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What's The Story? Part 1

BY Jack Towarnicky 12/18/2018

What’s the story on the 401(k)’s 40th “Birthday?” My sister and brother-in-law were lifelong members of the news media; they reported on news and wrote columns and editorials for more than 40 years in daily newspapers.  I visited them from time to time.  I can still hear my sister playfully and rhetorically asking the dog: “What’s the Story?” ... Read More >>

Annual Enrollment - Defective Health Plan Designs May Defeat HSA Enrollment

BY Jack Towarnicky 12/18/2018

The number of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) reached 22 million at the end of 2017.1 Today, even though HSA-capable health options have, on average, a 22 percent lower cost compared to a traditional PPO, most employers still offer the HSA-capable health option as a choice alongside a traditional PPO or HMO. That practice is slowly changing. While... Read More >>

Make Retirement Plans Great Again?

BY Jack Towarnicky 12/10/2018

In a recent article which suggests America would be great again if it adopted a number of economic and employment policies prevalent in the 1960’s1, Alan Blinder states that: “Back in the 1950s and 60s, many workers had traditional defined-benefit pension plans (DB plans).”  Well, I’m not sure about Mr. Binder’s definition of “many,” but in the... Read More >>

I'm Dreaming of a...Well Funded Pension

BY Jack Towarnicky 12/05/2018

(With apologies to Irving Berlin, Bing Crosby, and Billy Mack1.) Ten years before the Studebaker bankruptcy, Irving Berlin wrote and Bing Crosby sang the title song in the movie White Christmas. As we approach this holiday season, I’m almost thinking we need a Billy Mack version to marry new lyrics to that famous tune – dreaming of a well-funded... Read More >>

Retirement Investing At The Summit–Investing When Equity Markets Are At All Time Highs

BY Jack Towarnicky 11/29/2018

Wow! Recently, it was my privilege to experience a presentation by Grady M. Smith, CFA, Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager, Dimensional. The combination of 2018 stock market highs and recent stock market volatility has workers/retirement investors asking questions. Particularly, what should I be doing now? Grady was well prepared to... Read More >>

Cold Turkey Withdrawal

BY Jack Towarnicky 11/25/2018

Just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 14, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service published a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 changes that liberalized hardship withdrawals – changes that will increase leakage.1  This guidance came out exactly one week after the Department of Labor’s request for comments... Read More >>

A "Retirement Ready" Thanksgiving List

BY Nevin Adams 11/18/2018

Thanksgiving has been called a “uniquely American” holiday, and though that is perhaps something of an overstatement, it is unquestionably a special holiday, and one on which it seems appropriate to reflect on all for which we should be thankful.  And so…   I’m thankful that participants, by and large, continue to hang in there with their... Read More >>

Pension Promises Without Funding Are Mere Dreams

BY Jack Towarnicky 11/11/2018

First things first: Congress should begin by addressing the significant underfunding of Social Security and Medicare. States and local governments should be focused on public employee pensions. Similarly, Congress also should resolve the funding challenge of Multiemployer Pension Plans without increasing taxes or negatively impacting single-... Read More >>

Impediments to Saving for Retirement - Part 2 - The Solution? The Right Kind of Liquidity

BY Jack Towarnicky 11/08/2018

What’s the best solution where saving for retirement is not a priority? Meet workers where they are with the right kind of liquidity! Don’t agree? Well, what about the next best solution? You guessed it: help workers avoid the wrong kind of liquidity! No recent headline includes more hyperbole than the news reporting from Deloitte and its... Read More >>

The Birth of a Notion

BY Nevin Adams 11/05/2018

“Unintended consequences” are generally a bad thing.  But not always.  The 401(k), for example. Today is being celebrated as the birthday of the 401(k) – because it’s the anniversary of the day on which the Revenue Act of 1978 – which included a provision that became Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sec. 401(k) – was signed into law by then-President... Read More >>