While some people justifiably claim that the defined contribution/401(k) market is mature, there's a school of thought that believes the market is about to go through radical changes. Primarily, a broad-based realization that DC plans will become the main retirement vehicle for the post-baby boom generation, causing greater scrutiny, focus and hopefully innovation for all involved.

Technology will affect how participants interact with advisers, record keepers and plan sponsors, as well as change the face of record keeping infrastructure and managed accounts. Advisers, broker dealers, record keepers and DCiO firms that innovate their way to their own "blue ocean" strategies will avoid the current tsunami of price compression caused by the perception of commoditization, and in the process separate themselves into a super-elite category. Here are some predictions for 2012.

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