hand holding picture frame

It’s All About the Frame

It would be nice if we could make all of our decisions using only rational analysis. Unfortunately, human beings aren’t wired that way. Emotions, habits and cognitive biases play an outsized role in how and what we choose—particularly when it comes to money. Economists have only recently come to acknowledge the complexity of financial decision-making. […]

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Contributor's recent posts

HSAs close up of pen

HSAs: A new kind of free lunch

Nobel laureate and renowned economist Harry Markowitz famously called diversification the only free lunch in finance. That was before the introduction of health savings accounts (HSAs). A new white paper from the Empower Institute, “The New Rx for Retirement,” demonstrates that, used wisely, HSAs can help employees gain thousands more dollars in retirement than they […]

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The secret to retirement progress is out

The secret to retirement progress is out

Alchemy this is not. Since the broad establishment and growth of the defined contribution system over the last four decades, there’s been plenty of debate around the proper construction of retirement plans. We’ve engaged in the policy debates; read the behavioral finance theories; and considered all the pros and cons of various plan designs, advice […]

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Workplace Retirement savings

Workplace retirement savings: An enduring stimulus for the U.S. economy

With the first major tax reform of the past generation now a fact of political history, the next big idea on the agenda centers on a trillion-dollar infrastructure spending bill that would aim to upgrade America’s frayed transportation and telecommunications systems and stimulate the economy. Given the major federal government budget deficits foretold by the […]

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Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences are altering the retirement system

Anyone familiar with high school physics might remember Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Proven true in natural science, that principle also applies in human nature, economics and other social sciences. History shows this time and again. Efforts made to alter human behavior to drive a desired […]

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Retirement policy improvements capitol building

Retirement policy improvements may soon emerge from Washington

Ten days ago, we saw the conclusion of a tumultuous presidential election that many Americans will be happy to leave in history’s dustbin. Much has been written about the lost civility in our politics — and the relative lack of substance around which the election was framed. Despite the fact that retirement policy was never […]

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new day qdia

A new day for the QDIA

There’s no question that the 2006 Pension Protection Act did a great service for investors in defined contribution retirement plans. The development and expanded use of auto-enrollment and auto-escalation of participant contribution amounts have shown1 to be significant improvements to the retirement prospects of many Americans. One great boon of the now 10-year-old regulation was […]

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Ed Murphy's Empower Retirement Post, 5 Policy Fixes

Five policy fixes to help small employers with retirement plans

More than 55 million working Americans — roughly half of all workers ages 18 to 64 — do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Typically, these Americans work in the private sector for companies that employ fewer than 100 individuals.

We need to solve the retirement plan problem for small employers — one way or another.

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