It is something of a tradition this time of year to look back, to reminiscence about past events and lessons learned, and sometimes to look ahead. Here are some insights from columns past that should help lay the groundwork for a productive and prosperous 2016.
Things Everyone Who Works With/For Retirement Plans Should Know
15 Retirement Plan Points to Ponder
Working with retirement plans is a complicated, challenging, and constantly changing process. That said, there are certain constants — and things that bear repeating and/or reconsidering from time to time. Here are a few points to ponder from my list of “constants.”
Ours is a complex and complicated business — constantly changing and evolving. And yet, there are key fallacies about today’s retirement system — and how it compares with what used to be — that will not go away.
Here are three myths about retirement that (mostly) aren’t perpetuated by those who actually work with retirement plans, but by academics.
When I’m out on the road speaking to various groups, I’m often asked to try and explain what’s going on in Washington.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report titled with its conclusion: “Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings.”
One of the most valuable skills in my profession — and perhaps in any profession — is an ability to discern trends early.
When is a plan not a plan? When you have a retirement plan at work, apparently.
Time marches on, and each generation comes to the workplace with its own unique set of experiences and expectations.
Things Plan Sponsors Should Know
Why did your plan sponsor clients hire you? Why do they retain your services?
As I talk to retirement plan advisors and plan sponsors around the country, there seem to be three camps of thought on the Labor Department’s fiduciary reproposal.
It’s obvious why participants have a vested interest (literally) in the retirement income — the outcome, really — of their retirement savings plans. Here are four reasons why plan sponsors should care about outcomes.
People who don’t have access to a plan at work don’t save for retirement. Here’s why small business owners should care.
For those of you who find yourself starting the year with new plan sponsor clients, or new members of the plan committee, or perhaps even incumbents who could benefit from some New Year’s resolutions, here’s five things every plan sponsor should know.
Things Plan Fiduciaries Should Know
When it comes to ERISA fiduciaries, there are three kinds of people: those who are one and know it, those who aren’t and know it, and those who are and don’t know it.
There is frequently a difference between doing all that the law requires of a plan sponsor and doing everything that could be done.
The Five Ws (or as they are sometimes called, Five W’s and one H) are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering in a variety of settings.
Things Investment Committees Should Know
As the quarter draws to a close and preparations for investment committee meetings get underway, here are some questions that could enhance the discussion, if not the outcome, of your next meeting.
While the defendants in Tibble v. Edison International apparently made a number of mistakes, they also did a number of things right.
Things to Know About Plan Administration
The headlines are all about revenue-sharing, conflicts of interest and statutes of limitation — but the things that are likely to get plans and plan sponsors in trouble are a lot more mundane.
There are a lot of big and complicated decisions associated with running a retirement plan. And then there are the “little” ones that turn out to be not-so-little, and far more common than you might think.
Things to Know About Plan Design
In a remarkably short period of time, target-date funds have become an integral component of the typical 401(k) menu, and a growing share of 401(k) plan assets — particularly those of newly hired 401(k) plan participants — are being directed to TDFs.
A frequent commentary on today’s plan designs is that they are more focused on accumulation than the eventual spend-down of those savings.
Current data suggests that, while automatic enrollment adoption has certainly had a positive impact on retirement outcomes, we’re not getting as much mileage from it as we might.
A growing number of retirement plan participants — and retirement plan assets — are being invested in the default option selected for the plan.
Advisors and providers often talk about the “ideal” plan — but ideal for what?
Things to Know About Changing Providers
If you have a plan sponsor — or plan sponsor prospect — who’s thinking about shopping for a new provider, here’s a list they may find useful.
Aside from all the general information that you’ll want to get from every provider during the RFP process, there are some questions that aren’t in every RFP — but to which the answers can be enlightening.
By most industry estimates, approximately 10% of plans change providers every year.
Things Participants (and Non-Participants) Should Know
Our industry spends a lot of time and money educating workers about the advantages and mechanics of saving for retirement. But here are six things I think too often go unsaid.
Several weeks back, I wrote a column entitled, “5 Things Millennials Need to Know About Saving for Retirement.” But what about those at the brink of retirement?
Retirement seems a long time off for Millennials, many of whom will have to finance retirements that are actually longer than their working careers. Here are five things worth knowing about saving for retirement now.
It’s one thing to help people who are saving for retirement make better decisions — but what about those who aren’t?
Beyond the tax advantages to saving for retirement on a pre-tax basis, the ability to watch those savings grow without paying taxes until they are actually withdrawn, there is another savings incentive with which many are not as familiar.
By now, you’ve heard — and perhaps dispensed — what appears to be the “common wisdom” about the recent market tumult: “stay the course,” “ride it out,” and my personal favorite, “don’t just do something, stand there.”
While retirement and retirement savings may not be high on your Independence Day weekend agenda, it can be a good time to focus on things that have been pushed aside for more pressing priorities.
For all the graduates out there, here are some things I wish I had known when I entered the workforce.