The Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Plan Sponsors
The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that expands the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended. Read Now »
Thinking About Selling Your Business?
Whether you have made the decision to sell your business or are just exploring your options for the future, understanding the road ahead can mean the difference between success and disappointment. Read Now »
Healthcare Costs: Roadblock to Retirement
Healthcare Policy Premium Costs Continue to Rise
Changes in healthcare are monumental. It’s hard enough for employers to understand the new landscape. It can be even harder for employees, leaving a significant gap in understanding between the two groups, particularly when it comes to retirement planning.WATCH NOW
The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that expands the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
The Final Rule confirms that individuals who provide investment advice to owners of Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Health Savings Account (HSA) and similar individual arrangements will be considered fiduciaries. In addition, the Final Rule expands fiduciary advice to include rollover recommendations.
Whether you have made the decision to sell your business or are just exploring your options for the future, understanding the road ahead can mean the difference between success and disappointment.
Business sales are complex transactions that are influenced by many variables. Planning ahead can increase the likelihood of success and potentially enable you to navigate tax considerations. An experienced investment banker who is familiar with your industry can ensure that your business is positioned to achieve maximum value and that the sale process is managed properly.
An RFP allows your organization to describe its objectives, priorities and expectations for bidding potential service providers.
An RFP helps you identify the best provider for your needs.It also plays a critical role in fulfilling the fiduciary responsibility of acting prudently and for the exclusive benefit of plan participants and beneficiaries, and serves as a written record of the systematic process behind the selection of your plan service provider.
Many American workers are not prepared to retire, no matter what age.
A study by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System found only about 25% of individuals they surveyed were actively saving for retirement. The Fed study noted that the shift from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans has placed greater personal responsibility on employees to plan and save for their own retirement.
Using a multi-track educational approach can teach participants the value of retirement plan participation and keys to staying on track.
Research suggests that plan sponsors are grappling with a conflict between the belief that they provide valuable participant education and the recognition that too many employees are not making informed decisions about their retirement. A deeper understanding behind this disconnect may be the first step in developing a more effective participant education approach.
An estate plan should be dynamic with changes being made as your life changes. This article may offer some guidance as to when you should review your estate plan.
With greater wealth comes a greater potential need to plan. Estate taxes may now be an issue and you may want to explore various estate planning strategies to reduce your taxes or minimize the impact of those taxes. You may also want to establish trusts for children and grandchildren to better plan for their future.
PNC Healthcare commissioned Shapiro+Raj to explore changes in the healthcare environment and their impact on providers, payers, and employers. Here are the findings of that study.
Millennials will shape the future of American healthcare. They seek change throughout the system. They embrace retail and acute care clinics. They take the most responsibility for their own healthcare. They spend more time researching online, finding providers and getting others’ opinions and they will force much more change compared to Boomers and seniors.
The majority of your employees may not be investing enough for retirement and aren't engaged in retirement planning. Education can benefit your employees and your business.
Employees need to feel that they’re in control of their basic financial needs before they can focus on more complex, longer-term financial decisions, such as retirement. If you can help your employees become more confident in managing these needs, they’ll be more likely to plan for their retirement. And your company will benefit.
Now that economic conditions appear to be stabilizing, many are re-focusing on improving their chances for a comfortable retirement. Some are taking a fresh look at their 401(k) plans.
Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has plunged to a record low. But these may mean a more realistic appraisal of the savings needed for retirement. Influenced in part by the recession and turmoil in the financial and housing markets, many are redefining retirement—including retiring later or crafting a “working retirement.
Certain individuals who are ineligible to contribute directly to a Roth IRA may be able to CONVERT traditional IRA and qualified employer-sponsored retirement plan assets to Roth IRAs.
If you are fortunate enough to have more than sufficient retirement income and assets, here's a strategy that can be a great way to transfer wealth to the next generation.Traditional IRA balances can be converted to Roth IRAs in part or in whole and there is no limit on how often this can occur.
Plan sponsors are in a unique position to help their employees become more retirement-ready by considering plan design changes as well as consistent, effective employee education.
With retirement savings taking a back seat to more immediate financial concerns, and the percentage of workers confident that they’ll have enough money for a comfortable retirement at low levels, it’s more important than ever for plan sponsors to consider retirement readiness as a key — if not the key issue — their employees are facing.
With interest rates on the rise, do income-producing stocks still belong in the average investor's portfolio? The answer is, probably — but it depends.
Dividend stocks are enticing to investors during periods of volatility because in such a market they tend to perform well relative to more growth-oriented or higher-risk equities. Companies with a long track record of offering dividends tend to be slow growing; it’s their income potential that appeals to shareholders.
Risk can be defined as the possibility that your retirement assets will not provide for your essential living expenses. The retirement goal for most is to provide the cash necessary.
It seems more Americans are taking responsibility for managing their own retirement assets instead of relying solely on a pension. Many are also wondering how to fund the period after the traditional retirement age. Given these factors, we believe thinking about a retirement goal has never been more crucial.
In addition to expanded opportunity, international investing helps reduce portfolio risk through diversification. Allocations to non-U.S. stocks can reduce portfolio volatility.
International equity plays a critical role in a well-balanced portfolio. International stocks are a large and growing share of the global investment universe and offer investors the potential to capitalize on faster long-term growth trends abroad. There are also investment opportunities in industry segments that are dominated by non-U.S. companies.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can reduce costs and encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for their health. Find out where they fit in today's healthcare environment.
HSAs are not entirely new, but are receiving greater attention today in relation to high-deductible health insurance plans and the Affordable Care Act. They are often viewed as a strategy for reducing healthcare costs and for encouraging individuals to take greater responsibility for their health and the cost of care.
The primary benefit of auto enrollment is that it works to overcome inertia for individuals who procrastinate or do nothing about 401(k) plan participation.
Automatic enrollment has been particularly effective in raising 401(k) plan participation levels of groups with the lowest contribution rates — younger and lower-wage workers, but some questions remain. As a plan sponsor, you should understand both the potential benefits and the limitations.
Professionals such as physicians, attorneys and business owners are at risk for liability and litigation. Those who are assumed to have deep pockets can become high profile targets.
Asset protection planning is an important part of a comprehensive estate and financial plan addressing an individual’s risks now and in the future. Proper asset protection planning requires time, consideration and knowledge to fully integrate the planning holistically and effectively.
Your financial well-being, like your health, can benefit from regular checkups — but where to start? Here is a step-by-step plan to improve your financial fitness.
Pay yourself first. Create a budget. Pay down credit card debt. Prepare a personal net worth statement. Review your estate planning documents. Rebalance your investment portfolio. Review your insurance and your tax plan and seek guidance from a qualified wealth management professional to improve your financial wel being.
If you are a plan sponsor, you may be impacted by new executive initiatives, legislative proposals and a range of anticipated regulatory actions affecting retirement plans.
MyRA is a government-sponsored retirement account which is designed to be a starter account for Americans who have had difficulty saving for retirement. Eligible individuals whose employers agree to participate will be able to make myRA contributions via payroll deduction.
The first step in developing a solid 401(k) benefit plan is to create a request for proposal (RFP) that clearly describes a company's objectives and expectations.
The value of an RFP lies in the process and thinking that is invested in it. It should be designed to detail requirements for potential vendors. This exercise lays the foundation that creates the framework of a solid 401(k) employee benefit plan and helps identify an effective provider.
Whether you are establishing a new retirement plan or improving an existing one, setting goals is a critical first step in achieving a plan that is effective for the company and its employees.
Real success springs from a belief that the employer is in a partnership with its employees in a shared mission to help them achieve financial security in retirement. This partnership may take many forms, including matching contributions, auto-enrollment, continuing education and planning assistance.
Fiduciaries have important responsibilities and are subject to strict standards of conduct. However, plan sponsors may not know who the fiduciaries to the plan are.
If you are involved in the administration of your company's retirement plan, it is important to understand what your role as a plan sponsor entails, as well as how to delegate parts of your fiduciary responsibility if you choose to do so. Even unintentional mistakes can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty that can have significant consequences.
Volatility affects the market value of your retirement portfolio. Thus, it's a topic that deserves special consideration when managing retirement and pre-retirement assets.
It is possible to reduce volatility risk with conservative investments of the money needed in the next few years, while maintaining normal allocations with the money earmarked for use over longer investment holding periods. A prospective or current retiree should consider setting aside at least a year of expenses to provide an adequate cash reserve.
Companies are beginning to recognize the importance of having an investment policy that provides clear direction on how investments will be managed and how much risk is acceptable.
A solid investment policy include formalized forecasting and contingency plans to prepare key decision-makers for unexpected events. Contingency plans should include a scenario analysis that details events of varying risk or magnitude and how the company will react. For example — divest, stay the course, or become more conservative.
In a sustained low rate environment, the benefits of active liquidity management are reduced. It's become more important to define the balance between risk and return.
Even in today's environment, it is possible to align your company's short-term cash strategy with the objectives of your investment policy. Due to the expiration of unlimited insurance on non-interest-bearing transactional deposit it is time to re-evaluate the balances you maintain in these accounts.
Does your company have a well-thought-out investment policy? Does your policy have clear, measurable objectives? Has it been written down and shared with the appropriate team?
Putting your investment policy in writing is the foundation of effective investing. Your policy should provide benchmarks to help you evaluate how well it is working and what changes may be needed to make it more effective. While every company is different several elements should be part of every policy.
A retirement plan's design, carefully constructed, monitored and maintained, forms the foundation of any successful plan to provide a more stable and secure retirement for participants.
A well-designed plan serves as a magnet to attract and retain key employees; communicates to all participants that this is not simply an ordinary benefit at an ordinary company; and represents an opportunity for employers to illustrate their commitment to participants’ individual retirement plans and for participants to optimize their personal financial security.
Healthcare costs are forcing a new calculus on traditional retirement planning. They are rising faster than inflation and will consume a growing percentage of our spending as we grow older.
Individuals appear to be significantly underestimating what health care in retirement will cost them. According to a report issued by the Stanford Center on Longevity, “43% of middle-income Americans are paying more for healthcare with Medicare than they expected they would.” One reason for this may be that many are overlooking the prospect of long-term care.
Does your company have a well-thought out investment policy? Does your policy have clear, measurable objectives? Has it been written down and shared with the appropriate team?
Putting your investment policy in writing is the foundation of effective investing. Your policy should provide benchmarks to help you evaluate how well it is working and what changes may be needed to make it more effective.
There are five threats to retirement that investors should be aware of. This article discusses those risks and how investors can seek to mitigate them.
Thinking about retirement is no longer a future event for many Americans; most recognize the need for careful planning throughout their working years. While it is a positive that Americans are expected to live longer, this can add to the already daunting challenges of funding a comfortable retirement.
Even unintentional mistakes can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty that can have significant consequences for your company and you personally.
If you are involved in the administration of your company's retirement plan, it is important to understand what your role as a plan sponsor entails and how to delegate parts of your fiduciary responsibility. Even unintentional mistakes can lead to a breach of fiduciary duty that can have significant consequences for your company and you personally.
Fiduciary responsibility is very important to 401(k) plan sponsors.Confirming that plan fees and expenses are reasonable part of their role.
Benchmarking against comparable organizations’ plans is often the most cost-effective and least disruptive method to determine whether fees are reasonable. It involves comparing your plan to plans of a group of organizations that resemble your own. A thorough benchmarking process will balance fee components and value components.
Your fee disclosure review is an opportunity to make sure your current plan is meeting objectives — those you’ve established for your 401(k) plan, as well those of your participants.
Fiduciary responsibility under ERISA is very important to 401(k) plan sponsors. Fiduciaries are subject to standards of conduct because they act on behalf of participants in a retirement plan and their beneficiaries. Ensuring that disclosures are adequate and that plan fees and expenses are reasonable are two aspects of these responsibilities.
Biases are the basis for cognitive and emotional errors when we apply them in financial markets and they often result in financial losses.
Humans have an amazing capacity for reasoning, memory, action, feelings and emotions. But capacity alone does not ensure that we will develop the proper biases to employ every day in predictive scenarios. In some cases, these biases come hardwired in our brains and work against us when it comes to predicting market movements.
Even in today’s low rate environment, it is possible align your company’s short-term cash strategy with the objectives of your investment policy.
It is important to stay apprised of market trends and regulatory changes. Those external factors, as well as your own internal objectives should drive how you manage your company’s short-term cash now and in the future. Re-evaluate the balances you maintain in non-interest-bearing accounts and determine how this current allocation aligns with your investment goals.
If the business is transferred to a Delaware Incomplete-Gift Non-Grantor Trust prior to a sale, the business owner may be able to eliminate state and local taxes on the capital gains.
With roots that go back to the first bank charter in Wilmington, Delaware in 1795, PNC Delaware Trust Company has grown by providing customized strategies for personal and business asset protection and innovative wealth planning approaches. A limited purpose trust company established under the laws of Delaware, it provides a number of benefits unique to Delaware.
As an owner of a privately-held company or an executive in a publicly traded corporation, you may be spending more time addressing economic issues and less on your own financial planning.
In order to be successful, your plan must be documented. For corporate executives looking to buy or sell their stock, this could include filings with regulatory agencies. A business owner may need to work with his or her legal advisors regarding a variety of structures to support the plan, such as buy-sell agreements, business entities and trusts.
Given the many reasons that companies may need an escrow account, it's important to screen escrow service providers to make sure they meet the needs of all parties.
When companies engage in mergers, acquisitions or real estate transactions, all eyes are on closing the deal. However, choosing an escrow agent — often a mandatory step in the process — is frequently low on the priority list, even though a successful close may rely on it.