SPARK National 2014


Sunday, June 15, 2014

1:00 – 7:00 pm Conference Registration

1:00 – 7:00 pm Exhibitor Setup

Monday, June 16, 2014

7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors –

8:00 – 8:15 am Welcome & Opening Remarks

Joe Ready, Executive Vice President and Director, Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust and President, SPARK Institute

8:15 – 9:15 am Washington Regulatory and Legal Update

Steve Saxon, Chairman, Groom Law Group

This session will focus on legal issues affecting 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, including:

  • Fiduciary Regulation – Where will DOL Go?
  • Managed Account QDIAs – SEC, DOL Issues
  • Rollovers – DOL, SEC, FINRA Focus
  • The 5% Independence Test – SunAmerica Opinion Revisited
  • Legal Obstacles to Use of Alternatives
  • Lifetime Income Solutions
  • Recordkeeper Error Correction Update

9:20 – 9:50 am Break with Exhibitors –

10:00 – 11:00 am Capitol Hill Advisors Share Their Insider Perspectives on Retirement Policy

Derek Dorn, Partner, Davis & Harman LLP

Derek Dorn, a partner of Davis & Harman and legislative counsel to The SPARK Institute, will moderate a panel featuring senior advisors to Congress’s leading retirement policymakers. This off-the-record session will feature a candid dialogue on Washington’s key retirement policy debates, including tax reform, the fiduciary regulation, coverage proposals, and e-delivery. The panelists will review legislative developments over the past year and expectations for the remainder of 2014.

11:10 – 12:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – Bring Your Business to New Heights: The Benefits of Operating in the Cloud

Andy Konchan, Chief Technology Officer, SunGard – Wealth and Retirement Administration (Moderator)
Craig Burma, Principal and Benefit Resource Center Director, Milliman
Mark Schnabl, Director, Defined Contribution Services, BMO Retirement Services
Bill Yoerger, President, Retirement Services, OneAmerica Financial Partners

Market pressures are forcing retirement administrators to offer innovative products and services while keeping up with expanded workloads and rapidly changing regulations. To address these challenges, providers must operate more efficiently to keep costs low, implement state-of-the-art IT solutions that deliver scalability and business agility to drive growth, and manage the risks that come with operating an asset reporting and trading platform. In this session, a panel of key players in the industry will look at the trends of cloud computing and how they are impacting recordkeeping operations. The panel will discuss how they are currently implementing cloud computing into their recordkeeping operations, lessons learned from that implementation, and the results they are receiving as well as discussing future innovative needs to meet strategic growth initiatives.

SESSION B – Two Years to Restate Your Pre-Approved DC Clients — Let the Fun Begin

Rich Hochman, President, McKay Hochman Co., Inc.
Eric Slack, Senior Tax Law Specialist, Employee Plans, Technical Guidance, Internal Revenue Service

The gate has opened on the two-year cycle to restate all Pre-Approved DC Plans. Do relationships with employer clients change because the Form 5307 will have very limited application? How have the documents changed since the EGTRRA restatement in 2008-2010? Are there likely to be Interim amendments even before I can restate all my clients’ plans? Come learn what the next cycle holds in store. Also lead 403(b) and DB plans were to have been submitted to IRS, but the DB plans deadline has been extended until 2015. What has happened with 403(b)s? Three things attendees will learn:

  • What has changed procedurally since the EGTTRA restatement?
  • How have the documents changed?
  • Preliminary 403(b) and pre-approved DB restatement issues.

SESSION C – Another Brick in the Wall: Implementing Real Estate Into DC Portfolios to Maximize Participant Outcomes

David Skinner, Principal, Defined Contribution Practice Leader, Prudential Real Estate Investors
Johanna Vogel, Senior Vice President and Director, Retirement Markets, Dividend Capital
Kurt Walten, Senior Vice President, Investment Affairs & Investor Education, NAREIT

For decades, DB plans have considered real estate as a fundamental asset class and benefited from its long-term investment attributes. In recent years, a significant portion of DC plans have either added or considered adding real estate in order to improve participant outcomes. This session will focus on the investment attributes of both direct commercial real estate and real estate securities, including strong income, diversification and inflation protection — as well as understanding and managing the operational imperatives.

12:00 – 1:00 pmLunch

1:00 – 1:50 pm The Middle Innings of a Long Game: A Guide to the Markets

Dr. David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist, J.P. Morgan Funds

Dr. Kelly will provide a current guide to the state of the financial markets and review the implications for retirement plan service providers. Specifically, he will:

  • Assess the equity markets, examining earnings, valuations and a tailwind of cash
  • Discuss fixed income trends
  • Take a look at what is happening in Europe and in emerging markets
  • Examine the risks to the outlook

2:00 – 2:30 pm Break with Exhibitors –

2:35 – 3:25 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – 2014 DC Market Trends and Issues

Ron Bush, Managing Principal, Retirement Research and Principal, Brightwork Partners, LLC
John Guido, Principal, Retirement Research

Join Retirement Research Inc. (RRI) for an update of the DC market from the perspective of service providers and DCIO firms alike. RRI’s insights, based on proprietary research, will cover trends and recent outcomes as they relate to product, distribution and intermediary expectations that shape our industry today.

SESSION B – SPARK Best Practices and Remittance and Census Data Elements File Formats for 403(b) Plans: Their Utilization, Effectiveness and Future

Tony Link, Director, Product Management and Consulting, TIAA-CREF
Lucy Sagansky, Vice President, Product Management, Fidelity Investments

It’s been five years since the member organizations of The SPARK Institute rolled out the Best Practices and Remittance and Census file formats to facilitate compliance for 403(b) plan sponsors. Please join us for a roundtable to discuss the file formats’ five year report card:

  • What are the strengths and areas for development of the file formats and the data sharing process between providers?
  • As an industry, how do we ensure the effectiveness of the formats into the future?
  • What opportunities are we leaving on the table? How could the formats and data sharing be of more value to plan sponsors and providers?

As collective owners of the file formats, you are invited to share your opinions and insights into how we can make the process better.

SESSION C – 2014 Integrating Social Security Guidance Into Participant Communications

Ron Bush, Managing Principal, Retirement Research and Principal, Brightwork Partners, LLC
Karen Ireland, Practice Management Director, Pioneer Investments

Retirement plan participants without a financial advisor may look to their employer or plan provider for guidance on Social Security. Join Karen Ireland, Practice Management Director at Pioneer Investments, for a discussion of the steps participants can take leading up to retirement to maximize their Social Security benefits and after-tax retirement income. She will examine strategies participants can utilize to maximize benefits for both spouses, and review ways that plan sponsors and service providers can integrate this information into participant communications.

3:30 – 4:30 pm Legislation, From Intent to Reality

Barbara March, President, BridgePoint Group LLC

The process of moving from the enactment of a regulation to its practical implementation within a record keeping environment is no easy task. Bringing operational clarity to vague regulatory wording, translating intent to reality, is extremely difficult. When you then add in the broadening definition of compliance and the multitude of regulatory bodies you have to comply with, with the evolving expectations of the customer experience, the challenge grows. Please join Barbara March from BridgePoint for a discussion of how to implement practical strategies that turn regulatory intent into customer service reality.

5:00 – 7:00 pm Reception with Exhibitors –

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

7:00 – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors –

8:15 – 9:00 am M.A.I.N. Street: Secrets to Making Investment Risks More Understandable for Participants

Scott West, Head of Invesco Consulting

Do you know the key phrases to communicate the complexities of investment risks to the Main Street retirement investor? Are your participants more interested in minimizing risks or maximizing gains? Join Scott West, Head of Invesco Consulting, for this informative and timely presentation on how to make investment risks more understandable, motivational and actionable for participants.

9:05 – 9:55 am Leveraging Big Data to Grow Your Retirement Plan Business

Tim Slavin, Senior Vice President, Defined Contribution, Broadridge Financial Solutions (Moderator)
Chris Augelli, Vice President, Product Marketing & Business Development, ADP Retirement Services
Diana Awed, Vice President, Marketing, Mutual Fund and Retirement Solutions, Broadridge Financial Solutions
Daniel Cwenar, President and General Manager, Access Data, a Broadridge Company
Pete Kirtland, President, CEO and Co-Founder, Aspire Financial Services

Having the necessary data to better understand and analyze your business is increasingly vital to success in today’s financial services environment. But equally important is how you act upon that data to fully realize its potential to gain a valuable competitive advantage. This panel discussion will walk you through the process of capturing accurate data, how to best interpret it and ultimately how to leverage “big data” to best compete in and grow your retirement plan business.

10:00 – 10:30 am Break with Exhibitors –

10:35 – 11:25 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – The Role of Branding in Today’s Competitive Retirement Market

Aimee DeCamillo, Vice President and Head of Retirement Plan Services, T. Rowe Price (moderator)
Ann Glover, Chief Marketing Officer, Voya Financial
Joe Greene, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Great-West Financial
Roberta Hess, Vice President – Marketing and Communications, Ascensus

Branding has become an integral part of nearly every major company’s marketing strategy. In today’s highly competitive retirement market — where service is often seen as a commodity — a strong brand is critical for success. This panel of senior marketing executives, representing companies that have recently implemented major branding initiatives, will discuss the impetus for their branding programs and review some of the research, strategies, and tactics for each.

SESSION B – The Retirement Savings Paradigm: Factors Influencing Saving

Chris Augelli, Vice President, Product Marketing & Business Development, ADP Retirement Services

Numerous studies indicate that nearly half of all Americans simply won’t have enough money saved for a secure retirement. Despite the attractive tax advantages offered by defined contribution plans, workers often are either not participating or are saving too little, too late. To gain further insight into the utilization of defined contribution plans, the ADP Research Institute leveraged anonymous payroll data to study the retirement savings behaviors of approximately 9 million active employees with access to a defined contribution plan throughout 2013. This session will review the key findings of that review, with savings behaviors differentiated by age, gender, compensation level and industry.

11:25 – 11:45 am Break / Check-Out

11:45 – 12:35 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

SESSION A – The Missing Participant Problem

Chris Ceder, Vice President, US Retirement, Goldman Sachs
Rob Martorano, Vice President, Defined Benefit Practice Leader, AON Hewitt
Mary Steigerwalt, COO, Risk Compliance Performance Solutions

This session will help recordkeepers, TPAs, custodians and systems providers understand ways in which they can help their plan sponsor clients provide a best practice service to address missing participants while not being viewed as the “Fiduciary”. Key areas that will be discussed are:

  • With the IRS and SSA Letter Forwarding programs no longer available, what are plan sponsors doing today?
  • What is the expectation from the plan sponsor in addressing missing participants?
  • How to streamline a process with providers that allows for seamless efficiency to reduce costs and risks related to missing participants.
  • How to vet vendors in providing these services. What things to look for and how best to measure.
  • As a provider, what things need to be discussed with plan sponsors to have a streamlined process:
    • IT/Security
    • Agreement structure
    • What types of options should be available for clients?
    • Who pays for these services?
    • Who’s responsible if there’s an issue?


  • What is being discussed in Washington in regards to missing participants?

SESSION B – Key Concepts for Driving Smarter Participant Decisions

Stuart Ritter, Vice President, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

This session will look at why participants think and do what they do. We start by exploring the link between intent and action. Then, using interactive technology, we delve into the unexpected ways outside influences affect our choices. Lastly, we look at how misremembering the past leads us to mis-imagine the future and why that gets in the way of achieving our goals.