Saving for College

You have big dreams for your children. Maybe they will grow to be an astronaut or a doctor—their potential has no limit. Have you considered how they will get there? Have you started to save for your children’s future education? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average annual cost for undergraduate … More Saving for College

Improving Automatic Enrollment

Our research shows that the vast majority of plan sponsors recognize that automatic enrollment has been effective in improving plan success and simplifying internal plan administration. Could automatic enrollment’s success be improved upon? When automatic enrollment first began gaining popularity, about 20 years ago, its typical design served a number of purposes. It improved plan … More Improving Automatic Enrollment

Do You Send Participant Notices via Email? Should you?

The number of notices and disclosures required to retirement plan participants has increased while methods to access information changed drastically. Many people receive their news and information on electronic devices through apps and social media. What remains the same is the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) guidance about permissible methods to provide notices electronically. There is … More Do You Send Participant Notices via Email? Should you?

Are You Reducing Your Debt?

If debt is a leading contributor to your overall stress, you are not alone. The national mean for household credit card debt is $16,000. The average total household debt, including mortgages, is $132,500.¹ That volume of debt can be a real burden on your wallet, relationships and ability to achieve other important goals like saving … More Are You Reducing Your Debt?

Auditing Recordkeeper Statements—A Fiduciary Duty?

Adhering to prudent standards includes auditing quarterly statements from the recordkeeper. However, there is no explicit requirement for plan fiduciaries to do so. With regard to plan assets, fiduciaries have the explicit duty to ensure that: employee deferrals are contributed in a timely manner; the plan does not engage in prohibited transactions; and plan assets are … More Auditing Recordkeeper Statements—A Fiduciary Duty?

Women in Retirement: 60 Percent Not Saving Enough

In November 2016, the Texas Conference for Women surveyed attendees about their retirement savings and found that almost a whopping 60 percent weren’t socking away enough. In fact, many weren’t even sure if they were going in the right direction. One person responded, “I don’t know if I’m on track, and that’s the worst part.” … More Women in Retirement: 60 Percent Not Saving Enough

Portfolio Patriotism — Domestic market optimism or inadvertent asset allocation?

Globalization of the world economy has increased exposure to international investments, yet equity portfolios in general remain largely home biased today. This may be a good time for participants to reevaluate their asset allocation to see if they may be exhibiting a home country bias— or displaying overly optimistic expectations about the domestic market and/or … More Portfolio Patriotism — Domestic market optimism or inadvertent asset allocation?

Returns-Based Versus Holding-Based Style Analysis

Return-based style analysis (RBSA) draws from Bill Sharpe’s style analysis model, which stipulates that a manager’s investment style can be determined by comparing the returns on a portfolio with those of a certain number of selected indices. Through quadratic optimization modeling, RBSA is an effective way to test whether a fund maintains its professed style … More Returns-Based Versus Holding-Based Style Analysis

Plan-Level Rate of Return—Useful or Useless?

  Many people use plan-level rates of return to determine the quality of an investment lineup. However, several variables may impact plan-level rates of return making them not as useful as a plan management tool. They may actually be counterproductive when trying to determine the quality of an investment lineup. As an extreme example, you … More Plan-Level Rate of Return—Useful or Useless?