In 1799, They Said ‘No’ to Taxes

In March 1799. not far from where I live today, an auctioneer named John Fries led a protest against the first direct tax on American homeowners. Alexander Hamilton wanted him hanged as an example of the consequences of defying the central government.

Beware the ‘Specialized’ ETFs

In this month's Research Roundup, RIJ shares four recent academic papers on the proliferation of ETFs, the danger (or not) of national debt, rational inflation expectations, and the impact of recent changes in RMD rules.

Jackson National Puts Its Future in Veteran Hands

Laura Prieskorn (left) and Marcia Wadsten are the new CEO and CFO of Jackson National Life. The leading seller of variable annuities in the US is in the process of demerging from its long-time British owner, Prudential plc.

Which ‘Dependency Ratio’ Should We Use?

Economists typically use the 'aged dependency ratio' to show the burden of the Social Security program on workers. But the 'total dependency ratio' might be more informative. (Photo by Johann Walter Bantz.)
Featured

Are Annuity Buyers Smarter than Other People?

“The observed lack of annuitization does not necessarily mean that people are better off without annuities,” write retirement specialists Jeff Brown, Olivia Mitchell and others in a new research paper. They link low financial literacy to low annuity sales.

Secrets of Tax-Efficient Drawdown

In a regular new feature on the latest retirement-related research, we look at a variety of recent articles, including one that might just change the way you think about tax-efficient spending strategies.
News

IRS relaxes penalty that discouraged auto-enrollment

A penalty on plan sponsors for failing to make scheduled deferrals to auto-enrolled plan participants was identified as a barrier to adoption of auto-enrollment into retirement plans, so the IRS has conditionally removed it, on a trial basis, until 2021.

Towers Watson CEO extols ‘bridge’ strategy

People who retire at age 62 should spend personal savings for eight years and claim Social Security at age 70, rather than claim SS at age 62. So says John Haley, CEO of Towers Watson, in this lively video taped at the Bipartisan Policy Center recently.