The Best Retirement Research of 2012

For the second consecutive year, we bring you the most intriguing, influential and useful retirement-related academic research that came to our attention in the prior year.

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)

Prudential Enters DIA Space with All-Bond VA

“The annuity space is book-ended at one end by the SPIA, and at the other end by the VA with a guaranteed lifetime income benefit. Our new product resides somewhere in the middle," says Bruce Ferris (left) of Prudential Annuities.

Ten Questions about Quantitative Easing

If quantitative easing and other unconventional monetary policies remain in place for too long, their side effects could be severe – and the longer-term costs very high, warns this ever-pessimistic economist.

Debate continues over capping 401(k) tax break at 28%

Under the “28% cap” proposal, someone in the 39.6% marginal tax bracket could reduce his federal income taxes by a maximum of $14,000 on a deferral of $50,000 into a 401(k) plan, rather than the potential $19,800 tax savings under current law.

Small plan participants pay as much as 1.97% in annual fees

The average target date fund expense in a large plan is .98%, while the balanced fund average is 1.12%. The average target date fund expense for a small plan is 1.37%, while the balanced fund average is 1.45%, according to the 13th edition of the 401k Averages Book.

Pacific Life announces new pension de-risking product

The product is intended to enable plan sponsors “to de-risk their pension obligations and stabilize their corporate balance sheets and income statements without affecting plan termination, said a Pacific Life executive in a release.