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NAGDCA Newsletter - The Contributor

NAGDCA accepts article submissions from all members. To submit an article for the NAGDCA Contributor, please click here.

2018 due dates for newsletter articles:

  • Winter:       January 10
  • Spring:       April 11
  • Summer:    July 11
  • Fall:           October 10
The Contributor
 
The Contributor Winter 2016
Published on : Monday, January 25, 2016

NAGDCA Executive Board Slated to Visit Capitol Hill
NAGDCA’s Executive Board is planning for their annual “Hill Visits” in March, during which they will meet with influential leaders on Capitol Hill, including the House and Senate tax committees and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The meetings offer NAGDCA’s Executive Board an opportunity to consult on retirement related legislation, offer and seek clarification on recently implemented regulations and provide first-hand information on the current trends within the defined contribution community. Additionally, each year the Executive Board uses the Washington meetings as a venue for kicking off the legislative effort to establish National Retirement Security Week. 

Each year since 2006 NAGDCA has worked closely with the Members of Congress in the Senate to pass resolutions in recognition of National Retirement Security Week.

2016 NAGDCAST Series 
One of our upcoming webinars will be a Legislative Update to review the Hill Visits and provide an overview of the current legislative environment in Washington on Thursday, April 21. Registration will open in the spring.

NAGDCA would like to thank the sponsors of the 2015 NAGDCAST series. Without their support these events would not be able to take place. Opportunities are available for sponsorships of the 2016 NAGDCAST series; bundled conference sponsorships include webcast sponsorship. If you are interested in sponsoring the 2016 NAGDCAST series please click here or contact Tracy Tucker at ttucker@amrms.com.

2016 Conference Sponsorship
Sponsorship for the 2016 NAGDCA Annual Conference is available. For more information, click here.


 

Polly Scott Survey: Will You Join Us for National Retirement Security Week 2016?
I’ve recently been working with the members of NAGDCA’s Participant Engagement Task Force to create promotional and communication resources for NAGDCA members to use with their individual plans for National Retirement Security Week (NRSW). We are in the process of putting together an expert team to develop this campaign.

We hope for an amplified impact as our membership presents common themes throughout the nation. Together, we could potentially reach 2.9 million eligible participants with a clear call to action. We’d appreciate your feedback regarding your interest in utilizing these resources. Please take our brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5QSW9RL.

The campaign, while still being developed, will consist of a kit of materials for plan sponsors to use with participants. This will be additive to the NRSW initiatives many plans already undertake. Creating these resources provides a value-added benefit for NAGDCA members and may be of particular interest to organizations that do not typically participate in this event, or have limited resources to develop communication materials for it.

My thanks to the Task Force members (listed below) for undertaking this important work. In particular, thanks to the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) for sharing their expertise on behavioral finance and best practices for participant communications with the Task Force.

Plan Sponsors
Sandy Blair, CalSTRS
Angela Jung, LA County
Casey Fick, MOSERS
Diane Heinze, Port of Oakland
Kelly Hiers, Virginia Retirement System
Polly Scott, Wyoming Retirement System

Industry
Scott Dingwell,  BlackRock
Iris Ward, Empower
Kathleen Wilson, ICMA-RC
Robert Luciani, Prudential

NonProfits
Laurie Rowley, National Assoc. for Retirement Plan Participants
Katharine Norwood, National Assoc. for Retirement Plan Participants
Warren Cormier, National Assoc. for Retirement Plan Participants
Lara Hinz, Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement


 

The Value an Advisor brings to K-12 Participant Preparedness and Account Performance in 403(b) plans
Keith Namiot, Fiona Russo, Christina Gee, and John Cline, AXA
Executive Summary

Due to the challenges inherent in quantifying how advisors1 add value to plan participants’ retirement goals, AXA U.S. commissioned a study to help quantify the value of their service to 403(b) plan participants.

The study found that participants who worked with an advisor generally started saving sooner, attained higher account balances,2 achieved higher plan contribution levels, and had greater diversity in their assets than those who did not.

In addition, participants who used an advisor also benefited emotionally from the interaction: they felt more secure about meeting their retirement goals, had more confidence in their 403(b) investment choices, experienced greater satisfaction with their accounts’ performance, and valued more highly their 403(b) plans as part of their retirement planning.

Key findings:
- Using an advisor has measurable financial benefits to the 403(b) participant. Those who use an advisor have a substantially higher account balance than those who do not (+34% median balance).
- Participants who work with an advisor had better diversification3 of assets. Participants attribute contributing earlier and more to their 403(b) plans to working with an advisor. Two-thirds of participants in this study attribute an early start to saving to advisor influence. Participants also attribute contributing more to working with an advisor, with 33% higher mean monthly contribution levels. These participants were also significantly more likely to have increased their contribution amounts as their salaries grew.
- Participants who work with an advisor reported higher confidence in and higher satisfaction with their 403(b) and with their retirement savings overall. Those who use an advisor take more ownership of their role in monitoring their accounts, express higher overall satisfaction with their 403(b), and express a higher satisfaction with the performance of their 403(b).
- A deep, working relationship with an advisor enhances the benefits. Participants who work with an advisor in a deeper way, by discussing long-term retirement goals and by reviewing their overall financial situation, benefit the most.

To view the entire white paper, click here.



By Susan J. White & Jonah Mainzer, Susan J. White & Asssociates

Federal Budget/Elections 
Congress was again able to avert a government shutdown recently and has now passed a budget that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year 2016. This funding bill did not include a number of controversial riders pushed by congressional Republicans, including stripping Planned Parenthood of funding, and was passed with strong Democratic support. Republican leadership generally does not want to pass legislation that does not have the support of the majority of the Republican Conference, but leadership was loathe to shut down the government, with an election year looming, and as a result passed this legislation with strong Democratic support. 

Because 2016 is a Presidential election year many members of Congress, especially those in competitive districts, will not want to vote on contentious legislation. Although that might usually mean that things will be quiet, this year may be different as the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI), has stated that election year politics will not effect how the House of Representatives operates. He has been interested in tax reform and other initiatives and would like to move forward in these areas. It is unclear how this will effect the Senate as there are 24 Republican seats in the Senate that are up for election as opposed to 10 Democrats. Additionally, there are a number of Senators running for President this year and that may affect the Senate schedule.

Congress has already passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act this year and although this legislation was vetoed it shows that Republicans will pass legislation that they believe will help them in an election year.

The President recently held his annual State of the Union address and realizing that this is an election year with a Congress that is strongly opposed to his priorities, the President did not lay out an ambitious agenda. However, he did mention the need for adequate retirement savings and for portability of retirement plans given the mobility in the workforce. NAGDCA will monitor what this might mean for the President’s upcoming 2017 budget proposal and any action in Congress.

Department of Labor Proposed Rules 
The Department of Labor (DOL) is currently in the process of promulgating a proposed rule on the definition of fiduciaries. Congress is opposed to these rules and both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have passed legislation forbidding the DOL from funding enforcement of this rule. However this language was not part of the final omnibus legislation and there is currently provision to prevent this rule becoming final. 

Last year, the House Committee on Financial Services also weighed in on this rule and passed HR 1090 (Retail Investor Protection Act). This bill would forbid the DOL from promulgating rules on the definition of fiduciaries until sixty days after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finalized rules on the issue. The thinking behind this is that the SEC is considered to be the experts on this issue and having the experts act first is seen as the proper way to act. This would also clear up confusion as it would allow both DOL and the SEC to have similar rules and would make it simpler to follow the rules with both agencies having the same rules. This bill passed the House at the end of October on an almost party line vote, however the Senate, after the sending the bill to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has not taken any action on it.

Late in the year, Congressmen Roe (R-TN), Roskam (R-IL), Neal (D-MA) and Larson (D-CT) introduced legislation, HR 4294 (Saves Act of 2015), to provide for a fiduciary rule to supplant the DOL proposals. The legislation would not affect Section 457 plans. 

National Retirement Security Week 
NAGDCA was pleased that the Senate has passed S. Res 263 declaring that the week of October 18 as National Retirement Security Week. As in past years this was a bi-partisan resolution that was sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mike Enzi (R-WY.) 

Although the rules of the House of Representatives do not allow passage of commemorative resolutions, NAGDCA worked with the office of Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and introduced a companion resolution in the House, H. Res. 488. This is also a bi-partisan resolution and is cosponsored by Representatives David Poe (R-TX), Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY). 

In past years this resolution has been passed as National Save for Retirement Week. 


 
 

 


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