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
Maybe it’s just me, but people always seems to be clamoring for my opinion. For example, my receipt from the automotive repair place tempts me with a $5 coupon toward my next oil change if I call and complete a survey. Or I get calls on my home phone (so 2008, I know) pelting me with questions about my political views, or even more intrusive, my choice in paper products. It’s enough to drive me off the questionnaire cliff.
So you might think it’s strange that I want to talk to you about surveys, or even encourage you to complete one. But I have a good reason why. When you take the 403(b) plan survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), you’ll get much more out of it than a discounted oil change. Read more
As a numbers guy – in the insurance industry to boot – one might be surprised to know that I enjoy playing the guitar as much as I love analyzing tax-exempt retirement plans!
I’ve learned it’s one thing to own a really cool guitar (and having it sit in the corner collecting dust), but it’s another to pick it up and practice regularly so you can truly enjoy it.
Maybe the same is true for some employers with their participant education plan. The plan might look good on paper, but could use a little work in order to hit the right notes with employees. So I’d like to provide some best practices to help you create a participant education plan that can rock. Read more