O3 Insights


(Reprinted from Human Resource Executive) I posted here earlier this month about a provocative Wall Street Journal piece in which the creators and early adopters of the 401(k) retirement-savings vehicle lament the revolution they started. Their point: They had no intention of watching the concept turn into the sole — and highly inadequate — savings receptacle for employees. Now, on the heels of that, benefits expert Larry Sher is taking that discussion even further, to a whole lot more wrong with the defined-contribution approach and the people who support it. Read More

How to Optimize a 401(k) Plan for Employer, Employees

(Published on CFO.com) Lately the benefits press has written an awful lot about the latest trend in employer-provided retirement benefits: making defined contribution (DC) plans look more like defined benefit (DB) plans. It's not just about making a DC plan look more like a DB plan; take a look at market-return cash balance plans and how they can solve the issues facing DB plan sponsors. Download

A Modern Defined Benefit Plan (reprinted from PLANSPONSOR)

Why a market-return cash balance plan might be the right design to improve sponsor and participant outcomes. Although defined contribution (DC) plans include many great features—including flexibility, ease of understanding and stable sponsor costs—many plan sponsors and policymakers, recognizing the shortcomings of a DC-only retirement program, have been seeking ways to reintroduce defined benefit (DB) plan features into DC plans. Download

Exploring hybrid plans with Thomson Reuters' Practical Law

Hybrid plans are gaining attention as more sponsors recognize the advantage of designing DB plans that look and act like DC plans. In collaboration with October Three, Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law published a comprehensive guide to market-based hybrid plans, also known as Market Return Cash Balance plans. The article investigates the merits of these much talked about plans, to provide a thorough analysis of the facts. Download

Variable annuity designs: promise and pitfalls

While corporate America continues to move away from defined benefit (DB) plans, these designs have enjoyed a sharp uptick in popularity in some market segments in recent years. The trend is due in part to enabling legislation (the Pension Protection Act (PPA), enacted in 2006), which has sparked a wave of innovative plan design solutions. However, there are significant employer risks associated with Variable Annuity design, particularly when combined with a lump sum payment provision. Read More

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