Public Pensions, Version 2.0

In New Brunswick, Canada, city officials and union leaders are experimenting with a new, more frugal kind of public pension that’s based on the principle of “Shared Risk.”

Marshmallows and Social Security

Should US retirees delay claiming Social Security until age 70, even if they have to spend savings until then? The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College proposes that strategy as a default option in retirement plans.

How to Choose an Annuity Issuer

Shopping for an annuity, like shopping for a car, involves questions about the manufacturer of the product. Do their products perform as expected? Will service quality be high? Are they likely to stay in business? We show you where to look for answers.

Time to Put Benjamins Back in the Sock Drawer?

At the LIMRA annual conference in Boston earlier this week, MIT economist James Poterba described how low interest rates make saving for retirement more of a challenge.
Featured

Chicago could learn from St. John

The Second City's municipal pensions are underfunded by billions of dollars. The mayor wants Chicago's public employees' unions to make the kinds of concessions that unions in St. John, New Brunswick, recently made, in return for neutral management of plan assets.

Living longer—and livelier

“Our major conclusion is that time spent in poor physical functioning is being increasingly compressed into the period just before death,” write David Cutler of Harvard, Mary Beth Landrum of Harvard Medical School, and Kaushik Ghosh of NBER.
News

Large private DB plans are mending fast: Milliman

"The last 12 months were the best 12-month period for corporate pension funded status in the history of our study," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman Pension Funding Index.

Investors flock back to stocks

“The strong enthusiasm for equities should give contrarians pause,” said David Santschi, CEO of TrimTabs. “Four of the ten largest inflows into U.S. equity funds occurred at the peak of the technology bubble in early 2000.”

Variable annuity filings in May: Beacon Research

Principal Life, First Investors Life, Allianz Life, Lincoln National Life and Lincoln Life & Annuity of NY all filed N-4/A contracts for approval. (Links to contracts included.)

IRI announces speakers for its September 22-24 meeting

Featured speakers will include Roger Ferguson of TIAA-CREF, Dan Arnold of LPL Financial, Jonah Berger of the Wharton School, Lisa Bodell of futurethink, Joseph F. Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab and others.

Letter to the Editor

J. Spencer Williams, CEO of Retirement Clearinghouse, comments on our cover story last week on "Zombie" 401(k) Accounts.