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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: April, 2017
Apr 28, 2017

Automatic enrollment, automatic increases and investment default strategies, you’ve likely heard about these fundamental plan design features either from our prior guests on the podcast, current service partners or conversations with your peers.  If you aren’t familiar, we do spend the first couple of minutes of this episode providing a foundation and background.  However, my guest Jeff Bograd, a Senior Retirement Plan Consultant with John Hancock then quickly proceeds to blow my mind for the remainder of the episode with some new and cutting edge plan design strategies that in my opinion truly represent the next frontier.  While some of the ideas and concepts we discuss may not be right for your plan, many of them should give you some food for thought during future conversations about your retirement plan design.

 

Guest Bio

Jeff Bograd is the Director, Senior Retirement Plan Consultant for John Hancock Retirement Plan Services and has been with the company for more than 27 years. In this role, Jeff serves as a technical resource to John Hancock’s client service and sales teams, plan sponsors and financial advisors on complex compliance matters and optimal plan design. He provides ERISA and fiduciary training classes to John Hancock employees, plan sponsors and financial advisors and speaks at industry conferences on legislative and regulatory matters and achieving financial independence through plan design. Prior to his current role, Jeff managed the ERISA Consulting Group, served as an ERISA Consultant and managed the ERISA Compliance Department, responsible for all compliance testing, Forms 5500, and IRS and DOL plan audits. Jeff received a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Middlebury College. In addition, he is a Registered Representative and maintains his FINRA Series 6 and 63 registrations. Outside of work, Jeff enjoys reading about behavioral economics and personal finance, and playing and coaching lacrosse.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

 

Apr 21, 2017

Have index funds dropped the proverbial mic, walked off the stage and declared victory in the decades long debate of active vs. passive investment management?  My guest, Sean Lewis, a CFA and Institutional Investment Strategist with BlackRock has a few things to say about the topic!  He does a great job explaining the current market forces driving the continued growth in index investing, questions employers should be asking of themselves to help strike an appropriate balance between index and active management and what asset classes tend to favor index or active management.  Sean also reveals that not all index funds are created the same, a few tips to evaluate them, whether its harder to index equity or fixed income securities and how to tell if you have a plain boring index or one that is trying to do something more than just track their benchmark.  

 

As you listen to our conversation, if it causes you to think a little more about how your retirement plan investment menu is constructed, as a reminder last year we released a three part podcast series on the fundamentals of 401(k) investment menu design.  You can find it by either scrolling through your favorite podcast app or on the web at 401kfridays.com/podcasts.   

 

Guest Bio

Sean Lewis, CFA, Vice President, is an Investment Strategist within BlackRock's US and Canada Defined Contribution group. He is responsible for representing BlackRock's Defined Contribution ("DC") capabilities to institutional investors, investment consultants and advisors. The team also partners with Research and Product Development to evolve DC solutions, and works closely with the distribution teams to provide thought leadership and client analytics.

Mr. Lewis' service with the firm dates back to 2013. Prior to joining BlackRock, he was a Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch responsible for managing credit relationships for a portfolio of mid and large-cap clients.

Mr. Lewis earned a BS degree in Agricultural Finance from the University of California at Davis in 2009. He is a CFA charterholder.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Apr 14, 2017

Ah the good old days, when life was simpler, people retired with pension plans, social security was fully funded and you spent your retirement golden years in relative financial security.  Fast forward to today, there is a perception that our retirement system is broken, and we are either already in or headed for a dramatic retirement crisis.  Much of the blame for our current state of  retirement preparation has been placed on the rise of 401(k) plans.  However, does the data support both the romanticized vision of the past and the bleak picture of our present and future?  To help sort through things I have Andrew Biggs, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute with me today.  His research on retirement preparation, social security and his relentless focus on data lends for an interesting conversation and perspective on some popular narratives in the media about workplace retirement plans.  

Guest Bio

Andrew G. Biggs, Ph.D., is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. Prior to joining AEI he was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA's policy research efforts and led the agency's participation in the Social Security Trustees working group. In 2005 he worked on Social Security reform at the National Economic Council and in 2001 was on the staff of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Andrew’s work at AEI focuses on Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and comparisons of public and private sector compensation.

His work has appeared in academic publications as well as outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post, and he has testified before Congress on numerous occasions. He holds a Bachelors degree from the Queen's University of Belfast, Masters degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Apr 7, 2017

As a listener to the podcast, you might be "in the know" about the current retirement plan trends and motivated to tackle new ideas or strategies to put your employees on track for better retirement outcomes.  But what can you do when not everyone in the company or on your retirement plan committee is on board with you.  How do you either get the ball rolling, get the right people to the table or otherwise remove roadblocks that might stand in your way to improving employee retirement readiness?  Well, Laraine McKinnon, a Retirement Readiness Strategist with BlackRock has worked with numerous employers to do just that and shares her strategies and experiences on the podcast! 

Guest Bio

Laraine McKinnon is a retirement readiness expert who works with major employers and advisors to help improve participant outcomes and drive employee engagement.

 

Laraine advocates for retirement readiness through her thought leadership including breakthrough research on retirement engagement and innovative new tools to help quantify the implications of participants' savings and investment decisions on future outcomes. She also frequently speaks on retirement at conferences for industry groups, financial advisor firms and plan sponsor forums.

 

Laraine's tenure at BlackRock dates back to 1994. A retirement readiness strategist at BlackRock, she also served as a fiduciary on the BlackRock Retirement Savings Plan. Her experience also includes roles at BlackRock's legacy firms: Barclays Global Investors (BGI) where she managed multi-billion dollar relationships and Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors (WFNIA) where she supported index and asset allocation products, including LifePath, the industry's first target date fund.

 

Laraine is also an advocate for women's leadership. She helps women in in Silicon Valley accelerate their careers and fulfill their personal potential through an incubator program and sits on the Board of The CLUB Silicon Valley.

 

Laraine earned a BA degree, cum laude, in political science and women's studies from Wellesley College. Her hobbies include hiking and sailboat racing. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and two daughters.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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