Fees Matter a Lot, but They’re Not All That Matters

The US Department of Labor’s new fee-disclosure rules for defined contribution (DC) plans will provide participants with much more information on plan and investment-option fees. That’s good. But there’s a real risk that it may unintentionally drive participants toward making poor investment decisions, as my colleagues Mark Fortier and Daniel Notto explain below.

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New Rules to Shed More Light on US DC Plan Provider Fees

This spring and early summer will be a busy time for US defined contribution plan sponsors and providers, but to a good end: greater clarity on services and fees.

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The Risk in De-Risking Now

The extraordinary market volatility and poor equity returns of recent years—as well as fears about the macroeconomic outlook—have prompted many investors to contemplate de-risking their overall portfolios. Perhaps they should—but first, they should contemplate the return side of the equation.

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Making Forecasts Reliable—and Useful

If there’s one thing you know about capital-market forecasts, it’s that they’re usually wrong. So why bother forecasting—or paying attention to forecasts?

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Why Aren’t US DC Participants Annuitizing Their Savings at Retirement?

Two-thirds of US defined contribution (DC) plan participants say that a secure retirement income stream is the most important feature they’re looking for, as we noted in our seventh annual survey report. But US workers rarely convert their retirement savings to lifetime income by purchasing a traditional fixed annuity. What’s standing in the way?

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What Workers Get—and Don’t Get—About Target-Date Funds

Target-date funds have gained strong approval among US defined contribution (DC) plan participants who use them, as I have written before. But results from our seventh annual survey suggest that many US DC plan participants still have some mistaken notions about what target-date funds are…and are not.

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Are Traditional Annuities Bad for Your Wealth? A UK Perspective

Roughly 90% of defined contribution (DC) savers in the UK still buy fixed-rate immediate annuities at retirement. Does this make sense for UK workers, and is there a lesson to be learned for the US?

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Retirement Confidence Falls Sharply Among Older Workers

Market losses and continuing volatility have badly shaken US workers’—particularly older workers’—confidence in the prospects of a comfortable retirement, according to our recent survey of US defined contribution (DC) plan participants.

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How to Diversify When Markets Are Highly Correlated

With economic and political developments driving big gyrations in equity markets, at first blush it seems that all stocks are moving together and diversification benefits have diminished. But as my colleague Andrew Chin explained in a recent article, spreading exposures across the spectrum of equity risk and return factors is now more important than ever. 

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Our View on the Final Participant Advice Rules

In a reversal, the US Department of Labor’s final regulation requires computer-generated investment advice to include target-date funds when comparing the investment offerings provided by a defined contribution plan. But the hurdles to being compliant are high.

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