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E77 - How Ted Benna Invented the 401k - Asym Capital

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E77 – How Ted Benna Invented the 401k

While coming into 2019, take a look at all the previous inventions and technology that has made present life as it is. Could you recall who invented most of these modern features? You probably couldn’t, due to the overwhelming amount of inventors that have contributed beneficial innovations throughout the centuries. One of these inventions you may use through your employer is the 401(k) plan. The 401(k) has become the United States’s most popular retirement vehicle with more than $15 trillion invested in them. Today, we are lucky enough to have the inventor of the 401(k) as a guest to explain how he made this vehicle work and gained IRS approval.

Our guest for today is Ted Benna who is commonly referred to as the “father of the 401(k)” because he created and gained IRS approval of the very first 401(k) savings plan. Ted has received many citations for his accomplishments including a 2001 National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, he was one of eight individuals selected by Money Magazine for its special 20th Anniversary Hall of Fame Issue, he was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by Defined Contribution News in 2005, and many more similarly prestigious awards. Ted has authored four books as well, with the latest being 401(k) for Dummies.


Today we are going to discuss…

  • How our guest figured out the tax law that allowed for a 401(k) contribution plan
  • How our guest was able to overcome his fear, “Why would he be able to figure something out that the top financial firms in the US couldn’t”
  • How he dealt with the legal challenges, and what made him confident enough to put a significant amount of money in the first 401(k)
  • How much the industry has changed since its inception and what problems he sees in the 401(k) industry currently


Learn more about our guest:
Books: Amazon