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.

A Revolt Against PE-Led Annuity Issuers

Matt Zagula is an annuity wholesaler and fixed indexed annuity (FIA) designer. He and forensic accountant Tom Gober created the TSR ratio, a scale for rating FIA issuers. Mutual and fraternal insurers score best; private equity-led life insurers score worst.

Trump’s Tax Reform Dilemma

Tax reform will require more than the mere elimination of waste, fraud and abuse in government, warns our guest columnist, a former Treasury official. Popular subsidies, like the tax deferral for retirement savings, will be scrutinized.

Talking Annuities with Voya’s Carolyn Johnson

"Taking away the variability on the compensation—that’s generally a good thing,' said Johnson, CEO of the combined annuity and individual life insurance businesses at Voya Financial. "Voya hasn’t played the ‘highest commission’ game."

How myths about the debt cause gridlock

Misplaced dread of the national debt is the sole point of bipartisan agreement in DC, explains economist Stephanie Kelton in the first 38 minutes of this video from the Hyman P. Minsky Conference at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College in April.

Honorable Mention

Brief or late-breaking items from the CFP Board, iRelaunch, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors, Prudential Financial, Fidelity and Envestnet.