Participant Lawsuits Against 401(k) Plans

December 4th, 2019

Companies strive to do their best to avoid situations that could lead to participant lawsuits against 401(k) plans. Part of that is using prudent processes in the plan.

Since the inception of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the prudent person rule has provided a good rule of thumb. To paraphrase, it states that an appropriate decision is one that a prudent person, with similar skill and circumstances, would make. It does lack Read the rest of this entry »

December Checklist

December 2nd, 2019

  • Prepare to send year-end payroll and updated census data to the plan’s recordkeeper in January for year-end compliance testing (calendar-year plans).
  • Verify that participants who terminated during the second half of the year selected a distribution option for their account balance and returned the necessary
  • Review plan operations to determine if any ERISA or tax-qualification violations occurred during the year and if using an IRS or DOL self-correction program would be appropriate.

Consult your plan’s financial, legal, or tax advisor regarding these and other items that may apply to your plan.

 

Financial Planning For The Unexpected

November 20th, 2019

Crisis management: Planning your finances before the unpredictable happens.

Ever been in a situation where you think you are finally doing well, your finances seem to be coming together and you start to have a positive outlook on your financial future? And then – wham! – the unpredictable or the unexpected knocks you back to square one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Money Conversations

November 14th, 2019

When you are in a close relationship, it can be easy to put off talking about money with your partner. Even if you’re anxious about your financial situation, it’s important to be open to discussing it.

It is possible to work toward multiple goals at once, such as saving for retirement and paying down student debt, but both partners need to be on the same page. Just because the conversation may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

Clever Tactics To Help Employees Achieve Retirement Success

November 10th, 2019

Behavioral finance strategies improve the odds.

Applying a few innovative moves in your 401(k) plan could result in increased retirement savings for your employees. That’s because, when it comes to money, subconscious perceptions can torpedo a plan participant’s success.

Applying behavioral finance principles may help employees overcome obstacles that often keep them from making rational financial decisions. Here are a few financial behaviors that could be sabotaging employee retirement savings, along with ideas from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) that may serve to counter them. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lowdown on Health Savings Accounts

November 9th, 2019

With longer life spans come extended healthcare needs — and significantly more dollars required to pay for them.

It’s more likely today that you’ll live longer than your grandparents did. The flip side is that you may spend far more on doctors’ bills and treatment for chronic illnesses than previous generations. With healthcare costs continuing to rise along with life expectancies, health savings accounts (HSAs) are an increasingly popular way to bridge the retirement and health savings gap.

Most retirees are under funding their future healthcare needs Read the rest of this entry »

2018 Success…and Turbulence

November 7th, 2019

The assumption when plan sponsors began to include auto features in their 401(k) plans was that participation rates and deferral amounts would increase — but no one knew for sure. As time has passed, it appears the assumption was good: auto-enrollment and auto-increases have had very positive results overall.

Plans that include auto-enrollment enjoy an average participation rate that is nearly double that of plans not using this feature: 85.6% participate in plans that include auto-enrollment, compared to 43.7% for those without. Even better, more than one-third (37%) of plans using auto-enrollment have a default deferral rate of 6% or higher.

Read the rest of this entry »

Student Debt Putting Retirement Planning on Hold?

November 5th, 2019

Near-retirees and mid-career workers feeling similar stress as recent college grads

There’s no doubt that the rising cost of college is putting lots of financial stress on American workers. Frequently, the cost of a 4-year private university is more than the average cost of a home in most areas of the country. Here is a snapshot of the student-loan landscape, along with some suggestions for what to do if you’re feeling the pinch. Read the rest of this entry »

November Checklist for Plan Sponsors

October 24th, 2019

  • Prepare to issue a payroll stuffer or other announcement to employees to publicize the plan’s advantages and benefits, and any plan changes becoming effective in
  • Conduct a campaign to encourage participants to review and, if necessary, update their mailing addresses to ensure their receipt of Form 1099-R to be mailed in January for reportable plan transactions in
  • Check current editions of enrollment materials, fund prospectuses and other plan information that is available to employees to ensure that they are up-to-date.

Financial Term To Know: Beta

October 22nd, 2019

In finance and investments, beta is a measurement of whether an investment is more or less volatile than the market as a whole. An investment with beta of one moves exactly in line with the market. An investment with beta less than one is less volatile than the market, while an investment with beta greater than one is more volatile than the market.

You can use beta as part of a range of criteria to choose investments that match your specific goals, time horizon, and risk preferences.