Essay Series and New Book Show How 401(k) Savings Plans Can Evolve into True Retirement Plans

A roadmap for DC plan sponsors to help
pre-retirees generate lifetime retirement income

OXNARD, Calif., Oct. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Retirement researcher and author Steve Vernon has written a series of four essays that outline how defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors can help older workers use their retirement savings to generate reliable, lifetime retirement income. The essays were recently published by the Society of Actuaries as part of an essay collection titled “Redefining the Goal of Retirement Planning.”

“Most 401(k) plans don’t offer much help to pre-retirees to turn their hard-earned savings into retirement income,” says Vernon. “If older workers had a simple, “check the box” option for converting their 401(k) savings into lifetime income, then DC savings plans could evolve into true retirement plans.”

Vernon describes how plan sponsors can enable this evolution with these four essays:

  1. The 5 Most Important Retirement Income Decisions
  2. DC Retirement Plan Sponsors Can Help Improve Critical Retirement Income Decisions
  3. Consider a Default Decision Process for Retirement Income Options in DC Retirement Plans
  4. Retirement Income Statements That Educate and Don't Dangerously Mislead

The second, third, and fourth essays discuss in more detail how DC plan sponsors, financial institutions, and retirement professionals can help pre-retirees make the decisions described in the first essay. 

The essay series draws from Vernon’s research conducted while a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity, in collaboration with the Society of Actuaries, and on his latest book, “Don’t Go Broke in Retirement: A Simple Plan to Build Lifetime Retirement Income.

The book, which plan sponsors can incorporate into their retirement education and planning programs, helps pre-retirees and recent retirees answer difficult questions, including:

  • Have they saved enough money to retire?
  • When should they start taking Social Security benefits?
  • What’s the best way to generate lifetime income that’s protected from financial crises?
  • What living expenses should they reduce to make retirement more affordable?

“Prior generations of middle-income workers may have relied on traditional pension plans, but those plans are no longer prevalent today,” says Vernon. “Our work aims to help middle-income workers who instead will rely on Social Security benefits and savings. 401(k) plan sponsors are in the perfect position to help their older workers make and implement critical retirement planning decisions.”

Vernon plans to hold a series of webinars to help DC plan sponsors and older workers understand and implement the strategies in the essay series and the book. Plan sponsors that would like to incorporate Don’t Go Broke in Retirement into their retirement education and planning program can visit for more information.

About the Author
Steve Vernon, FSA, is an independent researcher and author, focusing on the most challenging financial, health, and lifestyle decisions for retirement. He’s a consulting research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity and writes a regular online column for He’s also president of Rest-of-Life Communications, from which he conducts retirement planning workshops, webinars, and financial education campaigns. For more details on his experience, books, and services, visit Vernon’s website at He can be reached directly at

Vernon’s essays can be found here.

Don’t Go Broke in Retirement: A Simple Plan to Build Lifetime Retirement Income
Rest-of-Life Communications, July 22, 2020

Print: $14.95
eBook $9.99

IBSN: 978-0-9853846-6-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-0-9853846-7-8 (eReaders)

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Media Contact: Ed Emerman