As complaints continue to emerge that 401(k) plans offer both flimsy performance and, as is soon to be much more public knowledge, a range of expensive fees, the mutual fund industry is starting to blast back at critics.
According to the Los Angeles Times, ICI head Paul Schott Stevens told reporters Thursday that contemporary 401(k) design does much more to prepare retirees and protect their assets through turbulent economic times.
"The 401(k) fits the needs of American companies and workers, today and tomorrow," he said. "It's flexible and rapidly evolving to continue to meet those needs as our society and workforce change."
Stevens said the continuing unraveling of the traditional pension plan system also indicates the need for more robust 401(k) strategies.
"What's often overlooked by critics of 401(ks)s and self-directed investing are the risks of defined-benefit pension plans. Workers move; companies fail; plans go bust - and in every case, 'guaranteed' pension benefits suddenly are not as sound as promised.
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