At a time of high 401(k) fees, traditional pensions facing extinction and mounting concern about the nation's retirement readiness, a newer style cash balance plan could breathe life into so-called hybrid retirement savings vehicles.

Market-return cash balance plans may represent the best possible compromise for employers and advisers who are leery of embracing a solution associated with defined benefit plans, which are facing extinction. These plans more closely resemble the DC model than traditional cash balance plans, which first merged DC and DB plan elements more than 30 years ago. Given this fact, they could be seen as a more realistic alternative to a languishing system.

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