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Proposed Changes to Cost of Living Adjustments Could Mean a Major Win for PBGC

The employee retirement landscape continues to evolve as private companies are providing less compensation in the form of retirement benefits. This shift away from defined benefit programs and cost-of-living adjustments for annuities is part of that evolution. By comparison, the Federal Government continues to offer a very generous package of retirement benefits consistent with the […]

The New Fiduciary Rule’s Important Take Aways

On April 7, 2017, just three days before the original set applicability date, the Department of Labor announced they will be postponing the applicability dates originally stated in the Fiduciary Rule from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017, and certain provisions in the exemptions will be further delayed until January 1, 2018. Under this […]

Better Solutions for Today’s Retirement

With the introduction of 401(k) plans in 1980, the responsibility for retirement contributions shifted from the employer to the employee. Unfortunately, the employee had no way of gauging what those contributions should be, or how the contributions should be invested. Thirty-six years later, little has changed. As we near the first wave of retirement for […]

Defining a Standard of Care

In the context of retirement readiness, how do we identify the circumstances under which reasonable caution and prudence must be exercised? The standard of care stems from the 1837 case of Vaughan v Menlove. This case established that the standard of care is dependent on the circumstances, and upon whether the individual proceeded with reasonable […]

Employee Investment Outcomes and the New Fiduciary Standard

When Section 401(k) became a permanent provision of the Internal Revenue Code in 1980, a seismic shift occurred in American workers’ preparation for retirement. The responsibility for contribution and investment decisions shifted from employers to employees. Before 1980, companies that offered a retirement plan were required to fund them. That meant that the employer alone […]

Employees & Short-Term Value

In today’s world of instant gratification, it’s no wonder that workers value short-term benefits the most. According to a worldwide study of more than 10,000 workers conducted by Mercer, a salary increase was preferred over all types of benefits. While saving for retirement may seem to some like saving for a stranger, U.S. workers did rank DC […]

Corrective Distributions

The 401(k) plan has emerged as the most popular form of retirement plan in the United States. This trend will likely continue for some time for a number of reasons. One is the cost savings to employers, since deferral contributions are paid by employees. Another is the fact that 401(k) plans are more easily understood […]

Cash Balance Plans for Larger Tax-Deferred Contributions

Cash Balance Plan: What is it? How does it work? There are two main types of qualified retirement plans: defined contribution (DC) and defined benefit (DB). The maximum annual contribution to a DC plan is $54,000, while the contributions to a DB plan could be in excess of $215,000. This makes DB plans a much […]