News Release

NASD Unveils Innovative 401(k) Learning Center

Washington, DC — NASD today launched its Smart 401(k) Investing online learning center. The learning center pulls together the most critical information on 401(k) plans and outlines the different options and special features that should be considered when investing in 401(k) plans.

NASD launched Smart 401(k) Investing to help the more than 47 million 401(k) plan participants to better understand their plans and other retirement options and to educate those who may not yet have begun to save for retirement.

Whether an investor is just starting out or has already retired, Smart 401(k) Investing has the information needed to understand 401(k) plans. Smart 401(k) Investing guides investors through the process of enrolling and managing a 401(k) account and answers questions about everything from 401(k) investment options to asset allocation and diversification, from moving a 401(k) when changing jobs to handling withdrawals after retirement. It also provides a number of interactive tools, including a Minimum Required Distribution Calculator that allows the user to quickly calculate the amount of money the law requires investors to withdraw from their 401(k), or traditional IRA by April 1st of the year following the year they turn 70 1/2. By simply inputting the investor's age and account balance, the calculator determines the required withdrawal factor, minimum required distribution (MRD), and the required rate of return needed for the next year to maintain an account balance following a withdrawal.

"There is no doubt that 401(k) assets are an integral part of retirement income for millions of Americans and so the choices that investors make in managing and investing their 401(k) assets are critically important," said Mary L. Schapiro, NASD Vice Chairman and President of Regulatory Policy and Oversight. "The information in Smart 401(k) Investing can help make the decision process easier by offering clear and concise information about 401(k) investing."

Smart 401(k) Investing is the second in NASD's Smart Investing series. The Smart Investing series offers comprehensive information plainly, simply, and without bias to help investors reach their goals. The first in the series - Smart Saving for College - helps families better understand 529 plans and other college savings options.

NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at