All Things #Retirement -- Editor, Retirement Weekly; Columnist/Contributor, MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal, & USA TODAY; Adj Prof., Boston Univ.

Got a pension? Act now to save it — By If you were among the 15.7 million private-sector workers with a traditional defined benefit pension plan in the U.S. in 2012, now might be good time to stop counting your blessings. Pension funding levels are falling and changes to your plan are on the horizon.

Retirement news: the week in review — By New research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) indicates the retirement savings gap for Americans varies widely by gender and marital status, among other factors. The aggregate national retirement savings deficit is about $4.13 trillion for all U.S.

New and noteworthy investments for retirement — By Deutsche Bank has filed for Securities and Exchange Commission approval of an exchange-traded fund offering currency-hedged exposure to Japanese equities. The Deutsche X-trackers Japan Hedged Equity ETF would track a smart-beta index. (SmartBrief/ KraneShares has rolled out on BATS Exchange an exchange-traded fund that buys emerging-market equities, including China's A-shares.

Retirement news: The week in review — By A report from the National Institute on Retirement Security suggests that states that shifted retirement plans from defined benefit (DB) pension plans to defined contribution (DC) plans experienced higher costs. "Case Studies of State Pension Plans that Switched to Defined Contribution Plans" presents summaries of changes in three states-Alaska, Michigan, and West Virginia-that made the switch from a DB pension to DC accounts.

Investments for and during retirement — By Guggenheim Investments has brought to NYSE Arca an exchange-traded fund designed to deliver a strong yield generated by infrastructure projects. The Guggenheim High Income Infrastructure ETF is linked to the S&P High Income Infrastructure Index.

‘Life expectancy’ calculators not helpful — By Good info in, garbage out? That pretty much sums what I got after keying data into four different life expectancy calculators. After typing my age, marital status, health, and the like into calculators designed to help me create a sound retirement plan, I learned that my life expectancy was either 79, 82½, 83 or 92.

Retirement research Q&A: Gordon Irlam — Gordon Irlam has written a series of papers that uses a utility function intended to be representative of a retired individual's need for an income floor and desire for upside potential - examining what the optimal asset allocation should be for those saving for and/or living in retirement.

White House tries, again, to cap retirement accounts — By Barack Obama has designs on changing how some retirement accounts work according to his newly released fiscal 2016 budget. Specifically, he's proposed to 1) cap the amount folks can save in their retirement accounts; 2) stop two common Roth IRA savings strategies (rollovers of after-tax contributions in 401(k)s and IRAs into Roth IRA 3) change tax laws that favor those who own company stock in their 401(k) plans; and 4) change laws favorable to owners of inherited IRAs.

Investments for and during retirement — By Trading has begun for an exchange-traded fund from BlackRock's iShares that provides access to a mix of investment-grade and below-investment-grade corporate bonds denominated in the euro. The iShares Euro Corporate Bond BBB-BB UCITS ETF purchases debt rated BBB and BB.

Retirement news: The week in review — By A new study shows an increased interest by employers in defined contribution (DC) health plans. The Healthcare Trends Institute polled more than 250 human resource executives, benefits managers and benefits decision makers from companies of various sizes and industries in September through November 2014 and found 77.5% have some familiarity with DC health plans, compared with 59.4% last year.
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