It’s often said that only when the tide goes out do people realize who have been swimming naked. For an industry like defined contribution, the past decade has mostly been a stable and strong ride. General market performance has been on an almost uninterrupted upward trend since the financial crisis, adaption of auto-features and implementations of other plan design innovations have lifted participation and saving rates, even as the industry discusses the need for more work. Attention has been shifting towards the post-retirement, decumulation phase and other holistic financial wellness needs of participants, and all seemed calm and steady.
Yet as we all know, the only constant is change, the world and our industry have experienced a pandemic and all its impacts in the aftermath. The ensuing inflationary pressures directly pressures both savers and retirees, all while going through multiple news cycles of the great retirement at first, and now a potential recession that involves heavy layoffs in certain industries. Dependable markets have become less so, from meme stocks to new securities, a somewhat-golden era for plan sponsors is coming to a close.
How should plan sponsors prepare and act in the face of all this? Are we in the middle of the storm or is there more turbulence yet to come? Join the DC Institute at Chicago in 2023 to hear from experts and peers as we collectively chart the way forward.