Anne Lester: From a plan sponsor perspective, there's been an evolution from focusing on accumulation and not necessarily focusing on decumulation. It's partly because for many years, the baby boomers were being trained by auto-enrollment to just keep doing what they were doing and remained happily aware that their assets were piling up. It was really a one-way street.
Now, we're hearing loud and clear from plan sponsors that participants are thinking about retirement and they're getting calls about How do I do this? What's the right way to do this? What are my risks? Suddenly there are these unanswered questions, and the products and services inside of most strategies are not properly equipped.
Drew Carrington: We are past the realization about the large demographic bulge approaching retirement. Furthermore, plan sponsors are starting — as they get better at analyzing data in their own plans — to see that not only are a lot of participants in that zone of approaching retirement, but they have most of the money in the plan, and there's a lot of money in the plan that could walk out tomorrow. Whether it's people over 59-1/2 or vested former employees, the plan could dramatically shrink. So they want to make sure that they're serving that population for a variety of reasons, and want to make sure that they're providing the kinds of tools and plan design changes that make the plan easier to use for near retirees and folks who are entering that transition phase.
Rob Reiskytl: The issues that Anne and Drew have mentioned are spot on. There's still a lot of focus on participation rates, savings rates, investment mix, all of that. Those are leading indicators of the ultimate long-term result. And even though plan sponsors do continue to focus on the leading indicators, we are seeing more interest on what they lead to. What it can lead to is not having enough or being ready to retire. The importance of learning to live on the assets and helping individuals convert from an accumulation phase to one in which they are living on the assets and figuring out how to do that efficiently is the dynamic that we're seeing unfolding here for corporate America.