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Scores of lawsuits have pushed retirement plan sponsors to shorter, easier-to-navigate menus, but – as Ian Ayres and Quinn Curtis argue in this work – we’ve only scratched the surface of retirement plan design. Using participant-level plan data and straightforward tests, Ayres and Curtis show how plan sponsors can monitor plans for likely allocation mistakes and adapt menus to encourage success. Beginning with an overview of the problem of high costs and the first empirical evidence on retirement plan fee lawsuits, they offer an overview of the current plan landscape. They then show, based on reforms to a real plan, how streamlining menus, eliminating pitfalls, and adopting static and dynamic limits on participant allocations to certain risky assets or “guardrails” can reduce mistakes and lead to better retirement outcomes. Focusing on plausible, easy-to-implement interventions, Retirement Guardrails shows that fiduciaries need not be limited to screening out funds but can design menus to actively promote good choices.
Conspicuous consumption and display were central to the Residents’ representational strategies at court. Britons in India are often assumed to have dismissed gift-giving as mere bribery and regarded regal pageantry as empty spectacle; in fact, the opposite is true. Residents were very aware of the symbolism of gifts and their efficacy at securing relationships both vertically and horizontally; this awareness is clearly manifest in their efforts to monitor and regulate these exchanges at court. The attempt on the part of the Company to impose a rigid, contractual framework on gift-giving was therefore not a sign of ignorance or disregard, nor was it simply an attempt to preclude corruption at court. By situating these debates within wider disagreements about the Residents’ expense claims, it becomes clear that there were other, more abstract issues at stake. These squabbles about money were a product of ambivalent attitudes about conspicuous consumption and display and reflect serious differences of opinion regarding the basis of the Company’s legitimacy in India.
In Chapter 4, some of the tax obstacles arising in the cross-border movement of companies were examined, the emphasis being firstly on direct investment. It was reiterated that EU law does not impose any immediate obligations on Member States on how to structure their corporate tax systems in terms of rates, taxable base, depreciation and so on. What EU law does is to prevent Member States from imposing rules that hinder a domestic company from carrying on its business in another Member State (home State obstacles), or rules that hinder a non-resident company from carrying on its business in a similar way to domestic companies (host State obstacles). As far as companies were concerned, issues such as expenses in foreign holdings and cross-border loss relief were considered. As far as permanent establishments are concerned, apart from different treatment compared to subsidiaries, issues such as loss relief, notional expenses, attribution of profits were examined.
This paper reviews the market structure of the U.K. with-profits life insurance market and the potential effect on how life insurers operate. We consider the competitiveness of the market, quantifying the increase in the degree of concentration since 2000, and establishing that inherited estates may offer some protection from competition for incumbent firms. However, there is a significant degree of mobility in market positions of leading firms. Analysis of costs indicates some large differences between firms, with larger firms experiencing lower cost ratios, indicative of economies of scale. There are some marked differences in insurers' prices, the data showing that charges tend to be lower on unit-linked than on with-profits policies. The paper suggests that while there are potential concerns about how the market operates for consumers, the impact is limited by the dramatic reduction in new with-profits business.