Articles

  • The Real Cost of Loans

    What employers and employees need to know about borrowing from workplace retirement plans.

  • Building a Better Plan for Employees Nearing Retirement

    Adding a specialized plan tier can help support the unique needs of older workers.

  • Cybersecurity: Defense in Depth:

    How advances in retirement recordkeeping technology can protect both employers and employees.

  • Critical Tech Trends Are Transforming the Retirement System

    In recent years, behavioral science insights and financial technology innovations have transformed the financial system, changed the nature of capital markets and turned retirement finance into a multi-trillion-dollar engine of capital formation. And the pace of innovation is only accelerating. Taking a historical approach, this paper explores what advances may be on the horizon and how savers view them.

  • Boosting the Effectiveness of Retirement Plan Communications

    Words have the potential to inform, encourage and empower. But the wrong words can be powerful in negative ways, leaving people uncomfortable, overwhelmed or confused. Using the right words is especially critical in financial matters. Drawing on survey data, this paper shows ways to increase the effectiveness of communication both through words and through methods of communication.

  • Success for Savers Through Design or Default

    Employers and their advisors have the potential to influence employees’ decision-making for the better. In particular, employers who use nudges strategically can drive better retirement savings outcomes for their employees. Our research shows that employees can be nudged into better savings habits in three areas: plan design, strategic employee engagement and a focus on retirement income.

  • The New Rx for Retirement White Paper

    The trifecta of rising healthcare costs, uncertainty about the future of health insurance and increasing longevity presents a formidable challenge for Americans preparing for retirement. However, savers can use an existing tool to help improve their standard of living in retirement without affecting their disposable income today. The solution lies in the strategic use of health savings accounts (HSAs). This paper presents a savings optimization model to help determine how to allocate funds between retirement plans and HSAs for maximum spending power in retirement. 

  • Road to Retirement Success

    This paper draws on research from the Stanford Center on Longevity and leading behavioral economists to help financial professionals and employers understand some of the common biases workers bring to investing and saving. Most important, it will provide a framework to help counteract these bad habits and encourage people to make more sound long term investment decisions.

  • Scoring the Progress of Retirement Savers

    When it comes to achieving retirement goals, what are some working Americans and their employers doing right? Finding answers to this question has never been more urgent, as life expectancies increase. In this white paper, we identify specific employee actions— “habits of success” —that correlate with significantly higher projected lifetime income when working years end. Moreover, employers can foster these behaviors through various plan features, tools and access to professional advice.

  • Made to measure: Evaluating the impact of a retirement managed account

    Many defined contribution plans today offer a managed account option. Yet there is no standard method for valuing these accounts that considers the full range of potential product features and their financial impact. We find historical investment performance does not serve as an optimal measure of value. Our feature-by-feature estimate finds that a robust retirement managed account provides 55 to 92 basis points (bps) of value for unengaged participants and 152 to 258 bps for engaged participants. In presenting a method for valuing managed accounts, we also delineate the menu of features that may be offered through a managed account investment option in a defined contribution plan.