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March 7, 2013
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Financial and wealth management news for the retirement community

  Top News 
  • Companies raise default rates for 401(k) contributions
    More companies are automatically enrolling workers in 401(k) plans, and now a growing number are upping the percentage of the default contribution, new research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows. Instead of the once-standard 3% contribution rate, the default is 4% or higher among almost half the auto-enrollment plans that Bank of America Merrill Lynch administers. That still falls short of the 12% to 15% rate recommended by experts, but more companies in the survey also are automatically stepping up employee contribution rates annually. MarketWatch/Encore blog (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Update 
  • Women setting aside more money for retirement
    Men put away more money for retirement, but women are starting to narrow the gap, according to new data from MassMutual. Among defined-contribution plans the company administers, women saved an average 5.38% of their salaries in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 1.6% from the third quarter. Men set aside 5.81%, up 1.2%. The gap between women and men's account balances is also narrowing, MassMutual says. (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Financial Literacy 
  • Ohio man seeks advisers' help in battling senior financial abuse
    Thomas Fields of Ohio says his father fell victim to financial abuse and is asking financial advisers to offer suggestions for dealing with such abuse and to join him in encouraging Congress and state legislators to enact stronger protections for the elderly. "There are agencies in place to prevent abuse, but we need a checklist mandated by the states to make sure abuse gets detected and that there is someone responsible to determine when there is suspicious behavior," Fields says. Financial Advisor online (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  On the Economy 
  • House passes $982B measure to prevent government shutdown
    House Republicans pushed through a measure aimed at keeping federal agencies operating by providing $982 billion in funds for the second half of the fiscal year. The current funding mechanism ends March 27. The House measure would keep in place across-the-board spending cuts, but Senate Democrats will likely try to change that. The Washington Post (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Practice 
  • A strategy to save on taxes, preserve principal
    Financial adviser Barbara Bencini found a strategy that worked for a client with a sizable lump-sum pension payout who was extremely risk-averse and tax-averse, and who wanted to leave money behind for his children. Bencini advised him to convert the money to a Roth IRA and buy a variable annuity within the IRA. The plan required a one-time, upfront tax payment, which the client made with other money. The Wall Street Journal (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • Term life appeals to a broad range of consumers, experts say
    Term life insurance can meet the needs of a wide range of younger and middle-aged consumers looking to replace income, take care of debt or pay education costs in case of premature death, says planner Rich Arzaga. The product, which costs a fraction of whole life, offers rates that are 50% lower than they were two decades ago, partly because of medical improvements, greater longevity and improved underwriting standards, according to this article. Various policy riders are available to address terminal illness, disability and accidental death. Financial Advisor online (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
--Isaac Asimov,
Russian-born American author and biochemist

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