216 episodes

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!

401(k) Fridays Podcast Rick Unser

    • Investing

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!

    Small 401(k) Plans: Big Opportunities & Revelations

    Small 401(k) Plans: Big Opportunities & Revelations

    Admittedly, when I develop topics and content for the podcast I am generally catering to the mid to large plan market. Today, I am excited to welcome Chad Parks, the Founder & CEO of Ubiquity Retirement + Savings to discuss the world of small retirement plans. As you will hear, Chad brings his years of experience and is not shy to share his perspectives. We talk about everything from how do you define a small plan, how they are similar and different from mid to large plans, to the launch of PEPs, and potential changes to retirement plans with a new administration. We also get Chad looking into his crystal ball. Even if you don’t sponsor or support “small retirement plans”, there is a lot of great info here that might help you when your friend who does have a small plan has some questions. 
     
    Before we get started, as we go into the New Year, tis the season of giving, please consider either sharing the podcast with a friend, or leaving a rating or review on your favorite podcast app. Either or both of those help us to grow our audience and continue to attract great guests like Chad. 
     
    Guest Bio
    Chad Parks is CEO and founder of the first online and flat-fee retirement service for small businesses: Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, formerly The Online 401(k). Known for his unique and irreverent approach to business and the financial industry as a whole, Chad is regularly quoted in national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, USA Today, CNN Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Business Week, Entrepreneur and Plan Sponsor for his passion for small business and entrepreneurship.
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!
     

    • 57 min
    Stable Value Investments: Details, Developments & Direction

    Stable Value Investments: Details, Developments & Direction

    If you have stable value investments on your mind, my conversation today with Debbie Vince & Ken Sommers of New York Life should address your questions or concerns. We start with Debbie providing some background on stable value investments, how they work and some pros and cons compared to other cash equivalent options in workplace retirement plans. Then we transition to Ken for his thoughts on the realities of managing stable value investments in an historic low interest rate environment. Great stuff, if we missed anything shoot me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com. 
     
    Disclosures:
    The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of Debbie Vince and Ken Sommer as of [date podcast recorded] and are subject to change without notice.  Any forward-looking statements may not come to pass.
    The information provided in this podcast is general in nature and is provided solely for educational/informational purposes. It is not intended as investment advice nor as a solicitation for any specific investment.
    Stable value investments seek capital preservation, but there can be no assurance that this goal will be achieved. Returns will fluctuate with changing interest rates and market conditions.  A stable value fund is not a mutual fund. Money market funds are not guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. They generally seek to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, but it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market fund. All investing involves risk, including the loss of principal.
     
    Guest Bio
    Kenneth Sommer is a Managing Director and Head of the Investment Grade Portfolio Management team of NYL Investors' Fixed Income Investors. He joined New York Life in 2005 and has over 17 years of investment experience. He is responsible for managing all multi-sector third-party fixed income portfolios, including retail mutual funds and institutional separate accounts. Previously, Mr. Sommer was a sector specialist overseeing all corporate bond execution for the Investment Grade Portfolio Management team. Prior to joining New York Life, he was an Investment Analyst at MetLife Investments. Mr. Sommer received a B.S. from Binghamton University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University.
    Deborah Vince is a V.P of Sales for New York Life. Debbie joined New York Life in 2009, and has more than 22 years of experience in financial services, including 19 years in the retirement plan industry. In her current role, she is responsible for Stable Value investment business development in the Western region. Prior to joining New York Life, she was a Senior Vice President with National Retirement Partners (NRP) and worked as a Retirement Plan Consultant at 401k Advisors and helped launch Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG). Debbie received a BS in Business Management from the University of Redlands. She maintains FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 registrations and holds life and health licenses in all states.  She is currently a board member for Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence in Southern CA.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, her dog Bodhi, cooking and travel. 
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Retirement Income: Finally, The 401(k) Topic in 2021?

    Retirement Income: Finally, The 401(k) Topic in 2021?

    Could Retirement Income be the hot topic of 2021? It was supposed to be the hot topic of 2020, then we got a little derailed. To chat through this with be today, I am excited to have Doug McIntoch, Vice President of Investment with Prudential Retirement. We go through all the stuff you would expect us to. What is retirement income, what are the employer attitudes, what are employee attitudes, what are the lingering concerns despite the new protections provided in the SECURE Act. We also delve into public policy, the legislative environment and where we go from here. I hope you get as much out of this as I did!
     
    Guest Bio
    Douglas S. McIntosh, Jr. is vice president of Investments for Prudential Retirement. In this role, Doug supports the investment product function, working across the enterprise to source best-in-class investment & guaranteed solutions for retirement investors on Prudential’s recordkeeping platform and beyond. His team also oversees third-party asset managers that deliver on the promise to help Americans retire with dignity. 
    Along with product development responsibilities, he works closely with the firm’s Regulatory and Legislative Affairs groups to promote understanding and use of investments and guaranteed outcome vehicles within DC plans. This work has taken him to the Department of Labor and both houses of Congress, and he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences (eg Institutional Investor, Pensions & Investments, SPARK).
    Prior to his current role, Doug held the position of vice president, Investments within Prudential Annuities, in which he led all aspects of sales support and strategic direction for that division’s investment platform. Doug previously held the position of vice president, Distribution for Prudential International Investments, creating custom principle-protected and lifelong income products for the world’s largest asset aggregators. Earlier in his career in the United States, Doug held the role of vice president, Distribution for Prudential IncomeFlex within Prudential Retirement. 
    Prior to working for Prudential Retirement, Doug was Director, International Sales for Mentor Ophthalmics, a specialty medical manufacturer, where he ran distribution in Europe, Asia and Latin America. This work was an outgrowth of his time working hands-on with patients in a large, international vitreoretinal medical and surgical practice (Retina Associates). As a result, he sat in on ophthalmic surgeries on six continents (if we include Australia). Direct interaction with patients and practitioners, in both the office and surgical suite, gave Doug a deep understanding of ocular anatomy, pathology and surgical technique, an interest which he maintains until the present.
     
    Doug holds an MBA with Distinction in International Management & Finance from Cornell University, and received a B.A. in English & Communications from Fairfield University. Doug is currently a board member of both the Connecticut Secure Retirement Authority Board, and the Center for Latino Progress, and was formerly the chairman of the Pension Board for the Town of West Hartford CT. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian in addition to English, plus a little Portuguese. 
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 57 min
    401(k) Fiduciary Fundamentals: Retirement Plan Fees

    401(k) Fiduciary Fundamentals: Retirement Plan Fees

    Today’s episode came by request from several listeners, so thank you for that! The topic is retirement plan fees. My guest is Jim Scheinberg, Managing Partner of North Pier Search Consulting and North Pier Fiduciary Management. We started off with some basics on fees, then get into some of the tricker considerations such as how do you charge fees to plan participants, per head or pro-rata, how do you account for proprietary products when evaluating fees, whether institutional share classes are really the best choice and much more. We also left some things on the table as we ran out of time, so please send me your feedback and questions to feedback@401kfridays.com and I will get that worked into a part two with Jim. Also, the timing of that will be based on your feedback, the more we get, the sooner he will be back!
     
    Also, if you have been enjoying the the podcast, next time you are on your favorite podcast app please leave us a rating or review. Those go a long way to help more people find the podcast and to help our show continue to grow. 
     
    That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jim!
     
    Guest Bio
    Born and raised in the North Suburbs of Chicago, Jim Scheinberg came to Southern California in 1987 to pursue his B.A. in Political Science at University of California, Los Angeles. He achieved the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation in 2001 from The Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA®) in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a published author, a frequently quoted resource to journalists, a regular speaker at industry conferences, and guest on finance podcasts. Jim also regularly serves as a consulting expert for U.S. government regulatory agencies and as an expert witness for ERISA litigation. He is also a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet of UCLA, sitting on the Board of Visitors of the Political Science Department. Jim passionately serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster care youth in the Los Angeles County Children's Court system.
    Jim began his career in venture capital in 1990 moving to general securities with Smith Barney Harris Upham in 1992. He joined Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. in 1994 as an Associate in the Oppenheimer Consulting Group, the firm's institutional investment management consulting department, where he worked with institutional fiduciary clients. In 2001, Jim founded what would become the Corporate Services Group of Oppenheimer Co., Inc. (CSG), where he eventually held the position of Director and Senior Vice President. CSG was an industry pioneer in providing conflict-free, fee-only investment consulting and fiduciary advocacy for institutional, participant-directed plan sponsors. In 2008, Jim and key members of CSG founded North Pier.
    Professional Activities Member of the Board of Visitors of the UCLA Political Science Department
    Member of the Sharpe Fellows Selection Committee of the UCLA Economics Department
    Member of Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA)
    Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Los Angeles County Children's Court
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

    • 1 hr 10 min
    What The Hey Is Going On With 401(k) M&A?

    What The Hey Is Going On With 401(k) M&A?

    When it comes to M&A activity in the retirement service provider ecosystem, there has been a lot of activity to say the least. This is something my guest, Dick Darian, the CEO of Wise Rhino Group saw coming and has been actively involved in. During our conversation we hit on a few recent headline grabbing announcements, how the traditional lines between traditional service provider roles continue to blur and the argument for how all of this M&A activity benefits employers, their retirement plans and participants. Dick also shares his thoughts on one of my observations that the M&A trends seem to be moving in the opposite direction of the litigation trends. Good stuff. 
     
    If you liked what you heard today, check out my prior conversation with Dick back in February of 2019. In the coming weeks on the podcast we have thoughts on how the upcoming election could impact retirement plans, you might have seen a few headlines about that, we will tackle stable value funds in  this low interest rate environment.
     
    Finally, if you are want to have a little fun while listening, my microphone died while recording this episode, see if you can tell when I had to switch things out. That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Dick!
     
    Guest Bio
    Dick Darian is a Partner at Wise Rhino Group. He lives in Charleston SC with his wife Mary and various four-legged friends. He enjoys spending time with family above all, especially his granddaughters Poppy, Parker, and Lottie!
     
    Since relocating from the New York area in 2017, he has begun working with The College of Charleston assisting with classes within the business school's entrepreneurial program.
    Dick’s interests beyond family and business include traveling, reading, sports, and music.
    Hometown: San Diego, CA
    Education: University of Arizona
    Top 5 Albums of all time:
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of The Moon
    Beatles – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Black Sabbath – Paranoid
    Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
    The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms
    Musical artist you would most like to have a meal with (alive or dead):
    Frank Sinatra
    Song Lyric that best describes you:
    Though you might hear laughing, spinning, swinging
    Madly across the Sun
    It’s not aimed at anyone
    It’s just escaping on the run
    And but for the sky there are no fences facing
    -“Mr. Tambourine Man” – Bob Dylan
    Musical Artist you would most like to see perform (alive or dead):
    James Brown
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!
     

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Politics, The Election & 401(k) Plans: 2020 Edition

    Politics, The Election & 401(k) Plans: 2020 Edition

    Tis the season for talk about elections and boy do we have that today. To lend some muscle to the conversation I have Nevin Adams with the American Retirement Association. We start at the top of the ticket as they say and discuss how who sits in the White House could impact retirement policy going forward, we hit on what that would mean to the priorities and focus of various government agencies, then we move to congress as a whole and hit on how influential races and committee leadership roles influence things. Finally, as we recorded this prior to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we have some written bonus content from Nevin you can find in the podcast notes in your podcast app about how a new Supreme Court justice could impact workplace retirement plans litigation. Check that out when you have a chance. 
     
    While you are there, if you have been enjoying the podcast please leave a review or comment. That goes a long way to help more people find the podcast, continue to grow our audience and help me bring you great content and guests like Nevin. 
     
    Bonus Question: Could a new Supreme Court Justice impact retirement litigation now or in the future?
    Bonus Answer: Unlike many issues that come before the court, there don't seem to be the same kind of partisan splits in retirement issue outcomes.  In fact, the most recent case - the Intel decision that set the "actual knowledge" standard for participant awareness of disclosures was UNANIMOUS. 
    The bottom line is that while every new justice brings a different experience and perspective to issues, but the impact of RBG's replacement is more likely to impact the legislative balance than it is the leaning of the Supreme Court.
     
     
    That’s it, I hope you enjoy our conversation!
     
    Guest Bio
    Nevin E. Adams, JD, is Chief of Content Officer for the American Retirement Association, where he is responsible for all marketing and communications for the organization, as well as its sister organizations, ASPPA, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), and the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSA).
    Previously he was the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Director of Education and External Relations, Co-Director of EBRI’s Center for Research on Retirement Income and Director of the American Savings Education Council, and prior to that spent a dozen years as Global Editor-in-Chief of PLANSPONSOR magazine and PLANSPONSOR.com, as well as PLANADVISER and PLANSPONSOR Europe magazines. He was the originator, creator, writer and publisher of PLANSPONSOR.com’s NewsDash. He began his retirement services career at Northern Trust in Chicago, where he later served in a variety of management roles, culminating in the development of a proprietary recordkeeping platform, and at Wachovia Bank, leading their defined contribution/recordkeeping businesses.
    He has been honored three times by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) with their Media Recognition Award (in 2002, 2004 and 2013), and has regularly been noted as one of the Most Influential People in Defined Contribution by the 401kWire. He graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and after a number of years working with retirement plans, also received his JD from DePaul University.
     
    401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
    Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 200 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subs

    • 1 hr 13 min

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