Top of Mind


22

Oct 2020

SECURE Act Refresher

Although it was signed into law on December 20, 2019, it seems like a decade ago that the SECURE Act was headline news. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the flurry of legislative and regulatory activity in 2020, some plan sponsors have likely forgotten what was, at the time, the first piece of reti…

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15

Oct 2020

Should Retirement Plan Sponsors Be Limiting Plan Loans?

As I have written in the past, I am not a fan of retirement plan loan overutilization, for a variety of reasons. However, loan regulations clearly provide plan sponsors with a great deal of flexibility in this area, including the ability to be overly permissive, quite restrictive, or somewhere in be…

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08

Oct 2020

Retirement/Financial Wellness Adages That May Not Be Helpful

A recent Forbes article indicated that the new retirement income annuity projections mandated by the SECURE Act, which are intended to encourage retirement savings, might have the opposite effect. For example, if a participant realizes that their $125,000 retirement account balance can only purchase…

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01

Oct 2020

Why Grandfathering Can Backfire

On paper, grandfathering often sounds like a good idea when a retirement plan change might be perceived by existing employees as being a negative. Implementing auto-enrollment? Let’s not disrupt existing employees and only auto-enroll new ones. Cutting back on employer contributions due to COVID-19?…

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24

Sep 2020

Helping Those Who Can’t Afford to Save for Retirement (or Anything Else)

The number one reason given by people who don’t save for retirement is that they cannot afford it. And, for some people, this is truly the case; their income is so low, relative to necessary expenses, that they are unable to save at all. For these individuals, Social Security provides a decent safet…

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17

Sep 2020

Why "Six is the New Three" When It Comes to Automatic Enrollment

At last month’s Retirement Advisor Council annual meeting, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session about participant retirement readiness, where Joe Smith made the statement: “six is the new three” when it comes to automatic enrollment. While I tend to be a sucker for snappy catch phrases, her…

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10

Sep 2020

Young People, Financial Wellness, and Some Interesting Survey Data

Many retirement plan sponsors are aware that financial wellness/independence is a powerful benefit that should be strongly considered or enhanced. Generally, employees who are more financially healthy are able to save more for retirement (and other purposes). And, thanks to the magic of compounding,…

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20

Aug 2020

How Successful is Your Retirement Plan? Ask This Simple Question

There are many ways to measure the success of a retirement plan - from simple methods such as assessing plan asset growth, average account balance, and voluntary participation percentage metrics, to more complicated approaches like monitoring the percentage of participants on track to accumulate eno…

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13

Aug 2020

Participant Engagement: Determining Your Audience’s Preferences

One of the challenges associated with successfully engaging retirement plan participants is figuring out your audience’s preferences. Let’s take myself as an example, ignoring the fact that I work in the retirement plan industry for a moment. As a 50-something Gen Xer, my plan’s recordkeeper/TPA mi…

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06

Aug 2020

More Questionable Retirement Plan Features

In a recent Top of Mind, and in our latest webinar, we shared some questionable plan features that came back to haunt retirement plan sponsors during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are plenty of other questionable plan features that all too many plan sponsors adopt that can greatly increase plan a…

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