401(k) Industry at a Crossroads

401(k) industry practices and keeping an eye toward the future were on the program at the recent WealthManagement.com EDGE conference.  As has become customary, the EDGE conference was not short on ideas.  While issues were raised over using ‘yesterday’s technology’ being forced to deliver tomorrow’s retirement solutions – there are still concerns over the use of proprietary-data for the benefit of all.  And, an extension of that thought is, how the courts might perceive the widespread use of plan and participant data.

Might the exclusive benefit rule be impeding progress that could serve to enhance the plan sponsor and plan participant experiences?  Is there a place for the use of AI and Big Data among qualified retirement plans?  Advisors and providers are fully aware that there may be better ways to incorporate technology.  However, there is no proverbial ‘green-light’ on how data is able to be shared.  And there is clearly no ‘get out of jail free’ card available for plan sponsors and plan providers who desire to push-the envelope on using data that may rightfully belong to the plan.  There is risk associated with becoming the first to test the DOL’s guidelines, rules and patience.

WealthManagement.com’s Contributing Editor Fred Barstein sheds light on the 401(k) industry during his summary of the most recent EDGE Conference. The 401(k) industry is poised for rapid change.  Make sure you are aware of what is heading your way.


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