223 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

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 64 Ratings

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!

    Preston Rutledge: EBSA Stories, SECURE 2.0 & More!

    Preston Rutledge: EBSA Stories, SECURE 2.0 & More!

    What a treat, today I am please to welcome Preston Rutledge, Founder and Principal of the Rutledge Policy group and previously Assistant Secretary of Labor for the EBSA and prior to that, senior tax and benefits counsel for Chairman Orrin Hatch on the US Senate Finance Committee. During our conversation we hit on a few good stories from his civil service days, talk about the concepts behind the SECURE Act and where we go from here, potential tax changes and the impact on retirement plans and much more. Definitely a good one to check out and share!
     
    On that note, if you have been enjoying the podcast, please do take a minute to mention to a friend, colleague or networking group. As our audience continues to grow, it makes it easier for me to find high quality guests like Preston. 
     
    That’s it, I hope your enjoy our conversation!
     
    Guest Bio
    Preston Rutledge is the Founder and Principal of Rutledge Policy Group, LLC. With an uncommon combination of expertise both in legal and tax matters, he is a sought-after consultant and speaker in the areas of retirement, health plans, taxation, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. 
    Prior to founding Rutledge Policy Group, Preston was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). At EBSA, he led the drafting and publication of guidance to implement retirement, health, and workplace benefits policies and oversaw a nationwide team of over 800 employee benefits professionals. In international affairs, Preston led the U.S Delegation on private pension policy at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. Preston was a member of the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee, and served as Chair of the OECD Working Party on Private Pensions. Preston also worked closely with the OECD affiliated International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). 
    Before joining the Department of Labor, Preston served as senior tax and benefits counsel for Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) on the Majority Tax Staff of the US Senate Finance Committee. Preston had the retirement, non-profit, and insurance tax portfolio during tax reform in 2017, and he drafted the Chairman’s primary retirement initiatives: the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act and the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA). RESA became the SECURE Act, the most sweeping reform of retirement savings policy in over a decade. 
    Prior to joining the Finance Committee, Preston served as a senior tax law specialist for retirement and non-profit policy on the Headquarters Staff of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service. Earlier in his career he served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and worked in private law practice as an employee benefits counselor and ERISA litigator. 
    Preston earned a BS in business, cum laude, from the University of Idaho; JD, with high honors, from the George Washington University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review; and an LLM – taxation, with distinction, including a certificate in employee benefits law, from the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to law school Preston was a Naval Officer, and served on the U.S.S. Bagley (FF-1069) 
     
    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!

    • 58 min
    Do We Have A Student Debt or Retirement Crisis?: One, Both or Neither?

    Do We Have A Student Debt or Retirement Crisis?: One, Both or Neither?

    Guest Bio
    Joshua Dietch is the group manager of Retirement Thought Leadership in Global Brand Marketing. Joshua is responsible for leading a team of researchers and writers who create retirement thought leadership in support of the firm's workplace retirement, intermediary, and institutional businesses. He also is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
    Joshua’s investment experience began in 1995 and he has been with T. Rowe Price since 2017. Prior to this, he was employed by Strategic Insight as head of Retirement and Institutional. He also was managing director with Chatham Partners, director of Product Marketing and Management with ADP Retirement Services, and associate director of Institutional Markets with Cerulli Associates. 
    Joshua earned a B.A. in history from Bates College. He is a Series 7 and 66 registered representative. Joshua is a member of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association and its Retirement Research Center as well as a former member of its Executive Committee.
     
    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!

    • 54 min
    High Equity Valuations + Low Bond Yields = ??

    High Equity Valuations + Low Bond Yields = ??

    What do current equity valuations and bond yields potentially mean for returns in the coming decade? Today, Rob Arnott, Chairman of Research Affiliates gets out his crystal ball and shares his thoughts. If you have heard Rob on prior episodes of the podcast, you will know he is not shy and doesn’t pull any punches. More importantly, he also shares a some good ideas for retirement plans on how they can design investment menus by understanding where we are today and looking forward into the coming decade. If you like what you heard today, Rob has three prior appearances on the podcast you can check out. Links are in the podcast episode notes. 
     
    Before we get started today, I am always looking for new ideas for podcast guests, topics or questions. If you have something or someone in mind that would benefit retirement plan sponsors or those who partner with them, send me an email to feedback@401kfridays.com. 
     
    Prior Episodes with Rob Arnott
    The Death of Investment Diversification?
    Tariffs, Interest Rates & Market Volatility
    Avoiding The Bubble in Complacency
    Do Third Pillar Investment Belong In Your 401(k)?
     
    Guest Bio
    Rob Arnott is the founder and chairman of the board of Research Affiliates, a global asset manager dedicated to profoundly impacting the global investment community through its insights and products. The firm creates investment strategies and tools based upon award-winning research, and delivers these solutions in partnership with some of the world’s premier financial institutions. Rob plays an active role in the firm’s research, portfolio management, product innovation, business strategy and client facing activities. With Chris Brightman, he is co-portfolio manager on the PIMCO All Asset and All Asset All Authority funds and the PIMCO RAE™ funds.
    Over his career, Rob has endeavored to bridge the worlds of academic theorists and financial markets, challenging conventional wisdom and searching for solutions that add value for investors. He has pioneered several unconventional portfolio strategies that are now widely applied, including tactical asset allocation, global tactical asset allocation, tax-advantaged equity management, and the Fundamental Index™ approach to investing. His success in doing so has resulted in a reputation as one of the world’s most provocative practitioners and respected financial analysts.
    In 2002, Rob founded Research Affiliates as a research-intensive asset management firm intent on delivering innovative and impactful products and insights. Using a unique business model, Research Affiliates delivers investment solutions globally in partnership with leading financial institutions. Rob served as chairman and CEO from 2002 to 2018.
    Prior to establishing Research Affiliates, Rob managed two asset management firms. As chairman of First Quadrant, LP, he built up the former internal money manager for Crum & Forster into a highly regarded quantitative asset management firm. He also was global equity strategist at Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup), the founding president and CEO of TSA Capital Management (now part of Analytic Investors, LLC), and a vice president at The Boston Company.
    Rob has published more than 130 articles in such journals as the Journal of Portfolio Management, Harvard Business Review, and Financial Analysts Journal, where he also served as editor in chief from 2002 through 2006. In recognition of his achievements as a financial writer, Rob has received seven Graham and Dodd Scrolls, awarded annually by CFA Institute to the top Financial Analysts Journal articles of the year. He also has received four Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy awards from the Journal of Portfolio Management. He is co-author of The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest (Wiley 2008).
    Rob Arnott received a BS summa cum laude in economics, applied math

    • 51 min
    The State of State Run Retirement Plans: A Bi-Coastal Update

    The State of State Run Retirement Plans: A Bi-Coastal Update

    At least once a year it makes sense to check in on what our friends at the state run retirement plans are up to. Today, I am happy to have Katie Selenski, the Executive Director of CalSavers, the California State Retirement Plan and Dylan Giambatista, the with the new Vermont or Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan. Katie shares some encouraging data on what they are seeing thus far from CalSavers and Dylan shares the unique approach Vermont took to creating their retirement plan. I learned a lot, hopefully you do as well. 
    Before we get started, if you are not already on our email list, make sure you take care of that today. We will announcing our next webinar on Pooled Employer Plans shortly. Go to www.401kfridays.com/subscribe today. 
    Here are the statistics from the CalSavers plan Katie mentioned. 
     
    Guest Bios
    Katie Selenski is the Executive Director of CalSavers, the State of California’s pioneering retirement savings program that provides a path to retirement security for Californians who lack access to a retirement plan at work. Appointed by the State Treasurer in 2017 shortly after legislative passage, Ms. Selenski took CalSavers from concept through design, build, and launch. Ongoing marketing for the three-year rollout aims to engage an estimated pool of more than 250,000 employers and their eight million employees.
    Prior to taking the helm at CalSavers, Ms. Selenski was the State Policy Director for pension policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., where she advised policymakers in a dozen states and cities. Previously, she was a senior manager with the nonpartisan public sector consulting firm Harvey M. Rose Associates, based in San Francisco, where she advised municipal leaders on a wide array of budget, management, and policy matters, including pensions. Earlier, she was a municipal bond rating analyst at a leading rating agency, a legislative aide in the California Assembly, and the director of an historic statewide youth voter turnout initiative.
    Ms. Selenski is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
     
    Dylan Giambatista is the Director of Outreach & Financial Literacy for the Office of the Vermont State Treasurer, where he is a member of the project management team for the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan. Dylan served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2017 until January 2021. He was a member of the House Education Committee, and was elected Assistant Majority Leader. Prior to his service in the Vermont General Assembly, Dylan was Chief of Staff to the Vermont Speaker of the House. He is a Trustee on the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees and serves on several community boards.
     
    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 2 min
    "Total Economic Worth" and Other Concepts To Help 401(k) Participants

    "Total Economic Worth" and Other Concepts To Help 401(k) Participants

    If you couldn’t tell, the COVID pandemic and its impact on the economy, retirement plans and individuals has really gotten me thinking. Along those lines, a recent presentation from this week’s return guest, David Blanchett, the head of retirement research for Morningstar’s Investment Management group, on Total Economic Worth, struck a chord. A very interesting concept that I felt was very applicable to retirement plans to help communicate the importance of saving today and how that translates to resources to fund your lifestyle in retirement. We cover that and much more today in a fast paced and entertaining episode. If you listen to your podcasts on 1.5 or 2 times the normal pace, you might not want to do that for this one. Also, if you didn’t know you can listen to podcasts at a faster pace, your welcome and now you can listen to more episodes in a shorter period of time!
     
    If you like what you hear from our guests on the podcast, be sure to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media sites. Let them know you enjoyed listening to them on the 401(k) Fridays Podcast and engage what the put out into the world. That always helps great repeat guests like David have an easy decision on whether to join me again. 
     
    That’s it, I hope you enjoy my conversation with David!
     
    Guest Bio
    David M. Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP® is head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he helps develop and maintain methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. Prior to joining Morningstar, he was the Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at Unified Trust Company. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of industry and academic journals. His research has received best paper awards from the Academy of Financial Services (2017), the CFP Board (2017), the Financial Analysts Journal (2015), the Financial Planning Association (2020), the International Centre for Pension Management (2020), the Journal of Financial Planning (2007, 2014, 2015, 2019), and the Retirement Management Journal (2012). 
    He is currently an Adjunct professor of Wealth Management at The American College of Financial Services, an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal, a member of the Executive Committee for the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA), and a member of the ERISA Advisory Council.  In 2014, InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” for the financial planning industry, and in 2014, Money magazine named him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree in financial services from the American College, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University. When David isn’t working, he’s probably out for a jog, playing with his four kids, or rooting for the Kentucky Wildcats.
     
    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!
     

    • 45 min
    Will the Roaring Financial Markets of the 2020's Continue?

    Will the Roaring Financial Markets of the 2020's Continue?

    The financial markets have started the decade on a feverish pace despite a brief pandemic induced bear market. Today, Dr. David Kelly, CFA with J.P. Morgan Asset Management joins me to share his thoughts on where we go from here. As usual he has great insights on what it will take to get some inflation in the economy, what impact new policies from the Biden administration could have on financial markets, and with the current equity valuations and low interest rates, does that mean employers should be thinking differently about investment diversification in their retirement plans?
    For more insights on the financial markets from the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Team, check out their Guide to the Markets.
    Guest Bio
    Dr. David Kelly is the Chief Global Strategist and Head of the Global Market Insights Strategy Team for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. With over 20 years of experience, David provides valuable insight and perspective on the economy and markets to the institutional investor and financial advisor global communities.
    Throughout his career, David has developed a unique ability to explain complex economic and market issues in a language that financial professionals can use to communicate to their clients. He is a keynote speaker at many national investment conferences and a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, and other financial media outlets.
    Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Asset Management, David served as Economic Advisor to Putnam Investments. He has also served as a senior strategist/economist at SPP Investment Management, Primark Decision Economics, Lehman Brothers and DRI/McGraw-Hill.
    David is a CFA® charterholder. He also has a Ph.D and M.A. in Economics from Michigan State University and a B.A. in Economics from University College Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.
    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!

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

D day Normandy ,

Timely, informative, fun!

You wouldn’t think that this topic could be so interesting, but the host and his guest do one whale of a job making it sound really interesting! And for those of us in the benefits arena, this is really timely. We need to move to true retirement plans vs savings plans, and this podcast clearly lays out the regulatory cover for making it happen.

tierneyc24 ,

Great Understanding

I think I may be like most, and only know very little about the mechanics of our 401k. I learn a little with each podcast. Keep up the good work!

401(k) fan ,

Keep up the good work!

Timely content and good selection of guests.

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