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Resources

Does Your Retirement Plan Stand out From the Crowd?

With more than two-thirds of American workers having access to a retirement plan, employees and job seekers have come to expect one as part of their benefits package. That means it’s more important than ever to make sure your offering differentiates your organization from the competition. Whether you’re looking to deepen your bench by attracting top talent or retain the valued employees you have, evaluate if your retirement benefit is enough to move the needle. Workers Want Financial Wellness…

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DOL Updates Guidance on Auditor Independence for Retirement Plan Engagements

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released an Interpretive Bulletin that updates guidance on audits of benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The updated guidelines are intended to help determine when a qualified public accountant is independent for the purpose of auditing and rendering an opinion on the Form 5500. With the new guidance, DOL removes what it describes as certain “outdated and unnecessarily restrictive provisions” and reorganizes other provisions for clarity. While offering…

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FAFSA Opens on October 1

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2023-2024 school year opens on October 1, 2022. Here are some things you should know. Why file it? The FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal student loans, grants, and work-study. In addition, colleges typically require the FAFSA before distributing their own need-based aid and, in some cases, merit-based aid. The few hours it might take to complete the form may be time well spent in order for students to…

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Famous People Who Died Without Proper Planning

The importance of proper estate planning cannot be overstated, regardless of the size of your estate or the stage of life you’re in. Nevertheless, it’s surprising how many American adults haven’t put a plan in place. You might think that those who are rich and famous would be way ahead of the curve when it comes to planning their estates properly. Yet plenty of celebrities and people of note have died with inadequate or nonexistent estate plans. Michael Jackson…

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Retirement Savings in a Volatile Market

If you worry about your retirement investments during market downturns, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, emotions are often the enemy of sound investing. Here are some points to help you stay clear-headed during periods of market volatility. Markets Rebound Historically, even the worst bear market has bounced back and eventually gone on to reach new highs. In fact, since 1970, bear markets have lasted an average of 14 months. A Chance to Buy Low If you’re investing a set amount…

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U.S. Deficit Lower for Now

After record federal budget deficits of $3.1 trillion in 2020 and $2.8 trillion in 2021, the 2022 deficit is projected to drop to $1.0 trillion, due to increased tax revenue from a stronger economy and the end of government pandemic-relief spending. These deficits are equivalent to 15.0%, 12.4%, and 4.2% of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively. For comparison, the deficit averaged 3.5% of GDP over the last 50 years. The deficit is expected to drop further in 2023 before…

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Building Financial Resilience

Inflation, roller-coaster markets, global events, and life circumstances can test anyone’s fortitude. You may not feel ready to handle these pressure-filled times and might worry about the potential effects on your financial well-being. Fortunately, you can take steps to build the resilience you need to help handle the turbulence and hopefully emerge even stronger. Focus on the Foundation Developing a new budget or reviewing an existing one may help reduce stress by reminding you that you still have control…

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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

Throughout your life, your financial needs will change and life insurance can help you meet some of those needs. But how much life insurance do you need? There are a number of approaches to help determine how much life insurance you should have. Here are three of those methods. Family Needs Approach With this approach, you divide your family’s financial needs into three main categories: Immediate needs at death, such as cash needed for estate taxes and settlement costs,…

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How Are 401(k) Plan Participants Investing Their Money?

Created in 1996, National 401(k) Day has historically been celebrated on the Friday following Labor Day to shine a spotlight on this important employee benefit. Since the late 1990s, plans have evolved substantially, and most participants can now choose from a diverse variety of investments. The chart below shows how 401(k) and profit-sharing funds were invested in 2020. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be…

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Revenue Sharing Decisions

As a result of the significant rise in revenue sharing litigation it behooves plan fiduciaries to confirm and document the prudence and appropriateness of any revenue sharing arrangement. Revenue sharing is the sharing of fees from one service provider (e.g., an investment fund manager) to another service provider (e.g., your record keeper). Revenue sharing may be built into a fund’s asset-based expense ratio if a plan utilizes a higher cost share class. The revenue sharing is often used to…

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