News & Content: Member Blog

Creating a Permanent Pension Inside Your 401(k) Plan

Wednesday, May 27, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Abbey Kwiat
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Thomas Kret, Senior Vice President - Investments, Institutional Consultant, UBS


Per the cliché, “truth is stranger than fiction”, who could have predicted the catalyst to bring the longest bull market in recorded history to an abrupt about face would be a virus with a name synonymous with a popular imported beer. 


Just prior to the historic sell off, much attention was being focused on the recently passed SECURE Act which promises to change the landscape of today’s retirement plans over the coming years.  One of the provisions in the SECURE act involves an investment concept in existence for decades that has been rarely utilized by plan sponsors.  Known as “guaranteed income” programs, the SECURE Act provides  safe harbor protection for employers offering such a program in their retirement plans.


When the permanent pension was the norm, a retiree with a pension could know that a check was coming in every month for as long as they were alive.  Guaranteed income programs emulate these desirable features of the permanent  pension within a 401(k) plan.


Those who have chosen a program that provides the assurances of guaranteed income for life would likely be more inclined to stay the course and remain invested when the inevitable bear market occurs, confident  that their income in retirement would not be impacted during declines in the market.  Staying the course should lead to better long-term investment outcomes based upon historical data on the markets over the last three decades:  


Over the last 30 years through Friday, 3/20/20, an investor who missed the 10 best days of returns would have earned just 6.20% instead of 8.84% annualized over the 30-year period.  If the investor missed the best 30 days, they would have earned only 2.95%.  In missing the 30 best days, a dollar would have grown to just $2.39 instead of $12.67 by staying fully invested.  *-


Another reason to consider offering  guaranteed income programs in a 401(k) plan, is that they mitigate two key risks that retirees face:

1.       Sequence of return risk

2.       Longevity risk


Click on the following link to see an article that describes these two risks in detail:





For over three decades, as a Senior Retirement Plan Consultant, I have focused on assisting employers and their retirement plan participants to accumulate assets for their retirement. Call me today to discuss how guaranteed income programs, combined with the strength of UBS, can help assist your employees to retire with dignity and in the lifestyle that they envision. 

Direct: 847-277-2123




*Sources: Northern Trust Research, Bloomberg.  Charts show the annualized compound return and growth of $1 using daily return data on the S&P 500 Index over the past 30 years ending 03/20/2020 assuming the (0,5,10,20,30) best returning days are excluded from the sample.  

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