Q1 2019 Market Review

U.S. equity markets rebounded sharply up 14% (Russell 3000) in the first quarter on progress with China trade talks and more dovish comments from the Federal Reserve. International equities rallied as well, posting a 10.3% gain over the quarter (MSCI ACWI ex U.S.). The U.S. fixed income market was up 2.9% for the quarter (Bloomberg … More Q1 2019 Market Review

Hey Joel! – Should we consider life insurance in our retirement plan?

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 … More Hey Joel! – Should we consider life insurance in our retirement plan?

Ten Reasons to Roll Over Into Your Plan Versus an IRA

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. Performance results may … More Ten Reasons to Roll Over Into Your Plan Versus an IRA

Hey Joel! – My client wants to conduct an RFP for an ERISA attorney, what are important questions they should include?

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 their organization. Note, ERISA counsel typically does act in a fiduciary capacity in providing legal advice, so selection of ERISA counsel would likely not … More Hey Joel! – My client wants to conduct an RFP for an ERISA attorney, what are important questions they should include?

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 … More Visualize Retirement – What Are Your Participants Saving For?

Department of Labor Issues Relief Guidance for Victims of California Wildfires

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued benefit plan guidance and relief for plans and participants affected by the 2018 California Wildfires.  The DOL recognizes that plan sponsors and participants may be affected in their ability to achieve compliance with various regulatory requirements.  The guidance generally applies to all parties involved in employee benefit … More Department of Labor Issues Relief Guidance for Victims of California Wildfires

Ongoing Litigation Against Colleges and Universities – Duke Settles But It’s Hardly a Windfall for Participants

Since 2016, more than 20 lawsuits have been filed against fiduciaries of university retirement plans. The defendants are among the largest and most prestigious schools in the country, as they present very visible targets. Many of these suits were filed by the same law firm, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton of St. Louis, one of the … More Ongoing Litigation Against Colleges and Universities – Duke Settles But It’s Hardly a Windfall for Participants

The PBGC Assumes Responsibility for Sears Pension Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the PBGC) is a government insurance program that guarantees all private defined benefit pensions. There is no comparable insurance for defined contribution plans. The PBGC pays benefits to almost a million participants covered by 4,800 failed pension plans and is responsible for future payments to another half a million individuals. … More The PBGC Assumes Responsibility for Sears Pension Plans

As They Always Say, Things Never Matter Until They Matter

Municipal bond holders may not appreciate the risks they are undertaking. Municipal bonds have always been viewed as an ultra-safe investment. However, in recent years a number of pundits have predicted widespread defaults on these bonds precipitated by growing unfunded state and local pension liabilities. With some exceptions (Detroit, Puerto Rice and Stockton, CA), these … More As They Always Say, Things Never Matter Until They Matter