Plan sponsors keeping an eye on trends in benefit plans and offerings may want to pay attention to a new field – manufacturing. Will development of new manufacturing across the U.S. change employee expectations for benefit plans?
SECURE Act 2.0 may require a bit of work for plan sponsors and those who manage the administrative side of benefit plans. We sat down and discussed the new act with our experts. They noted three main areas sponsors may want to consider: hardship deduction tracking; changes that could significantly increase or decrease the number of participants (and by association, your costs); and how forms are worded and stored.
In an effort to build benefits packages that attract workers, many employers are adding student loan repayments to their benefits lineup. This measure was often seen as part of professions requiring advanced degrees like law and health care. But a new study may add additional weight to that decision by showing that student loans impact retirement income long after employees have graduated.
Several major trends may be colliding for women in investing. Three that may have the most impact are a potential recession, the Great Wealth Transfer, and the rebalancing after the she-cession. Advisors may want to engage in a careful consideration of these trends, how they interact, and what it means for asset building for women.
Act 2.0 is full of provisions that will benefit clients of all sizes. But what we focus on and what clients care about may be different. Here are three areas that may drive client conversations over the next few months.
Sales of annuities are breaking records, and yet, many advisors shy away from them. Sales in 2022 topped $80.7 billion in the summer. That’s not too shabby for an asset class that causes confusion among many.
For the last four or five years, every article seeking to review the past year’s events has summed up the previous twelve months as “a lot.” After so much unpredictability and turmoil in the markets, reading those future planning articles may seem less than fruitful. Yet, we still think it is important to take stock of what has happened in 2022 and look at what we think might be coming in 2023.
New lawsuits against Plan Sponsors are all over the map, and not just geographically. Sponsors are now being sued for choosing funds that are too cheap. The class action suits continue their pile-on against plan sponsors. Here are a few key takeaways.
When it comes to hiring, interviews are a two-way street. Are you marketing your benefits well? How best to be honest and open about benefits in recruiting.
Seasoning isn’t just for your stuffing. Instead, seasoning may be flummoxing your benefits team. Adding those workers can add a positive boost to morale but may be a nightmare for your administrative team. Here are three key considerations to discuss with your team.
Recently, the IRS stated that it will consider accepting determination letters from retirement plan sponsors of 403(b) plans starting in 2023. This relatively simple announcement could be good news for plan sponsors who run more than one type of plan and better news for financial advisors looking for new clients.
The FTX crisis may be a well-timed learning opportunity for investors seeking confidence in the markets. Read on for how financial advisors can use some of the behind-the-scenes troubles at FTX as an example of the kind of information the SEC’s on-going efforts towards making information more easily accessible to investors.
How can advisors help clients understand index funds and their place in an investment strategy? It’s all in the presentation.
Will there be a recession? Will it Impact retirement trends? For plan sponsors, who need to allocate budgets and recruit staff, those questions are more than theoretical. Here are our takeaways and suggestions that may help plan sponsors be prepared for the change in retirement trends caused by the slowing growth and increased inflation in 2022.
The numbers don’t lie: these five pressing topics that are top-of-mind for employees right now.
You may think you know how long to keep copies of previous benefit plans, but can your team answer the other important questions around retaining them?
Projections for retirement and investment prospects for the last few years have been less than accurate. Aside from relying on professional groups and advisory sources like BCG, where can advisors turn to for reliable studies on investor trends and retirement data?
Most renters complaining that their housing payments have increased considerably over the last two years, traditional alternative investments in rental properties may seem like a limited option. Can your clients use the increased mortgage rate (possibility of further increases) to their advantage? The answer may be in changing how your clients think about real estate.
The Department of Labor recently announced a major shift intended to assist so-called “Gig Workers” that may result in significant changes for financial advisors. Here is a brief summary of how we got here and where we may go.
When it comes to financial literacy, student loan forgiveness and mortgage rates may be top of mind for younger plan participants. These may be areas that participants have identified as weaknesses or gaps in their knowledge, but there’s an argument to be made for focusing on the basics of financial literacy: they don’t know what they don’t know.
Everyone loves a three-day weekend, so wouldn’t it be grand to have them every week? Maybe in theory, but in practice it’s far more complicated than that, and can require restructuring of an organization’s workforce. So how do sponsors know if it’s right for them?
There may be buzz around new laws on auto-enrollment’s impact on plan sponsors and their employees, but getting those employees to enroll and stay enrolled is still a pain point for many sponsors. If plan sponsors aren’t reaching their employees about the importance of saving for retirement, maybe there’s another option: social media influencers who post about personal finance.
With recession a looming possibility, there may be more fraudsters contacting the very people in your prospect pipeline. What may be worse is that fraudulent schemes have evolved to sound more like legitimate businesses. With the scammers stealing marketing methods from legitimate advisors, how can you make sure your marketing pieces don’t get confused with more nefarious folks?
Amidst all the talk about quiet quitting, quiet managing, and the Great Resignation, another trend may be brewing: the retirement boomerang. Retirees who don't plan for their retirement income properly may boomerang back into the workforce. Advisors can help prevent this by working on education ahead of a planned retirement date.
It may seem like there is a lot of news about the stock market being volatile. If that’s got you concerned, here is an easy way to consider how you perceive the stock market and its fluctuations. Try taking a pause. Here are five things to remember about volatility that can help you position yourself appropriately and reduce your concerns.
Many companies offering their employees a new financial wellness benefit. Plan Sponsors may want to take note, not just for how your competition may be enticing employees, but also, how those programs can increase productivity. Here’s the Who, How, Why and What of it all.
Even small money decisions and discussions can be difficult and stressful but saying “no” and saying “yes” are essential skills every employee should learn.
Sponsors looking for more definitive guidelines following the Supreme Court’s Hughes decision may be waiting awhile. New court decisions haven’t stemmed the influx of cases, and further FINRA notices may indicate that Sponsors need to tighten their compliance efforts.
Studies show that Americans retirement age is changing. What’s behind that latest trend? Those details show unsurprising results, like longevity and better health. But they also show interesting details financial advisors may want to watch.
ESG has long been a hot topic for advisors working with individuals. Now, new research shows that institutional investors are prioritizing ESG in their decisions too. But there are concerns about what qualifies. Here’s what you need to know to help your institutional clients.
The Inflation Reduction Act may have had many financial advisors worried. That’s because one iteration of the legislation proposed significant changes to Section 1063 of the tax code. We thought it was important to dig in a little bit to the proposed changes and the history of them.
To meet employees where they are, plan sponsors should take a lesson from BuzzFeed quizzes and subscription boxes.
How can small businesses choose the right plan that factors administrative costs but also addresses their need for flexibility? They may want to consider goals and culture. Here’s why.
It’s time to ditch the ping-pong table, snack bar, and bean bag chairs (not that they’ve gotten much use in the last few years). The best recruitment tools aren’t free lunches or nap pods, it’s just better benefits.
As the Wall Street Journal says, “Great meetings are small, fast, and don’t involve status updates.” So how can you get to great? Here are a few key tips.
Is there an upside to inflation? We found three areas where investors could benefit from inflation’s impact on the economy.
Your current search for marketing data may overlook your intangible assets. Here’s a deep dive into why playing on your intangible assets can help you.
You could be doing all of your recruitment right, but still fall short on hiring. Many employers fail to focus on how the interview process informs candidates about company culture and lose networking opportunities for the almost-right candidate.
Looking for a way to lighten up your stress? The experts all suggest delegating more of your to do list. We know it’s easy. But one task you can delegate to others is building your prospect database.
41% of advisors report communicating more frequently with clients. Now may be a prime time to sharpen your listening skills with these tips.
Is it time to revamp your company’s document retention policy? As always, discuss any change to information management and client records with your legal counsel. Here are a few things to consider asking your counsel, especially if you are continuing to work in a remote or hybrid work environment.
Few realize that HSA contributions can be invested for long-term gains. When teaching “HSA investment 101”, here are three questions sponsors will have to answer.
As benefits continue to be a leading item in recruitment and retention of top candidates, plan sponsors may be considering changing their plan providers as well as their plan options. Here are a few thoughts on the pros and cons of adding plan providers, consolidating multiple plans and staying put.
The Supreme Court’s recent case concerning plan fees has opened a pandora’s box of options for plaintiffs. Plan Sponsors may want to monitor recent developments and consider expanding their benchmarking plans.
Plan Sponsors may feel overwhelmed having kept up with what might have felt like large swings to their demographics in their workforce. Those who are eager to keep track of demographic changes in the overall investing habits of America may want to take note of several new studies and statistics that were released.
401(K) matching only matters if you have money to invest. How do sponsors make sure no one is financially left behind?
While RIA acquisitions may be slowing in 2022 after the unusual heat of 2021, the proliferation of them may have some advisor groups wondering if merging may be worth thinking about. When considering any major business move you should always consult with your advisors. While you await their calls, here are a few things to think about when thinking about mergers.
Alternative investments seemed like a hot take on surviving market volatility during the pandemic. With low barriers to entry and high liquidity, cryptocurrency may have seemed like a smart choice. What now for clients who may be seeking alternative investments in a post-crypto world? It may be as simple as reviewing the basics, like life insurance.
Worldwide, the increase in startup companies in 2020 increased 26.9% over the last decade. Whether you are one of those companies starting fresh in 2022, or you work with many of them, there are a few clear key points in what can help make an entrepreneur successful. The clearest of them involves scaling deep versus scaling up and owning your knowledge gaps. Here’s more of what we mean.
Recent studies have shown an uptick in interest in investing in alternative investments by Generation Z. GenZ are those who are roughly ages 10 to 25 in 2022. Plan Sponsors who worry that their GenZ employees may be forgoing 401(k)s for buying blitzes of bitcoin can rest a little easier. GenZ is investing in their 401(k)s, but that’s not all they’re betting on.
Changes to the laws around the post office may have arrived right on time. Many plan sponsors struggled with using first class mail during the pandemic due to the overload on the Post Office. But not so fast, struggles may still be on extended delivery. Here’s a quick survey of what plan sponsors may want to consider around first-class mail and plan disclosures.
Changes to employee benefits may be a small part of an overall organizational strategic plan. It may seem odd, then, to consider strategic planning a benefits change. But a review of the different models of strategic planning may help plan sponsors consider how to structure the process of changing plan documents.
The Department of Labor has announced a major change to its process of assessing requests for exemptions from prohibited transactions. This change could impact fiduciaries, those who serve plans, and others who may need to monitor the potential for prohibited transactions.
When employees returned to the office from the months or years locked in WFH, they discovered sad coffee cups, lonely plants and their undying hatred of the office printer. With employees working from home, they may have lost the tolerance they had for the minor tech issues that your office worked on or around. Now may be the best time to assess your technical debt.
The revolution may not be televised, but adding videos to your prospecting plans may feel like a total transformation. If you are looking for new ways to boost your prospecting efforts, you may want to consider adding videos. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Persuading employees to engage with their benefits options is like finding Cinderella armed with just a shoe: it’s about finding the right fit. For new investors, those with low investment capital, and straightforward finances, robo-investment can be an excellent fit.
Turn “this could have been an email” into “this was a great meeting” by assessing the who, how and why of benefits meetings.
25% of Gen Z employees and 23% of Millennials are planning on leaving their jobs in the next 6 months. In the midst of these large, life changing decisions, how can plan sponsors help their employees navigate smaller but no less important decisions, like planning for retirement?
New legislation about the US Postal Service may seem like a huge benefit to investors and fiduciaries. But a deeper dive into the recent changes, as well as the USPS’s requests leading up to them, may in fact result in longer mail times, not shorter ones. Here’s what to know.
Hearing about factor rotation a lot lately? So are your clients. Here’s what they might really be asking you about.
Commodities had their best year in more than a decade, but a client’s interest in them may be based on more than rate of return. Here’s what clients may need to hear about emotional investing and commodities.
A new study released this winter should ring warning bells for any advisor as investors report trading more frequently, increasingly buying alternative assets and turning to social media for advice.
New research shows that gender diversity in leadership does more than ensure fair representation. It may also change how companies think. That in turn may explain why companies that are more gender diverse outperform their less diverse counterparts. Is it time to keep an eye on Female-Led Indexes?
Emotional Intelligence is one of the best skills a financial advisor has. It draws in clients and helps retain the best employees. Advisors, like anyone else in a leadership role right now, may be feeling that those skills have been tapped dry. Here’s a refresher on using emotional intelligence in the most optimal way.
While everyone may seem like they are singing the same sad tune about the Fed, there could be one key group left out of the chorus: your Employees. They need to know how the Fed impacts their savings and retirement plans.
If 87% of employers agree that auto-enrollment in a 401(k) plan has a favorable impact on employees’ retirement readiness, why not try other stumbling blocks for retirement readiness? Results from a retirement readiness survey seem to suggest that many plan sponsors are considering just that.
In the TV show of life, the hottest will they/won’t they is about remote vs. in-office work. What’s the best decision, and for whom?
Many in wealth management have been focused on the estate planning aspects of the upcoming so called Great Transfer of Wealth. But there is another side to that massive trend – those who will inherit the assets.
As the pandemic moves into its continuing phase and life gets slightly back to normal, we can look back and see that clients really did move more of their treasure towards charity. As philanthropic software giant Blackbaud recently stated in it’s study charitable giving was up 8% and up 17% overall.
The ground artificial intelligence is breaking in investment management may be the same covered in the DOL’s new Best Practices on Cybersecurity. A quick comparison of the two may help you plan for 2022.
It’s time to revisit spending—and budgeting. Especially given the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are turning to “buy now pay later” loan programs which can be downright predatory.
Following such an unpredictable few years, employees may be wondering if they can or should even set goals anymore. Plan Sponsors can help employees all year long by providing information about proper goal setting. Here are a few ideas.
What’s going on with Bitcoin ETFs, and what information should benefits advisors and plan sponsors have ready for when employees ask about their plan’s investment options for bitcoin?
A new definition of “fiduciary” might be here by the close of 2021. But how do we get there?
It might sound like the changes proposed to Roth IRAs over September 2021 and October 2021 are cause for a lot of concern by many investors. Your clients may already be peppering you with questions. A quick deep dive into those proposed changes may answer some of that concern.
A new global study found that 41% of investors say that its going to take a miracle for them to retire on time. Is this true for American Investors?
If an HR intranet page is difficult to use, employees are going to walk away frustrated, confused, and may not be able to access vitally important information. Here are five suggestions to improve user experiences.
“WE’RE HIRING!” signs are everywhere, but every sponsor worth their salt knows that retention is even more important than recruiting. So, what entices employees to stay?
Empowering employees to ask questions, raise concerns and become more educated can help those employees feel more confident in investing and saving for retirement. How to Address Employees’ Concerns About Changes to the Economy Through Education.
A quick review of what’s on the Supreme Court’s docket will show the “as yet to be calendared” case of Hughes v. Northwestern University. This case could impact an advisor’s duty of prudence and is worth watching for a variety of reasons.
If you are facing a blank screen and blinking cursor for your next client newsletter, we have a solid suggestion for you: respond to someone else’s content. It’s a practice well accepted in academia for generations, and its making its way through social media too.
Advisors may be compiling year-end lists for their clients. But with advisors seeing higher than normal numbers of new clients, they may do well to follow their own advice. So what do you need to do to get yourself sorted for year end? Here are four things to include in your year-end planning.
“One Neat Trick to Increase 401(k) Enrollment!” sounds like the subject line to an email scam, and it probably is. However, the only “BS” here is Behavioral Science, and it really can help.
Average 401(k) balances are up more than 20%. What’s behind those eye-catching numbers? Why are employees investing more? The answers can inform plan sponsors’ educational programs in 2022.
Communication strategies for sponsors trying to convey their duties, plans, and needs to other groups in the office less familiar with their roles.
What are your employees reading/watching that could help you convey retirement savings and investing information? Here are three wildly different picks that may resonate with employees.
Why going paperless for providing information to employees may be hurting your enrollment. From religion to neurodivergence, money to age, the diversity of those who would benefit from printouts may make you want to reconsider the purely digital enrollment paradise you may be envisioning.
Given how well participants in 403(b) plans did over the last 18 months (in terms of savings and enrollment), Plan Sponsors may want to get ready for some common queries. Here’s a review of what we’ve seen on the Internet that may need clearing up for your participants.
The pandemic’s change to how we work had big effects on staffing. Is the biggest impact on workforce management hiring? Maybe, but there are a few new staff management practices that could be worth taking note. Here are six of them.
The effects of the pandemic meant cancelled events and virtual platforms. As advisors began planning for 2022, you might be asking, is networking still a worthy part of your marketing plan? Here are four questions to ask as you plan for 2022.
Where oh where did the workers go? The story we hear about worker shortage may show the confluence of several trends, all pointing to your clients having an easier time saving for retirement.
Employees across the board are struggling to concentrate on work, let alone their retirement plans. One method to adapt to this new environment is to learn from those who are already familiar with this landscape.
Over the last year and a half, employees’ relationships with their retirement contributions have seen some significant changes. Why is that, and how can sponsors encourage good habits to stick and help others get back on track?
Wondering if your current benefits lineup can hit a home run with your current (and future) employees? Before you add an employer-sponsored IRA to the lineup of your 401(k), FSA and HSA consider these four things.
Given all of the unpredictability, it might be tempting for advisors to follow some common myths about post-pandemic marketing. Here is a look at a few of the most common post-pandemic marketing myths we’ve seen and an eye on what’s fact versus fiction.
Book clubs popped up all over during the pandemic. Could a book club be an avenue to find new leads for your business? Here are a few thoughts about book clubs and marketing.
Quarter three of 2021 shows a trend that advisors should review with their internal compliance team including a recent win by the SEC in federal court and two administrative orders, one involving a $7.2 million disgorgement award.
Selecting new vendors may seem like a herculean task. Can you find an easier way to find a vendor that is not too soft, not too hard but just right, like Goldilocks’ bed? We think so.
Open Enrollment in remote settings got you scratching your head? Especially about the "extras" or "perks" of their benefit plans? We have thoughts.
Now that remote work is here to stay, here are a few topics sponsors may want to have with employees who spend their time out of (literal) office.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal