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Resources / Education

Hey Joel! – Answers from a recovering former practicing ERISA attorney

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney. Hey Joel, Should we consider life insurance in our retirement plan? ~ Beefin’ up my plan in Buffalo   Dear Beefin’, I’m not a fan of having this type of “investment” within a retirement plan. I often explain my position by asking a client what the purpose of their retirement plan is. Most will answer that it…

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Loss Aversion and Fighting Fear

Loss aversion sounds like a good thing — trying to avoid losing. What could be wrong with that? Unfortunately, if taken too far, it can actually be a threat to retirement plan participants’ long-term financial health. Loss aversion is the tendency to prefer avoiding potential losses over acquiring equal gains. We dislike losing $20 more than we like getting $20. Yet, this common bias can come with a heavy cost. Excessive risk avoidance can hurt participants when, for example,…

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Ten Reasons to Roll Over Into Your Plan Versus an IRA

Michael Viljak, Manager, Advisor Development Do you have employees in a prior employer’s retirement plan? Should they transfer these assets to a personal IRA or into your employer-sponsored retirement plan? Review the pros and cons of an individual retirement account (IRA) versus consolidating into the current retirement plan with your employees to help them make this decision. 1. Performance results may differ substantially. As an institutional buyer, a retirement (401(k), 403(b), 457, etc.) plan may be eligible for lower…

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How do I replace my Social Security card?

Chances are, you probably have your Social Security number memorized, so you may not have had to use your card in awhile. However, there are times when you may be required to show your actual card, such as when you start a new job or need to access certain government services. Fortunately, replacing a lost or stolen card is a relatively easy process. In order to obtain a new card, you need to prove your citizenship or lawful noncitizen…

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Do I need to get a REAL ID when I renew my license?

If you need to renew your driver’s license, you may want to get a REAL ID. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacts the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Beginning October 1, 2020, residents of every state and territory will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license/identification card, or another acceptable form of identification (such as a passport), to access federal facilities, enter…

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How Does Your Employer’s Retirement Plan Compare?

    Each year, the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) surveys employers to gauge trends in retirement plan features and participation. Results are used by employers and plan participants to benchmark their plans against overall averages. How does your plan compare to the most recent survey results, released at the end of 2018?1 Participation and savings rates Plan participation (that is, the percentage of participants contributing to the plan) was on the rise, increasing from 77% in 2010…

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Rules on Opening a 529 Plan Account for College

Year over year, participation in 529 plans continues to rise.1 Anyone can open an account, lifetime contribution limits are typically over $300,000, and there are tax benefits if the funds are used for college. Here are some common questions on opening an account. Can I open an account in any state’s 529 plan or am I limited to my own state’s plan? Answer: It depends on the type of 529 plan you have: college savings plan or prepaid tuition…

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Quiz: Social Security Survivor Benefits

Did you know that Social Security may pay benefits to your eligible family members when you die, helping to make their financial life easier? Take this quiz to learn more. Questions 1. What percentage of Social Security beneficiaries receive survivor benefits? a. 5% b. 10% c. 15% 2. Your child may be able to receive survivor benefits based on your Social Security earnings record if he or she is: a. Unmarried and under age 18 (19 if still in…

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Hey Joel! – Answers from a recovering former practicing ERISA attorney

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney. Hey Joel, My client wants to conduct an RFP for an ERISA attorney, what are important questions they should include? ~ Questioning the Expert   Dear Questioning, While it is a somewhat unusual step to formally RFP for an ERISA counsel search, it can be a good exercise to ensure your client finds the best fit for…

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Visualize Retirement – What Are Your Participants Saving For?

All too often, retirement planning success is measured purely by financial metrics: savings amounts (15 percent per year), income replacement ratios (75 percent of preretirement income), or withdrawal strategies (4 percent per year). And the most critical part of planning for retirement is forgotten: the plan itself. Put another way: how can an employee know how much money they’re going to need in retirement if they don’t know what they’re saving for? Seventy-four percent of 50-59-year-olds have made a…

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