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Retirement Town Hall rewind

December 5th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By jeremy.engdahl-johnson

We’ll excuse you if you were too busy gobbling up turkey and Thanksgiving leftovers recently to check in at Retirement Town Hall. Here’s what you missed…

Pension funding good news, bad news
If you’re at all interested in the state of pensions today you know that many pensions are severely underfunded. Recently, we noted that the Wall Street Journal highlighted “The $440 billion pension gap” citing the weak stock market and falling interest rates as key causes. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that those interest rates that have been the cause of such pain for pension plan sponsors may have an upside. Tim Connor explained how in Why pay PBGC premiums?

Defining your contribution
In our weekly poll, Auto-enrollment by the numbers, we asked what percentage of your salary you would be comfortable with your employer automatically contributing to your 401(k) plan. Over 55% of you said you would prefer to be auto-enrolled at the maximum percentage the company will match. Interestingly, when we asked this question back in May only 32% of respondents chose this option. We’ll come back to this question again in the coming months and see if things change again. Also in defined contribution news, we highlighted a Workforce.com article, Target-date funds: Know the risk, that offers some of the key pitfalls to look out for when using TDFs.

And speaking of defined contribution plans, Craig Burma highlighted some of the technology advancements that are changing the way participants access retirement information in his post, Simplifying access to defined contribution information portals.

Annuity acuity
Chris Sill explained today’s Revolutionary risk management for pension plans, highlighting how to apply principles annuity providers have been using for years to pension plans. The result: plans capture, on average, 80% of the upside potential of equities with 25% of the downside exposure. Also, we noted the LifeHealthPro article on the hybridization trend in retirement planning in Annuity alchemy.

Finally, the Employee Benefit Research Group reminded plan sponsors to prepare to handle crucial Year-end compliance issues for single-employer retirement plans. Stay on top of this and other important retirement benefit news at Retirement Town Hall and by following us on Twitter @millimaneb.

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