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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: May, 2017
May 26, 2017

You ever go into a meeting thinking you are going to talk about one thing, but you pretty quickly realize that the person you are meeting with is going above and beyond your expectations? Well, that was my experience with this episode! My guest, George Castineiras brings a unique perspective to the 401(k) Fridays Podcast as he combines his background running the retirement practice for a large record keeper with his recent experience as an investor in multiple FinTech companies! 

As I was sketching out this episode in my head, I figured we would talk about Robo Advice and how that is impacts both employers and employees in workplace retirement plans. That likely would have been interesting, timely and impactful, but as you will hear, George had bigger ideas! He took my robo advice premise and added in machine learning, artificial intelligence and other current and emerging technology trends employers should be aware of that will influence the workplace retirement plan market!

Guest Bio

Widely recognized as an industry leader and innovator, Mr. Castineiras was Named “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Retirement Industry” and one of the “Top 25 Hispanic Executives” by respected industry publications, was Founder and CEO of 4 innovative companies and Chairman of the Board of Directors of 3 businesses affiliated with Prudential Financial, and holds 3 patents and 16 trademarks.

George is currently on a research sabbatical focused on the operating velocity and consequences of established, young, and nascent companies in banking, insurance, and retirement. Prior to his sabbatical he was the Managing Director of Gibraltar Ventures, the innovation lab and venture capital group of Prudential Financial, which is focused on exploring emerging business models, investing in ideas, and developing unique solutions for meeting unaddressed client needs. Under his guidance, Gibraltar made strategic investments in nine organizations and continually sourced deals and performed due diligence on new opportunities that meet the needs of Prudential’s customers.

Prior to his recent position, George, as Senior Vice President, was selected to architect and lead the turnaround of Prudential’s underperforming Total Retirement Solutions business unit with $180 billion of assets under administration and more than 6000 institutional clients nationwide. Providing strategy, tactical execution, and cross-functional leadership, he was successful in driving sales growth from $2.7 billion to $7.18 billion (2011 – 2014), reduced operating expenses by $45 million annually, raised profit margins above industry averages, improved client retention, and positioned the unit to achieve $10 billion in sales in 2015. Earlier successes with Prudential included the origination and building of the Stable Value Investment Only business from zero to $50 billion in 4 years post the 2008 market correction and leading an innovation team that launched the first defined contribution in-plan income solution, the most successful solution of its kind in the U.S., which positioned Prudential as a thought leader and innovator in the industry.

Prior to his outstanding 14-year career with Prudential Financial, he was Vice President and National Sales Director for Metropolitan Insurance, where he established leadership positions in three market segments and directed a national sales organization that consistently surpassed organizational revenue goals.

Mr. Castineiras is currently serving on the Board of Advisors of Pallantius, a start-up data-driven management consulting firm with talent from Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, and previously served as Chairman of the Boards of Directors of MullinTBG Insurance Agency Services LLC, MullinTBG Advisor Services LLC, and Global Portfolio Strategies, Inc. from 2011 through 2014.

He earned his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Business and BA in Finance and Economics at Loyola Marymount University. Today, George resides in Farmington, Connecticut, with his wife of 21 years, Meg, and their three children.

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 sixty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

May 19, 2017

Over the years, and certainly recently there has been a lot of focus on the Department of Labor and their role in overseeing workplace retirement plans.  What some might not realize or fully appreciate is the role if the Internal Revenue Service, better known as the IRS in overseeing retirement plans.  To help employers get their arms around things I was excited to have Susan Mehlman, a Director in the National Tax Group and the Compensation and Benefits Practice Leader at Moss Adams join me on the podcast!  During our conversation we highlight the different focusses of the IRS and the DOL in policing workplace retirement plans, how employers end up in the crosshairs of the IRS and some tips and strategies to help minimize the risk of an IRS audit or investigation.  

 

This week also marks a first on the podcast as we also re-released one of our very first podcast episodes which focussed on the role of the DOL.  I thought this might make a natural follow-up from my conversation with Susan.  While that episode was recorded early in 2016, the content is just as relevant today as it was last year.  As an added bonus, don’t miss the last twelve minutes of the podcast where we do have a fresh update on what to expect from the DOL now that we have a new Secretary of Labor, the status of the Fiduciary Rule and other helpful information for employers who sponsor workplace retirement plans!  Once you finish this episode on the IRS, be sure to check out the one on the DOL!

Guest Bio

Susan leads the Compensation and Benefits Practice for Moss Adams and has provided qualified and nonqualified plan design and consulting  services since 1987. She delivers a wide range of tax solutions, including health and welfare plan tax consulting, to both public and privately held businesses. 

Susan has managed services to plans of all sizes from newly formed, small, single-employer plans to large employer plans with over 70,000 participants and assets in excess of $2 billion. She works directly with clients on tax compliance issues including responding to IRS and DOL audit inquiries and coordinates closely with various industry groups and employee benefit plan auditors within the firm. Her responsibilities include managing the client relationship through all aspects of plan design and implementation, assisting plan sponsors in setting objectives, and monitoring the success of these strategies.

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 sixty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

May 19, 2017

This is the second episode of today's double header.  If you haven't listened to my conversation with Susan Mehlman at Moss Adams about the IRS and your 401(k) Plan, be sure to check that out as well.  This episode  is an updated version of one of the very first episodes on the podcast.  This features my conversation with Sam Henson, an ERISA Attorney and the VP & Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs at Lockton Retirement Services.  The first portion is our original conversation from back in early 2016 and the last 12 minutes or so features our more recent conversation providing a few updates based on the DOL during the Trump Administration and the new Secretary of Labor.  Our conversation is full of great information about how the DOL operates, how DOL investigations are triggered and important steps you should take if you receive a  letter notifying you of a DOL investigation.  

Guest Bio

Sam Henson is the Vice President and Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Lockton Retirement Services.  Sam also brings a unique perspective to our discussion today as prior to joining Lockton, he spent almost 10 years with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), where he conducted more than 150 civil and criminal investigations of employee retirement and benefits plans, service providers, and fiduciaries.  He capped off his career at the DOL as the 2011 recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award.  Needless to say, we are glad we have Sam on our side now and he is not out there banging down the doors of employers any more!

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 sixty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

May 12, 2017

This episode outlines how the relationship between behavioral finance and retirement plan design has evolved in recent years.  Stuart Ritter is fantastic and was definitely one of my favorite guests on the podcast last year.  Our conversation is fast paced and full of great stories and examples for employers who are looking to get their arms around behavioral finance and how embracing the concepts can improve your participant retirement outcomes.

 

Guest Bio

Stuart Ritter has appeared on television and radio programs for networks like ABC News, Fox Business, and National Public Radio; and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Money magazine, and national news organizations.
 
Stuart received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland College Park, his M.A. in political science from the American University, and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.
 
He taught personal finance at Johns Hopkins University for several years, and has also been an instructor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.  He is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Financial Literacy Education Advisory Council.
 

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 sixty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

May 5, 2017

With almost 70 podcast episodes to date, we’ve had some amazing guests who have shared their experiences and perspectives to help employers better understand their retirement plans.  Out of all our prior episodes, some of our more popular ones have been where we have had business leaders in the retirement industry talk about the current and future trends they see and how they are positioning their organizations to address them.  In this episode, Jason Crane, the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Transamerica Retirement Solutions stopped by to share some of his thoughts on the growing trend in the retirement industry of providing a more comprehensive suite of products and services to help employees on their journey to retirement.  During our conversation we hit on the impact of rapid changes in workforce demographics, the evolving definition of both retirement plan success and retirement readiness and whether employers are ready for some of the recent industry offerings.  Finally, don’t miss Jason’s thoughts on how the retirement services industry is preparing for the likely that the first person to live to 150 years old is alive today. 

 

Guest Bio

Jason Crane’s leadership role has helped establish Transamerica as a top provider of customized solutions, helping more than 20 million customers to save and invest wisely to live the lives they want.

Jason provides oversight of Transamerica’s business development organization, spanning responsibilities for distribution of all intermediary driven products, retirement-centric practice leaders, investment-only alliances, and sales operations.

Prior to joining Transamerica in 2001, Jason served as a salesperson for New England Financial, where he was routinely ranked as one of the top five sales professionals nationally. Over the past 15 years, he has successfully executed on efforts to establish focused distribution partnerships, drive core messaging themes, and enhance the quality and visibility of Transamerica.

Jason has a genuine passion for the retirement plan industry and a commitment to promote best practices for qualified retirement plans. He is active in many industry organizations, including the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA®), where he has served on the Summit Conference steering committee, and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), where he serves as a member of its board.

Jason is a graduate of Miami University, where he received dual bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy. He holds FINRA registrations 6, 26, 63, and life insurance licenses.

Jason lives in Chicago with his wife, Lauren, daughter, Maya, and twin sons, Nathan and Owen. In addition to his passion for travel, he is an avid Cubs fan and has passed along that unfortunate character defect to his children.

 

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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