One of today’s greatest financial wellness challenges for workers is generating an adequate and sustainable amount of lifetime income in retirement. Defined contribution plans primarily focus on helping participants accumulate retirement savings, not converting those savings into a steady stream of lifetime income. This can leave workers vulnerable to a wide array of risks once managed by defined benefit plans including longevity risk, market risk, inflation risk, interest rate risk, and conversion risk.
In two new white papers, From Saving to Income: The Next Evolution of Defined Contribution Plans PDF opens in a new window and America’s Workers Need a Next-Generation DC Plan More Than Ever PDF opens in a new window, we look at today’s defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s, and how they are likely to evolve.
- The first generation of 401(k) plans relied on employees to voluntarily enroll in them, determine the amount they would like to save, and choose their own investments, usually from an extensive menu of choices.
- Version 2.0 of DC plans demonstrated that incorporating defaults into plans, such as automatic enrollment and default investment options, is effective in getting workers to save and invest.
- With DC plan version 3.0, plan sponsors will evolve their plans to have participants focus on a retirement outcome, namely helping participants reach their individual retirement income goal. Accordingly, plan sponsors will add personalization to their plan design toolkit.