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19

Nov 2020

Plan Termination or Merger?

Whether an organization is looking to scale back the number of defined contribution retirement plans it maintains in order to simplify administration, or is forced to do so due to a merger or acquisition, understanding the difference between types of plan terminations is important. In some situation…

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12

Nov 2020

The Final ESG Rule: What Happened?

A funny thing happened on October 30th when the Department of Labor issued what was to be its final ESG Rule, after the proposed rule was issued on June 23rd. The final rule, which was only eight pages long (after 140 pages of responses to comments from the public), contained no mentions of the term…

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05

Nov 2020

SECURE Act: The Sequel

While I typically don’t write about proposed retirement plan legislation, since bills can take a long time to become law and provisions can change dramatically, I am making an exception for the latest piece of retirement plan legislation, which was introduced on October 27, 2020 by the chair of the …

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29

Oct 2020

Tips for Improving Next Year’s Form 5500 Process

For many ERISA retirement plan sponsors, the first two weeks in October is rough. Why? Because October 15th is the 5500-filing deadline for the majority of calendar year plans. Each year, many plan sponsors scramble to file their 5500s at the absolute last moment. Unfortunately, this rush can increa…

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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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