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John Carl, Retirement Learning Center Founder, Dies

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John Carl, founder and president of Retirement Learning Center, died Saturday. He was 54.

“With deep regret and sadness, we must announce the passing of our colleague and dear friend John Carl,” Jenny Kiffmeyer, chief operating officer at the Center, said in a LinkedIn post late Sunday.

Carl “passed away unexpectedly at his home in Pound Ridge, NY,” Kiffmeyer said. “During this sad time, please remember John’s wife, Viveka, and his sons Jack and Harrison, in your prayers and thoughts.”

Carl hosted The Retirement Spectrum podcast.

A preeminent thought leader on retirement issues, Carl was also the executive director of the PLANSPONSOR Institute, the education and training arm of PLANSPONSOR, as well as founding lecturer of The Retirement Advisor University (TRAU) at UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education.

Carl also served on the Government Affairs Committee for the National Association of Plan Advisors.

A 25-year veteran of the retirement industry, Carl’s extensive experience included running Alliance Capital’s Defined Contribution initiative and directing Global Product Management for the firm, his bio on the Retirement Learning Center’s website states.

Carl also created and managed the state of Rhode Island’s 529 savings plan, CollegeBoundFund, and was a branch and regional sales manager for Prudential Securities as well as an independent financial advisor.

Carl spoke in a Wealth Compliance Leaders videocast in December 2021, conducted by InvestorCOM, in which he stated that “rollover is not a bad word,” and discussed broker-dealer and advisor compliance with the Labor Department’s fiduciary prohibited transaction exemption, PTE 2020-02, Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees.

Industry officials and members of the advisory community were quick to weigh in with their condolences and fond memories of Carl.

“John made a real impact — and he was a good friend,” Nevin Adams, chief content officer at American Retirement Association, commented on LinkedIn. “Glad I got to see him at the 401k Summit a couple of weeks back — just wish I’d had more time then. Safe journey, my friend…”


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