The Borzi Ballet

In this 3-min. video, Assistant Sec. of Labor Phyllis Borzi responds to IRI CEO Cathy Weatherford's question about Borzi's anticipated re-proposal of a "fiduciary rule" for retirement plan advisors. They and Deputy Assistant Sec. of Treasury Mark Iwry discussed retirement regulatory issues at this week's IRI conference in Washington, D.C.

‘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.
Featured

Harbinger unit offers fixed deferred annuity with GLWB

“Agents have told us that they want to lead with the income story and don’t want to complicate it with indexing methods," said Brian Grigg, vice president of annuity distribution at Fidelity & Guaranty Life, which Harbinger bought from Old Mutual plc in 2011.

Waiting for the DoL’s Fiduciary Do-Over

If the retirement plan space were Dodge City, do you think that a fiduciary rule would A) Clean up Dodge City for the benefit of all or B) Sterilize Dodge City of all commercial activity, to the detriment of all? That may be the essence of the fiduciary debate. Is there room for compromise? Apparently not.
News

Details of Hartford’s VA benefit rollback

Once a leader in VA sales, Hartford is now a receder. In a May 1 SEC filing, it gave existing contract owners an October 4 deadline to choose between reducing their risk profiles and losing their living benefit. Having left the annuity business, Hartford may have much to gain by the move and little to lose--except perhaps more of its reputation.

European employers ponder ways to cut pension costs

The members of the General Employers' Association Netherlands met recently to discuss the transition from defined benefit to defined contribution plans and to explore pension-cost reduction. There was a tie-in to the US via Dimensional Fund Advisors' European chief.

ARIA, PIMCO and Transamerica partner on bond-based CDA

This late-breaking story contains a link to the prospectus, filed May 15 with the SEC, for a new contingent deferred annuity, also known as a stand-alone living benefit, or SALB. The product is designed for the registered investment advisor channel.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Transamerica, Genworth Financial and the National Institute on Retirement Security.

Quote of the Week

"Money, like information but unlike material objects, can, by assuming different forms, be made to exist in more than one place at a single time"-- George B. Dyson, "Darwin Among the Machines" (1997).