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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: Category: general
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

 

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

Jun 10, 2016

Episode Description

As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus said, the only thing that is constant is change.  At no time has that statement likely been more accurate about 401(k) plans than where we are today in the retirement market.  My guest George Castineiras is the Managing Director of Gibraltar Ventures.  He spends his time speaking to and making investments in companies that are shaping what the next several decades of the retirement industry will look like, as a preview things will likely be very different.  Our conversation highlights George’s experience focusses specifically on the concepts, trends and topics that employers should start thinking about today and keep an eye on over the next several years.  Throughout, as only George can, he provides great examples, insights and predictions that will definitely leave you thinking!

Guest Bio

George Castineiras is responsible for exploring, developing and investing in transformational ideas and business strategies to power the ambitions of people, institutions, and communities. 

Prior to leading Gibraltar Ventures, George ran the Total Retirement Solutions business where he oversaw sales, service, operations and product development for Prudential’s defined contribution, defined benefit and nonqualified executive benefit solutions. He joined Prudential in 2002 as head of Western Region Sales and was soon thereafter named senior vice president, National Corporate Sales. Later, he became senior vice president of Client Relations and Business Development for Prudential Retirement’s distribution and key account relationship management teams.  He held a similar position with Prudential’s Institutional Income Innovations group. 

Early in his career, George held sales leadership positions with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and The Principal Financial Group.   

He is also the Founder and CEO of Castineiras Ventures, LLC. George has three patents, 10 patents pending and 16 trademarks. 

George earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a dual bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Loyola Marymount University. He has completed executive programs at Harvard, University of Michigan, Wharton, NYU, and LIMRA. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast

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

May 4, 2016

Episode Summary

Today's episode is absolutely packed with information for all plan sponsors regardless of the current “cash” or capital preservation strategy in your 401(k) plan.  My guest, Brett Gorman, a SVP at PIMCO Investments and head of their Stable Value business shares valuable information about Money Market Reform and its impact on both plan sponsors and participants.  He also lays out a great roadmap to help plan sponsors reevaluate their capital preservation strategy to find the right mix of principal protection, liquidity and real return.  Be sure to listen for more details on what real return is and why it should be an important factor in your go forward capital preservation strategy.  

Guest Bio

Mr. Gorman, a CFA Charterholder, is a senior vice president, an account manager in the defined contribution (DC) practice, and head of PIMCO’s stable value business. The PIMCO DC Practice, with over $100 billion of  DC-related assets under management, is dedicated to promoting effective DC plan design and innovative retirement solutions and offers investment management for fixed-income, stable value and other capital preservation solutions, inflation protection, equities and asset allocation strategies such as target-date solutions. PIMCO has been managing stable value since 1992 and, with almost $30 billion in stable value assets under administration, provides a variety of stable value-related services to the market. 

Mr. Gorman currently serves on the board of directors of Stable Value Investment Association (SVIA), an industry-peer elected position. The SVIA is dedicated to providing leadership and representation on issues related to stable value before the media, educators, legislators, regulators and opinion leaders, as well as serving as a forum for the exchange of ideas and discussion of issues important to the Stable Value industry. He has spoken at a variety of industry meetings and conferences, including at numerous SVIA Forums, the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Global Wealth & Retirement Solutions Conference, DCIIA, the PIMCO DC Advisory Council, and the SPARK Institute. 

Prior to joining PIMCO, Mr. Gorman was a director and senior portfolio manager with the Deutsche Asset Management stable value team and a fixed income portfolio manager for institutional and governmental clients at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. He has 23 years of investment experience and holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Apr 7, 2016

Episode Description

If you are with a manufacturing company, this is a can’t miss episode.  Be sure to listen for key points specific to manufacturing companies about industry trends that are impacting plan design, plan health and employee retirement readiness.  Also, my guest Scott Francolini shares great advice on how manufacturers can help recruit younger workers and help older workers make a successful and timely transition into retirement.  I hope you enjoy!

Guest Bio

Scott Francolini is Senior Vice President of Mid/Large Strategic Relationship Management at John Hancock Retirement Plan Services (JHRPS). He previously held the same role at New York Life Retirement Plan Services, which merged with JHRPS in April 2015. Scott joined our organization in 2009 and has more than 20 years of experience in financial services.

He was previously Retirement Practice Lead for our Manufacturing, Materials, and Retail/Distribution industry practice, where he was responsible for establishing its strategic direction and overseeing execution through a team of Relationship Managers, ERISA Consultants, Strategic Communication Consultants, and Investment Specialists.

Prior to joining our organization, he gained valuable retirement, brokerage, and advisory services experience at CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services, Prudential Financial, and Fidelity Investments.

Scott received a B.S. in Finance from Bryant College and an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford. In addition, he maintains his FINRA Series 7, 26, and 63 registrations and is licensed with the State of Massachusetts Insurance Department.

Outside of work, Scott enjoys traveling with his family, coaching youth soccer, and skiing. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Mar 8, 2016

Episode Description

If you ever wondered how you can strategically and cost effectively partner with an ERISA Attorney to improve and protect your retirement plan, this episode with Sherrie Boutwell, ERISA Attorney and partner at Boutwell Fay, a boutique ERISA law firm should be very helpful to you.  Our discussion covered:

  • Overview of common plan errors in retirement plan documents
  • Points to negotiate in service provider contracts
  • Need to properly delegate fiduciary authority
  • Attorney-client privilege in ERISA plans
  • Value of properly structured fiduciary liability insurance  
  • Options to fix 401(k) plan errors
  • Other helpful thoughts and ideas!

Guest Bio

Sherrie Boutwell has focused for thirty years in the areas of employee benefits law and ERISA, with an emphasis on retirement and deferred compensation plans. She advises and counsels a broad range of clients, including employers, employees, plan fiduciaries, financial institutions and government agencies and trade associations, on a wide range of employee.   Sherrie has extensive experience and is a highly sought after speaker and writer on employee benefits topics.

Sherrie has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association and the United States District Court with respect to employee benefits issues.  Sherrie has experience working with the unique deferred compensation issues that arise in the non-profit and governmental employer arena and also has many years of experience in the design and operation of non-qualified executive deferred compensation plans including the requirements under Section 409A of the Code.

Sherrie takes pride in bringing a practical and down to earth approach to resolving complex benefits issues involving qualified plans, non-qualified plans and health and welfare plans.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

 

Mar 4, 2016

Episode Overview

If you are in the Not-for-Profit Healthcare sector and sponsor a retirement plan, I have some great information for you!  This is the first in a series of industry profile episodes that I will be making over the next several months.  This episodes features a broad and interesting conversation with Brodie Wood, Senior Vice President, Not-for-Profit Markets at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.  He shared several great pearls of wisdom for employers who sponsor a 403(b) or 401(k) plans in this sector such as:

  • Business trends in the sector that may impact retirement plans
  • Impact of physicians integrating back into hospital systems
  • Updates on employer contribution levels 
  • Strategies to encourage higher participation and contribution rates
  • Emergence of Retirement Readiness as a measure of plan success
  • How introducing Financial Wellness can improve participant outcomes

For more information on this episode, please go to www.401kfridays.com.  

If you like what you hear, please share with a colleague, friend or peer.  Also, please leave feedback on iTunes or Google Play. 

Guest Bio

Brodie Wood, is a Senior Vice President, and head of Not-for-Profit Markets at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.  In his role, Mr. Wood leads and is responsible for the company’s not-for-profit business and product development efforts. He was previously Vice President of Transamerica’s Participant Counseling Organization, a group dedicated to delivering employee education and retirement planning for plan participants. 

He has also served on the board of the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management since 2010. He has been involved in the retirement plan field for the past fifteen years helping participants become retirement ready. 

Mr. Wood earned his B.A. with a dual major in Spanish and Business from Utah State University. He has also completed his M.B.A. from Brigham Young University in 2002. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt and holds FINRA Series 26, 7, 63, and CRPC designations. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Feb 23, 2016

Introduction

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Episode Summary

The main focus of our conversation is determining if some common employer beliefs about retirement plan audits are truth or myth. John also pulls from his experience to offer some tips to employers who are preparing for their first audit and best practices for some grizzled veterans to help their audit run smoothly.

Guest Bio

My guest today is John Russon, a retirement plan auditor and founder of Pension Assurance, a single purpose audit firm that specializes in auditing qualified retirement plans.  In 2005, after spending several years working at both “Big Four” and local CPA firms, John launched a small, independent practice dedicated to the audit of retirement plans. This fledgling practice was merged with a local CPA firm in 2006. Over the next seven years, the practice grew substantially. In 2007, the practice performed he formed Pension Assurance.  As of early 2016, John and his firm audit over 170 retirement plans.  According to the recent Department of Labor study, this puts them in the top 2% of firms that audit retirement plans.  This also gives them great perspective on what is happening in the marketplace.

Show Links

Retirement Plan Auditor Sample RFP Questions

DOL Study on Retirement Plan Auditors

For my information please visit www.401kfridays.com

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