Alumni Profile - Keith Paris
Once upon a time, this was a typical job scenario: You’d work for one company for forty plus years and then retire with a nice pension. As a vice president and client relationship manager for Merrill Lynch’s Retirement Group, Keith Paris, ’87, is something of an expert on how that once-upon-a-time world has changed into something quite different.
Paris, who graduated from Hillyer College and then continued at the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business, helps his corporate clients set up financial retirement programs for their employees. Thinking about financial planning for retirement is a lot more confusing for my generation, he says.
Corporations have moved away from pensions which were entirely company paid, Paris says, to 401 (k) plans that require a typical employee to not only make financial contributions to his or her plan, but also to make decisions about specific investments within that plan. The onus for the nest egg at the end of employment has shifted from the employer onto the employee.
It’s becoming increasingly necessary, Paris says, that investment firms like Merrill Lynch help their corporate clients create retirement programs that assist employees in understanding their 401 (k) investment options. You have this complex landscape of mutual funds and investment alternatives. Sometimes there may be as many as 20 different investment options. A lot of employees may not read a prospectus, know how to properly diversity their funds, or know what to choose to meet their retirement goals. So access to advice for employees is very important.