On April 23, 3013 PBS Frontline program ran a documentary called ‘The Retirement Gamble’. This piece has created quite a ‘buzz’ of activity in the investment management, retirement plan blogosphere. In part what the documentary said, in part what it did not say. Just google ‘retirement gamble’.
This page is a discussion on that program and the much broader topic of discussion that is needed regarding the retirement crisis in America.
Click here to watch the 53 minute presentation.
My initial thoughts
I will add additional thoughts to the programming as they come along.
May 1, 2013: I would liked to have seen the PBS piece address two other major issues in America as well. One, the lack of ‘real’ long-term wage growth in America over the decades and how that impacts Americans ability to save for retirement. Secondarily, and more recently, a discussion on Central Bank induced ‘financial repression’ and the impact of some $400 billion (Bloomberg) disintermediated out of the pockets of savers into the balance sheets of financial intermediaries; not to mention this repression forces individuals into asset classes they may have never used before, know anything about.. mainly equities etc..
Regardless, this Retirement Crisis topic needs the openness of a robust discussion from all stakeholders, viewing, airing all sides of the argument.
Financial Services Industry Responses:
Gamble ‘Gambit‘? From the National Association of Plan Advisors via (Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Exclusive Interview: Frontline Producer Explains Controversial 401k Documentary – The Good (part one)
Exclusive Interview: Frontline Producer Explains Controversial 401k Documentary – The Bad (part two)
Exclusive Interview: Frontline Producer Explains Controversial 401k Documentary – The Ugly (part three)
Exclusive Interview: Frontline Producer Explains Controversial 401k Documentary – The Final Take (part four)
I’ll Have What She’s Having: How a So-called Retirement Expert Would Worsen Our Retirement
Frontline and center: what they missed the boat on 401(k)
How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Improve Their Odds in “the Retirement Gamble’
An attorney explains where the ‘trail goes cold’ in PBS’ ‘Retirement Gamble’
Framing the Retirement Crisis in America:
As I present this topic, and the solutions to the problem, to national audiences mainly through webinars, I often start with these set of facts.
- ● 50% of all working employees have NO access to a company retirement plan
- ● Of the 50% that do have access, only 1/3 are saving inside of a company retirement plan
- ● Of that 1/3, only 11% are saving enough.
In June 2012, the Federal Reserve released a study showing that Americans saw wealth plummet by 39% from 2007 to 2010. American’s net worth is back to 1992 levels; $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.
What can an Employer Do About This?
As a company offering a retirement plan benefit to your employees, you are contributing greatly to their future financial security. You are also assuming serious and important responsibility.
With heightened regulatory oversight by the Department of Labor, many business employers like you have contacted us to ask:
· What steps should we take as plan fiduciaries to ensure costs associated with our retirement plan and investments meet the standard of “reasonableness” as required by the Department of Labor?
· How can I provide the best retirement plan benefit possible for my employees, stay current with all the new regulations and limit my liability?
Enter the Independent Fiduciary Review. Why do such a review? To learn why do a review download our white paper.
Download our white paper-click here.
Contact us to begin the process of the Independent Fiduciary Review-click here.
Schedule an appointment now-click here.