According to Cerulli Associates, 2017 is likely to be the year for development — of qualified default investment alternative structures and improved flexibility in retirement income.

Those findings are in "The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Retirement Edition," which reports that the defined contribution industry will be working to up its game this year to satisfy the requirements of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule—even though the fate of the rule is still up in the air.

Plan sponsors and service providers, it says, are looking at QDIAs, approaches to retirement income and the role of third-party administrators with an eye toward the future.

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