Ah, summer time! I’m not one of those people who prefer summer over the other seasons, but I will admit it has its delights. For example, I was able to get together with one of our field service leaders recently, and we had some time to throw a line in the water and do a little fishing. Some people play business golf. I do a little business fishing.
(Maybe someday, if I could ever elevate my golf skills to “lousy”, I could add a little business golf in there as well.)
Whether it’s fishing or golf, the opportunity to maintain and develop business relationships on a face to face basis is of key importance. Read more
In the retirement plan world, change equals opportunity for financial professionals, and change has been a constant among 403(b) plans since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) passed significant regulations in 2007 (effective 2009). But the biggest opportunity for change right now lies in one key segment of the 403(b) market: private higher education. Private colleges are discovering there are better ways to approach retirement plans for their participants. Read more
If proposed legislation is passed it will mean two things: more opportunity and more participants!
The legislation under review is titled, Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act, and it aims to do just that: simplify rules surrounding existing retirement plans and make enhancements toward expanding who qualifies for retirement plans going forward. It aims to accomplish these lofty goals by expanding 401(k) and defined contribution plan eligibility, providing tax incentives to small businesses that start a plan and simplifying disclosures required from participants and government. All of these individual variables may or may not mean much to you, but together, they create two major impacts.
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