Dear NAGDCA Members,

Spring is a time for new growth and revitalization. At NAGDCA, we are excited to leap into spring by continuing to deliver new programming and information to help you grow professionally in 2021.

We started the year experimenting with our new NAGDCA Connect learning series by offering a mix of small group gatherings and panel presentations. We hosted groups focused on topics like customer service metrics; convened groups by region; and heard from expert panelists to gain an in-depth understanding of collective investment trusts and their potential benefits for 403(b) plans.

In the coming months, we will continue to expand NAGDCA Connect to discuss ESG in public plans and other topics to help you learn from your peers. We will also be offering a New Member Orientation for the first time, to help those plan sponsors who are new to NAGDCA gain familiarity with our tools and events so you can make the most out of your membership.

The spring would also normally be our time to gather in Washington, D.C. with our industry partners to learn about the legislative landscape from Congressional Staff and discuss the state of the public retirement industry at our annual Industry Roundtable. As with most in-person events, we have decided the risk of gathering is still too great. However, instead of cancelling the event our Industry Committee decided to try something new. We are considering a shift to a winter Industry Roundtable to increase our chances of meeting together. While we still have details to work out, the Committee made it clear they value the time spent together, so we will do everything possible to make that a reality – even if it means going to Washington in icy December! Keep a look out for more information soon.

Meanwhile, we did not want to wait until the end of the year to get our industry partners together. In the spirit of our other NAGDCA Connect programs, we will be offering a virtual “Industry Legislative Update” in May. This is exciting for two reasons: first, it allows our industry members to get together even though we will not all be in Washington; second, it will be an opportunity to meet our new lobbyist. Our search for a new Government Affairs Director is almost done, and we will be announcing our new partner later this month.

Many of you have also asked about the status of the Annual Conference. The Annual Conference Committee has been hard at work planning the event for the second week of September. However, we are continuing to monitor the progress of vaccine distribution and various health indicators as we weigh our final decision on holding the event. We have also developed a short survey to gather feedback from our membership and encourage you to share your input. We expect to have a final decision in late spring and, once we do, we will notify you immediately so you can make plans. If we do cancel the in person conference, we will offer virtual programming and will work with the Committee to build from our experience hosting a virtual event last October. Registration will open after a final decision is made so we can structure it to fit the type of event we will have.

Finally, we published our first report from the Public Retirement Research Lab (PRRL) earlier this year, and over 250 of you showed up to watch us present the findings at a webinar in January. We will be following this with a second report and presentation on asset allocation in public plans later this spring. For those of you that participated in the PRRL, you will receive both a comprehensive “You v. Universe” report and access to our Benchmarking Portal by the end of April. These two tools will give you the most complete understanding of how your plan compares to peers we have ever been able to offer. Keep an eye on your inbox for access information.

We want to thank you again for your membership and wish you a healthy and safe spring!

Sincerely,

Matt Petersen
Executive Director

Stable Value: A Risk-free Dilemma

By Retirement Plan Advisors – Kip Robbins, CFA, Chief Investment Officer and Joshua F. Schwartz, AIF, President

Insurance company fixed (or general) accounts and stable value funds – we will refer to both as stable value funds going forward – are prevalent across defined contribution retirement plans. Stable value funds often account for a large portion of a plan’s total assets, particularly in governmental retirement plans where they commonly account for 20-40% or more. But, is that a sound and rational choice for most investors? What role should stable value play for a person saving and investing for retirement?

If a plan participant wants a balanced portfolio of 60% equites and 40% fixed income, how much of the 40% should be in stable value versus bond funds? What are the relative risks? What about returns? How do stable value and bond funds behave in a diversified portfolio over time? This paper explores the appropriate use of stable value funds in participant directed retirement plans.

Click here to download the article.

2021 ANNUAL CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE SURVEY

Responses due – Monday, March 22

NAGDCA recognizes COVID-19 is still impacting all of us in various ways and, therefore, we are exploring several approaches to host the 2021 annual conference. We have developed a short survey to gather feedback about your ability and willingness to travel to Phoenix for an in-person conference. As in 2020, our primary focus will be the health and safety of our members, attendees, and staff.

We encourage you to share input as it will help NAGDCA in determining the best path forward. Please click below to complete the short survey.

Click here to share your feedback!

NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION

Join us on Wednesday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m. ET to learn about NAGDCA and how you can get the most out of your membership. The New Member Orientation is designed specifically for government members who have joined the organization within the past year and will feature information about membership benefits, getting involved, upcoming events, and more. We’ll also hear from longtime members about their experiences with NAGDCA and how they’ve benefited from membership.

Discover how your NAGDCA membership can work for you – click here to register today!

2021 LEADERSHIP AWARD NOMINATIONS

Nominations due – Friday, April 30

NAGDCA is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Leadership Awards, an annual program recognizing plans and industry partners who have demonstrated excellence in one of four main categories – Participant Education & Communication, Plan Design & Administration, Technology & Interactive Multimedia, and National Retirement Security Month.

New for 2021 – COVID-19 Response Add-on Category –
The Awards Committee has developed the COVID-19 Response award to recognize exceptional efforts made over the past year to continue supporting participants during the pandemic. Nominations will be accepted for this award from any of the four main categories and all submitted nominations are eligible to receive an award in this category whether or not they win in their original submitted category.

Plans of all sizes are encouraged to submit nominations and asset size and plan resources will be taken into consideration during the scoring process. Successful nominations in all categories will include measurable results that led to a sound improvement in the plan.
Please note, the nomination requirements have been updated for 2021. Please review the new guidelines closely before preparing a nomination. Industry partners may nominate clients or plans may self-nominate.

Winners will be announced in July and recognized during the NAGDCA Annual Conference.

Click here to learn more!

NAGDCA CONNECT | INDUSTRY LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Tuesday, May 25 | 3:00 p.m. ET

NAGDCA invites our industry members to join us on Tuesday, May 25 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a virtual Industry Legislative Update. We are excited to offer this opportunity for our industry partners to gather virtually while we work on details for a potential in-person Industry Roundtable meeting in the 4th quarter.

Meet NAGDCA’s new Government Affairs Director and connect with your peers as key congressional staff members provide the latest updates from Capitol Hill. You don’t want to miss this NAGDCA Connect session – register today!