The main message for plan sponsors from James M. Delaplane Jr.'s keynote address on Nov. 2 that kicked off Pensions & Investments' 12th annual West Coast Defined Contribution Conference was simple: it's going to be about regulation, not legislation.
Whether the issue is target date funds, disclosure or investment advice, Mr. Delaplane told the audience that, with so many other pressing issues (think: financial reform, economic recovery, healthcare reform) on their collective plates, neither the U.S. House nor the Senate are likely to have the time or the willingness to push through any retirement legislation either for the remainder of 2009 or in 2010.
Rather, any changes will be driven by regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Labor.
Mr. Delaplane pointed out that not only do many of the legislative proposals that have been floated lack broad support, legislators are likely to realize that with Democrats by and large running the key regulatory agencies, reform efforts will most likely move in the direction they want.
Click below to hear Mr. Delaplane's complete address, during which he provided conference attendees with a complete picture of where Washington is moving regarding defined contribution rules.