Most of the workshops and discussions at the NAPA Summit in San Diego were devoted not to the pending DoL fiduciary proposal but to potential solutions to the problems that retirement plan advisors grapple with every working day.
Three retirement experts talk about boring products that you might wish you owned right now: I-Bonds, cash value life insurance and annuities.
Franklin Templeton SVP Drew Carrington says his firm's Defined Maturity Funds, which work like bond ladders, could provide retirement income for 401(k) participants, and could be paired with qualified longevity annuity contracts.
A mortality and longevity expert at Willis Towers Watson writes that 'the variability of the mortality impact by age makes the impact highly variable by type of insurer.'
Industry-wide annuity sales reached $229.4 billion in 2014, a 3.8% increase from $220.9 billion in 2013 and an 8.2% increase from $212 billion in 2012.
The product resembles other structured variable annuities in the marketplace, issued by MetLife, AXA, CUNA Mutual and Allianz Life. These products offer more upside potential than fixed indexed annuities because the owner assumes some risk of loss.
Ameriprise Financial will pay $27.5 million to settle charges that its own 401(k) plan investment options were too expensive and Bank of New York Mellon will pay $84 million for offering unfavorable pricing to most of its 'standing instruction' foreign exchange clients.
“Billions of dollars in savings are lost each year because of hidden fees and conflicted financial advice,” Scott Stringer said, borrowing a theme from the Obama administration, which has made a fiduciary standard for advisors to rollover IRA clients a policy priority for 2015.
The traditional 'replacement rate' method of gauging retirement savings adequacy ignores the risk of outliving one’s savings, post-retirement investment risk, and nursing home costs, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
“You go to the doctor to make you feel better. But a doctor doesn’t have to make someone else sick in order to make you feel better.” Gus Sauter, retired Vanguard CIO, on the zero-sum nature of transactions in the equity markets, during an address at a Society of Actuaries meeting on active vs. passive investing..