Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’

4 Qualified Plan Tax Advantages for Employers

September 4th, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

Headline Image - 4 Qualified Plan Tax Advantages for Employers

By choosing to offer your employees a 401(k) plan, you’re sending a powerful message — that you’re invested in their future and committed to helping them work towards financial security in their retirement.

As a business owner, you can also benefit from setting up a retirement savings plan. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to save money for your own retirement, it also enables you to take advantage of tax savings thanks to special deductions and tax credits.

Here are four ways that a 401(k) can help you reduce taxes:

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VIDEO: Fiduciary Action Items During Turbulent Times

August 28th, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

 

As COVID-19 wears on, employers and employees alike continue to face a multitude of updates, changes, and challenges… and we know that uncertainty can lead to stress. While things are constantly changing, one thing remains the same – your status as a fiduciary. Your responsibility to act in the best interest of your employees can not take a sick day.

There are three fiduciary actions you can take during these turbulent times featured in our video above.

Remember, there is still time to adopt one or more features of the CARES Act to help your employees cope with unforeseen financial difficulties.

And, if you’re interested in implementing a comprehensive Financial Wellness program for your employees, we’ve got your solution. With all of the stresses out there, the last thing you want your employees worrying about is their finances.  Now, more than ever, providing them with access to their own personal Financial Coach can go a long way to stabilizing their footing and getting them on the right path forward.

To learn more, give us a call:  415.925.8700.

Headline Image - Dos and Donts for Your Retirement Plan Committee

Scan the business news and you will likely find an article detailing the latest 401(k) litigation against a company accused of a fiduciary breach. The litigious trend started with corporate behemoths but has been trickling down to small and mid-size plans.

Adding to this, a survey found that 43% of company fiduciaries don’t actually think they are fiduciaries.[1]

“We see this regularly and stress that plan sponsors need to understand their fiduciary responsibility and all that it entails,” said Roger Levy, AIFA, an Analyst for the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX). CEFEX is an independent certification organization that works closely with industry experts to provide comprehensive assessment programs to improve the fiduciary practices of investment stewards, advisors, recordkeepers, administrators and support services firms.

“Even if a company outsources their fiduciary oversight for some aspects of their retirement plan, they still have certain obligations under the law,” says Levy. As a plan sponsor, you are still responsible for adhering to the Department of Labor’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) guidelines, which govern and enforce the administration of 401(k) plans and their assets.

Here are five ways that plan sponsors can aim to lower fiduciary risk and stay in accordance with ERISA. If you have questions about the complexities of plan management, contact us for support.

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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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5 Ways Total Rewards Can Help Recruit Top Talent

July 30th, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

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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Plan Sponsor Guide: Pandemic Checklist

July 23rd, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

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

VIDEO: A Quick CARES Act Refresher

July 22nd, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

 

 

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 »

Top 10 COVID-19 FAQs – Retirement Plan Sponsors

April 1st, 2020 by Jonathan Leidy

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 »