Welcome to the 8th episode of The Fiduciary U™ Podcast. My guest today is Diane Gallagher who is Vice President of Value-Add Programs at American Century Investments. She has more than 25 years of communications experience in the retirement industry at both American Century and J.P. Morgan. In her current role, she leads the development of value-add content for financial advisors, plan sponsors and individual investors, on topics ranging from children and money to qualified retirement plan best practices. She also serves as a firm spokesperson on retirement investing and general investment education. And she chairs the American Century retirement plan committee.
On today's episode, we discuss the results and insights from American Century's 8th Survey of Retirement Plan Participants, which was conducted in early 2020, near the beginning of the global pandemic. Diane highlights the regrets that older participants express about not saving earlier, the positive and open attitudes participants have towards aggressively implemented automatic plan design features and the growing interest employees have in holistic advice and retirement income solutions. And be sure to listen to the end where Diane shares her experiences as the chair of American Century's retirement plan committee and being named a defendant in an ERISA lawsuit focused on excessive fees and proprietary investments. Originally filed in 2016, American Century won the case in 2019. It was only the second case to go to trial since 2015. Most importantly, Diane describes the prudent processes that American Century followed that enabled them to decisively win that lawsuit and get the claims dismissed. It's a fascinating, real-world look at why a strong governance process really matters for retirement fiduciaries.
And so, with that introduction, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Fiduciary U™ Podcast with Diane Gallagher from American Century.
“What participants are really looking for is independence, not affluence.” - Diane Gallagher
“We don’t make financial decisions in a vacuum.” - Diane Gallagher
“Be very surgical with your communications.” - Diane Gallagher
“The reality is we can’t let perfect be the enemy of really good.” - Diane Gallagher
Josh Itzoe: Diane Gallagher, thank you so much for being on the Fiduciary U™ Podcast today. I'm excited for you to be a guest and for the audience to hear a lot of the interesting insights you're going to have.
Diane Gallagher: Thanks so much for having me, Josh. Happy to be here.
Josh Itzoe: Awesome. So, you are at American Century Investments and have been in the industry for quite a bit of time. I think you were at JP Morgan as well. And maybe just for listeners who may not be familiar with you, we're going to cover a lot of ground today but maybe frame up a little bit about your background and what you do at American Century and briefly how you got there.
Diane Gallagher: Great. Thanks so much. So I have actually worked with qualified retirement plans for 25 years. So I ran the participant communications and education department for a long time. So work with plans of all sizes, with respect to participant behavior and I had done a number of research studies around what participants think in terms of saving for retirement, with how they feel about their relationship with their employers or what they're looking for. So, that's my wheelhouse. So I have been at American Century this time around for about eight years and I work in our value-add organization. So I work with a lot of our client facing teams to talk with their clients exactly about what we're talking about today, about qualified retirement plans. So I also serve as the chair of our retirement committee. So I am a fiduciary for the American Century plan and I can share a little perspective about that role as well.
Josh Itzoe: I think that will be a very interesting part of our discussion when we get into it. I love though what you had mentioned about the research and how participants think. Often, how we think impacts how we behave. One question I would ask is, in your 25 years, how do you think the evolution... how have you seen how retirement plan participants? How has that changed or evolved in terms of how Americans think about retirement?
Diane Gallagher: I think that we've seen this pretty big pendulum swing. So when I started in this industry in the early 90's or so, I wrote a lot of communications to participants of plans across the country, telling them that funds are getting added to their plan. So at that point in time, it's how we ended up with plans, getting to dozens and dozens of investment options. So, that was a long period of time. And I felt like I did that... especially this time of year, right? I was doing a lot of... On January one, this is what's going to happen. And we kind of fell into that, more must be better. So, that was sort of... And what we found is we were really listening, I think organizations were really listening to a vocal minority inside their companies who were very engaged investors who said, "I want more choice. I want more choice. I want more choice."
And then, we get into this sort of analysis paralysis there's that paradox of choice. So that so much behavioral science has proven that the more choices we give someone, the tougher it is for people to actually make a decision at famously on jam story and you give people too many choices, they can't do it. So then we've kind of go on the other way where we're starting to say, "You know what? Maybe this use of default is a good solution." And I think what we found in all the research that we've done over these years, participants are so amenable to that. They're looking for that nudge. So we found in our study, this has been consistently eight years we've done it, 80% of participants want at least a slight nudge from their employers. They want the bumpers set up.
So if you start me at this default rate and default me into a target solution, a balanced fund, a life cycle fund, whatever, some sort of appropriate TDIA, I will probably be okay. Like that casting of the net, really does work. And what we've heard over and over from participants is, "That's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for the option that I can make choices if I need to. But if I do generally what you have laid out for me, that gives me a really good chance of being successful." And I think for a long time in our industry and I think this is probably true of many industries, right? We do listen to that vocal minority, the people who want more control, who want more choices. And we don't like being in the hot seat. Nobody does. Right?
And so, someone's constantly in your face saying, do this or I don't want to do this. You kind of listened but the reality is we can't let perfect be the enemy of really good. And we're trying to get as many people as we can to a comfortable retirement. And the reality is, 90% of Americans in our study said they view their 401(k) plan, their employer sponsored retirement plan at work as one of the most important benefits they have, that is pretty compelling. So I think that we have made some really good advancements in terms of taking what we know about how people have behaved, what their expectations are and are trying to craft a really good solution to get them in a good place.
Josh Itzoe: I love what you say there. We're a big fan of not just automatic features that are firm but I think implementing them aggressively, you're going to get people further, faster and a lot of the behavioral research. And quite frankly, the survey we are going to get into the survey that American Century has conducted in the past eight years. I think it's called the eighth survey of retirement plan participants. And some really interesting fascinating data. We have our own survey that we are getting ready to embark on the second iteration of it, this year called seeking clarity. And it's funny what you had mentioned, 68% of people last year expressed openness to automatic features.
And so it seems like the... I love what you say there that most people, whether they say it or not, are willing to embrace and want their employers to help them to nudge them. A lot of times we let the vocal minority sway the decisions. Do you think as an industry... I know that there's been... if you just look at over time and in my recent book, the Fiduciary Formula, I cite the shift over the past 10 to 15 years, really since PPA, how automatic features have grown in adoption rates but also in how they've been implemented. What do you think as an industry? Do you think we've provided enough leadership? Do you think that we have maybe pushed our clients plan sponsors hard enough around adopting these features? Have we fallen short? Do you think we've done a good job?
Diane Gallagher: I think we're getting there. I do think there's a natural... I think for a lot of organizations, there's just a natural reluctance to be that progressive or aggressive in solutions, especially when you're looking at large organizations where there are legacy plans and you're really trying to make a set of sweeping changes. But I think the evidence is just extremely compelling. So when you're looking at the practical evidence of what we're seeing in terms of opt-out rates in adoption across the country but then you're looking at really the academic research and the use of defaults really is evident in so many other things outside of our industry. So whether you're talking about curbside recycling or... there's so much discussion about organ donation, like there were just even conferences, for example, when we used to have conferences, where people used to go to conferences. When you had many decisions, right? I mean-
Josh Itzoe: What's a conference? Do you get in-person? Is that an in-person thing?
Diane Gallagher: Yeah. Exactly. But there are many examples in which conference organizers would say, instead of checking the box, if you wanted a vegetarian meal, like going the other way, check the box, if you want meat or chicken. And guess what? Most people have a vegetarian meal because we just tend to... we fall in line with those defaults. It's just how we behave. It's very predictable. So I think it just takes some additional nudging from those of us who have access to the research and sharing our experiences with those plan sponsors who may be reluctant to move forward. So if you have a second for a quick story... My favorite planned sponsor story was at a conference in 2011. And we were talking about automatic enrollment.
And you know how you're in a crowd of people and there's someone you just know wants to say something. Like she was just itching in her chair to say something. So I called on her and I said, "Well, what do you want to share?" And she shared this great story about implementing automatic enrollment inside her organization. So I think she had a few hundred employees, maybe three or 400. I don't recall. But they started automatic enrollment at 8%, with 2% escalation to 20. And that remains the most aggressive formula I have heard in practice. And she said... And there was a collective gasp from the other plan sponsors in the audience. And she just said, "I just believe this is the right thing to do for our people." And she had one person opt out and when he came into her office, she handed him the opt out form. She said, "You signed this but please don't tell anyone else. Don't don't tell anyone else to do it because this is the right thing."
He was the only person who opted out. She had one person and she just said, "Someday, these people are going to retire and they're going to thank me. And it's the right thing to do." And I actually went to... I'm really going to date myself. I went to an industry conference in may of 1998, Josh. And I'll never forget the keynote speaker was a retired department of labor investigator. And he said, "Attempting to do the right thing for your people is always defensible." And I thought that was just really a good true north. And I think to plan sponsors who are reluctant, if their only hesitation is about backlash, I think there is a lot of evidence to refute it.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah. I 100% agree in that. We have this feeling that people have a knowledge gap. Most people don't have a knowledge gap. And in this day and age, there's more information than we can even process at our fingertips. It's really a behavior gap. And I think you're right, the behavioral research, not just academically, which where a lot of these things start, right? They start... whether you look at Richard Thaler or Kass Rothstein, right? It starts in the academic world and then the business world, takes that research and then essentially figures out a way to productize implement it.
But I think it's interesting when you look at the research and then you look at the real world, what actually happens, like you said, the power of the defaults, it's almost irrefutable. It's almost irrefutable. And it's interesting, there's Dan Ariely. If you've heard of Dan Ariely, who is at Duke and wrote a book called Predictably Irrational, he talks about this restaurant consultant, who has found that the way that you drive up, you drive up profit margins at restaurants, is you put a really high priced entree on the menu. Even if nobody buys it, typically what it does, people won't buy the highest priced entree but the buy the second highest priced entree.
And I think some of the interesting innovations for just within the industry is now some of these curated enrollment, three step ways to get enrolled. So you use just pure automatic enrollment for somebody who doesn't engage at all but somebody who does, raising the... Instead of the kind of center stage effect with the vast majority of people, when you give them three choices, they pick the one in the middle. So rather than putting default rates at, let's say four, six or 8%, if you put it at eight, 10 or 12, like that's another way I think that we're starting to see some evolution in the industry but framing is so important when it comes to helping guide people's choices, not in a heavy handed, like gun to their head way but that framing effect is so critical as really choice architects that we have.
You're a fiduciary to your plan. I'm actually a fiduciary to our plan and the people that we serve and that we work with is really helping them embrace that idea that there is no neutral decision that you make, you are shaping and pushing people one way or the other, no matter what you decide. So it makes sense. I love what you said years ago at that conference, is that doing what's best, thinking about what's best for the people that you serve is always defensible. That's a really great insight. What do you see? So let's dive into this survey a little bit that you guys did. And you did it at the beginning of 2020. So just kind of at the... And I think you said, this is... I think it's the eighth year that you've done this and you did it at an interesting time, at the beginning of COVID and whatnot. What were some of the most interesting insights that came out of, let's say this year survey relative to other years, from your perspective?
Diane Gallagher: We started this study back in 2013 and we only surveyed at that time, the first year pre retirees. So individuals between 55 and 65 are still working full-time and we wanted to really explore hindsight, we wanted to explore, like, what did they see as they look back? And we heard this overwhelming sense of regret. I wish I would have saved earlier. I wish someone would've told me to save more. I wish I would have been more thoughtful about my budget. I don't have as much to show for it. It was, I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish.
So the next year we explain it that all the way to 20 five-year-olds to 65 year olds. So we've continued to just continue to explore that sense in that regret has come up every single year, regardless of age group. And the period of time for which people say they have the most regret, Josh, is the first five years there are working. First five years. And that's to people in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. And what they get there is that they understand... To your point about knowledge, they understand the power of compounding. They understand the math, they understand the math. Like if I started early enough, it would had more time to grow, blah, blah, blah, so that they get that.
But what's really behind that too, is they understand their own habits and their own tendencies. So just like whether you're talking about diets or exercise, if you're in a good habit, you will continue to be in good habit. And that's what people said. If I would have started earlier, I wouldn't have fallen out of that pattern. So they really do speak to that, which I think is really, really interesting.
They also said that from a seating perspective and through their plan at work... Again, this is one of the most important benefits that they have. It is highly valued, extremely amenable to nudges, to defaults, all of that lines up, because it is such an important goal. So nearly everyone said retirement was the top, if not, one of the most important goals on that. The other thing that we've heard with respect to regret over time and this has been consistent. And I was completely surprised the first time we asked this. We asked people what their biggest personal regret was.
Number one was not saving more for retirement, ahead of not doing better in my personal relationships, not doing better with my career and not being a better person overall. So, that's a pretty strong sense of regret. And again, we've heard that all eight years that we've done this study. But we've also heard a couple of little nuances I will throw out with respect to plan design. I think it is interesting but this may have some implications for organizations that are looking at how they allocate their compensation and benefits dollars. So given a choice... And again, this is sort of a false choice because you really can't do this but we asked people, if you had the choice of a hundred percent match on 3% of your contributions or a 3% higher salary, 70% of people took the match over the cash.
And then we upped that and we asked, okay, what if it was 6%, a hundred percent match at 6% for your 401(k) plan or 6% higher salary. It was still 65% of people would take them. And I think that goes back to our discussion about regret in those first five years of people recognizing their own habits and tendencies, if it hits my wallet, it's gone. If it stays in my account, it stays there. And I think that is really... It's obviously not something... It's not... Again, it's a false choice but if an organization is... if they're making decisions around compensation and benefits, really sweetening the deal on the retirement side is really valued, because it's valued so much from the participant perspective, whether they're going to articulate that in that circumstance, they certainly have shared that with us.
Josh Itzoe: And it can be in that case and I'd like the... If you ask somebody, do you want more? The answer's always going to be yes. But if you introduce right, trade-offs because that's really what you're doing. You could either have... you're getting 3% either way. Do you want it in the plan and hands off or do you want it in your bank account and hands on? And so, it really could be a cost neutral event for plan sponsor potentially. Like, are they really... They're going to be spending, let's just say 3% either way, if they're going to do that, it's just which account do you want it deposited in? And so, that's actually an interesting finding. Were there any other things that you've found like when making trade-offs? Were there any other questions or that were geared around those types of trade-offs?
Diane Gallagher: Yeah. So I think one of the... A couple of things I want to throw out. One, we talked about defaults a little bit earlier and 70%, again, to your point, they were amenable to automatic enrollment at 6%. So, you know the national average remains three, nobody believes saving 3% for retirement is going to get you there. So very receptive to that higher initial rate. But from a look forward point of view, eight and 10 participants said that they would be interested and would welcome a retirement income solution inside their plans. So I think that's interesting. And certainly something that the industry and plan sponsors should be looking at. Is there so much discussion on what those products look like and that from a participant point of view, that sort of implied endorsement testimonial from an employer still really matters.
So as participants are saying, this retirement plan is one of the most important benefits that I have. I'm looking to my employer to set up these sort of bumpers or these guidelines or guard rails, if you will, for how I'm saving and investing with defaults, they're also continuing forward saying, I would welcome that to drawing out. So certainly something to think about as the industry continues to innovate and discuss around retirement income. From a participant point of view, look to that. Most participants said that they do... Today they roll over to old IRA but they would appreciate the opportunity to leave it in the plan.
Josh Itzoe: Right. Obviously, with the secure act and this focus on guaranteed income and obviously the insurance industry is very excited about what that looks like. And I still think we're in the first or second inning, maybe not even... We might still be in spring training, if you will, around what those solutions are going to look like but interesting that you had... or people express kind of a high preference for guaranteed income solutions. Had you asked that in previous years? I'm just curious. Do you think that was influenced by when you did the survey? Was this the first year that you did it?
Diane Gallagher: This is the first time that question. And so, just to continue on with your point about doing the survey. So we usually feel this every February, March, we feel that this study in early March, so we... It was concluded, I think literally the day that the global pandemic was set, so we had done so. So we were in... To your point of view, I'll use the baseball analogy. We were getting ready to go to spring training when this was fielded. So I think there's some real things for us to poke at, I think next year. Like for example, even a discussion, one of the things that we asked among our groups of workers... So it was as a first year we divided our sample set into really the three generations who make up the U.S. workforce.
So millennials, gen X-ers and baby boomers and we asked them, what are they most looking forward to in retirement? Far fewer said, travel this year than they had said in past years. So I think an appropriate inference there is that that is related directly to the pandemic. So people were starting to go, "I'm not getting on a plane." That was kind of before we really couldn't get on a plane. So I think that a little bit is built into that.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah. It'll be interesting to see... Who knows where we are next year when you do it or a couple of years out but kind of the noise to signal ratio, if you will, over time, obviously recency bias. If we're talking about behavioral economics, when you... Nobody's getting on an airplane, kind of the idea of travel. I also wonder too, if the guaranteed income could that be influenced in part by just the market volatility within the first part of the year and those gyrations and obviously, I've always... I had Aaron Klein, who's the CEO of Riskalyze, which is a risk alignment tool, a FinTech tool. He was on a couple of episodes ago and he had... We were talking about the qualitative assessment of people's risk capacity versus the quantitative in that qualitatively, he used a great analogy.
He said that some days he feels like his house is the perfect size for him. And some days he feels like it's too small and sometimes he feels like it's too big. And so, I think the point we were talking, I thought that was a really good way to frame it is that when markets are really volatile people, probably their risk tolerance qualitatively goes down. Whereas, when markets are going gangbusters, their risk tolerance is probably goes up as well. So it'll be interesting to see maybe in future years, if you do this survey in perhaps less volatile times around guaranteed income, kind of what those preferences look like. But I'm surprised that 80%, that's a pretty high number. That's a really interesting data point that came back. Were you surprised by that?
Diane Gallagher: I was surprised at how high it was but if you look in a vacuum, if you just looked at the question but if you look at that evolution of the role of the employer from a participant point of view, it does make sense, because what they're saying is I am placing a premium on the influence of my employer on this jury. So from that perspective, it aligns perfectly. So they're saying the pivots, the next thing, the next thing I'm going to need help with is living off what I've accumulated. So it makes sense to go there. So it does from that point of view, make sense.
Josh Itzoe: Okay. What did you see in terms of... There's obviously our survey that we did was similar. It was really three dimensions. We did it across gender. We did it across age. We had three cohorts as well. And then we actually did it across income. And when you apply those different dimensions to the answers and preferences and attitudes, some really fascinating things tend to come out that it's not a one size fits all approach. What did you find just... One of the things we found was that people who made less than $50,000 a year and women were actually probably the two most at risk when it came to financial wellness and wellbeing, we saw financial stress levels being much higher from that perspective. What were some of the things that you guys found... Let's talk about gender. What were some of the differences you found between how women responded to your survey and how men responded and what do you think plan sponsors can maybe take away, how to address the unique needs and preferences of men versus women?
Diane Gallagher: The biggest area where we saw gender differences was with respect to risk. So we have asked about risk for a couple of years now. And so, we specifically asked about four definitions of risk or four dimensions if you will, of risk. So we've looked at market risks, so the ups and downs, if you will. Longevity risk, so the risk of running out of money in retirement. Or as my dad always tells me, he wants to run out of breath and money at the same time. So he always says. Inflation or interest rate risk. So those macro economic factors. And then finally growth risks. So, that is simply not hitting a certain rate of return that I need.
Last year, longevity risk came out as number one across the board, what people were most worried about. This year, we saw flip to market risk. And why is that? Because we were asking questions right at the height of newfound volatility, right? That is what we were experiencing. However, when we look at gender, men were more likely to worry about growth risks. So overall, it is market. We flipped from longevity to market. Men were more likely to worry about growth risk or not meeting a certain rate of return. Women, however, still said, they were more likely to worry about longevity risk. They were still worried about running out of money.
And to your point about women and financial wellness, I think a really interesting study to look at is McKinsey's Women in the Workplace. And it just came out about a month ago and it's making a lot of the national news of about how many women are... If they haven't already are looking to come out of the workforce because of the responsibilities related to schooling, caregiving in light of the pandemic. So I think that is a really critical area to look at, because then now we are in worse shape sometime down the road, as so many women have exited the workplace and not being able to save for retirement as a result.
Josh Itzoe: It exacerbates the issue in a lot of ways, right? If you do see that Exodus. And I guess it's not surprising, I think we found similar data and I think across the industry is men like this... It seems like behavioral. Again, this has a bit of a generalization but they like to focus on investments and tinker with investments. I've always said, I think women are much more measured and they tend to be probably better investors. I actually think there's some data I've read before that showed that women probably are more successful investors than men. But obviously with longer life expectancies for women, longevity risk is... I'm not surprised that that is a higher issue for them or a higher area focused in... It sounds like growth risk is more of like what type of return, maybe that I earned in my portfolio? Is that kind of the-
Diane Gallagher: Correct.
Josh Itzoe: ... thrust of that question?
Diane Gallagher: Correct. Yup.
Josh Itzoe: Okay. Got it. How do you see... And I looked a little bit at the survey. One of the things that stuck out to me was expectations, if you will, generationally. So the difference in expectations between call it, millennials versus gen X versus baby boomers, what did that look like? And how did that data tease out and what the expectations amongst the different age groups or populations, what did that look like?
Diane Gallagher: Yeah. It's so interesting. So, when we... I'm going to step back a little bit. When we did our first study back in 2013, again, just for retirees, so 55 to 65, less than half a percent of respondents expected their standard of living to be much better than it is right now in retirement. So when it crept up to 2%, like a year later or two years later, I think it was 2%, it was still just really inconsequential of what people think. And you could say that is probably more real to them because they're doing the calculations and starting that process and they know what it looks like. So today in 2020, only one in 10 baby boomers feels that their standard of living will be better in retirement. They'll be better off. So one in 10, which is better than it was before but it's still pretty low.
Gen X-ers it's about 27%. And what gen X-ers also shared with us too there, they kind of fall into that sandwich generation. These are people who've had kids in college, who are taking care of their parents too. I mean, they're older financial responsibilities. About half of millennials. And I think it's really important for people that millennials are 40. So I think sometimes we jump... we I think generalized and we put that gen Z group with millennials. And they're not the same. They're not the same. Millennials have their own households, they're 40. But about half of them, think that their standard of living will be better off. So timing maybe at play there. So they've got that benefit of what's ahead of them but baby boomers are doing the calculation right now. So, that's really what they see.
Josh Itzoe: So we get more pessimistic as we approach the finish line.
Diane Gallagher: It might be really realistic. Yeah.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah.
Diane Gallagher: But I also think-
Josh Itzoe: Reality—
Diane Gallagher: I will say, interesting what people's expectations are in terms of standard of living. I think this to me has real implications on the messages, like the visuals, the words. I come from a communications background. So the visuals, the words, how we present a retirement going forward. The couple on the beach and the sailboat and the golf course. And that is not the image. Although, it's a very stereotypical image. For most working Americans, their vision is to be able to spend time with my family, live in my same house, not be a financial burden on the rest of my family. That is not the same as what those images portray. So what participants are really looking for is independence, not affluence. And that is a big difference in how we talk about retirement.
So, because putting that sort of very extravagant lifestyle, you might as well put a rocket to the moon there or something. It just creates a bigger chasm for participants. And we did that for a long time, like how many brochures and things we did have this dream and that's not what it's about. It's about independence. Like I want to be able to have three squares a day to spend time with my family, to not be a financial burden, to not be in a place of worry. And just different. And it's not... I shared that information sometimes with a group of creative people and they were like, "Oh, that's kind of depressing." But it's not depressing. It is still a very comfortable familial sense. But I think it's something that it's really important that we are aware of the difference between independence and affluence.
Josh Itzoe: So one of the things I do with the podcast to do show notes and some of the things that you've referenced, definitely like that McKinsey study that'll be going in there. And there'll be links to obviously find and connect with you as well. But one of the sections on the website in the show notes is idea's worth sharing. And so I quote, I typically pull quotes out. And so, that independence not affluence is definitely making an idea to share, because that is an interesting reframing of expectations for people.
Diane Gallagher: It's not bad.
Josh Itzoe: And in some cases it's interesting, you mentioned... No, no, not at all.
Diane Gallagher: It's not bad.
Josh Itzoe: And there was... I would agree, I would agree, that in... I think it speaks to a couple of things. One in my book, I highlight a study that was done about a decade ago by a guy named how Hirschfeld and he really wanted to see how people responded to retirement savings and use digital avatars. And I've talked about this on another episode as well. But what he found was that people's ability to make decisions currently is highly impacted by the connection that they feel with the future. And so, when people feel disconnected from their future self, it's hard for them to make decisions that long-term decisions. And also, that if they're presented with somebody who's just older but there is no connection, it's not them, it doesn't impact them.
So when you see the really attractive silver-haired couple running down the beach, hand-in-hand, that doesn't move people to make decisions because they have no connection with those folks. And so, that's a really interesting point that I think you bring up. And that even goes back to communications, like, how are we presenting information to people? I think it speaks to personalization. And that's one of the things I think we're starting to see across the industry, is that people want, whether it's advice, whether it's information, it needs to be personalized. It can't be generalized. Is that something that came across as well? Do you feel like in some of the research and data that you guys have done?
Diane Gallagher: I think what people say too, is that they're looking for familiarity. So to your point about what feels real or what's connected. And that is what we've seen over the years, especially as you're looking at to your point about personalization, you're looking at multicultural communications, you need to really resonate with the audience. Are you using examples and images that really are appropriate? So you mentioned advice, a perfect example that came up in the study this year between men and women is even what they're looking for in advice.
Women were more likely to be comfortable with an online experience, whereas, men wanted a face-to-face experience. And what was underneath that was a perceived cost that women were more conscious of, am I paying more for a face-to-face experience or a personal experience than online? Which I think is interesting. So I think, to your earlier point, if you're looking at... If you kind of thread that with longevity risk, running out of money, that sort of being more conscious of that, I think that comes out.
But to your point, we have wrestled with the whole personalization customization thing for years. And it is that continued trade-off of data and information. Like where our comfort level is and where our comfort level isn't, in terms of sharing that. But I think one of the most important things that we've been working on for a decade or so, is even around a lifetime income illustration that. In so many record keepers, have already done this or already do this is translating an account balance into something more tangible is so helpful, because we did studies about this 20 years ago. So you say to someone who's in their late 20's, that they're on track to have a million dollars in retirement that feels like a lottery win.
And then when you redo that calculation and you're like, "Oh, it isn't." It's a whole different... So I always tell people that that probably, so you're talking about personalization customization, to me, that is still the most important thing is that account balance, what does it mean? Whether monthly certainly annual income is appropriate because I know that. I know. We all know what we quote unquote, what we live on. So if you are currently living on $30,000 a year and it says that you're on track to have 29, okay, I'm good. I'm comfortable. But if you're living on $500,000 a year and you're going to be on track to 40, that is a whole different discussion. So to me, that is still like the ultimate of personalization customization, is providing that context on your account balance.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah. And I think that's a great point. You think about when you buy a house, I remember I bought my first house. I was 26 years old. And you think about the payment. Like what monthly payment can I afford? I remember when I was signing all the paperwork and I was like, 'Well, what does that number?" And there's like, 'Well, that's what you're going to pay over the life of the loan." And I almost had a heart attack at 26 years old, when I saw how big that number was. But to your point, we've conditioned people to think about account balance, right? Accumulation, how much money will you have but when it's not translated, that's not how people live their life.
They know what they pay every month in a car payment or in a mortgage or rent payment or what's my cell phone bill costs? And how much do I spend on groceries? And I am hopeful. I do think one of the challenge is... And we're starting to see this with technology but the ability to aggregate financial data so that there's more inputs into what that calculation looks like and really start to fine tune that. And one of the things that we found in the seeking clarity survey last year was that, only 26% of people actually use the financial advisor and not surprisingly only 24% of people had a written financial plan. And yet, 45% of people admitted they're experiencing regular financial stress.
And I surmise my hypothesis is the reason that people are stressed is because, they don't have a plan. And I don't think as an industry we've done a great job yet of how do we scale really comprehensive planning to the masses, to the vast majority of Americans. It's something that has been available for quite frankly, high net worth investors and people who have the money to pay for it. As you were talking about with men versus women and virtual versus in-person but I'm hopeful that over the next five to 10 years with technology, we're going to be able to scale and deliver planning to the masses. And that's not someplace that I think we've reached or what we've achieved yet.
Diane Gallagher: Oh, I think you're absolutely right, because there is still this, even when there are opportunities or access to some online holistic advice. So the challenge is getting participants to personalize their experience, right? That's still... I think the last number I saw was about 20% of people will actually go through that exercise, right? Because it's only as good as what you put in. But I think that the issue is in your point about financial stress and this year is prime example but who could have possibly surmised a year ago, that this is what we would be living. But we don't make financial decisions in a vacuum. We don't. They're all related. So whether you're saving for retirement and your kid's college or paying off your own student loan debts, at the same time, you've been furloughed, whatever that looks like, all those, they're all related. And I think we tend to compartmentalize it in our industry but to your point, it has to be looked at comprehensively.
Josh Itzoe: You're in the unique position of both working in this industry and supporting plan sponsors and clients, you also happen to be, I believe the chair of the American Century retirement plan committee. So you are a fiduciary. So you're in this interesting... This isn't theory and hypothetical, this is real world stuff. We're going to talk about that in a minute. But before we get there as someone... and going back to that quote that, to the effect of, thinking about and doing what's in the best interest of participants is always defensible. What would be your prescription for fellow plan fiduciaries and plan sponsors and committee members in terms of how to optimize their retirement plan from an automatic features perspective?
Diane Gallagher: Thing one, is saving, saving, saving, saving, saving. So you've got to implement automatic enrollment above 3%, not in the example in the rags, right? You've got to start higher, so I can tell you how we implemented it. We start automatic enrollment at 5%. Why? Because our match is a hundred percent on five. So we want to make sure all of our participants are getting the full advantage of the company match. And we do automatic escalation at 15. So if you're going to do automatic enrollment, you've got to do automatic escalation. And going further and something that we've done is we do an automatic sweep.
So next week, when we do our open enrollment for our health benefits, any participant who's not saving 5% will automatically be swept in at 5% setting in January one. So we make everybody every year have to opt out, just like we do with our health insurance. So I heard someone say one time that no investment is going to make up for a bad saver. Right? I mean, that's—
Josh Itzoe: You can invest—
Diane Gallagher: Right. Right. So you got to start early. And I do think that... Thanks to the Pension Protection Act and the high adoption of automatic enrollment that we're seeing across the country. I actually think that gen Z, so our 20's or 20 something, we're actually going to be on track to be way better off, because they're all being defaulted into savings.
Josh Itzoe: Right.
Diane Gallagher: So my own daughter, she's 24. And she started saving with her very first paycheck, which came two weeks after she graduated from college and she's saving 10%. So in her 401(k) plan and she showed me her balance and she said, "This is pretty good, right?" And I said, "Yeah, you bet. And now what you're not going to do is you're not going to touch it and just leave it." But I think that generation, I think that gen Z is really the group that's getting the full benefit of automatic enrollment in escalation. So I think that to me is thing one, is what I would... If I had my magic wand and plan sponsor automatically enroll everybody, put automatic escalation and make it hard for them not to save.
Josh Itzoe: The cap high. No question. Yeah. It's interesting that you say that just about the good fortune of gen Z of coming into the workforce at a time when we're seeing much more wholesale adoption. I think we still have a pretty long ways to go. I know... I think... I said this I think in another podcast, that financial wellness is really sexy. And I think a lot of plan sponsors are feeling like they've checked the box around like fiduciary and funds and plan design and fees. I'm not sure I totally agree with that. And I still think at the end of the day, the most important set of decisions that a plan sponsor can make for their people is going to be around plan design, because to your point, from a savings perspective... And gen Z coming into the workforce, when automatic plan design has been in favor is really going to help them.
And it's interesting, this idea of regret. I wonder longitudinally if that generation call it 20 years from now, when they look back, if they're going to have some of the same regrets that maybe baby boomers or gen X do around, I wish I would have started earlier because essentially they've started right away because there are companies, hopefully they've been smart enough to get them into the plan.
Diane Gallagher: You're absolutely right. I met with... This is years ago, I met with a plan sponsor who wanted and I was doing participant communications on the plan and he said, "I want higher participation rate. I want higher deferral rates and I want better asset allocation." And I said, "Well, let's look at auto features first." So like, forget it. And I said, because a nice brochure or a website or employee meeting, all of it, like none of that is going to do what your plan design can do to say, to address all those things. So I'm undercutting my entire career with that statement but communications in education will not solve for your plan design.
Josh Itzoe: And I think that's the important point, right? What are you trying to solve for? Like that... If you're trying to solve for call it low utilization rates, like the right tool for the job is in communications. It's automatic features. If you're trying to solve for better understanding of benefits, communicating to your people, that you care about them, helping them be aware and take advantage of all the different benefits that are available to them. If that's what you're trying to solve for, I think that's where the communications piece comes in. But I often find plan sponsors, they're able to diagnose but they think the wrong... they prescribe for themselves or they want you to prescribe them the wrong medicine, if you will, given what's been diagnosed.
Diane Gallagher: Right. I mean, you can use communications. I tell the plan sponsor, use it to be very surgical about something you specifically want to do. This year, what if you've had loans creeping up? Like you have more people taking loans one year of another. Okay. Let's talk about that. Let's focus on that. But then that core participation, rates and asset allocation, what design solves that.
Josh Itzoe: Right. Right. Be very surgical with your communications. That's another idea to share. You're on fire, Diane. You're on fire. That's going in the show notes too. Okay. So let's transition and one of the things that... I'll just frame this really quick and I'm really interested in your experiences. So, as you had mentioned, as we talked about you are the chair of the American Century retirement plan. And a few years ago, you guys were actually subject to a lawsuit by your employees around excessive... the kind of the playbook that's been in the industry, excessive fees and proprietary investments and so on and so forth.
And you were actually personally named as a defendant in that lawsuit. So I'll skip ahead really quickly. It's you guys were successful in defending yourselves, which is a rarity, quite frankly. And I can't wait to talk a little bit about that but just from the outset, what did it feel like when you got news that you guys had been named and that you had been named personally?
Diane Gallagher: So we knew it was coming. And I can go back in time. So I was scrolling through my Facebook feed one evening in 2015 and there was a sponsored post that said something to the effect of, you work at American Century. You may have been harmed in your retirement plan, click here. So I took a screenshot, the next morning ran into our in-house counsel's office. Who's a dear, dear friend, shaking as I was showing her my phone. And I was obviously one of many, many, many people who received that post. So there were both Facebook and LinkedIn solicitation. So paid post, anyone who had the name of our company in their profiles. So, that's how it came about.
So with that happening, we heard an inclination was coming. I received a call from our in-house counsel. I will... the day the case was filed June three of 2016. I'll never forget it. I was standing in my kitchen, called on my cell phone. We talked for a few minutes, I hang up the phone and I burst into tears. So that tells you exactly what that felt like. It was heartbreaking, because I'm speaking for everyone on the committee, I'm sure. But this is what I do for a living. And I have worked on plans and with plans across the country, varying sizes but with participant experience and weighing in on plan design and in trying to ensure that all these people have a really good chance of being successful to retire when they want with how much they need.
And the idea that in this plan, which is comprised of people I work with, like my colleagues, my friends, people I genuinely care about, that I was not acting on their behalf, was indescribable to me. I couldn't get over it. It was absolutely... I took it very personally and it was my integrity was being challenged beyond... That's what it feels like. I mean, that's exactly what it feels like. Yeah. There's no way to take it other than personally, so there's no way to take it.
Josh Itzoe: I can totally, obviously I can't relate to that but can see that. And I think that's a lot of times, most of the plan sponsors and committee members that I've had a chance to work with over my career, they take this really seriously and do it because they care about their people. And they're trying to make decisions that are in the best interest. And I can imagine you and the other community members were probably nameless to whoever clicked on that ad and filed it but I can understand and imagine what the heartbreak and frustration. And probably the different emotions that you go through.
So you guys knew it was coming. It finally happened. What did you do? As I mentioned, you were successful. And the reality I highlighted, I have a whole chapter litigation trends in my book, the Fiduciary Formula. And highlight a lot of the big cases that have been settled or adjudicated over the past, call it 10 or 12 years and financial services firms, obviously being focused on as well. You're one of the few companies that have been able to successfully defend yourself. And so, why was that? What did you do? How did you gain plan? How did you prepare?
Diane Gallagher: So a couple of things I will point out, one, I think is really important. The work of the committee continued separate and apart from the case. So we kept on keeping on after the case was filed. So one of the examples I will give is we had already started some discussions around doing a qualified default investment alternative reenrollment, a QA reenrollment. So, I've worked with many, many plans over the years, where we've looked at how participants equity exposure against their age. And we did the same for our plan. And we had made a decision as a committee, we said, we want to do a QA reenrollment for two reasons. We've got... as we expected, we had a number of participants close to retirement with high equity exposure. So what we didn't know was why? Was that by intention?
Did those participants say, yes, I want that exposure. Or was it inertia send back to our behavioral finance? Did people make a decision 20 years ago and never rebalanced? So we then created the event in which we told our participants, unless you tell us otherwise, your current account balance and your future contributions will be defaulted into the target date portfolio that most closely matches the year in which you will turn 65. We had an unusually high opt out rate because what we found is people absolutely wanted the choices they had made but we got the affirmation of that, right? So we received the affirmation that, yes, I intended that. So that to me is a really good example of progressive element in the toolbox of a plan sponsor and a committee that we continue to head while this case was going on.
We were in the opt-out window while we were in court. I was on the stand on the last day of the opt-out window testifying. So I think it's important to note that what we did is we kept doing what we were supposed to do with respect to the plan. But in working with council, there was a period of court mediation. I was not there. I told the meeting was pretty quick that we just felt that our process was defined. Our committee documents, that the period of time was any time on or after June 30th of 2010, it was filed on June 30th of 2016. That over that six year period, to that point, all the documents, all the information was very good historical record of the work of the committee. That the decisions that were at hand, the process that was followed, the deliberations of the committee, that that was all laid out in good order.
As an employee, I felt very supported that the organization said, we're going forward to defend ourselves. I totally get to your point, Josh, in a lot of financial services firms, by and large, the majority of these cases have been settled. And I would assume that that's a big decision to make internally and one that's weighed, right? In terms of resources and expense. I totally see how that is a decision that is not taken lightly. And many factors have to be weighed but where I sat, I felt very supported that the organization said, we have faith in the decisions. Our committee has made the process they follow and we will defend that.
And that was really extremely gratifying but also big relief. Obviously, we got the decision from the judge and his opinion, he just called out the process that we had followed in that we were deliberative and thoughtful and prudent. I mean that we are acutely aware of the gravity that comes with the decisions that we make.
Josh Itzoe: What's your philosophy on minutes? Obviously that is... minutes are something that it's simple, it's just not easy, more often than not. And it's not an active volition. It's an act of omission. A lot of times there isn't a good record. I would imagine you guys were pretty buttoned up from a minutes perspective or whether it's memos, whatever it was that outlined, not just what decisions you made but perhaps the line of thinking around how you came to those conclusions. Is that a fair statement? And what's your philosophy overall in terms of documenting the decision-making process?
Diane Gallagher: So I joined the committee... Just for context. I joined the committee in 2014. I became the chair in 2017. Again, the case started June 30th, anytime after June 30th of 2010. So I came into a structure related to the minutes that had already been in place and been in place for a long time. So we are very fortunate. A member of our legal department paralegal does our minutes for us, which is extremely helpful. So they still have someone extremely knowledgeable. So I think in any organization of having the right person with the right expertise, who's charged with taking minutes. I mean, it's not the same as taking minutes for a volunteer organization you're a part of. I think about all the minutes career written, lots of minutes, right? It's not the same. So I've taken plenty of minutes not in this context but what they are, they're not a transcription of the discussion.
It's not a deposition. However, they are very clear with respect to the issue at hand, the deliberation. What the questions are, the discussion and the next steps? So there are minutes when there's an issue and the next step is, you know what? We need this one other thing. Like I need this other piece of information. So the next steps are Diane Gallagher will get the answer to this question and call an ad hoc meeting to make the decision. And then the minutes of the ad hoc meeting. So this was the followup and this was the decision. So all the meeting minutes, if you kind of put them all out in a chronological order, it's a story, like this was a decision. This was an issue. This is the resolution.
And I think that is just really helpful. So someone new coming into the committee or someone to come in could sit down and read several years of minutes and get a picture and get what transpired in terms of the work of the committee.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah. That's one of the things we recommend to new committee members when they come on board is, "Hey, we're going to give you all the minutes from every meeting and it's going to give you a body of work. So you can kind of come up to speed and understand, how did the plan arrive, where it is now, what you're stepping into and where did it kind of come from? And what was the thought process over time?" How did you prepare to be cross examined? Just out of curiosity? Like, what did you do to prepare for that? I see the look on your face right now. We're doing video right now but I can see, I hope I'm not bringing up recurring nightmares for you but what did you do to prepare for cross exam?
Diane Gallagher: I spent a lot of time with our lawyers too. I spent a lot of time, so a lot of time in preparation. So I knew the line of questioning, that we would expect. So just for context, as the committee chair, I served as the corporate representative at the trial. So I sat at the defense table with all of our lawyers, the duration of the trial. And then, I was the last fact-based witness. So I took the stand the last week of the trial. And I actually was only on the stand about an hour and a half, maybe, hour and a half. So not a super long time. It seemed like days, but really why you actually looked at your watch. It wasn't as long as it felt. I knew we had many, many hours of meetings and preparation around expect these types of expect this to be challenged.
And I testified at trial, I talked about the QDIA reenrollment because that opt out window was going on. I talked about that at the trial but I was asked a lot of questions about my own experience with respect to participants, a lot of the research we did. So here's a perfect example. A presentation I had given about our research was an exhibit for example. And it was a PowerPoint, it was a printout of a PowerPoint that had animation and bills. So there was one slide that was pulled out. For example, that I would ask question about, they had kind of a contrarian view, because the next slide with the click had the big reveal.
So what was pulled out was just the first one. So we had a hunch that was going to be a question. So I said, "Yeah, this is what that said." But for a fact, the next slide covered this, the next slide wasn't in the exhibit. So just to give... It wasn't like a trick or anything but it was just something that I had to be prepared to say that one thing didn't tell the whole story and nothing to do with the plan it had to do with the conference speech I had given. But I did testify to how that felt personally as being a named defendant. So I will share this sort of... I think it's a funny story, I think now but I testified.
Josh Itzoe: There have been a few time, I imagine and success makes this like funny stories.
Diane Gallagher: Yeah. I know it's not funny at the time. So it was, I testified on a Monday of the last week of the trial, so September, 2018. I was testifying on a Monday and on Sunday afternoon, the day prior, I was going to have my final preparations with our lawyers. I final before I was taking the stand. And I had gone to church with my family in the morning. And then I was going downtown in Kansas city to do my final prep. So after church, I ran into the Starbucks nearby and I always know someone when I run in there, always, someone from my neighborhood, so right. You're always, always, always, always. And I ran in there, my family was still in the car. I just ran in to get the drinks. And as I'm running out of here, "Hi, Diane." And I look over expecting it, of course, to be a friend that I know.
And it is the lead plaintiff counsel was working at basically quote unquote my Starbucks. So nowhere near the hotel they were staying at, nowhere near the courthouse and had all of our binders out, like all the material, like at the big long table in Starbucks. And I said, "Hi." And he said, "Big day tomorrow." And I said, 'Yeah." And I ran out and got in the car and unraveled a little bit with my family and unbeknownst to me at that moment, my youngest daughter had her phone and was recording me freaking out, why was he in my Starbucks?
Josh Itzoe: Right.
Diane Gallagher: Which was sort of funny. So it was totally got my head. But yeah, it was today it was funny but when I got met with our lawyers, I was like, "Why was he there?" He kept saying, "Get it out of your head, get it out of your head."
Josh Itzoe: Right, right. Trying to play mind games and find out where—
Diane Gallagher: Who knows? He could have been stayed nearby, which is funny.
Josh Itzoe: Kind of to maybe final questions is number one is maybe the top two or three lessons you've learned going through that, you've been battle tested. And then also, has that experience changed in any way, how you approach being a committee member and being the chair of the committee? What's changed if anything, in terms of how you approach the job?
Diane Gallagher: So I will answer the second part first in what has changed. I think all of us are acutely aware of the responsibility and the gravity of decisions. I will say, it has just, if anything put an exclamation point on the mechanics of how we operate as a committee. So our meeting dates are set in concrete. We don't miss them. We don't move them. We don't miss them. Like they are... I candidly usually block my calendar 30 minutes, either side of our meetings, just in case. We need to go long or whatever. So I think it has given all of us in additional sense of responsibility for other committees, like for other... If we are going to be held out that we went to trial and we were successful in defending ourselves, there's that much more responsibility that comes with that.
Like you absolutely need to set that standard. So I feel like it's making us like sit up a little bit straighter. I think there was never a question about the intensity of the responsibility in what our charge was but it certainly has added some sobering effect to it, if that makes sense. From a little sidebar, I will say a little extra thing it has done having gone through this process is I return a lot of emails with phone calls. So there's... regardless not related to the plant, just in general, just in general.
Josh Itzoe: Is that just from a discovery perspective and whatnot?
Diane Gallagher: As a lawyer's told me he stands for evidence, so I am just... I answer and I'm sure it makes some of my colleagues bananas, that I do that. So I do tend to answer questions. So that I would say we just always took the responsibility extremely seriously but I think there's just an additional layer of gravity attached to that. I would say to your first part, I mean the biggest tip or lesson that I would share with committee members and I was asked this one time by somebody from another organization had said, I have someone who just wants to be on the committee, what should I tell them? And I said, "Make sure they understand what being a fiduciary is." This isn't like to your point, like being asked to be on a homeowners association, which is a huge headache in of itself but it isn't like that.
It isn't like your volunteer kind of position. But I do think keeping again, I'll say it again, the best interest of your participants at the forefront of your decisions gives you some clarity. And it really is a true North. In our case, we were accused of making decisions on behalf of the company, versus our participants, A, it's not true but B we were able to prove it. And why? Because we keep the best interest of participants at the forefront. And that just, I think is just a really good anchor to keep with committees. And you have your meeting minutes reflect that too. It's in the best interest of the participants to do X or not do X, whatever that is. But I think that punchline, that attempting to do the right thing for your people, is always defensible, is a really good mantra to follow.
Josh Itzoe: Right. I had mentioned that I had Fred Reish on the podcast not too long ago. And he said something very similar. He said that at every meeting say, how do we get a better outcome for the participants, whether it's lower cost or whether it's better investments, whether it's helping them save more through deferrals, whatever it is, how do we do what's best for participants? And he says, most of the litigation I see is where people weren't willing to ask that question about every issue and then they weren't taking the steps necessary to implement it.
And what's best for participants is not what makes them happy as this happiest it's tough love. And what produces the best results in terms of accumulating money for retirement. So don't worry too much about making people happy, just worry about making things right. And so, it sounds like you echo that statement almost to a T.
Diane Gallagher: I love that description from Fred. So I will happily steal it.
Josh Itzoe: Awesome. My last couple of questions as we wrap up and I've had such a good time with you today. And I think you have just really, really good insights and you communicate them well. How do you think over the next five to 10 years though, how do you think the retirement industry is going to evolve? What do you think is going to be at the forefront and where as call it plan sponsors, where do you think plan sponsors need to go to stay ahead of the curve and not get caught behind it?
Diane Gallagher: I think the biggest innovation or the biggest issue we are tackling when we talked about this earlier, it's really related to retirement income as we have... we're moving beyond accumulation to decumulation. So we are going to have to make sure that we have the full product suite, that there are regulations that are laid out for plan sponsors, that we have plan sponsors who are willing to be a little progressive in trying to push the envelope on making those right decisions, like Fred said, pending, maybe that's practicing some tough love but I think that is the next thing we're going to have to really address, because there is... As individuals are accumulating, significant dollars. I know they're going to need to last decades.
So again, it's not a lottery win but it's still is a significant amount of money. The risk of making a bad move, right when you have the highest number of assets is too great. So we have to, as planned sponsors, have those rights sort of bumpers or guard rails up to help our folks navigate that transition.
Josh Itzoe: Yeah. And some of the research that you've done and going back to that tough love, people want that. I think from the research that you've done, right? Like people have said, like they know that they need that level of accountability. And I think, when plan sponsors start to think more about the responsibility to their obligation to help their people retire successfully and then recognize that most people, not everybody but most people, they want help. They want those nudges. They want that level of accountability. The more that we can embrace that, the more it's going to inform how we make decisions.
So where can people go to connect with you or follow what you're up to at American Century? We will put this in the show notes and whatnot but what's the best way for people to stay connected with you?
Diane Gallagher: So they can visit us at americancentury.com. You can look me up on LinkedIn, be happy to talk anytime about saving for retirement and how incredibly important that is for all American workers.
Josh Itzoe: Great. Well, thank you, Diane. It has been a true pleasure and I appreciate your insights so much and just really glad that you spent some time for me and for our listeners on the fiduciary podcast. So, thank you.
Diane Gallagher: Thank you so much, Josh. It has been a pleasure.
Josh Itzoe: Thanks for listening to this episode with Diane Gallagher from American Century. I hope you enjoyed our discussion, her insights about participants' perceptions and attitudes and hearing about her experiences as a named defendant in an ERISA lawsuit. I hope her story made you a smarter ERISA fiduciary and give you hope that ERISA cases are actually winnable if you follow a good process. If you'd like more information or to learn more, go to fiduciaryu.com. I've got some great resources there for you, including each episode, along with show notes, articles, free tools and online courses.
And make sure to sign up on the site so we can stay connected. I'd love to help you stay in the know about what's happening in the world of corporate retirement plans. And if you've got questions, you'd like me to answer, topics you'd like me to discuss, guests you think would be a good fit for the show or any other feedback, I'd love to hear from you. Also, head over to Amazon and check out my two books, the Fiduciary Formula and Fixing the 401(k). And if you want an easy way to support the show, I'd really appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes. It's the best way to help other people find the show. Until next time, thanks again for listening to the Fiduciary U™ Podcast.
Greenspring Advisors is a registered investment advisor. The opinions I express on the show are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my guests or the companies they work for. All statements and opinions expressed are based upon information considered reliable, although it should not be relied upon as such. Any statements or opinions are subject to change without notice. The information and content presented on the show is for educational purposes only, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Information expressed does not take into account your specific situation, or objectives, and is not intended as recommendations appropriate for any individual. Listeners are encouraged to seek advice from a qualified tax, legal, or investment advisor to determine whether any information presented may be suitable for their specific situation. And past performance is not indicative of future performance.