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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: July, 2016
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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