Return to Pensions & Investments


Click here to download a PDF file of the Chicago agenda, including speaker assignments

Click here to download a PDF file of the New York agenda, including speaker assignments

Agenda (as of September 7, 2011)
Subject to change

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30 am – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks

Speaker: Ross Bremen, [Conference Moderator],NEPC

8:45 am - 9:25 am
WORKSHOP: How Sustainable are Retirement Income Strategies? Global Differences in How Markets Deal with Demographic and Other Mega-trends

The global pension industry faces sustainability issues at least at three different levels:

A demographic mega-trend is threatening all three levels of sustainability, while each issue in turn is additionally affected by large shifts in sovereign liability levels, financial regulations and supply of investable assets. These affect the pension and investment industries in different ways in different jurisdictions. What can countries learn from each other about what does and doesn’t work?

9:25 am – 10:05 am
WORKSHOP: Why Target-Date Funds May Not Be the Best QDIA to Ensure Adequate Retirement Income

Target-date funds have become the preferred qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) for many defined contribution sponsors, but the tide may be turning. Default alternatives are an important tool to help sponsors make sure that participants save enough for retirement, but the QDIA must also provide for participants as they enter the red zone. This is the all-important period when participants plan for life after work, and for life in an after-tax world. This workshop will focus on QDIAs that provide alternatives to target-date funds – balanced and target-risk funds – that may be more appropriate to the needs of the more mature worker.

10:05 am - 10:35 am
PRESENTATION: United Technologies: Moving Forward, Integrating Retirement Income and DC Plan Design

Many DC plans were originally designed to supplement traditional DB pensions. But as more and more employers phase out or eliminate their DB plans, DC plans become the primary source of retirement income for many. Hear how one large plan sponsor is working to update and enhance its DC Plan by providing its employees with access to a competitively priced, in-plan “lifetime income strategy” investment option that will provide steady, predictable retirement income while preserving participant control and upside potential.

10:35 am – 10:55 am
Networking Break

10:55 am – 11:40 am
PANEL DISCUSSION: Making Lifetime Income Simple

Adding a lifetime income option to a defined contribution plan can be complicated. There are a number of different retirement income solutions available. And of course, each plan has different goals, so no two approaches to the issue are likely to be exactly the same. All that said, for a plan sponsor that sees the benefit of providing a full retirement package for their participants, lifetime income is a necessary corollary to providing a full investment menu to ensure accumulation of assets. This panel will discuss ways that plan sponsors can make the case to their boards or investment committees that the benefits of adding income solutions far outweigh the complications.

11:40 am – 12:20 pm
WORKSHOP: In-Plan Retirement Income Solutions: Key Learnings from Plan Sponsor Conversations

From in-depth conversations with many plan sponsors and through their own research on building retirment income solutions, AllianceBernstein will walk you through key learnings for designing and adopting in-plan retirement income solutions. These learnings include identifying how to meet the needs of both participants and plan sponsors, integrating these solutions into the default option and addressing the multi-insurer issue.

12:20 pm – 1:25 pm
Networking Luncheon

1:25 pm – 1:45 pm
PRESENTATION: Where we are

Across Plan types and tax codes defined contribution plan sponsors are interested in lifetime income products. As consultants, it’s a frequent topic of conversation.

While products have gained some traction amongst smaller plans, they have not penetrated the mid- and large-plan markets. According to NEPC’s 2011 Defined Contribution Plan & Fee Survey, not a single respondent offers an in-plan lifetime income product. However, with sponsors beginning to add products and the possibility of regulatory assistance, are we on the cusp of a migration to lifetime income products? This session looks at the products available and current state of the marketplace.

1:45 pm – 2:25 pm
WORKSHOP: To Provide Retirement Income Solutions or Not? The Decision is Not Binary!

Defined contribution participants consistently demonstrate real concerns about whether they will run out of money in retirement. However, there remains a chasm between solving for the need for retirement income and the implementation of income solutions. The critical questions we all face seem to present highly binary (either/or) decision points:This workshop will present a case arguing that implementing retirement income solutions, as the next major evolutionary phase for enhancing participant retirement outcomes, does not have to be framed as a series of highly challenging, binary decision points.

2:25 pm - 3:20 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION: Making Retirement Income Work - For Plan Sponsors and Participants

While retirement income solutions have developed dramatically over the last few years, with providers addressing many of the difficulties, perceived or otherwise that exist in terms of implementation, hurdles still remain. This panel will discuss implementation theory and practice, touching on portability (at the plan and participant level), recordkeeping needs, cost and multi-insurer risk among other issues. Although plan participants consistently ask for help in solving the retirement income dilemma, by adding a solution to the lineup, plan sponsors will need to communicate the benefits, so this too is an implementation issue that will need to be addressed.

3:20 pm – 3:40 pm
Networking Break

3:40 pm - 4:20 pm
WORKSHOP: The Evolving Retirement Mind Set: Shifting from Savings to Spending

Recent findings from MetLife’s Qualified Retirement Plan Barometer and BlackRock’s 2011 DC Survey show how important income is to participants -- and more importantly, why we need to act now. This workshop will explore the role income can play in reaching retirement readiness and steps that plan sponsors can take to help their participants save more and have better income strategies in retirement.

4:20 pm - 5:05 pm
PANEL DISCUSSION: The Future of Retirement Income

Where will the retirement income discussion be in three years, in five years? The pressure for change within the defined contribution arena is increasing, even as only a very few plans have adopted the solutions currently available. Plan sponsors are looking for clarity from legislators and regulators, as they want clear guidance on ways to meet their fiduciary duties. This panel will consider what needs to change to support the increased use of retirement income solutions.

5:05 pm – 6:30 pm
Closing Cocktail Reception