What Happened to the ‘Auto-IRA’?

Mark Iwry (pictured), an assistant Treasury Secretary, came into the current administration with hopes of making the "Automatic IRA," a workplace savings plan for people without a plan, a reality. But it became the subject of conspiracy theories and its prospects are now dim. Photo courtesy of the National Press Foundation.

Examining the Indices in Index-Linked Annuities

A mountain biker needs 18 or 21 gears to smooth a path over rocks and through arroyos. Index-linked annuities now collectively offer some 140 index choices. Hybrid indices can theoretically smooth an investor’s path through rocky markets--but they're complicated.

The Point of Indexing (in Annuities)

Every June, RIJ focuses on indexed annuities. Last year, we studied options in indexed annuities. This year we consider the indexes themselves, especially 'hybrid' and 'volatility-controlled' indexes. Bryan Anderson, Don Dady and David Lau weighed in.

The Irony of Inflation Forecasting (Research Roundup)

In this month's roundup, we learn that CEOs pay little attention to inflation. We also find out why retirees keep saving, why "centaurs" pick stocks so well, which financial biases keep people poor, and how working longer affects male mortality.

A Flock of Black Swans

Forget the Ides of March. Beware of the entire month of August, says Harvard's Jeffrey Frankel. That's when the doctors are away and the lunatics take over the asylum.

Prudential Launches HD Lifetime Income 2.0

Highest Daily Lifetime Income 2.0, which includes an enhanced death benefit, replaces Highest Daily Lifetime Income and Spousal Highest Daily Lifetime Income benefits.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from New York LIfe, Vanguard, Fidelity, and National Planning Holdings.

Quote of the Week

"When there are economic gains to be allocated, our political process can allocate them. But when there are large economic losses to be allocated, our political system is paralyzed. And with political paralysis comes economic paralysis." -- Lester Thurow, The Zero Sum Society, 1980.

RIIA’s Retirement ‘Bootcamp’

I drove up to Salem, Mass., last week to see what the classes for the Retirement Income Industry Association's RMA designation were all about.