This year, for the first time ever, assets housed in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans worldwide will be larger than assets held in traditional defined benefit (DB) pension plans around the world, says Kristi Mitchem of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA).
DC assets—such as those held in 401(k)s and other participant-driven retirement savings vehicles—will “surpass DB as the global retirement savings vehicle,” Mitchem told a New York City press gathering, “with DC assets increasing to 52 percent of all retirement assets in 2012.”
Mitchem, a former BlackRock managing director who became senior managing director and global head for SSgA defined contribution business in June of 2010, spoke with eFinancialCareers after the press conference and provided this piece of news.
State Street is Hiring for its Defined Contributions Practice
State Street is indeed hiring for its DC practice, and it is looking for people whose knowledge of the retirement universe goes beyond mere investment prowess and incorporates the nuances of plan participant behavior, she told eFinancialCareers.
These days, it’s become vital for financial services professionals working with employers and retirement plan participants themselves to not be perceived as deliverers of incomprehensible investment information and obtuse plan literature. Participants are demonstrating that not only are they not altogether confident they’re on the right track with their retirement savings approach, but also that they’re often confused by or ignorant of how their plans work.
When it comes to the job search, Mitchem emphasized that professionals in the retirement community today—and certainly those SSgA would most like to add to its own team of experts—“can’t be [someone who is] solely about investments.”
“Yes, we are hiring in DC,” she said. And—given the importance of plan design and related factors such as automatic escalation and plan participation rates—SSgA is seeking “experience not just with financial concepts but with the behavioral aspects that drive success” insofar as whether plan participants will reach their retirement goals.
Here's Who They're Looking For
So, what kinds of job candidates are being sought these days for DC-focused positions? A quick search turns up demand for:
- A “Defined Contribution-Only” Investment Analyst sought by a major mutual fund firm seeking someone with the ability to package information for compliance reviews and do comparative analyses of employer fund line ups;
- A Senior Defined Contribution Analyst who can assist with preparing monthly and quarterly performance reports for an accounting and consulting firm;
- An Internal Client Advisor for Defined Contribution Investment Solutions at a major Wall Street bank, which seeks someone with a minimum of a year in the retirement business and someone with the ability to drive sales results and build relationships across the organization. And finally:
- State Street Corp itself is advertising on its Web site for a Performance Measurement Analyst and Senior Associate with two-plus years of financial or investment services experience, where performance measurement experience is a plus. The position requires a strong understanding of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans.