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In the 2010s, defined contribution investments were treated to an unprecedented market run. Not even a global pandemic, so it seemed for a time, could halt growth. That finally changed last year, when rising inflation and the commensurate interest rate hikes helped lead to 401(k) accounts falling by double digits and plan sponsors and participants looking to advisers for answers.

The long-term view can be hard, of course, when you are near retirement and see a double-digit drop in your 401(k) savings. Robert Massa, managing director of retirement for Qualified Plan Advisors in Houston, says during the decline in 2022, he focused on participants close to retirement age who were in shorter-dated TDFs.

“I look at the one-year trend line on those short-dated funds,” he says. “I don’t want a lot of deviation for someone that is close to retirement. … We are trying to protect that population because they don’t have that time to recover.”

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2023 Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year – For 2023, finalists and winners were recognized in six qualitative categories, representing excellence in the following areas: Plan Sponsor Service, Plan Participant Service, Mentorship, Closing the Coverage Gap, Efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Community Impact and Giving Back. The Plan Sponsor Service and Plan Participant Service award categories were open for nominations from plan sponsors only, while adviser partners across the industry—including recordkeepers, asset managers, advisers, product providers and more—were able to submit nominations in the other five. As in past years, self-nominations were prohibited. The awards were based on a mixture of qualitative and quantitative measures, including tenure in the business, focus on retirement plan business as a percentage of practice revenue, willingness to serve in a fiduciary role to clients’ plans and a review of essay answers and compliance records. Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year finalists were recognized, and winners announced, at the PLANADVISER Industry Leader Awards Dinner on May 10 in New York City. QPA and PLANADVISER are not affiliated. Arrangements and experiences with our firm differ from client to client; your experience with our firm may differ from what is expressed above.