COVID-19 Magnifies Retirement Savings Gap, Emphasizes Need to Act

The economic slowdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions of Americans. It has also intensified the importance of finding solutions to the retirement savings gap faced by so many Americans. One-third reaching retirement age have $25,000 or less saved. Last year, the U.S. Congress took an important step forward by passing the SECURE … Continue reading "COVID-19 Magnifies Retirement Savings Gap, Emphasizes Need to Act"

It’s the Rule of Law: Protecting Consumers’ Best Interest

Earlier this year, Iowa’s Insurance Department approved a best interest annuity rule that closely follows the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. A few weeks later, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that also mirrors the NAIC model. Iowa and Arizona demonstrated how states can provide people purchasing annuities … Continue reading "It’s the Rule of Law: Protecting Consumers’ Best Interest"

Illustrations to Offer a Meaningful Picture of Retirement Savings

Wouldn’t it be great if, in the future, 401(k) plan statements included an estimate of how much monthly income the account balance could produce in retirement? Good news – soon, all 401(k) statements will include this type of illustration. That’s due to a provision in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, … Continue reading "Illustrations to Offer a Meaningful Picture of Retirement Savings"

Department of Labor Should Retain Access, Choices for Retirement Savers

Retirement savers have different needs when it comes to advice and guidance. So, it’s important that consumers have access and choice. Some people practice a buy-and-hold strategy, engaging financial professionals who earn  transaction-based commissions. Others seek and pay for ongoing advice and management services from fiduciary advisers. Retirement savers also seek to be treated fairly. … Continue reading "Department of Labor Should Retain Access, Choices for Retirement Savers"

Fiduciary-Only Shuts Out Some Americans Saving for Retirement

The “fiduciary-only” voices are at it again – this time attacking the Labor Department for attempting to follow the law, and by doing so safeguard access for lower- and middle-income savers. With its 2016 fiduciary rule vacated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Labor recently restored its original investment advice rule.  The Department’s goal … Continue reading "Fiduciary-Only Shuts Out Some Americans Saving for Retirement"

COVID-19, Unemployment, and Ultra-Low Interest Rates Challenge Older Americans

COVID-19 has challenged the entire world, including retirees and those approaching retirement. People age 55 and over are more likely to fall ill from COVID and much more likely to die from it. They are also more likely to suffer financially.   Since February, 2.5 million older Americans (age 55+) became unemployed. An additional 1.9 million left … Continue reading "COVID-19, Unemployment, and Ultra-Low Interest Rates Challenge Older Americans"

Protecting Access for All Savers

With all the turbulence and strife in recent months, we sure could use some soothing news. Cue up the Securities and Exchange Commission and its Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). Reg BI takes effect tomorrow. Together with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) revised Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation, Reg BI will ensure financial professionals … Continue reading "Protecting Access for All Savers"