This week I had the honor and pleasure to interview Stephen McCaffrey, Chairman of the Board of the Plan Sponsor Council of America. His refreshing answers played in brilliant contrast to last week's incessant media cavalcade of regulators and industry spokesmen. McCaffrey's comments made me think: Aren't plan sponsors the people we should be listening to? And by "we" I mean regulators, the industry and media reporters.

I can tell you, from a reporting standpoint, it's far easier to get a quote from a service provider than from one of their clients. It seems as though the users of the services we write about tend to be camera shy. And who can blame them? Unless they've been bitterly wronged (as opposed to "merely" wronged), they have no motivation to stick their necks out. So it's rare that we get the opportunity to speak to real plan sponsors.

My conversation with McCaffrey revealed several interesting nuggets. For example, do you know the PSCA lists as one of their accomplishments the successful effort in the 1950s to thwart attempts to require defined contribution plans to annuitize their payouts? Why hasn't this been a part of every story trumpeting the claim that there's a "need" to offer income stream products (read "annuities") in defined contribution plans? What's the difference between today and 60 years ago? Shouldn't that be part of the ongoing narrative?

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