Headline Image_5 steps to create a financial wellness program

Americans are worried about their finances, and it spills over into every aspect of their lives, including their work.  Compounding matters is the financial stress resulting from COVID-19.  Having a comprehensive financial wellness program for your employees is more important than ever.

Why Have a Financial Wellness Program for Your Employees?

A recent survey has found that 78% of American workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck.[1] It’s no wonder so many workers say they’re stressed about finances.

But what does this mean for you, their employer?

Employees stressed about their finances are far more likely to be late to work, absent, sick or distracted and unable to work effectively. According to the Chicago Business Journal, 43% of employees who are distracted by finances spend three or more hours a week at work thinking about financial matters or dealing with them. This equates to 150 hours per employee per year in lost productivity.[2] That’s a bundle of lost money that employers will never recover.

These numbers are causing employers to take notice, and many are establishing financial wellness programs to help.

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Headline Image - Thinking About Changing 401(k) Providers; Five Things You Should Know

Offering a competitive benefits package, including a top-notch 401(k) plan, is essential for your company to recruit and retain premier talent.

Today’s workers highly value employer-sponsored retirement plans: 88% of them say that an employee-funded retirement plan is important to them.[1] In addition, eight out of ten new hire candidates consider retirement savings programs offered by prospective employers a major factor in their job search decisions.[2]

As a result, you should evaluate your 401(k) plan regularly — at least once a year — to ensure that it continues to be the right fit for your business and employees. For example, if you find during your review that you’re plan has any combination of high fees, poor investment performance or a lack of service and support, it may be time to consider changing providers. In addition, with many 401(k) providers offering new technology and features, now may be a good time to see if you’re offering everything that you can to your participants.

If you’re considering making a change, here are five tips to help you evaluate your current provider. If you decide to switch, we can help make the transition to your new one as smooth as possible:

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Headline Image - 5 Ways Total Rewards Can Help Recruit Talent

A good total rewards program helps you attract and retain the best possible talent for your organization. Add a great workplace culture and environment and you could be on your way to becoming an employer of choice among job-seekers.

What is a total rewards program?

A total rewards program is adopted by a company that provides benefits for its employees including:

  1. Compensation—base pay, overtime, bonuses
  2. Work/life balance—flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities
  3. Benefits—health, life, dental and vision insurance, retirement plan, and voluntary benefits such as wellness
  4. Recognition—feedback regarding performance and areas needing improvement, employee recognition programs
  5. Growth and development—performance development planning, career paths, internal and external training, tuition reimbursement

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20200723 Retirement Plan Photo

You shouldn’t have to face these unprecedented times alone.

Retirement plan sponsors are dealing with tremendous complexity, confusion and uncertainty. COVID-19 has changed every facet of society as we know it— including how you manage your 401(k) plan. If you’re having difficulty wrapping your head around all of the changes and to-dos, you’re not alone.

To determine if now is a right time to hire an advisor or contemplate replacing your existing one, please download the checklist below, and feel free to contact us for a more detailed review of your retirement plan.

Download HerePandemic Checklist

 

 

Signed into effect earlier this year, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a robust economic stimulus package designed to help small business owners and hardworking American families during these unprecedented times.

As part of the act, retirement plan participants have been authorized to use their retirement plan savings for emergency financial relief. Specifically, CARES introduces two new distribution options:  Coronavirus Related Distributions (CRDs) and enhanced loan provisions.

As the pandemic wears on, it’s worthwhile for plan sponsors to remain familiar with these newfangled distribution types and the associated employee questions that might arise.

For a quick CARES Act refresher, please watch the video above, and feel free to contact us for a more detailed review of the act’s provisions.

Headline Image_Four ways to help reduce financial stress for your employees

Employee financial stress is a hot topic. So much so, that nearly 60% of employees cite finances as their primary stressor. [1] Their financial worries surpass other top stressors, and it’s impacting their job performance.

Research shows financially stressed employees are less productive and more distracted at work. They also have higher rates of absenteeism and presenteeism (at work but not fully functioning). Employees typically spend more than three hours a week dealing with their personal finances at work and they lose nearly a month of productive work time (21-31 days a year) due to financial worries.[2]

Employers simply can’t afford to ignore employees’ financial stress. Lost productivity due to financial stress costs American businesses $500 billion annually — around 2.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).[3]

The good news is that many employees want help dealing with their financial strain — and they appreciate their employer’s help. Read the rest of this entry »

Headline Image - Pros and Cons of Taking Coronavirus-related Distributions from Retirement Savings

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly shaken our economy to the core. Many businesses have struggled to keep their doors open which has caused unemployment claims to soar. Record unemployment, coupled with a populous that has an average household savings account of about $8,800[1], has many people looking to their retirement savings as a “piggy bank” for necessary funds to keep their heads above water.

Withdrawing retirement savings should be carefully considered, even in view of the loosening of restrictions around withdrawals as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act because any withdrawal can have a multiplying impact on long-term retirement goals. Read the rest of this entry »

20200320 COVID-19 Banner Image2 - Cropped

The rapid worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has radically changed the way we live and do business.  It has also given rise to multiple pieces of legislation designed to combat the economic effects of the virus.

Over the past several weeks, we have fielded many COVID-19 retirement plan-related questions, and thought it would be worthwhile to consolidate them here in a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Read the rest of this entry »

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Test – the word alone is enough to make even the most studious among us sweat. 

Now place it in the context of your 401(k) plan, i.e. determining whether your plan passes non-discrimination tests, and anxiety levels can easily go through the roof!

This article will take a brief look at ways to correct a failed Average Deferral Percentage (ADP) test, the non-discrimination test mandated by the Internal Revenue Code to determine whether 401(k) elective deferrals unfairly favor highly-compensated employees as well as how to use corrective distributions, a method available to fix a failed test.  It also outlines a few changes that can be made mid-year to improve test results and explains how to avoid the ADP test altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

Headline Image - Lawsuits Over the Years and What it Means for Plan Sponsors - Resized

Formation of Lawsuit Trends

The barrage of excessive fee lawsuits filed in 2006 started a trend that continues to this day. At first, plan sponsors saw early signs of success in getting cases dismissed.

However, this changed after a few years when participants started honing in on claims of self-dealing, i.e. the plan’s fiduciaries benefitting themselves at the expense of the plan’s participants. Dozens of additional lawsuits have been brought, and plan participants have won both trials and settlements, totaling over $6.2 billion to date.[1] Read the rest of this entry »