220 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
    • 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!

    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
    Has The Pandemic Impacted The Financial Health Of Employees?

    Has The Pandemic Impacted The Financial Health Of Employees?

    Happy New Year! I could not think of a better way to kick off 2021 than with an update from Pete the Planner on the impact of the pandemic on personal finances. Some of what he says you might expect, but the group of employees he feels are at the most risk will likely surprise you. That and a whole lot more are part of our conversation. 
    As a reminder, if you have been enjoying the podcast please share with a friend, colleague, or peer group. Best thing to do is encourage people to search "401(k) Fridays" on their favorite podcast app, or go online to www.401kfridays.com. 
    Enjoy!
    Guest Bio
    Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning comedian and an award-winning financial mind. He’s a USA TODAY columnist and the author of ten books, six of which were featured in a nationwide launch at Barnes & Nobles stores in January of 2015. He is the host of the popular radio show and podcast The Pete the Planner Show. Pete has appeared regularly on CNN Headline News, Fox News, Fox Business as well as numerous nationally syndicated radio programs. In addition to his work educating the public, Pete is also the CEO and Founder of Your Money Line and Hey Money. Your Money Line is a corporate financial wellness solution connecting employees to confidential, unbiased financial guidance. Hey Money is a direct-to-consumer monthly subscription that connects people to friendly financial experts. Pete lives in Carmel, Indiana with his wife and two young children.
    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!

    • 55 min
    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

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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