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News & Press: DCIIA News

DCIIA and SPARK Announce Collaboration on Research, Events, and Technology

Wednesday, January 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Karen Witham
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Leading Retirement Nonprofit Associations Team Up to Deliver Member Value and Promote Better Retirement Outcomes for America’s Workers

WASHINGTON, DC AND SIMSBURY, CONN. (January 8, 2020) – The Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) and the SPARK Institute (SPARK) announced today that they will partner on three joint projects in 2020. Their goal in forming this partnership is to more efficiently focus on shared goals and initiatives that promote the U.S. retirement system and improve savings and retirement security for working Americans.

“We are excited to kick off our 10th anniversary year with this announcement, and we look forward to working with SPARK on these joint initiatives,” said Lew Minsky, President and CEO of DCIIA. “DCIIA will continue to evolve and innovate while remaining focused on our core mission: To provide a forum for industry participants to enhance the employer-based DC system, emphasizing access, innovation, best practices and institutional approaches, with the goal of improving financial security for America’s workers.”

“Since our founding in 1998, SPARK has been a leading voice in Washington for the retirement plan industry,” said Tim Rouse, Executive Director of SPARK. “This collaboration with DCIIA will bring benefits to both organizations’ members as well as to the broader retirement industry. At SPARK, we will continue to develop and advance positions on critical issues that affect plan sponsors, participants, service providers, and investment providers.”

The 2020 initiatives include:

Research: The SPARK Institute will become a founding member of the DCIIA Retirement Research Center and utilize its capabilities to conduct primary research on record keeping issues. Both organizations see this collaboration leading to significant expansion in our collective research capabilities.

Conferences: In 2020, DCIIA and SPARK will coordinate on two public policy events in Washington, DC; one April 29-30 and the other June 23-24. The April event will focus specifically on the legislative and regulatory changes affecting the domestic retirement industry. The June conference will focus on global retirement public policy and the expansion of pension reform occurring around the world.

Industry technology: Last fall, DCIIA and SPARK held an industry event to explore the application of blockchain and other technologies for the U.S. retirement system. As part of this and other discussions, DCIIA and SPARK are working on how technology can be applied to better facilitate the flow of plan and participant data, fraud prevention, cyber security and the reduction of missing participants in the retirement savings system. DCIIA and SPARK will work together in this area to facilitate future discussions, explore innovation opportunities and coordinate industry-wide solutions wherever possible.

Founded in 2010, the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) is a non-profit association dedicated to enhancing the retirement security of America’s workers. To do this, DCIIA fosters a dialogue among the leaders of the defined contribution community who are passionate about improving defined contribution outcomes. DCIIA’s diverse group of members include investment managers, consultants and advisors, law firms, record keepers, insurance companies, plan sponsors and other thought leaders who are collectively committed to the best interests of plan participants. For more information, visit:

About the SPARK Institute
The SPARK Institute represents the interests of a broad-based cross section of retirement plan service providers and investment managers, including members that are banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, third-party administrators, trade clearing firms, and benefits consultants. Through the combined expertise of its member companies, the Institute provides research, education, testimony, and comments on pending legislative and regulatory issues to members of Congress and relevant government agency officials. Collectively, its members serve approximately 100 million participants in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. For more information, visit:

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Karen Witham, DCIIA, or 202-367-1124

Tim Rouse, SPARK Institute, or 508-838-1919