This theme touches on the importance of thoughtful planning and design in almost any endeavor. In the retirement industry, it has different implications depending on an organization’s or individual’s role within the industry. For plan sponsors, the design of their retirement plan has a large impact on its success in helping workers save for retirement and in helping the company with workforce planning. Asset managers design products and solutions, and consultants design frameworks for how they can help plan sponsors work through questions and challenges. For recordkeepers, the design of their platform, including the interface with plan participants, matters.
Closing the Gap
The retirement savings gap is a key issue for our industry. Far too many people don’t have access to a payroll deduction retirement savings system. In addition, people that do have access may experience various gaps in financial ability to save, lack of education on why to save, and plan design gaps that impact saving. We want industry participants to unite around a shared goal of doing a better job of solving for better outcomes. How can we come up with new and different ways to close the retirement savings gap? Where do we need policy changes to support this goal and how can we work together to make those changes happen? An industry that is mindful of diversity and inclusion should address the retirement savings gap while also working to make our industry more representative of the spectrum of people we are serving – retirement plan participants and retirees.
Solving the Fiduciary Puzzle
This theme seeks to explore the question of who in the retirement system is best equipped to handle fiduciary responsibility. Related discussion topics include open multiple employer plans (MEPs); outsourced CIO (OCIO); environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing; and other emerging trends. Many industry participants are seeking ways to shift fiduciary responsibility, where it makes sense, to support better decision-making. A related question we are monitoring -- how is ongoing industry litigation impacting these trends?