deferred compensation products. Earlier in his career, Joshua was a consultant with Cerulli Associates, helping financial service firms with both business strategy and new product development, and previously worked for a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group. He has been quoted on financial issues for leading publications such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Pensions and Investments, Investment News and several trade publications, and has also appeared on CNBC. Joshua received his B.A. in History from Bates College.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Sep 16, 2016

Episode Summary

If you have ever felt like there is more you can do with or learn from your 401(k) plan data, this is the episode for you!  To help explore the topic I am excited to have both John Fitzsimmons, Vice President of Reporting and Analytics and Bryan Hallock Director of Customer Analytics, both with Fidelity Workplace Investing.  Despite the focus on what some might consider a dry topic, we had a fast moving and informative conversation.  We tackled topics such as why its important for employers who are looking to gain insight from their plan data to get past the averages, how to turn conventional wisdom into quantifiable observations and how with proper analysis of your 401(k) data, you can gain insight that can positively impact your plan, your business and participant retirement outcomes.  I also learned a new term, elevator analysis.  Take a listen, and let me know if you start using it in conversations going forward!  Since I didn’t do such a great job of introducing my guests, the first new voice you will hear from is John and the second is Bryan.  Last thing, if you’re not subscribed to the email list already, go to www.401kfridays.com and subscribe, going forward we will be notifying our email subscribers of our future podcast guests and they will have the exclusive opportunity to submit topics or questions for me to address with them on the show!  Now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with John and Brian!

Guest Bios

John Fitzsimmons is vice president of Reporting and Analytics for Fidelity Investments, a diversified financial services firm that makes retirement planning accessible to 23 million customers – from people investing their life savings, to businesses managing their employee benefits, to advisors investing their clients’ money.  

 

As vice president of Reporting & and Analytics, John leads a team that is responsible for Fidelity’s Executive Insights platform. Leveraging Fidelity’s data base of 23 million customers, Executive Insights allows Plan Sponsors to dynamically analyze their participant’s retirement readiness and benchmark themselves against their peers.

 

Mr. Fitzsimmons joined Fidelity in 1995 and has held several leadership positions within Fidelity’s Workplace Investing business. Prior to his current role, he John worked in Finance roles across Fidelity. 

 

Mr. Fitzsimmons received his bachelor of arts degree in International Relations from Tufts University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University.  

Bryan Hallock is an Atlanta native, receiving his B.S. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia State University. He started with Fidelity in Boston in 2004 and now serves as a Director of Workplace Investing Finance - Customer Analytics. In this role, he explores 401(k) participant behavior with the care of a data scientist and a creativity and zeal inspired by “Moneyball”.  This approach has proved fruitful in understanding the underlying drivers of participant behavior and outcomes, creating actionable metrics that have been communicated to the marketplace, clients, prospects, and policy makers in Washington. Bryan recently received his J.D. (law) degree from Georgia State University and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Sep 9, 2016

Episode Description

Just a preview of things to come, your 401(k), it doesn’t work outside the U.S.!  So, let’s go for a trip around the globe to discuss the topics, trends and concepts employers who have employees outside the US should be aware of.  With me I have Nick Dobbelbower, PhD, CEBS, DipIEB, GPHR, Vice President and Regional Practice Leader in Lockton’s Global Benefits Practice.  Whether you have newly acquired international employees or you have been deeply involved with global retirement benefits, or you are just curious what goes on in other countries, this is an incredibility valuable episode.  We touch on considerations for employers who are looking to harmonize retirement benefits levels on a global basis, things to know before making any changes to non-US retirement benefits programs and plenty of examples to help you along the way!  As a reminder, several episodes, including this one have either been pre-approved or submitted for HR recertification credits by SHRM or HRCI.  Click here to see the full list of episodes and simple steps to listen, learn and earn your recertification credits.  Now, I hope you enjoy my conversation with professor Nick!

Guest Bio

Nick is the Practice Leader for Intellectual Capital in Lockton’s Global Benefits Practice. He is responsible for developing and maintaining comprehensive global benefits resources, including compliance, statutory requirements, market practice, and benchmarking. He ensures that Lockton’s global consultants effectively leverage the firm’s data and information resources to address the needs of their multinational clients.

He manages a team of research consultants who work with Lockton global offices to develop statutory and market practice information on employee benefits provisions around the world. Nick also works directly with multinational clients to develop, implement, and support international employee benefits strategies, including local employee benefits, business travel and expatriate programs, regional plan consolidation, and multinational pooling and captives.

Nick brings to Lockton a well-rounded professional and academic background. His professional experience includes extensive international consulting and research work with multinational clients and establishing and managing affiliate relationships. He has presented at numerous professional conferences and contributed to leading industry publications on international benefits topics. His academic experience includes faculty positions and French and Francophone studies at Macalester College, Bucknell University, and Duke University.

Nick is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Italian. He also has experience in web and graphic design. In his down time, he participates in charity bicycle races and marathons. 

Professional Designations and Affiliations

  • ™  Diploma in International Employee Benefits (DipIEB)

  • ™  Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS)

  • ™  Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)

  • ™  Certificate in Global Benefits Management (IFEBP)

  • ™  Certificate in International Benefits (IBIS Academy)

  • ™  Life, Accident, and Health Insurance License

401(k) Fridays Podcast

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Sep 1, 2016

Episode Description

Constructing an investment menu is something all 401(k) plans need to do.  And, like most things, to get a good outcome for your plan and participants, the devil is in the details!  To help you as a plan fiduciary I am excited to introduce our first three part mini-course of the podcast!  This episode is Part One where we discuss fundamentals and key building blocks of investment menu construction.  To help provide perspective I invited Matt Sommer, Vice President and Director of Defined Contribution Services at Janus Capital.  As a both a CFA and a CFP, Matt provides valuable and more importantly understandable insights on trends in investment menu design.  Our conversation ranges from fundamental concepts such as how many investments are plans offering, how investment menu design correlates to plan size and thoughts offering self-directed brokerage accounts.  Also, be sure to listen for some considerations for plan fiduciaries around investment risk based on where we sit in the second half of 2016 and in the midst of an equity bull market and declining interest rates. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to be notified when the next two episodes are released.  

Guest Bio

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Aug 25, 2016

Episode Description

Don’t worry, you didn't join the wrong podcast.  Yes, HSA plans are typically associated with the health portion of an employee benefits package.  However, there has been much discussion in the industry about what you will hear my guest Ana Sabatino, Vice President and Consumer Driven Health Plan Specialist at CIGNA, refer to as the cross functional purpose of HSA plans in helping improve both employee decisions and outcomes in health and wealth.  With the growth of HSA plans at over 25% a year for the last four years, more and more employers are utilizing these plans as they introduce consumerism in their healthcare strategy, and the side benefit, that some are realizing, is this means employees are also gaining access to a powerful vehicle with several distinct tax advantages to help pay medical costs in retirement.  In this foundational discussion Ana does a great job of explaining how employees at various stages in life can take advantage of HSAs, how they contribute to the evolving conversation of improving both health and wealth and ideas around creating benefits bundles to guide employee decision making.  Additionally, Ana offers valuable insights for employers about the importance of setting up internal cross functional teams between health and retirement benefits, how involving company leadership is paramount to success and why you need to have a three year plan for your benefits strategy.  This episode stretched me, i hope it does the same for you.  Enjoy!

Guest Bio

Ana joined Cigna's leadership team in 2006 as a leading subject matter expert in consumer driven health plans (CDHP).  Prior to joining Cigna she was part of the leadership team at Definity Health, the original pioneers of the CDHP model.   Her clients include some of the largest fortune 500 organizations that were early adopters of this model in the early 2000’s.  

  

She has 25 years of experience working with health and welfare plans. In the past 13 years, Ana has exclusively focused on working with both public and private sector employers on successful CDHP strategies. 

 

As a subject matter expert for Cigna she is very hands on in helping clients develop successful multi-year strategies using Cigna Choice Fund as an effective enabler of behavior change and health improvement. 

 

Her expertise, results and passionate leadership around designing CDHP strategies “done right” has made her a frequent speaker for Cigna as well as a major contributor in helping Cigna achieve industry leading growth in consumer driven health plans. 

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with unique viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.

Aug 18, 2016

Episode Summary

If you have been involved in working with retirement benefit plans over the last several years, you have probably been told more times than you can remember that your 401(k) plan comes with fiduciary responsibility.  You also have likely noticed the proliferation of 401(k) lawsuits, and that the DOL has released their new Conflict of Interest rule which redefines how one can become a fiduciary.  With all of this going on, and the questions that have ensued, I thought it would be a good time to have Blaine AIkin, the Executive Chairman of Fi360, help provide some clarity.  Fi360 is the industry leader in providing fiduciary education and training to individuals and organizations in the financial services industry to develop prudent fiduciary practices and promote a fiduciary standard of care.  Our conversation covers how employers can use fiduciary safe harbors to limit their fiduciary liability, the importance of having your fiduciary processes nailed and things to do and not to do as a plan fiduciary.  Blaine also has some great quotes in the episode such as, there is nothing passive about being a retirement plan fiduciary, you have the fiduciary obligation to not waste money and with the new DOL Conflict of Interest Rule, a non-fiduciary advisor is now a contradiction in terms.  Last but not least, I am excited to announce that this and other episodes of the podcast have been submitted for HR recertification credits.  To see episodes that are pre-approved or have been submitted for approval please go to www.401kfridays.com/CE.

Guest Bio

Blaine Aikin's goal as Executive Chairman of fi360, is to assure that fi360 provides exceptional professional development programs, investment and business management tools, and business and industry thought leadership to improve the decision making of those who manage money on behalf of others. fi360 seeks to promote a culture of fiduciary responsibility to align the interests of investors and investment professionals.

fi360 helps its clients gather, grow, and protect assets through better investment and business decision-making. Since 1999, fi360 has been providing innovative solutions to financial services providers. We offer the AIF®, AIFA®, and PPC designation programs, the fi360 Toolkit™ software, and fi360 Fiduciary Score®. Ann Schleck and Co., a division of fi360, adds strategic growth support. Additional fi360 capabilities include fiduciary assessments and practice management and compliance.

Career financial services professional with experience in government (U.S. Treasury Department and as Budget Officer of Prince William County, Virginia), investment advisory practice (Principal and CIO of independent advisory firm), and financial product and service management (bank trust department, brokerage, and institutional offerings).

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Helps employers navigate the evolving retirement benefits landscape through weekly engaging interviews with industry leaders, subject matter experts and progressive employers with varying viewpoints. The diverse in-depth perspectives and relevant topics help employers make more informed decisions about their retirement benefit programs which will positively impact their employees and business.  For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts

 

Aug 11, 2016

Episode Overview

As an employer, how do statements such as money is not as big of a deal as it used to be, the younger generation want to work for companies they believe are contributing to the greater good and the workforce of the future is going to require new investment to just stay competitive with where you are today? To address these questions and many more, I was excited to have Dr. Joe Coughlin, the founder and director of the MIT AgeLab as my guest on the podcast.  During our conversation, Dr. Joe also highlights key issues he has discovered in his research that both finance and human resources professionals need to prepare for.  Finally, be sure to listen for Dr. Joe’s thoughts on what keeps employees in the workforce beyond a normal retirement date, just a hint, it is not always money!  I hope you enjoy!

Guest Bio

Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He teaches policy and systems innovation in MIT’s Sloan School of Management Advanced Management Program and the Department of Urban Studies & Planning. Author of over 150 academic publications, his research explores how demographic change, technology and social trends converge to drive future innovations in business and government. Coughlin publishes the online publication Disruptive Demographics and is a regular contributor to Wall Street Journal MarketWatch. Coughlin is one of Fast Company Magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and one of the Wall Street Journal’s “12 pioneers inventing the future of retirement and how we will all live, work, and play tomorrow.” The Financial Times profiled him as a ‘guru in global aging’ and Money Magazine dubbed him a ‘retirement game-changer’. He is a Behavioral Sciences Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Fellow of Switzerland’s World Demographics & Ageing Forum, advising and speaking to businesses, governments, and non-profits worldwide. Coughlin spoke at Falling Walls in Berlin on the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Stockholm. Dr. Coughlin speaks and consults to industry providing strategic insights and strategy to the financial services and insurance, real estate and healthcare industries in North America and Europe. He can be reached at coughlin@mit.edu and on Twitter @josephcoughlin.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Welcome to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, where employers come to learn and retirement industry leaders come to share their unique stories, experiences and perspectives.  My name is Rick Unser, and I am your host.  Each episode leverages my nearly two decades of experience as a retirement consultant and features a candid interview with an industry expert to help enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com/podcasts

 

Aug 5, 2016

Episode Description

As we sit here just past the midpoint of 2016, the 401(k) industry continues to get a lot of attention in the media, with regulators and certainly from employers and their employees.  However, what is not talked about very much is how the business of being a record keeper works and what employers should understand about the business models of their service providers.  To help shed some light on this topic, I invited Bill Yoerger, President of OneAmerica Retirement Services.  Bill is a 30 plus year industry veteran, who runs the corporate retirement division of OneAmerica that supports over 1 million participants, has over 800 employees and has completed three acquisitions over the last five years.   Bill is also included as a perennial member of the most influential people in the retirement industry.  During our conversation, you will hear him share some candid thoughts on the different business models record keepers utilize, questions all employers should be asking their service providers and key topics and trends employers should pay attention to that could impact their retirement service providers going forward.

Guest Bio

Bill is the President of the OneAmerica Retirement Services Division of the American United Life Insurance Company (AUL).  He is responsible for the leadership, coordination, and guidance to all Retirement Services operations including sales, marketing, record-keeping, and administration functions.

He joined AUL in 1993 as a Regional Vice President after a successful career selling retirement plans and services for CIGNA. Prior to his sales career there, he was a Group and Pension Representative for Principal Financial Group in the Cleveland area. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of AUL’s Retirement Services division.

Bill received his B.S. in Business Administration at The Ohio State University

Professional Designations and Associations:

Former chair, LIMRA Retirement Investment Committee 

Member, SPARK Institute

Member, Retirement Services Roundtable

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Welcome to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, where employers come to learn and retirement industry leaders come to share their unique stories, experiences and perspectives.  My name is Rick Unser, and I am your host.  Each episode leverages my nearly two decades of experience as a retirement consultant and features a candid interview with an industry expert to help enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Jul 29, 2016

Episode Description

You would have to have been living under a rock for the past few years if you are an employer who sponsors a retirement plan and you haven't notice the dramatic increase in the number and pace of 401(k) lawsuits.  There is even a 401(k) case that went to the Supreme Court!  To help employers understand what is driving 401(k) lawsuits, common themes in current litigation and ways employers can manage risk, I invited David Levine, Principal and ERISA Attorney at Groom Law to the podcast to offer some perspective.  David is an annual fixture on the lists of Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, etc. and more importantly lives and breathes ERISA matters.  As you will hear, while employers continue to get better at executing their duties as fiduciaries, plaintiff's attorneys also are getting better at exploiting gaps and inconsistencies in fiduciary processes.  Also, we discuss what is really motivating plaintiff's attorneys, recent initiatives of the DOL and why he hopes more companies fight plaintiff's attorneys so that more lines are drawn.    

Guest Bio

David N. Levine is a principal at Groom Law Group, Chartered.  He advises plan sponsors, advisors, and other service providers on a wide range of employee benefits matters, from retirement and executive compensation to health and welfare plan matters.  

 

Mr. Levine's areas of service include: the redesign of complex retirement, executive, and health and welfare plans; ongoing, day-to-day counseling of plan sponsors; in-depth compliance reviews of corporate and governmental benefit programs; and representation of tax-exempt organizations with respect to issues involving corporate governance, executive compensation, and unrelated business income tax liability.

 

Mr. Levine was previously the Chair of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (2011-2013) and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and serves in a number of leadership roles in the American Bar Association Tax Section's Employee Benefits Committee.  Mr. Levine regularly speaks on plan design, fiduciary governance, and legislative issues and contributes a recurring column to NAPA Net — The Magazine.  He is recognized in The Legal 500 and USA Chambers guide for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.  Mr. Levine received his J.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A., with general and departmental honors, from Johns Hopkins University.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Welcome to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, where employers come to learn and retirement industry leaders come to share their unique stories, experiences and perspectives.  My name is Rick Unser, and I am your host.  Each episode leverages my nearly two decades of experience as a retirement consultant and features a candid interview with an industry expert to help enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Jul 14, 2016

Episode Summary:

With more and more money flowing into asset allocation solutions in 401(k) plans, the options for plan sponsors to consider are growing as well.  While managed accounts are not a new concept, as they continue to evolve and improve, some predict they are the next frontier in 401(k) plans to offer participants a customized solution that will adjust over time.  To help explain what a managed account is, how they work, how they differ from target date funds and much more, Chris Costello, the Co-founder and CEO of Blooom joins me as our guest today.  Chris in his team created Blooom as a disruptor in the space by leveraging modern technology and plain English communication to provide solutions for any investor with a workplace retirement plan for the investment of their most critical retirement savings, regardless of account size or where their retirement account is held.  And people are taking notice!  Blooom was recognized by Fast Company Magazine as one of the worlds top ten most innovative companies in personal finance and is now the fastest growing robo advisor in the market.  Chris shares some passionate stories and perspectives about the realities of participant investment interest, challenges they face on their journey to retirement and thoughts on leveling the playing field to provide those who don't like managing their investments, an easy to use and affordable investment solution. 

Guest Bio:

Chris Costello, CEO and Co-Founder of blooom, is a lifelong Kansan.  After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in Business in the mid-1990s he began a career in the Investment industry.  Chris holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.  

Chris worked for several large Wall Street brokerage firms before co-founding The Retirement Planning Group in 2004, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Today that firm manages more than $500 million of individual client portfolios.  

In 2013 Chris, along with his 2 business partners, started blooom –the first of its kind online 401(k) management service that uses an algorithm-based automated technology to manage clients’ employer sponsored retirement accounts. Chris builds the actual models blooom uses to generate 401(k) investment allocations which allows its clients to tap into investment advice traditionally available to only wealthy investors.     

Chris has been married for almost 20 years and has 2 daughters.

 401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview:

Welcome to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, where employers come to learn and retirement industry leaders come to share their unique stories, experiences and perspectives.  My name is Rick Unser, and I am your host.  Each episode leverages my nearly two decades of experience as a retirement consultant and features a candid interview with an industry expert to help enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Jul 7, 2016

Episode Description:

In this installment of our Industry Profile series we focus on topics, trends and thoughts specific to employers in higher education and their retirement plans.  As you will hear from my guest, Patricia Harte, head of TIAA’s institutional relationship management team, while many of the core values embraced by institutions and reflected in their retirement plans have stayed the same, the strategies, tools and conversations are evolving!  Patty pulls from her roughly 25 years of experience working with higher education clients and TIAA research to discuss the latest insights around the concepts of shared responsibility and ideas to help with your reluctant retirees.  Also, we discuss the shift in the measurement of participant success from balance accumulation to retirement outcomes, psychosocial barriers to retirement and longevity in higher ed.  Whether you are a state or private institution, there are stories, examples and other information you will find useful! 

Guest Bio:

Patricia Harte leads TIAA’s institutional relationship management team in the West and Central Regions, serving more than 200 colleges, universities, health care institutions, local and state governments and other nonprofit organizations.  With its mission to serve the not-for-profit market, TIAA is the number one provider in higher education, health care, and K-12. TIAA helps more than 3.7 million individuals build retirement readiness and manages more than $851 billion in assets. 

A member of the company’s senior leadership team, Patricia oversees a team of 27 who provide consultative services and relationship management. Her team’s relationships with institutional plan sponsors help ensure that educators, researchers, government workers and other nonprofit employees have access to high-quality, low-fee investments and a comprehensive financial education and advice program, helping employees save for, and live well in retirement. 

During a career spanning nearly 30 years in financial services, Patricia has gained deep experience in a variety of management roles. Before joining TIAA more than 11 years ago, she held management positions at Barclays Global Investors and Fidelity Investments, leading relationship management and retirement counseling teams. 

Patricia is the national co-chair of the TIAA’s Women’s Employee Resource Group (WERG), which seeks to elevate the company’s success by providing recognition, development and networking opportunities for female employees.   As a passionate advocate for helping women achieve financial security, she has spoken to audiences about the unique financial challenges and opportunities of which women need to be aware and develop a plan to address to assure their long-term financial security.

Patricia holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Utah and a certificate in Philanthropy Fundraising from New York University. She also holds FINRA securities licenses and a Utah State insurance license.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview:

Welcome to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast, where employers come to learn and retirement industry leaders come to share their unique stories, experiences and perspectives.  My name is Rick Unser, and I am your host.  Each episode leverages my nearly two decades of experience as a retirement consultant and features a candid interview with an industry expert to help enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

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