Investment Vehicles in Pension Funds

A majority of people do not save enough for retirement, and those who save, do so without understanding investment vehicles or without a goal and investment horizon. Many pension plans around the world are trying to address this by auto-enrolment, and default funds. Industry statistics in the US show that participation rates in pension plans [...]

Lack of Standards in the Retirement Industry

Having made a move from Insurance to Retirement like so many of my peers, I was first awestruck by the sheer numbers in this industry in terms of total assets: with the total assets of pension funds about $10 trillion more than insurance companies. Soon after, I was dumbstruck by the total lack of standards [...]

A Brave New World of Investing?

Michelle is due to retire next year, and most of her savings are in equity. Having reaped the benefits of equity investments for the past 30 years she will continue to park her savings in equity instruments well into her retirement. Sounds Mindless? There is a commonly cited rule in investing for retirement where an [...]

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Does Operational Efficiency impact plan participation?

Employees these days are cognizant about the importance of retirement savings and appreciate the assistance from their employers. They want a financially secure life at the end of their careers. State Street Global Advisors recently conducted a survey on people considered as millennials and Generation X. The survey findings suggest that 87% people agree that [...]

Automatic Plan Features, Planning Tools, Mobile Apps – What’s Next for the US Retirement Industry?

Auto features like auto enrollment, auto deferral increase (ADI) have put millennials on path to retirement readiness# is a recent claim by the PLANSPONSOR® magazine. When we compare participation rates, saving rates, equity allocation percentages from a voluntary enrollment plan to those of an automatic enrollment plan, they are looking promising. In the PLANSPONSOR® study, [...]

IT projects in the US Retirement industry – Challenges with Budgets, Timeline and Resources

  One retirement plan provider that Congruent recently talked to mentioned that one of their internal implementation was 18 months late and three times more expensive than the original expected cost. Another plan provider has to scrap their project after 8 months for budget overrun reasons. These stories are common in most of the plan [...]

An Approach to Seamless Data Migration during Retirement Plan Recordkeeping Platform Modernization

The change in the customer environment in the US retirement markets, coupled with the increased competition and need for growth in plan participant base, has caused US retirement plan providers to reassess their platform/technologies and processes. It’s the right time for the plan provider organizations to establish a level of parity from a technology perspective [...]

6 Simple Productivity Boosters for 401K Plan Administrators

401K Plan Providers often faces difficult challenges during the calendar year due to thin profit margins and seasonal spikes in demand for resources. With multiple stages of managing a plan like eligibility, testing, form 5500 preparation, transactional processing and general day to day operations, errors in plan administration can happen frequently, have serious drag on [...]

Making Plan Administrators’ Lives Easier and Enhancing Customer Engagement through New Generation Technologies

Kodak was the Google of its day! In 1976 it had a monopoly in the film-based camera business, accounting for 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in America. However, times were changing and digital camera technology was around the corner. Unfortunately for Kodak, the company did not appreciate this threat to its film-based [...]

Legacy Systems are the “White Elephants” for Retirement Service Industries

The Retirement Services Industry traditionally has been a slow adopter of information technology solutions. While the transition from VISIO Calc to next generation systems was gradual, the retirement industry has been stuck there for long time with those yester year proprietary and legacy systems which indeed are like white elephants from a continued maintenance expense [...]