Back in the 1990s, the concept of 360-degree feedback really started to resonate with those in the human resources industry, particularly in the United States. The idea is fairly simple – that the true gauge of an employee’s performance should be based not solely upon the opinion of their manager, but rather on an amalgam of feedback from superiors, subordinates, and peers. The intent is to create a circle of input from those above, below, and around the employee to provide valuable feedback that will allow the employee to improve. As we now stride towards the midpoint of the Twenty-First Century’s second decade, it is the U.S. retirement industry that must adapt this concept to build upon successes of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (2006 Act) in the goal of creating better retirement outcomes for U.S. savers. This is the primary finding of “A 360 Degree Approach to Preparing for Retirement,” a report authored by my firm, CREATE-Research, and sponsored by the Principal Financial Group. Read more
This is my second of three blogs in a series I call the “Seven Administrative Sins,” which I know sounds a little ominous. Yet I’ve found it’s an effective way to point out the mistakes 403(b) plan sponsors make that can put a non-profit plan out of compliance – or turn it into an administrative monster.
In the first blog of this series, I talked about the problems regarding how many plans have provisions to force out small amounts, as well as the limitations regarding retirement plan loan limitations and the challenge of tracking them. In this blog, I will introduce two more “sins” that can plague 403(b) plan sponsors – and suggest a way to help them. Read more
To the rest of the country it may seem like strange bedfellows: a state in the heartland of America on a first name basis with the world’s second largest economy. But for the past 30 years that has been the case between Iowa and China.
Since 1983, Iowa has been in a formal Sister State relationship with Hebei province, China.
While vastly different in language, culture and size—Hebei is 24 times bigger than Iowa in terms of population (72 million vs. 3 million)— over the years the cooperative agreement has fostered friendship, understanding and trust as well as exchanges in education, culture and, importantly, trade. Read more
Image your practice 10 years from now and think about the world we might be working in. What comes to mind? What does your client base look like? Where does your business come from? How might you start laying the tracks today for future opportunities? Enough questions, it’s answer time: if I’m in your shoes, two areas I might start to invest in are Generation Y and Hispanic investors.
We’ll hit on Gen Y in another post, for now let’s focus on the Hispanic market. I recently read a whitepaper that estimates in the next 20 years Hispanics will represent 31% of the work force.1 That’s a tremendous amount of growth, and more and more Hispanic employees will have access to some type of retirement plan.
Although retirement is not a new concept to U.S. Latinos, planning for retirement does have different meanings, and “saving” may not necessarily be part of it, especially for those who are in the early stages of an immigrant experience. Working with Hispanic employees is more than just speaking Spanish. It’s about cultural influence. Read more
The September jobs report was late. The shutdown of the U.S. federal government put the release back by several weeks. Then, when the data finally showed up, it was uninspiring…at best. Some might say, “meh.” (For the uninitiated, “meh” is an exclamation used to express a lack of enthusiasm). At only 148,000, the headline payroll-growth number disappointed. The pace of U.S. payroll growth has definitively slowed in the last six months, which strengthens the argument for the Fed to postpone tapering their QE program into 2014.
The mediocre details of September’s late report broke down like this. Private sector payrolls increased by only 126,000. Definitely “meh.” Read more
Costumes, trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns are all part of modern Halloween celebrations in the United States. Yet, few in the U.S. know the history of this holiday and the significance it played in early society.
Halloween traces its roots to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Two-thousand years ago, the Celtics (now modern day Ireland) celebrated the New Year on November 1. The day represented the end of the harvest and the transition to winter. Read more