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Irresponsible, Unaccountable, Unreliable

10/25/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Who are we talking about - plan sponsors or participants? Is there added exposure for plan sponsors who do (more than) the minimum?

Nearly a decade ago, my predecessor David Wray wrote a blog post titled: “401(k) Adequacy and Employer Liability. Read More >>


A Focus on Fees – Seven Years Later

10/21/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Few read mandated fee disclosures; the disclosures may mislead more than they inform.

In 2012, I analyzed the EBSA’s fee disclosure regulations. Here’s part of the abstract from my paper:

"Over the next ten years, let’s increase the fees paid by individual account plans, like the 401(k), by hundreds of millions of dollars per year to deliver newly mandated fee and investment information that no participant specifically asked for, few will read, even fewer will understand, and still fewer will correctly apply in their investment decision-making. Read More >>


What’s in Your Plans?

10/14/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Please confirm what your advisor(s) recommended for 2020.

It is October. By now, you will probably have had an annual review with the advisor(s) for your individual account retirement savings plan.

Interestingly, advisors regularly ask us at PSCA to confirm plan sponsor priorities. Read More >>


Rock, Paper, Scissors – Average, Median, Mode – Deceiving Data

10/07/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy1

Everything I needed to know about averages and employee benefits I learned long ago. Read More >>


HSA Heuristics

09/30/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

There is No Contribution “Rule of Thumb” That is Best for Everyone

A heuristic technique is any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method, not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but instead may be sufficient to make an immediate decision. Read More >>


Rationally Irrational

09/23/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

The best solutions respond to both rational and irrational actions!

A few days ago, I stumbled over a recent controversy regarding a recent Investment Company Institute study.1

Dr. Alicia Munnell offered her opinion that the, “(ICI) study… seems to (say), ‘Don’t worry if young people and others aren’t saving for retirement. Read More >>


SECURE, Ben Franklin and Looking For a Few “Good” Plan Sponsors

09/16/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

You may have noticed that the SECURE Act has stalled in the Senate.1 One much-discussed provision would change fiduciary requirements for adding an in-plan annuity.2

I am a Frank-o-phile - a big-time fan of Ben Franklin. My sister Carol lives in Philadelphia (sisterly love). Read More >>


Discordant Disclosures

09/09/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Simple, Standard, Universal is Best

One industry professional recently called for “standardized lifetime income disclosure, ASAP.”1 I agree with his goal. I disagree with his solution.

He concludes: “The simplest, least confusing and best way to present this information is to tell the participant what sort of age-65 life annuity he or she could buy with his/her current account balance. Read More >>


Staying Liquid via A Sidecar Account = Suboptimal Retirement Preparation?

09/03/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Preparing for Emergencies Along the Way to Retirement

We are saving in uncertain times – employees may be uncertain about expenses and emergencies and uncertain about future employment and income.

Savings is a consequence of consumers rational expectation that they will experience a future decline in income. Read More >>


Pension Promises Without Funding Are Mere Dreams

08/26/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

To paraphrase a recent Forbes article, poorly-funded defined benefit pension plans are a poor substitute for individual account retirement savings plans.1

Recently, I posted an item titled Mind the (Wealth) Gap to once more challenge the oft-repeated claim that 401(k) plans are inadequate when compared to defined benefit pension plans (DB pensions). Read More >>


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