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401(k) Stories


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The days when RIAs were the outsiders at the 401(k) party are fast coming to a close. What's new is that the mass of 401(k) assets is getting critical at about $3 trillion; fiduciary advisors are getting appreciated; fat fees and questionable kickbacks are getting exposed and stepping out of line is getting dicier as the Department of Labor tightens the regulatory screws.

The old reasons why the 401(k) business is attractive are still in place: there are fresh assets pouring in every month and when employees leave jobs or retire, they produce rollovers that build up IRA accounts for financial advisors. The drawbacks of getting into the 401(k) business are still in place, too. Dealing with retirement assets is really a second line of business and it remains -- unless you overcharge with hidden fees -- a low margin business with high potential fiduciary liabilities.

Still, the outsourcers, infrastructure and accumulated knowledge for RIAs to capitalize on is growing daily and a the mega-shift of assets away from brokers is making the 401(k) business riskier and riskier -- to ignore.

The White House puts its best Obamacare minds behind cleaning up the 401(k) business -- starting by issuing a withering memo



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Phil Chiricotti hangs up his spurs, and puts the CFDD out to pasture



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Empower wins Apple's $3.5-billion 401(k) account from Schwab



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HighTower adds two battle-hardened T. Rowe generals to the 401(k) field



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The great 401(k)-or-not debate: RIABiz webinar lays out the perils and rewards for RIAs thinking of wading into the fast-moving 401(k) stream



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The second-largest 401(k) provider drops 'Great-West' for 'Empower'



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How Mariner Holdings is angling to become a $3-billion 401(k) company overnight by co-opting a local SageView office



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