Micro-Pensions in Central America

You've heard of micro-credit: those mini-loans to female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Now a micro-pension movement is underway, and one of the first pilot projects starts next month in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Part I of a two-part article.

‘Smart,’ from UK, Enters the US PEP Market

'Smart' is the recently-launched American branch of a British fintech with expertise in a kind of retirement savings plan that's called a 'master trust' in the UK and a 'pooled employer plan' or PEP in the US. RIJ interviewed two of its top executives.

Research Roundup

Almost every controversial subject in the US today--from Fed policy to machine learning to immigration--contains an element or theme related to retirement policy. The articles reviewed in this month's Research Roundup are proof of that.

‘iTDFs’ Smooth the Bumps of Retirement Income

A former chief actuary of Denmark seeks a US target date fund company that might use his technology, the 'iTDF,' to create a seamless transition from pre-retirement savings to safe income during the first 20 years of retirement.
News

MetLife Tops VA Sales in 2Q

Variable annuity sales improved for the fifth consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2011, while fixed annuity sales were one percent less than in the year-ago quarter, according to a report from LIMRA.

It pays not to panic, Fidelity survey shows

Plan participants who dropped to zero equities but then returned to some equities after the 2008 crisis saw an average account balance increase of 25% by June 30, 2011, compared to 50% for those who stuck with their equities.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from T. Rowe Price, Securian, Zurich, The Hartford, New York Life and MetLife.

The Great Contraction

'The global economy is badly overleveraged, and there is no quick escape without a scheme to transfer wealth from creditors to debtors, either through defaults, financial repression, or inflation,' writes Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff.

Does Decumulation Spell Doom?

Economists at the San Francisco Fed suggest that P/E ratios are bound to suffer as the Boomer cohort gets older and liquidates its assets.