09:27 AM

Nationwide Retirement Solutions president discusses pandemic, policy and product trends on Future of Retirement panel

In a recent Bloomberg Wealth Summit panel discussion, Eric Stevenson, president of Nationwide Retirement Solutions, weighed in on a number of topics impacting financial security in America, including:

  • SECURE Act 2.0
  • Emergency savings
  • In-plan guarantees
  • Importance of financial professionals

Watch a replay of the discussion here.

Stevenson cited research1 from the Nationwide Retirement Institute® that found COVID-19 has negatively impacted Americans’ retirement planning, with one in five (19%) indicating they were forced to delay or cancel their retirement and more than one-fourth (27%) saying they saved less or stopped saving for retirement because they lost their job or for other reasons.

“Many continue to struggle with even thinking about retirement given the financial impact COVID-19 has had,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson advocated for the passage of SECURE Act 2.0 as a great opportunity to enhance retirement security in the United States and also encouraged lawmakers to enable emergency savings opportunities for retirement plans participants.

He said Nationwide Retirement Institute® research2 shows that 94% of advisors and financial professionals agree adding an emergency savings provision to the proposed SECURE Act 2.0 legislation that would permit employees to withdraw or use limited retirement plan contributions for critical short-term financial needs without an early distribution tax penalty would help improve Americans’ financial security.

He also applauded the passage of the SECURE Act in 2019, which helped pave the way for in-plan guarantees within defined contribution plans by creating a safe harbor provision and addressing portability, liquidity and fee issues that have hindered the adoption of these solutions in the past.

“Until recently the industry has been focused on telling participants to save, save, save, but the industry hasn’t always addressed what participants need to do with their savings once they retire,” said Stevenson. “In-plan guarantee options within a retirement plan can help people turn those savings into a steady stream of income.”

Stevenson also highlighted the importance of investors getting help from financial professionals.

“Our research on investors when it comes to taking Social Security found that the No. 1 source for advice on this topic is from a neighbor,” said Stevenson. “The importance of working with a financial professional can’t be overstated.”


1 Nationwide Retirement Institute® 2021 Tax-Efficient Income Survey

2 Nationwide Retirement Institute® Survey of Advisor and Financial Professionals, 2021