I usually don’t get worked up about too many things. One former colleague actually referred to me as “Spock.” Sure, if I had a chance to jam with someone like David Gilmore or John Petrucci, or even if my cat did something blog-worthy, you’d probably get a fist bump out of me – maybe even a shout out on Twitter.
So when the fifth annual 403(b) plan survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) recently came out, I won’t go so far as to say I was giddy. But I was very pleased and – dare I say excited – to see the numbers from the latest survey of 403(b) plans, from participation and savings to employer contributions, generally point in one direction: up. Read more
I recently wrote a blog post for Employee Benefit Adviser. If you didn’t see it there, we are reposting it here on The Principal® blog. Article originally posted at http://eba.benefitnews.com.
There is a movement afoot to put state governments in the business of offering retirement plans to private citizens, which would ultimately eliminate opportunities and siphon business away from financial professionals. Read more
Hooray! After years of waiting, the IRS has issued Rev. Proc. 2013-22. This procedure provides a way for service providers to get pre-approved 403(b) plan documents for their clients’ use. Read more
We all have to deal with clutter that piles up in our lives – whether it’s mail piling up on the kitchen counter, emails overtaking our inboxes or cell phone charger cords that tangle up our car consoles.
These days 403(b) plan sponsors face the task of cleaning up the clutter of “legacy assets” that threaten to clog up their plan administration efforts. Legacy assets are essentially the plan assets left at prior providers which plan sponsors still have to account for.
Finding the most efficient way to deal with these plan assets seems to be a recurring question lately. Employee Benefit Adviser recently asked me to offer some guidance on this confusing and concerning topic. Check out my answer in the video posted to their website. Read more
With two daughters in college, I’ve come to appreciate that the three “R’s” continue into higher education. The traditional readin’, ‘rightin’, and ‘rithmatic, carry forward, but I’ve realized lately that a fourth “R” applies. Both my girls are in private colleges, and we’re starting to see an evolution with private higher ed in “R”etirement planning.
What is this evolution, and what do financial professionals need to know? Read more
I have food allergies. Since I’ve gotten used to not having certain things in my diet, it’s more of an inconvenience than a problem. I can eat out, but I always have to give explicit instructions to the server. I used to work with a guy (who probably reads this blog) who called me “high maintenance.”
I was reminded of this during our recent national distribution conference. At dinner, I had the pleasure of sitting at the table of one of our field offices, with several people I had never met. After I had given instructions to the server, the woman sitting next to me brought up that “high maintenance” term again. Well, maybe I am.
This also calls to mind another area sometimes considered “high maintenance.” It’s a reason we hear occasionally from financial professionals as to why they don’t want to branch into the 403(b) plan space. Read more
I can tell the flu season is still raging, judging by all the empty desks in our office. We all know one of the best ways to stay healthy is good old-fashioned hand washing with soap and water.
A similar type of thorough clean-up work has been going on with 403(b) plans to keep them healthy. First, we saw significant activity around plan design review and changes when the final 403(b) regulations came out in 2007. By the time the regulations were effective in 2009, a significant number of 403(b) plans had reviewed their ERISA status, changed plan design features, reviewed – and in many cases eliminated – various investment choices and service provider choices and modified administrative procedures to take into account the requirements of the regulations. Read more