The Black Box of 401(k) Expenses

The experts--Louis Harvey of Dalbar, Mike Alfred of Brightscope, David Witz of PlanTools, Phil Chiricotti of CFDD, Jonathan Leidy, CFP, and Tussey v. ABB attorney Jerry Schlichter--talk about what the 401(k) fee disclosure rules will mean.

Searching for an Oasis

This roundup of investment flow reports from Beacon Research, Strategic Insight, Morningstar and the Insured Retirement Institute suggests that investors are looking for shelter from an economic sandstorm in which visibility has declined to zero.

What’s Good for General Motors…

A month after Ford’s pension buyout offer, GM is offering some salaried retirees a choice of a lump sum buyout or lifetime income from Prudential. Both automakers took advantage of a change in discount rates to reduce obligations.

No Fluke: Income Annuity Sales are for Real

Sales of income annuities may soon breach the $10 billion-a-year barrier. We talked to the Numbers 2 through 5 SPIA sellers in the U.S.: MetLife, MassMutual, Pacific Life (whose symbol is the humpback whale), and Nationwide.

How 401(k) Revenue-Sharing Works

This five-minute video from the Government Accountability Office explains the mechanics of revenue sharing between investment fund companies and 401k recordkeepers, a process that many 401k sponsors do not understand well.

Ernst & Young reports 1Q changes to VA contracts

Great West, Jackson National and Sun America introduced new VAs, while Allianz Life, MetLife and Ohio National introduced new living benefits, according to data from E&Y's Retirement Income Knowledge Bank.

CFDD seeks members for new custom TDF group

The 'Custom QDIA Association" intends to provide members with competitive intelligence, a website, data feeds, target date fund screens, performance reporting, enhanced CIT reporting and custom solutions workshops.

SoA weighs pension provisions in Senate bill

SOA researchers analyzed the bill, "MAP-21," from the perspective of three key principles of funding regulation: the transparency of plan funded status, the solvency of the system, and the stability and predictability of future contribution requirements.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Towers Watson, CBOE Futures Exchange, Sharebuilder 401k, Prudential Financial,,, USAA, Mass Mutual Retirement Services and the Phoenix Companies.

“Quote” of the Week

“The whole disclosure bandwagon is insane. Collectively, 401(k) plan fees are not too high now and they have never been too high. These plans are by far the most cost effective way for the average person to save. They are the most successful savings vehicle in history. They are not a failure." -- Phil Chiricotti, president, Center for Due Diligence, in an email to RIJ.

Welcome to RIJAdvisor

On June 18, we launched our first edition of a new twice-monthly supplement to RIJ, RIJAdvisor. You can visit it by clicking the toggle button in the middle of the RIJ menu bar, and then toggle back again the same way. RIJAdvisor will provide "Information for Retirement Income Specialists."