Sponsors of Taft-Hartley plans, the retirement vehicles of labor unions, are now placing greater emphasis on the defined contribution (DC) component of their programs. As persistently low interest rates have depressed pension fund returns, unions that sponsor Taft-Hartleys—which have traditionally been defined benefit (DB) plans—are calling for their members to also start saving for themselves in order to ensure sufficient retirement income by virtue of the additional assets they set aside. 

As the Taft-Hartley DC market continues to grow, some providers and consultants are moving to cover the space more aggressively, offering more services, beefing up their existing dedicated groups or building new Taft-Hartley teams from scratch.

According to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data conducted by research provider Retirement Research, at year’s-end 2014 the total size of the Taft-Hartley market’s DB component—consisting of some 1,400 plans and 10.5 million participants—stood at approximately....

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