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Why Your 401(k) Plan Isn't Free: The Cost of Protection & Innovation & Trains Running on Time
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Episode Guest:

Edmund F. Murphy III
Empower Retirement
The podcast series where employers find candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. 
Recap, highlights, and my thoughts

With the continued focus on fees in workplace retirement plans I thought it might be good to pivot the conversation and tackle some of the realities around the what actually goes into running a successful and compliant plan.  To add some muscle to the conversation I have Ed Murphy, President of Empower Retirement.  Ed and his team are responsible for over 30,000 of thousands of retirement plans and over 8 million participants.  Our conversation ranges from what it takes to keep the proverbial trains running on time, why scale is important in retirement services, how they predict where the puck is going to allocate discretionary spending, and much more.  I learned a lot during our conversation and hopefully this will provide you with some helpful perspective when you face the inevitable questions about your retirement plan fees.  


Before we get started, we have some exciting new episodes in store where tackle where 401(k) fits in your open enrollment strategy, is financial wellness working, trends in target date funds, input on employer attitudes about retirement plans and much more.  However, we definitely want your feedback on other topics to pursue. When you have a suggestion for a guest or topic please just shoot us an email to  We will take it from there.  


A quick note, it did take me one or two questions to get warmed up, so give me a minute you don’t want to miss some of the great insights Ed shares.  Enjoy!

Thanks for listening! 

Sincerely Your Host, 

Rick Unser

Guest Bio

Edmund (Ed) Murphy provides leadership and strategic direction for Empower Retirement’s 5,000 associates.1 He directs all defined contribution, defined benefit, institutional and IRA markets. He also oversees all sales, marketing and global operations.

Ed brings 30 years of broad industry experience to his role. Before his 2014 appointment as President of Empower, he had served as Managing Director of the Defined Contribution and Investment Only business at Putnam Investments since 2009. He joined the firm’s operating committee in 2011.

Previously, Ed held executive leadership roles for 17 years at Fidelity Investments in its institutional, private equity and retail businesses. He also served as President and CEO of Veritude, LLC, as well as a board member of BostonCoach, Advisor Technology Services, Seaport Hotel, World Trade Center and several other Fidelity-owned businesses. Earlier, he spent six years at Merrill Lynch.

Ed has written articles on retirement-related matters and has testified in Washington, D.C., before the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has also testified before the Department of Labor, the Treasury Department and the IRS. He speaks on topics ranging from investment advice to lifetime income solutions for retirees.

Ed is a board member of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Cristo Rey School, Boston College Wall Street Council and the New England Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Ed is a graduate of the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School.

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