Season 2 Episode 8: Non-Accidental Plan Sponsors
Play • 47 min

As we wrap up season 2 of the podcast, Josh Cohen and guest co-host Michael Kreps come full circle to discuss alternative approaches to the U.S.’s employer-based retirement system. Instead of employers playing the role of the plan sponsor, what if the Federal Government stepped in? Or, what about the private sector? We discussed the proposed Retirement Savings for American Act, Pooled Employers Plans (PEPs) and much more. Josh and Michael are joined by two prominent influencers in the retirement space: Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economics at The New School for Social Research, and Rick Jones, a Senior Partner in AON’s wealth practice.


Key Takeaways:

[2:07] Josh shares his two a-ha moments: One in 2010 when he visited Australia and learned about superannuation funds and the second a few years later when he heard about USA Funds.

[3:03] Guest co-host Michael Kreps joins Josh, remembering the time that they met for the first time for a coffee, not knowing that they will end up hosting a podcast together.

[3:41] Michael talks about his proposal to the Senate.

[6:11] What if the Federal government plays the plan sponsor role for the private sector workers? Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of Economics at The New School for Social Research, speaks of the personal journey that motivated her efforts in this field.

[10:30] Teresa speaks of the Mandatory Universal Pension System (MUPS).

[16:46] Teresa’s most recent proposal, a thrift savings plan for all workers.

[19:20] Teresa endured a harsh pushback after the global financial crisis and received the name of ‘the most dangerous woman in America.’

[20:17] Michael shares his thoughts about the Retirement Savings for America Act.

[23:01] Michael discusses whether the government should be involved in running plans.

[24:21] Rick Jones, a senior partner in the wealth practice at AON discusses pooled employer plans (PEPs). after discussing his career choices that led to his current position.

[25:50] Rick discusses the employer's role in the US System and why he is passionate about PEPs.

[28:37] The two main problems of the Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) are the common nexus and the one-bad-apple rule.

[30:06]  Rick speaks of the Secure Act.: , including who plays the role of the plan sponsor in PEPs and the fiduciary duties required.

[35:05] Rick expands on the opportunities provided by pooling.

[38:11] Michael adds his perspective on PEPs and its early efficacy indications.

[42:14] Michael shares his wrap-up comments about the overarching question: Who plays the role of the plan sponsor?

[44:06] Josh closes two full seasons of the podcast, addressing this podcast's central question and its complexity: We need Intentional plan sponsors!

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