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401(k) plans

DOL cybersecurity guidance

The focus of this guidance is not sponsor cybersecurity. Rather, the focus is on the responsibility of plan fiduciaries for the cybersecurity of plan providers, a slightly more complicated issue.

Annuity Purchase Update: April 2021 Interest Rates

Despite the persistence of the pandemic, it is clear that the outlook for plan sponsors is currently trending positively. Equity markets are strong and interest rates are rising. This is leading to improved plan funding statuses and lower annuity purchase prices.

Multiple employer plans – fiduciary litigation risk – introduction

Multiple employer plans (MEPs) are emerging as a provider-based alternative to single employer 401(k) plans, particularly for smaller employers. It seems likely that, as these MEPs accumulate assets, they will begin to be the target of the same sort of fiduciary litigation that has afflicted the single employer 401(k) plan community. In this introductory article…Read More

Annuity Purchase Update: February 2021 Interest Rates

De-risking defined benefit pension plans through the purchase of annuities has been executed by companies of all sizes as a way to manage their liabilities and expenses. In 2020, $26.5B of annuities were purchased by plan sponsors. Many frozen plans implement this strategy to move them a step closer to their ultimate end game.

Annuity Purchase Update: January 2021 Interest Rates

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on numerous negative consequences, including a sharp market decline, reduced employee workforces, and decreased overall productivity. This caused plan sponsors to shift their priorities away from their pension plans and place annuity purchase transactions on hold during the second and third quarter of 2020.

2021 Retirement policy legislative agenda

With the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, they are now in a position to move legislation. In what follows we discuss, briefly, the procedural issues that may limit what legislation may be viable, and then consider a variety of proposals that indirectly or directly affect retirement policy that Democrats may consider giving priority.

Retirement savings finance at the end of 2020

Bottom line: interest rates have stabilized since mid-Summer (near all-time lows) while asset performance has improved dramatically, leaving DB plans on-net slightly better off than they were at the beginning of the year. DC participants – who are generally (on average) younger than DB participants, with longer durations, and thus more affected by 2020 interest rate declines – did (on average) less well, notwithstanding strong asset returns.