Critical Mass: Defined Contribution Can Transcend State of Crisis

The vast majority of Americans are saving too little to fund their future retirement needs, and US defined contribution (DC) plans cannot single-handedly make up the difference. The American retirement system is in crisis.

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Putting Tax-Deferred Accounts to Best Use

Kathleen M. Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik The common wisdom about retirement planning is to fund tax-deferred vehicles such as 401(k) plans and IRAs to the max—and we agree. But how to put these accounts to best use is more complicated.    

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Extreme Makeover for US Retirement Plan Menus?

We’ve heard rumblings in Washington: to fix America’s retirement problem, some argue we need to replace the whole defined contribution (DC) system; others say it just needs some targeted changes. We agree with the latter. A good place to start is a sensible rethinking of DC plan menus.

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Investing in Retirement: Bonds Aren’t Enough

By Kathleen M. Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik What should you invest in after the spigot of earned income is turned off? It’s a vexing question, especially since we expect lower stock and bond returns going forward.

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Retirement Planning Today: Clearing the Hurdles

By Kathleen M. Fisher (pictured) and Tara Thompson Popernik “Money isn’t everything,” proclaimed American fashionista André Leon Talley, “but it is when you start thinking about…your retirement days.” While retirement may bring more time for entertainment and family, today even prospective retirees of substantial means (or fabulous taste) may not feel confident that their experiences [...]

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“Please, Sir, I Want Some More”

By Kathleen M. Fisher and Stephen M. Lippman Oliver Twist had no luck with his plaintive request, “Please, sir, I want some more.” But high-income doctors, lawyers, accountants and small-business owners in the US can get more—increased tax deferrals for retirement savings—courtesy of a cash balance plan.

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How Much Risk Does Adding Stocks Pose?

Investors have good reasons for their recent net increase in stock fund purchases—and good reasons to remain anxious, in our view. While market volatility has returned to normal, memories of the wild market swings of the past five years loom large. Here’s what we think about the risk of increasing stock exposure now.

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The Next Step to Increasing DC Plan Participation

Defined contribution (DC) plans can deliver benefits only if workers choose to participate. Unfortunately, about one in every five eligible US employees chooses not to, according to research from Aon Hewitt.

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The Myth of the Nest Egg

For decades we’ve focused on the nest-egg notion as the goal for retirement saving, benchmarking our progress in relation to that lump sum. But it has no context other than probably being the single biggest “paycheck” most of us will ever see.

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The Road to Restoring Confidence in Retirement

We are optimistic that a bright future lies ahead for retirement, despite all the concerns that Americans feel today.

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