RMJ® Papers

Since its launch, the Retirement Management Journal® has published nearly 100 papers and articles on retirement issues and concepts by leaders in the retirement industry on topics ranging from Optimizing Retirement Investments to Applying Behavioral Insights to the Retirement-Income Planning Process.

These papers are a valuable resource of ideas and retirement Thought Leadership and an important part of RIIA®’s Body of KnowledgeSM.  The entire library is available to RIIA members in the members section.  Click here to become a member.

Below are article titles and summaries.  Past issues of the Retirement Management Journal can be purchased by clicking on the links.

 

rmj-5-2-cover-200

Retirement Management Journal, Fall 2015 

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2

1) 2005-2015: RIIA®’s 10th Year Anniversary: A Look-back at the 2006 Founding White Paper and its 2011 Update 

by François Gadenne, CFA®, RMA® et al.

Mr. Gadenne, along with members of RIIA’s Board of Directors and the Business Unit Directors, has updated the Founding White Paper, adding to the last update in 2011.

2) Optimizing Retirement Income by Combining Actuarial Science and Investments

by Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA®

To manage market and longevity risk, Dr. Pfau shows how the use of life insurance and income annuities, as fixed income assets in a portfolio, can better hedge a retiree’s retirement-income needs as a portfolio volatility reduction tool.

3) The Future of Retirement-Income Planning

by Dana Anspach, CFP®, RMA®

Ms. Anspach challenges advisers, and all of us, to fully embrace and live up to the responsibilities we, as an industry, must deliver to those who rely on us for honest, fair and trustworthy solutions.

4) What Retirement Will Look Like in 10 Years

by David Blanchett, CFA®, CFP®

Mr. Blanchett identifies his top areas for significant change, including business models, products and structural changes to deliver more robust income solutions.

5) Grandpa, What was Retirement?

by Jack Tatar

In an interview, Mr. Tatar chats with Michael Kitces, Pinnacle Advisory Group, Nerd’s Eye View blog and Kitces.com. Through this Q&A, learn why Mr. Tatar and Mr. Kitces anticipate the question of future generations will be, “Grandpa, what was retirement?”.

6) Changing Direction: Building a Retirement Security Product

by Jeffrey R. Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brown shares his thoughts on how the defined contribution system could leverage its resources and expertise to provide a new tool for managing the key risks in retirement – longevity, medical expenditures and inflation – with a holistic Retirement Security Product (RSP).

7) Our Capacity to Discover and Produce Energy Matters

by Tim Garrett, Ph.D.

Take an intriguing alternative journey to the future with a look at energy and its relationship to retirement resources with Dr. Garrett, University of Utah.

8) Improving the Financial Health of Americans: An Interview with Professor Brigitte Madrian

by Craig Adamson

Mr. Adamson talks with Dr. Brigitte Madrian, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School, about her research and recommendations for increasing the availability of payroll deduction retirement savings and simplifying the transition from saving to creating income.

9) The Retirement Industry in 10 Years: The Relationship Between Advisers and Advisees

by Nguyễn Đăng TUỆ, Ph.D.

From an international view, Dr. TUỆ provides his observations of how interactions between advisers and their clients will be impacted by not only new technology and products, but also the evolution of the generations to be advised.

10) Thinking About the Future of Retirement

by Anna M. Rappaport, FSA, MAAA

With more than 50 years as an actuary and a passion for assuring a secure retirement for those most at risk, Ms. Rappaport shares her “wish list” for the future of retirement.

11) Retirement Is a 20th-Century Anachronism

by Larry Cohen

The next 10 years will see the first half of the boomers turn 70. The impact of this massive cohort as it enters and proceeds toward extinction will provide visceral proof that it’s not your father’s retirement anymore!.” Mr. Cohen has decades of research to draw upon as he describes his vision of the future.

12) The Pension Crisis: Six Lessons Learned and a Way Forward

by Laurence B. Siegel and Stephen Sexauer

A reliable pension is valuable and much has been learned from reviewing the lessons of recent financial impacts on both defined contribution and defined benefit plans. This paper highlights six of these lessons and describes the next steps to improve the future outcome of the plans for retirees.

13) Managing the Transition to Boomers’ Retirements

by Elvin Turner & Larry Cohen

Using key analytics, Mr. Turner and Mr. Cohen show us how retirement is changing. With these insights, the old “rules of thumb” don’t always work. Learn how looking at clients in a new way, with new tools, can deliver better outcomes.

14) Retirement in the Next Decade: Expanding Scope and Scale

by Harry Markowitz, Ph.D. and Sherrie Grabot

Looking at the breadth of considerations going into an individual’s financial planning as well as the depth of the retirement industry’s reach and effectiveness, Dr. Markowitz and Ms. Grabot see the need to “bring down the walls” in the industry in order to broadly deliver quality solutions.

15) How a Singular Retirement Framework Will Change Everything

by Dylan W. Huang

Acknowledging the industry’s ability to deliver reliable, workable frameworks for the accumulation of retirement assets, Mr. Huang writes about a future where a singular framework blends quantitative and qualitative factors to meet the changing consumer needs of the future.

16) What a Difference a Decade Makes

by Srinivas Reddy, CFA®

With a focus on lifelong financial security, Mr. Reddy discusses how the redefining of retirement will bring changes with employer vs. employee choice and choice architecture.

 

RMJSpring2015

Retirement Management Journal, Spring 2015 

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1

1) Sequence-of-returns Risk: A New Way of Looking at Spending or Saving Scenarios with Path Dependence

by Dirk Cotton

The author of this paper, which is the winner of this year’s Practitioner Thought Leadership Award, suggests that financial advisers would be well served to better understand sequence-of-returns (SOR) risk. But not in the usual way. Instead of thinking that SOR means the probability that a retiree will outlive her retirement savings portfolio as a result of a series of poor portfolio returns soon after retiring, think of it as the variance of portfolio terminal portfolio values resulting from path dependence, whether or not that variance results in portfolio failure.

2) Introduction to “Leveraging Behavioral Simulation to Enhance the 4% Rule”

by Elvin D. Turner, JD

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” Keep that quote in mind as you read “Leveraging Behavioral Simulation to Enhance the 4% Rule” by a team of authors from PricewaterhouseCoopers.  In his summary of that paper, Mr. Turner suggests that what is “clear” is that 4% rule does not neatly fit the contours of people’s lives.

3) Leveraging Behavioral Simulation to Enhance the 4% Rule

by Anand Rao, Ph.D.; David Gates and Pallav Ray

In this paper, the authors describe a popular asset withdrawal “rule of thumb” that has been historically used to guide retirement planning. The authors describe how new data sources and techniques, such as behavioral simulation, can substantially enhance retirement-planning tools. In doing so, the authors showcase a number of detailed insights on retirement readiness and provide a comparative analysis using different methods.

4) The 6% Rule : Determining a Sustainable Portfolio Withdrawal Rate and Addressing the Fear of Running Out of Money

by Ken Mungan, FSA, MAAA, Fang, Fang, Ph.D.

In this paper, the authors seek to answer one simple question: How can retirees provide for themselves when they no longer work? Their analysis indicates that the answer to this question lies in the proper calculation of a sustainable portfolio withdrawal rate, and the ability to manage three fundamental risk factors facing retirees: market risk, inflation risk, and longevity risk. The authors also find that successfully navigating these risk factors leads to a potentially increased portfolio withdrawal rate, with a high probability of success.

5) Thinking Past Savings: Research from TIAA-CREF Reinforces the Need to Focus Clients on Reliable Retirement Income

by Ed Van Dolsen

This paper presents the results of TIAA-CREF’s proprietary “2015 Lifetime Income Survey” and other relevant research and reviews their implications for financial advisers working with clients to plan for retirement. Key findings about the mindset and actions of American workers suggest what actions advisers can take to help clients improve their approach to retirement planning. Those findings indicate three trends for American workers today.

6) Generation X and Y as the New Wealth Holders: The Implications of a Generational Shift in Financial Advising Clientele

by Helen K. Simon DBA, CFP, RMA and Shaun Hoyes

The Baby Boomer generation is projected to transfer in excess of $41 trillion over the next 50 years. This wealth transfer exacerbates the predicament advisers will find themselves in if the Boomers’ children act in accordance with the current research. This paper proposes ways for planners to overcome this problem through the utilization of long-term strategies and a re-evaluation of the financial planning business model that serves a new generation.

 

RMJFall2014

Retirement Management Journal, Fall 2014 

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2

1) RMA Curriculum Book Update Bulletin

Update Bulletins – best practices updates to The Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) Designation: Curriculum Book for RMA Candidates (5th ed.) – are usually reserved for RMA graduates. However there are times when sharing the Update Bulletins with the broader public feels like the right thing to do. This is one of those times. This Update Bulletin adds important depth and details to the Retirement Policy Statement material which is in the RMA Curriculum Book and available on Amazon.

As you read this Update Bulletin, you will find the complete expression of the RMA framework, the combination of the seven RMA Curriculum Book chapters with the 10 Retirement Policy Statement questions. This framework provides structures for many things RIIA does, includingour Essential Readings List, which is also published in this issue.

2) Introduction to RMA Essential Readings List

The Essential Readings List illustrates the value of the RMA curriculum framework (Chapters in the RMA Curriculum Book combined with the Retirement Policy Statement Steps) to organize and keep up with the increasing volume of reference material. It helps you identify and classify the focus, and thus the relevance, of each item in the broader canvas of what you should know.

3)  “So, What’s My Allowance?” Right Answers to a Simple Question

by Elvin D. Turner JD, MBA

This paper discusses the use and value of the 80% salary replacement rate ratio that advisers and their clients often use to determine fundedness. In essence, this paper – using Strategic Business Insights’ data and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ analytics – shows that imprecise measures such as the 80% salary replacement rate ratio often will not indicate how ready retirees are to meet their needs. What’s more, this paper suggests that advisers need to use more sophisticated approaches to determine the amount of money that retirees should spend from their investments and other sources.

4) 20 Years of Safe Withdrawal Rate Research – A Literature Review & Practical Applications

by Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC

This paper reviews the past 20 years of safe withdrawal rate literature, in an effort to better understand the major revelations and research innovations, and arrive at some conclusions about what this entire body of research can tell practitioners today about what is and isn’t a safe, sustainable portfolio withdrawal rate, and how to apply it in practice.

5) Decision Rules Strategies in Retirement Planning

by Nguyễn Đăng TUỆ, PhD

In this paper, financial planner Jonathan Guyton’s decision rules for retirement withdrawals are compared to traditional inflation-adjusted withdrawals and a strategy with partial annuitization. This study also combines outcome measures into a weighted average which balances retiree goals. Results show that decision rules are particularly effective in providing high expected bequests and reducing shortfall. Combining all financial indicators into a single framework of spending value, decision rule strategies outperform traditional inflation-adjusted withdrawals and partial annuitization strategies.

6) How Americans are Managing Post-Retirement Risk and Insights for Advisers

by Anna M. Rappaport, FSA, MAAA

One of the major objectives of personal financial advisers is to help people achieve success in retirement. This paper presents the results of the Society of Actuaries’ research on how the public manages resources in retirement and how it views the post-retirement period. This paper presents research, identifies issues for advisers to consider, and offers some ways for advisers to help clients based on the research.

7) Choosing Benchmarks for Target-Date Funds

by Mark Hathaway, CFA

Target-date funds (TDFs) are just like any other investment – they need benchmarks. Specifically, plan sponsors are tasked under SEC guidelines with selecting and monitoring TDFs on behalf of employees. To carry out this fiduciary responsibility, plan sponsors and their advisers need benchmarks so they can assess the suitability of each fund family for the employees, monitor fund performance, and make sensible manager hiring and firing decisions.

 

RMJSpring2014

Retirement Management Journal, Spring 2014 

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1

1) The True Impact of Single-Premium Immediate Annuities on Retirement Sustainability: A Total Wealth Perspective

by Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL and Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

This paper challenges conventional wisdom about the use and value of single premium immediate annuities (SPIAs). In fact, the authors suggest that the primary scenarios where SPIAs should be used are specifically those where the intent is to hedge significant longevity risk beyond life expectancy, and that for most retirees, the more effective way to improve retirement outcomes is simply to implement the rising equity glide path that bucketed SPIA strategies indirectly create.

2) Asset Valuations and Safe Portfolio Withdrawal Rates

by David Blanchett, CFA, CFP®, Michael Finke, Ph.D., CFP®, and Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

This paper demonstrates that the safety of a given withdrawal strategy is significantly affected by the initial bond yield and cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) value at retirement, and that the relative impact varies based on the portfolio equity allocation.

3) Financial Behaviors of Clients in or Near Retirement: What Advisers Need to Know

by Helen K. Simon, DBA, CFP®, RMA℠

This paper seeks to pinpoint behavioral biases identified by the literature in the field of behavioral finance that are of particular concern to advisers who work with clients both close to and already in retirement. The literature suggests that hyper loss aversion and overconfidence are significant behavioral pitfalls, which may well be amplified by bounded rationality. This paper further seeks to coach advisers on how they might overcome these issues through actively listening, educating and learning to sincerely share client concerns after discovering the roots of these very real trepidations.

4) Take the Money: Should You Draw Social Security Benefits Early?

by Herman Manakyan, Ph.D., Danny Ervin, Ph.D. and E. Tylor Claggett, Ph.D., CFA

For most Americans, decisions regarding their federal benefits in retirement are some of the most significant factors in their financial well-being.  At the same time, these decisions can also be extremely complex and dependent on age, marital status, income level, life expectancy, availability of other assets, and the like.  As such, many prospective retirees require professional guidance in reaching these decisions.  This paper addresses a specific component of these decisions regarding the optimal timing to initiate Social Security retirement insurance (SSRI) benefits.  We use Monte Carlo simulation analyses, incorporating over eight decades of market data, to model the lifetime SSRI benefits resulting from the various timing options for commencing benefits.

5) The Cost of Guaranteed Income: A Consumer-Oriented Approach to Considering the Value of Variable Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit Riders

by Rosita P. Chang, Ph.D., CFA, CFP®, Jack C. DeJong, Jr. Ph.D., CFA, Qianqiu Liu, Ph.D., John H. Robinson and Jack Suyderhoud, Ph.D.

Variable annuities are among the most complex and controversial products in the investment universe. Although a fair amount of research regarding the merits of VAs with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) riders has been published over the past decade, to date, few of these papers have been of practical usefulness in guiding consumer decision-making. This paper begins to fill this information gap by (1) identifying the circumstances under which VA contracts with GLWBs seem most rational, and (2) helping consumers and practitioners assess the relative merits of various “real-world” guaranteed lifetime withdrawal riders.

6) Having ‘The Talk’ About Retirement: The Key to Retaining Assets

by Jack Tatar

Wealth management firms, banks and online trading firms are pursuing the huge opportunity that exists with the transfer of wealth between the generations. In the pursuit of maintaining these assets in-house between generations, the approach that firms have taken is the costly option of using online tools to entice younger investors into becoming new clients. There may be a better way. It may be as easy as making a connection with them through their parents (existing clients).  For an adviser, the best way to make this connection may be to discuss retirement and later life issues with your existing client.

 

RMJFall2013

Retirement Management Journal, Fall 2013

VOLUME 3, NUMBER 2 

1) The RIIA Household Balance SheetSM –The Head Office Perspective

by Elvin D. Turner, JD, MBA and Larry Cohen

This paper details the RIIA Household Balance Sheet (HHBS), a powerful tool that enables executives in financial services firms to see opportunities for their products and programs within the context of the entire household’s financial situation. Executives can use RIIA’s HHBS to step into the household’s world and view their products through the lens of the consumers’ perspective.

2) Projecting the RIIA Household Balance Sheet into the Future

by Anand Rao, David Gates, Louis Lombardi and Pia Ramchandani

RIIA has partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC to develop a unique approach using agent-based simulation modeling to forecast the future state of the RIIA Household Balance SheetSM across the RIIA Market Segments.  The paper details how an agent-based model creates a system of individual “agents” (i.e., households, intermediaries, or carriers) and models the development of a “system” based on the interactions of the agents between themselves and with external stimuli, such as changes to the economy or regulations.

3) Growing Demand for Retirement-Income Support

by Howard Schneider and Dennis Gallant

There is growing demand on the part of advisers for retirement-income support from platform providers, product manufacturers, and service firms. But this paper reveals that no firm or industry segment has emerged as a dominant player or clear winner in serving advisers.

4) The Importance of a Formal Advisory Relationship and a Written Plan on the Retirement-Income Outlook among Defined Contribution Participants

by Ron Bush

Research with defined contribution plan participants indicates that those who have a paid adviser and/or a formal written plan are considerably more comfortable with knowing how much income they will need in retirement and confident in achieving their goals for a secure retirement.

5) New Insights on the Measurement of Benefit Adequacy

by Anna Rappaport, F.S.A., MAAA, Vickie Bajtelsmit, J.D., Ph.D., and LeAndra Foster, A.S.A.

This paper provides a summary of the methodology and findings of the Society of Actuaries study: “Measures of Benefit Adequacy: Which, Why, for Whom and How Much,” and discusses the implications for advisers and firms interested in retirement-income adequacy.

6) Planning and Product Development for Health-Related Expenses in Retirement

by Mathew Greenwald and Borden Ayers

Almost all pre-retirees are aware that health care and long-term care costs can be quite high in retirement.  There is a great deal of concern about these risks among people close to retirement and, of course, retirees themselves. Indeed, financial planning for health care and long-term care is arguably one of the biggest gaps in overall retirement planning.  This paper discusses why financial planning has been so inadequate and provides three suggestions for better addressing the issue.

7) Identifying Opportunities in the Market for Annuity Products

by Andrew Blumberg

This paper is adapted from a presentation given at the RIIA Spring Conference in Chicago on March 19, 2013 and provides an update on DTCC’s Insurance & Retirement Services’ Analytic Reporting for Annuities service and RIIA’s Market Insight Program.

 

RMJVol3Issue1

Retirement Management Journal - Spring 2013

VOLUME 3, NUMBER 1

1) Insights to Support Better Retirement Planning: Implications of and Key Findings from Recent Society of Actuaries Research

by Anna Rappaport, FSA, MAAA

The Society of Actuaries Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Retirement has performed a variety of studies to gradually expand our understanding of post-retirement risk and its management. This paper focuses on two new studies: “Running Out of Money” and “The New American Family,” and offers insights for planners about post-retirement risk and management for the middle-income market.

2) Retiring in an Era of Financial Repression

by Stefan Hofrichter, CFA, David Hollis, Hans-Jörg Naumer, Dennis Nacken, CFA, Greg Meier, and Kristina Hooper, CFP®, CIMA

First coined in 1973, the term ‘financial repression’ refers to a set of economic policies, regulations and capital controls imposed by governments and central banks to facilitate public-sector deleveraging. Today, with countries across the developed world entangled in debt, financial repression offers a roadmap to fiscal stability and a strong incentive for market intervention. This has consequences: government intervention can lead to market distortions, in this case, artificially low interest rates. For income-dependent investors, low rates are a huge threat because even moderate inflation can lead to negative real returns. Retirees, in particular, need to understand how financial repression works, why governments choose to use it and what tools are best suited to protect their assets and purchasing power.

3) The Tax Torpedo: Coordinating Social Security with a Withdrawal Strategy to Minimize Taxes

by William Meyer and William Reichenstein, Ph.D.

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how coordinating a Social Security claiming strategy with a strategy for how that retiree withdraws funds from the financial portfolio can materially impact the taxation of Social Security benefits. This study examines the tax torpedo, which refers to the substantial rise and then fall in marginal tax rates caused by the taxation of Social Security benefits. In addition, it provides income ranges for both singles and married couples filing jointly within which the tax torpedo will apply.

4) Introducing a New Retirement Approach for Today’s Baby Boomers: Bifurcated Retirement™

by Oliver Abel IV

This paper presents a new retirement process that is intended to provide a reliable income stream during retirement, with minimal risks, which is easily administered and monitored, while alleviating the fear of outliving ones’ retirement funds.

5) Marketing Yourself as an Income-Distribution Specialist

by Zach Parker, CFP®

Retirement-income distribution represents one of the greatest opportunities of the past several decades for financial advisers seeking to make a significant difference in the lives of their clients by meeting one of their biggest financial concerns. By specializing in retirement-income distribution, your business also increases its revenue and profitability.

6) Why Many Firms will Fail in Retirement Income… and How to Fix It

by David Macchia, RMA

This paper argues that many broker-dealers, asset managers and insurers are unlikely to succeed in retirement income. It explains how culture has impeded success in many organizations, and how by unleashing creativity and moving past old dogmas, companies can claim the future of retirement income.

7) Solving the Annuity Puzzle Exchange

by John J. Mulligan, CFP®, CIMA, AIFA, RMA

The Chilean pension system has a high rate of annuitization, a fact that can be attributed to pension reforms that successfully capped commission rates, increased transparency of annuity information, and reduced price dispersion. Using the Chilean annuity model as a baseline, this paper examines the main issues and challenges that must be addressed, in order to build an effective annuity exchange in the U.S.

8) Reading Notes for Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder

by François Gadenne, CFA, RMA

A review of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s latest book.

 

RMJVol2Issue3

Retirement Management Journal, Fall 2012 

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 3

1) Introduction to Optimal Withdrawal Strategy for Retirement-Income Portfolios

by Michael Zwecher, Ph.D.

This paper provides a powerful tool for teaching retirement-income specialists how to distinguish between approaches that they may want to use in their retirement-income careers.

2) Optimal Withdrawal Strategy for Retirement-Income Portfolios

by David Blanchett, CFA, Maciej Kowara, Ph.D., CFA, and Peng Chen, Ph.D., CFA

The purpose of this paper is to first establish a framework to evaluate different withdrawal strategies and secondly to use that framework, in conjunction with Monte Carlo simulations, to determine the optimal withdrawal strategies for various case studies.

3) Introduction to Choosing a Retirement-Income Strategy

by Robert P. Seawright

The papers by Wade Pfau, Ph.D., represent pertinent research that is both analytically rigorous as well as being eminently practical and useful for working with individual clients.

4) Choosing a Retirement-Income Strategy: Outcome Measures and Best Practices

by Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D.

This paper seeks to explain best practices, highlight potential missteps and problems which may arise, clarify areas where controversies and disagreements remain, and suggest further enhancements and modifications to make retirement-income frameworks as useful as possible.

5) Choosing a Retirement-Income Strategy: A New Evaluation Framework

by Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D.

This paper presents the initial stages of a new evaluation framework for choosing among eight retirement-income strategies.

6) Adaptive Investing: A Responsive Approach to Managing Retirement Assets

by Sam Pittman, Ph.D., and Rod Greenshields, CFA

This paper describes an adaptive approach to managing retirement portfolios that anchors on proven tenets of asset liability management.

7) Managing Tail Risk

by Stephen C. Sexauer and Laurence B. Siegel

This paper examines causes of fat-tailed market outcomes; common misconceptions about “normal” market returns; and three rules for managing tail risk in investment portfolios – specifically within qualified default investment alternatives or QDIAs.

8) Social Security Claiming Strategies for Singles

by William Meyer and William Reichenstein, Ph.D.

This paper presents important and previously unknown insights related to the claiming age that would maximize the present value of benefits for a single retiree.

9) The Decision to Defer Social Security Retirement Benefits:  A Straight-Forward Starting Point

by E. Tylor Claggett, Herman Manakyan, and Danny Ervin

The purpose of this paper is to address one specific question: Should an individual apply for Social Security retirement – old age – benefits at the full retirement age of 66 or delay his or her application for such benefits until age 70?

10) Alleviating Fear of Outliving One’s Retirement Funds: A New Public Policy Initiative

by Oliver Abel

In planning for retirement, all financial actions are undertaken to address one seemingly simple question: “How do I ensure that I don’t outlive my retirement funds?” This paper proposes a new public policy initiative designed to alleviate the fear of outliving one’s retirement funds.

 

RMJVol2Issue2

Retirement Management Journal, Summer 2012

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 2 

1) Introduction to RIIA’s Market Insight Research Program

by Elvin Turner

This paper introduces the RIIA Market Insight (RMI) research program, which is designed to help industry leaders grow their businesses in a changing retirement market through the use of market intelligence concerning firms’ sales, customers, distributors, competitors and their own strategies.

2) Getting from There to Here – A History of the DTCC/RIIA Relationship

by François Gadenne and Adam Bryan

This paper details the vision of the two organizations that believe transaction data, beginning in the annuity industry, could be transformed into insightful reports for industry executives.

3) The DTCC Analytic Reporting for Annuities Service: A Primer on the Possibilities

by Elvin Turner and Andrew Blumberg

This paper presents practical ways that the Analytic Reporting for Annuities program can be used to give users a unique and unprecedented view of their own business as well as the market for annuity products, allowing them to discover key trends and identify opportunities.

4) Getting Income Annuities Ready for Primetime – Creating a Market Value

by Gary Baker

The Income Annuity Standards and Readiness Working Committee is defining the infrastructure and methodology that will make annuitization data and market valuation available across the market.

5) Income from Assets: The Promise of the Future

by Larry Cohen and David Blanchett

To facilitate the conversation among financial manufacturers, distributors, regulators, associations, financial professionals and all parties interested in better understanding and serving consumers’ retirement income needs, Morningstar has partnered with RIIA to look at the balance sheets of pre-retired and retired households to better understand their retirement income situation.

6) How Financial Institutions Can Help Their Customers to Remain Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

by Anand S. Rao, Ph.D, and Ron Mastrogiovanni

Considering that healthcare will be the largest single expense for most retirees, and in light of the fact that the majority of people inadequately prepare for retirement, there is a huge need for informed professional guidance, including on various on-the-shelf investment options that can cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

7) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Participants on Retirement

by Ronald L. Bush

This paper examines the attitudes and behavior of defined-contribution plan participants regarding retirement, their perceived retirement readiness, expected sources of retirement income and their interest in an in-plan guaranteed retirement income option.

8) What Happened to My Retirement?

by Larry Cohen

Retirement is a middle-class problem. The wealthy and the poor have no problem with retirement: The wealthy will retire, the poor won’t – no problem! But, for the vast number of those in the middle, the other 79%, retirement is a real problem – and the questions of if, when and how we retire are huge unknowns.

9) Can We Predict Long-Run Economic Growth?

by Timothy J. Garrett

It can be a challenge to plan now for inflation-adjusted economic growth over coming decades. This paper argues that there exists an economic constant that carries through time which can help us to anticipate the more distant future: global economic wealth has a fixed link to civilization’s total capacity for power production; the ratio of these two quantities has not changed over the past 40 years that statistics are available.

 

RMJVol2Issue1

Retirement Management Journal, Spring 2012

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1

1) Introduction to Practitioner Thought Leadership Award-Winning Papers

by Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D.

This issue of the Retirement Management Journal includes two exciting articles, each of which seek to broaden Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to incorporate the unique aspects of retirement.

2) The Efficient Income Frontier: A Product Allocation Framework for Retirement

by Dylan W. Huang, FSA, MAAA; Matthew M. Grove and Todd E. Taylor, ASA

In an attempt to address the specificities of retirement, while retaining the appeal of MPT, the authors have created what they call the Efficient Income Frontier or EIF, a scalable retirement planning optimization framework.

3) Financial Guidance Theory: A Rational Approach to the Uncertainties of Retirement Income, as Explained by its Creator Dr. Harry Markowitz

by Sherrie Grabot

A rational approach to the uncertainties of retirement income, as explained by its creator Dr. Harry Markowitz, Ph.D.

4) Selecting a Target Date Benchmark

by Thomas Idzorek, CFA®, Jeremy Stempien and Nathan Voris

The authors propose a new approach to selecting target maturity benchmarks which includes both qualitative and qualitative measures.

5) Post-Retirement Risk Research: Findings and Messages for Advisers

by Anna M. Rappaport, FSA, MAAA

A summary of research sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) that serves to help us understand what the risks are in retirement, the gaps in knowledge about those risks, and how individuals might think about managing these risks.

6) Realism Resonates: Setting Emerging Retirement-income Techniques in Context of Current Aspirations and Practices of American Retirement Savers

by Laura Varas and Chris Brown

Research from Hearts & Wallets reveals that Americans continue to embrace two inevitable consequences of the shift to self-funded retirements.

7) Understanding the Retirement-Income Planning Mindset of Advisers and Consumers

by Beth Stelluto, Ben Woloshin, and Howard Schneider

The authors reveal how well consumers grasp retirement-income topics, the current level of retirement preparedness among pre-retirees, and expectations related to assistance provided by financial advisers.

8) Tailoring Your Retirement-Income Business for Women: Leverage Women’s Unique Experiences and Life Decisions to Build Relationships that Last

by Marcia Mantell, RMA and Craig Adamson, RMA, CRC®, CRPS, PRP

By integrating women’s perspectives and approaches into their business practice, advisers will improve the likelihood of retaining women as clients.

9) Accumulation Conditioning™ of Investors and Advisers

by Christine G. Russell, QPA, QKA, AIF, RMA and Sean M. Ciemiewicz, MBA, CIMC, AIFA, RMA

This “accumulation conditioning” causes sub-optimal outcomes for many investors living in retirement.

10) Q&A with John Olsen, CLU, ChFC, AEP

by Robert J. Powell, III

John L. Olsen, co-author of The Advisor’s Guide to Annuities, shares his perspective about the best and proper use of annuities when building a retirement-income plan, and how advisers are doing against those standards.

11) Reflections from the C-Suite

by Carol Hartman

Tom Streiff, a PIMCO executive vice president, describes the opportunities and issues facing the retirement-income market.

 

RMJVol1Issue2

Retirement Management Journal, Fall 2011

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 2

1) What Employers Lose in the Shift from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution Plans… and How to Get it Back

by Christine C. Marcks and John J. Kalamarides

This paper explores a solution – the incorporation of a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit annuity – that can improve the effectiveness of defined contribution plans.

2) The Illusion of Precision in Target-Date Fund Glidepaths

by Stephen C. Sexauer, Paul Pietranico, and Laurence B. Siegel

The illusion of precision in target-date glidepaths and the implications for target-date investors is well known within the quantitative practitioner community.  The goal of this essay is to make the topic, and its importance, accessible to the wider community of retirement income professionals. Given the vast sums of retirement savings on autopilot in target-date glidepaths, making target date glidepaths reliably successful in practice requires full knowledge of their limits, in both theory and practice.  Armed with this knowledge, plan sponsors and investors can make better-informed lifetime savings and investment decisions.

3) Introduction to the Academic Peer Review Committee Section

by Robert J. Powell, III, and François Gadenne, CFA®, RMASM

The papers in this section examine one of the processes, structures and products – systematic withdrawal plans (SWPs) – whose effect is to “wrap the market” and therefore put some level of flooring against asset pricing downside to create more reliable income expectations. These papers also extend the insights and questions that derived from the paper that won the first-ever Practitioner Thought Leadership Award.

4) Determining Optimal Withdrawal Rates: An Economic Approach

by Duncan Williams, CFP®, and Michael S. Finke, Ph.D., CFP®

The paper proposes a utility-maximizing model to determine portfolio allocations and withdrawal rates in retirement and finds that optimal withdrawal rates depend largely on the client’s level of risk aversion and the level of other retirement income benefits, and that portfolio allocation in retirement is a function of minimizing consumption variance given the optimal withdrawal rate.  This paper is the winner of RIIA’s first-ever Academic Thought Leadership Award, sponsored by Allianz Global Investors.

5) Retirement Withdrawal Rates and Portfolio Success Rates: What Can the Historical Record Teach Us?

by Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D.

This paper investigates whether the safety of the 4% rule achieved with an aggressive asset allocation is an appropriate conclusion to draw from the historical record. According to Dr. Pfau, historical portfolio success rates calculated from U.S. data may present a misleadingly rosy picture.

6) Behavioral Barriers: The Role of Biases in the Public’s Aversion to Fixed Annuities

by Brian J. Barclay, CFP®, and Somnath Basu, Ph.D.

Negative biases and the corresponding mental conditioning prevent the average investor from even considering a fixed annuity as a viable option for a portion of their overall retirement plan, despite exhibiting the exact behavioral symptoms that such a solution seeks to alleviate.

 

RMJVol1Issue1

Retirement Management Journal, Spring 2011

VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1 

1) 2006-2011: An Update of RIIA’s 2006 “Founding” White Paper

by François Gadenne, Larry Cohen, Bob Del Col, Karen Lanzetta, David Macchia, and Al Turco

The value of RIIA’s “View Across the Silos” is often reflected in the challenging nature of questions that RIIA members ask. This update of RIIA’s 2006 “Founding” White Paper reflects the answers to those questions.

2) Understanding the Products in the Retirement-Income Process

by Dennis Gallant and Howard Schneider

The opportunity and demand for new retirement-income solutions is increasing. However, product providers need to increase education, demonstrate how their solutions will add value to the advisors retirement-income process, and be patient because advisors will need time to understand these solutions and see that they do meet their intended need.

3) Behavioral Finance in Action: Applying Behavioral Insights to the Retirement-Income Planning Process

by Shlomo Benartzi, Ph.D.

It’s more critical than ever for financial advisors to understand how their clients arrive at the decisions they make, and how the aging process further complicates matters.

4) The Retirement-Planning Evolution

by Sharon Carson

People without a clear vision of their future don’t know what numbers to plug into their retirement-planning calculators, which makes it difficult for them to calculate whether their assets will last throughout their lifetime.

5) Capturing the Income-Distribution Opportunity: A Historical Analysis of Distribution Philosophies and a Solution for Today

by Zachary S. Parker, CFP® and Paul R. Lofties, CFP®, ChFC®

It is imperative that advisors fully understand the complexities of distribution planning so they may provide sound guidance to their clients.

6) Four Timely Issues Surrounding Social Security

by William T. Hunot

There are some very near-term issues and changes financial practitioners should understand about Social Security, including the Social Security payroll tax “holiday,” the Social Security Administration’s ruling on “do-overs,” the always-present question on whether to take reduced benefits early, and how COLA increases can work for and against retirees.

7) Guaranteed Lifetime Income – RIIA Takes a Stand in Washington

by Stephen M. Saxon

Several critical legal issues must be addressed first and foremost before the federal government requires defined-contribution plans to offer a distribution option with a guaranteed income payment.

8) Q&A with Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy

by Robert Powell

Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy outlines four steps to solve this nation’s retirement crisis, one of which would require 401(k) plans to act more like defined-benefit plans.

9) Practical Tools and Tips

by Dana Anspach, CFP®, RMASM

There are several online calculators that can help advisors help clients decide when to take Social Security.