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401(k) Fridays Podcast

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The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve their retirement plans. My name is Rick Unser and I am your host. All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. To learn more, please visit www.401kfridays.com

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve their retirement plans. My name is Rick Unser and I am your host. All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. To learn more, please visit www.401kfridays.com
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United States

Description:

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve their retirement plans. My name is Rick Unser and I am your host. All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. To learn more, please visit www.401kfridays.com

Language:

English


Episodes

401(k) Self Directed Brokerage Accounts: Fiduciary Considerations

6/28/2019
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This episode is a follow on conversation to an episode a few months ago where we talked about the operational aspects of self-directed brokerage accounts in workplace retirement plans. While you don’t have to listen to the prior episode first, it is definitely worth checking out if you are interested in the topic. Today, Tom Clark, a Partner and ERISA Attorney with the Wagner Law Group and I jump into the sometimes scary and confusing fiduciary territory of offering self-directed brokerage...

Duration:01:03:38

Selecting Index Funds: Just Look At Expense Ratios, or Is There More To Consider?

6/21/2019
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For the last several years a consistent message in the marketplace for retirement plan sponsors, participants and the industry has been the importance of investment fees. The good news is nearly all investment fees have been on a downward trend. As the cost of many passive investment options approach zero, is expense still the most important factor when evaluating index strategies? Today, I am happy to welcome Marty Kleppe, Head of Index Investing at Vanguard to share his thoughts. With...

Duration:01:04:09

401(k) Litigation: Trends That May (or May Not) Fuel Future Lawsuits

6/14/2019
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One of the most popular questions we get from employers is what is going on with 401(k) or ERISA litigation, or the close cousin to the question, what is on the horizon that we should be aware of? To share some perspective on that and much more, I am happy to welcome Carl Engstrom, a partner with Nichols Kaster, a plaintiff’s litigation firm who has secured over $100 million in ERISA settlements in the last few years. During our conversation, Carl does a great job sorting through some...

Duration:01:08:58

Student Loan Debt: The Next Economic Crisis or Something Else?

6/7/2019
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Student loans have gotten a lot of attention recently. Whether it is due to the sheer number of loans and size of the outstanding debt, or due to the competition for talent, employers are weighing whether they should offer new benefit to help those who have them. Today, we take a little different view on student loan debt and delve into the impact they might have on the economy and unpack a few popular narratives in the marketplace. To provide the intellectual muscle to the conversation I...

Duration:01:02:09

Is Your 401(k) Plan Retiree Friendly?

5/31/2019
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A few years ago, the idea that participants in 401(k) plans were going to keep their money in their retirement plans longer started to gain traction. Today, my guest Sue Walton, a SVP and Senior Retirement Strategist with The Capital Group shares how that idea got started and more. I start with sharing a few of my preconceived notions about how retirement plans work for retirees, Sue responds to a few cynical comments and then get into the meat of how to make your workplace retirement plan...

Duration:01:06:14

401(k) Fiduciary Fundamentals: The Duty To Monitor

5/24/2019
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Thought it might be helpful to discuss a core retirement plan fiduciary concept, the duty to monitor. To lend some muscle to the conversation I was excited to welcome back Jim Scheinberg, the Managing Partner and Founder of North Pier Fiduciary Management. We kick off with one of the best explanations of what it means to be a fiduciary that I have heard and then we delve into the world what the fiduciary duty to monitor means, best practices for plan sponsors to follow and much more. Jim...

Duration:01:06:41

What Does Chewing Glass & FOMO Have To Do With 401(k) Investment Offerings?

5/17/2019
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We break new ground today on the podcast as we talk about FOMO, catching falling knives, Uncle Warren and chewing glass. My guest today is John Allen, CFA the Chief Investment Officer at Aspirant. We also hit on some other great concepts such as why it is important to understand vs. observe what your investment managers are doing, thoughts on the impact of investment bubbles in the short, medium and long term. I also have a new word for my vocabulary, conflate, John makes some insightful...

Duration:01:03:32

401(k) Investment Menu Design In A Slow, Low or No Growth Environment: Fixed Income

5/10/2019
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This episode is a companion episode to a similar one we released a few weeks about which focussed on the equity side of the conversation. Not require listening, but if this one caught your eye, you should check that one out as well. My guest today, John Bellows, PhD, a Portfolio Manager with Western Asset Management and a member of their US Broad Strategy Committee, the Global Investment Strategy Committee and the Global Portfolios team. We jump into the recent market action right out of the...

Duration:00:49:32

The Future of Fiduciary... Is Not Fiduciary?

5/3/2019
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The title for this episode might seem a little confusing, but after you listen to my conversation with Don Trone, CEO and Co-founder of 3Ethos it will make a lot more sense. This is Don’s second visit to the podcast, if you missed his first one, Building a Stronger Retirement Plan Fiduciary, it is a great listen as well. Today we kick off with a quick post mortem on the DOL fiduciary rule and thoughts on the movements within some states to create their own version of a fiduciary rule. We...

Duration:01:01:11

The (Exciting) Lifecycle of a 401(k) Plan Document

4/26/2019
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Today I welcome back Marcia Wagner, ERISA Attorney and founder of the Wagner Law Group, to tackle the not so straightforward lifecycle of a 401(k) or workplace retirement plan document. Logically we start at the beginning on what it takes to create a 401(k) plan document, and move through common steps to maintain a document and things that happen along the journey, and close with terminating a retirement plan. With several changes in rules, IRS programs and some general confusion in many...

Duration:00:47:03

Having a Productive Conversation with a Fund Manager: Why, How & Why Now?

4/19/2019
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This episode is inspired by some recent conversations I have had with workplace retirement plan or fiduciary committees and some hesitancy they have had in speaking with managers of invests they offer in their plans. My guest today is John Forrest, Head of the Research Practice at Russell Investments, and to say the least, he has a little experience in this area. In my experience, some members of retirement plan committees have avoided speaking with managers as they don’t feel equipped to...

Duration:01:03:29

401(k) Self Directed Brokerage Accounts: Trending or Trouble?

4/12/2019
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This week we take our first glimpse into self directed brokerage or brokerage accounts linked to workplace retirement plans. Historically this has been a confusing and polarizing topic amongst retirement plan sponsors and the retirement industry. To help with the conversation, I have Nathan Voris, Managing Director for Business Strategy of Charles Schwab Retirement Plan Services. During our conversation, we tackle a statement popularized in a movie classic that probably applies to how...

Duration:00:43:05

401(k) Investment Menu Design In A Slow, Low or No Growth Environment: Equities

4/5/2019
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Numerous guests have hinted at the capital market forecasts they or others have made with the common theme of anticipating lower returns than we had in the last decade. I thought it might be timely and helpful to steer into this and talk about what that could mean for workplace retirement plan investment menus. With me today, I have Andy Pyne, Executive Vice President and Equity Strategist at PIMCO to dive into the equity piece of the conversation. We start with a quick discussion on the...

Duration:01:04:02

The Business of Being in the 401(k) Business: What the Future Holds for TPAs

3/29/2019
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Today we explore the changing landscape of Third Party Administrators, better known as TPAs. With me, I am excited to have Jerry Bramlett, Head of TPA Solutions for Acensus. During our wide ranging and insightful conversion we cover the current realities and challenges of TPAs, why consolidation wave has begun and how will the business and service models of TPAs either change or stay the same going forward. We also hit on a few questions I received from listeners such as the impact of fee...

Duration:01:02:28

Defending a 401(k) Lawsuit: American Century Case Study

3/15/2019
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The worst nightmare of many retirement plan fiduciaries is to find themselves the target of a class action ERISA or 401(k) lawsuit. My guests today, are intimately familiar with that feeling and more importantly, lived to tell about it. Returning to the podcast I have Jamie Fleckner, ERISA Litigation Chair at Goodwin and Diane Gallagher, the Chair of the American Century Corporate Retirement Plan Committee. During this fascinating conversation you will hear how the 401(k) class action...

Duration:01:12:55

What Do People Really Think About 401(k) Plans?

3/8/2019
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Maybe its just that time of year again, but a few articles have popped up recently about how we need to overhaul 401(k) plans, or how we need to scrap the 401(k), you get the picture. However, my guest today, Sarah Holden, Senior Director of Retirement & Investor Research at the Investment Company Institute has some powerful data which tells a different story. While few would suggest that 401(k) plans are perfect, Sarah and ICI have spent years delving into what people really think about...

Duration:00:56:57

What's Next For Automatic 401(k) Plan Features & Behavioral Finance?

3/1/2019
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It’s been a little while since we have focussed an episode on plan design of behavioral finance. So, no time like the present to make that happen! To provide the mental muscle behind the conversation I was excited to have Steve Shu, a Managing Principal at Digitai and a Researcher, at the City University of London. As an expert in behavioral science and someone who has worked with the likes of Schlomo Bernartzi and other pioneers in the field, he brings some current and unique insights on...

Duration:01:02:07

401(k) Discrimination Testing - Rebroadcast

2/22/2019
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Whether you are passing or failing your discrimination testing, this is a great episode to help get your arms around some of the key concepts and fundamentals behind coverage and discrimination testing. My guest is Doug Van Galder, a Compliance Analyst with the ERISA Law Firm Boutwell Fay, who has worked with countless employers over his 35 year career to help them navigate the sometimes challenging testing waters. We start with the basics, discuss strategies to improve testing results and...

Duration:01:04:50

The Business of Being In the 401(k) Business: Gazing Into the Future

2/8/2019
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Today we gaze into the future and explore how retirement service providers business models and product offerings to employers and employees could evolved in the coming years. My guest, Dick Darian, the founder and CEO of Wise Rhino Group brings his tremendous enthusiasm for the topic and his years of diverse experience leading firms like BlackRock, MFS and ING, now Voya to the conversation. Be forewarned, there is definitely some inside baseball and with as busy as Dick is these days, I...

Duration:00:59:14

Exploring The Parallel Universe of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans

2/1/2019
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Today we take leave the world of 401(k) plans and enter the parallel universe of nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. This is a new topic on the podcast and was happy to have Will Tysse and Taylor French, Partners and co-chairs of the employee benefits and executive compensation practice at the law firm McGuireWoods join me. This is a broad topic so we started picking away at it by discussing why employers start nonqualified plans, how they are similar and different from 401(k)...

Duration:01:06:28