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Things to Know for the Year(s) Ahead

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.”

3 Pervasive Retirement Industry Myths

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.

3 (More) Pervasive Retirement Myths — an Academic Perspective

Here are three myths about retirement that (mostly) aren’t perpetuated by those who actually work with retirement plans, but by academics.

13 Things ‘Those People’ in Washington Need to Know

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.

5 Things You Need to Know About Retirement Readiness

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report titled with its conclusion: “Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings.”

4 Ways to Tell a Fad from a Trend

One of the most valuable skills in my profession — and perhaps in any profession — is an ability to discern trends early.

3 Things Learned About Retirement Plans and Plans for Retirement

When is a plan not a plan? When you have a retirement plan at work, apparently.

10 Ways the Class of 2019’s 401(k) Will Be Different

Time marches on, and each generation comes to the workplace with its own unique set of experiences and expectations.

Things Plan Sponsors Should Know

4 Things Your Plan Sponsor Clients Should Know About Advisors

Why did your plan sponsor clients hire you? Why do they retain your services?

4 Reasons Why Plan Sponsors Should Care About the Fiduciary Proposal

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.

4 Reasons Why Plan Sponsors Should Care About Outcomes

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.

5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Should Offer a Retirement Plan

People who don’t have access to a plan at work don’t save for retirement. Here’s why small business owners should care.

5 Things Plan Sponsors Should Know

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

7 Things Every ERISA Fiduciary 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.

5 Things Plan Sponsors Don’t (Always) Do — But Should

There is frequently a difference between doing all that the law requires of a plan sponsor and doing everything that could be done.

The 5 W’s: A New Plan Fiduciary Perspective

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

6 Questions to Ask at Your Next Investment Committee Meeting

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.

5 Investment Committee Lessons Learned From Tibble

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

7 Common Retirement Plan Mistakes

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.

5 ‘Little’ Things That Can Become Big 401(k) Problems

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

5 Things You Should Know About Target-Date Funds

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.

5 Reasons Why More Plans Don’t Offer Retirement Income Options

A frequent commentary on today’s plan designs is that they are more focused on accumulation than the eventual spend-down of those savings.

3 Things You Should Know About Automatic Enrollment

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.

4 Things You Need to Know About Default Funds

A growing number of retirement plan participants — and retirement plan assets — are being invested in the default option selected for the plan.

Why the ‘Ideal’ Plan Isn’t (Always)

Advisors and providers often talk about the “ideal” plan — but ideal for what?

Things to Know About Changing Providers

6 Tips on Shopping for a Provider

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.

6 Questions For Your Next 401(k) RFP

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.

3 Things Plan Sponsors Should Know About Changing Providers

By most industry estimates, approximately 10% of plans change providers every year.

Things Participants (and Non-Participants) Should Know

6 Things 401(k) Participants Need to 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.

6 Things Boomers Need to Know About Saving for Retirement

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?

5 Things Millennials Need to Know About Saving for 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.

4 Things You Need to Know If You’re Not Saving for Retirement

It’s one thing to help people who are saving for retirement make better decisions — but what about those who aren’t?

7 Things You May Not Know About the Saver’s Credit (and 4 You Should)

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.

5 Things You Can Do After a Market Correction

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.”

4 Steps Toward Financial Independence

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.

13 Things You Probably Didn’t Learn in School

For all the graduates out there, here are some things I wish I had known when I entered the workforce.