Top of Mind


17

Oct 2019

Small Balance Cash-Outs: The One Provision that Doesn’t Make Sense

Does your retirement plan have a mandatory cash-out provision for account balances of $5,000 or less, where terminated employees automatically receive a distribution unless they elect otherwise? This provision, when properly administered, greatly minimizes the number of missing participants in a pla…

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10

Oct 2019

The Competition for Retirement Savings Dollars

In order to increase participation and savings rates in their retirement plans, plan sponsors need to figure out why people don’t save - and then provide solutions to address that problem. Identifying the problem is easy; just about every survey I’ve seen has stated that the number one participant …

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03

Oct 2019

How a Financial Wellness Expo Became the Hottest Ticket in Town

One of the biggest challenges for financial wellness programs is engaging employees. But what if I told you that one plan sponsor figured out how to pack a convention center with 3,000 people for a financial wellness expo? Yes, that is not a typo: three thousand people! This is not some retirement p…

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26

Sep 2019

What I Learned from Reading My Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure

I have a confession to make: While I have written extensively on annual participant fee disclosures for retirement plans, I have never read the participant fee disclosure for my own plan! It’s a little embarrassing, given that I work in the retirement plan industry, but to me, the idea of reading a…

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19

Sep 2019

Retirement Savings Clichés

Having been in this business nearly 28 years, I have heard almost every retirement savings cliché that there is. While some have validity, others do not. Let’s take a look at the more popular retirement savings clichés and see if they should hang around or be “retired,” themselves: “Pay yourself fi…

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12

Sep 2019

Retirement, Financial Wellness, and the Power of Simplicity

One of my favorite personal finance bloggers, J. Money, recently wrote a piece on the Beauty of Simplicity, that, in my opinion, should be required reading for pretty much everyone - and particularly for retirement plan sponsors. Why? Because we often make the participant experience far too complica…

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05

Sep 2019

Top of Mind Mailbag: The Roth Conundrum

On occasion, a Top of Mind blog post generates so many reader comments that it is worth sharing. This was the case with our recent piece on the Roth Conundrum. Below are some of the comments we received in our “mailbag”: One email addressed the potential future changes in tax law:“Great read on Rot…

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29

Aug 2019

Vacation and Retirement

As I was enjoying my recent vacation, I thought about some of the articles I have seen indicating that retirement is very different than vacation. However, if retirement is not like vacation (in the sense that vacation is far more favorable to working), then why retire? Don’t get me wrong, I thorou…

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22

Aug 2019

The Roth Conundrum

With Roth utilization at next-to-nil levels in many retirement plans, the Roth marketing machine appears to have hit overdrive, as hardly a day goes by without an article touting the fantastic benefits of Roth contributions, as opposed to traditional 403(b)/401(k)/457(b) pre-tax deferrals. But is R…

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15

Aug 2019

Random Nuggets I’ve Learned From the Internet

One of the benefits of scanning the internet for content is that, even after nearly 28 years in the business, I still learn an amazing amount of new things about retirement. So, I thought it might be prudent to start a new feature in Top of Mind to share this wisdom with you - we’ll call it “Random …

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