The Partners Circle

The mission of the Partners is to empower all of us to go directly to each other with our expertise. FiduciaryFirst is considered an industry leader and our knowledge and informative blogs can help you gain an understanding about key topics within the industry.

Financial Wellness Programs: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Financial stress takes a huge toll on employees and productivity, and more than three-quarters (78 percent) of employees say they would choose to join a company that offers a financial wellness benefit over a company that didn’t, and 81 percent would be less likely to leave a company that’s helping them improve their finances, according to a survey released by GuideSpark, a workforce communications company. So, establishing financial wellness programs for employees is becoming more important to employee recruitment and retention. If your company is thinking about establishing a financial wellness program, here are some things you should consider from the experts in retirement plan sponsors, FiduciaryFirst. Start with your employees. You can’t help employees improve their financial health until you’ve established what problems they face. Start by asking your employees what they need and what their goals are, and avoid guessing or assuming you know what they need. Make it...
Continue reading
852 Hits
0 Comments

New Lawsuits Target Excessive Retirement Plan Fees

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued new rules this year defining fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and the first compliance deadline is set for April 2017. The new, broader fiduciary standard states that anyone who provides investment advice to employer retirement plan participants, plan sponsors, plan participants, other plan fiduciaries, or plan beneficiaries must either avoid payments that cause conflicts of interest or must fall under specific exemptions issued by the DOL. Fiduciary standards are also the subject of several new lawsuits filed against plan sponsors. A suit filed in June against the Fujitsu Group Defined Contribution and 401(k) Plan claims that the plan designed and administered “one of the most expensive large 401(k) plans in the country.” The suit claims, among other allegations, that in 2014, the plan’s total fees were approximately three times higher than plans of similar size, and that the plan used target-date...
Continue reading
1010 Hits
0 Comments

Your Employees & Retirement: Best Practices in Employee Communication

Helping employees prepare for retirement is one of the biggest challenges that plan sponsors face. Only 21 percent of workers are very confident they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey. A carefully designed and executed communication program can help engage employees and encourage them to take action to prepare for retirement, and behavioral finance strategies can be applied to your plan’s communication efforts. Communication is more successful when it addresses specific employee behaviors and works with people’s natural inclinations. Tailor Your Messages Behavioral finance explains how people’s natural tendencies keep them from making sound financial decisions. People don’t save, although they know that they should. Others are afraid to invest because they might face potential losses. Others may lack the knowledge to create their own investment plan. Tailoring your plan’s communication strategy to your audience’s psychological weaknesses can...
Continue reading
1093 Hits
0 Comments

ERISA Plans & Limitations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets standards for most pension and health plans in private industry, protecting the participants in those plans. ERISA plans require that plans give participants specific information about: the plan outlines the people that have fiduciary responsibility for the plan And ERISA requires plans to: set up review grievances appeals processes for participants, and gives participants the right to sue for their benefits or if one of the plan’s fiduciaries breach his or her fiduciary responsibilities. It’s those last two areas that affect a plan’s “limitation periods.” During a review process, the plan administrators must make a decision on whether to approve or deny a participant's claim for benefits, typically within 90 days, but shorter periods apply to urgent-care medical or disability claims. If the claim is denied, the participant may appeal within a specified period of time....
Continue reading
879 Hits
0 Comments

Brexit and Your 401(k)

Great Britain’s exit from the European Union sent shocks throughout the worldwide financial markets, and retirement plan consultants received a lot of questions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), a well-known investment benchmark, dropped nearly 900 points in two days, and that can cause a lot of anxiety for 401(k) plan participants and plan sponsors, particularly if they have significant portions of their portfolios allocated to international investments. So, what should plan participants do in times of market volatility? Ideally, nothing. Stay the course Volatile markets are nothing new, and Brexit is simply the latest in a long series of events that cause financial turmoil. Let’s look at the aftermath of Brexit. On June 23, 2016, the Dow was at 18,011.10. On June 24, it dropped to 17,399.90 and continued downward to hit 17,140.20 on June 27. But by June 30, it had rebounded back to 17,930.00. By July 25, it...
Continue reading
813 Hits
0 Comments

The DOL Fiduciary Rule

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 to protect tax-deferred retirement savings plans. In the more than 40 years since then, retirement plans have evolved significantly and now are more important than ever to workers and their families. The Department of Labor (DOL) recently adopted a final rule for plan sponsors that adds an extra layer of protection to help better protect retirement savings. The new rule will be phased in over time, with many requirements becoming effective by April, 2017. All of the new rule’s provisions will be in effect by January 1, 2018.

Continue reading
1517 Hits
0 Comments

Saving for Retirement: Watch Out for Out-of-Date Advice

Rules of thumb can be easy to understand, but they don’t always get updated regularly. For example, nobody worries about wearing white after Labor Day any more or waits for an hour after eating to go swimming. The same can be true for retirement advice – some of the old “rules” aren’t really applicable today, such as: You’ll Need 80 percent of Your Income in Retirement. This rule isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s really too general. How much you need depends on how you plan to spend your retirement. A better rule would be to figure out how much the lifestyle you want in retirement will cost and work toward that goal. Withdraw No More Than 4% of Your Savings Each Year in Retirement. This rule doesn’t really factor in market conditions and how much your retirement nest egg is earning. A better rule would be to calculate how much you...
Continue reading
897 Hits
0 Comments

Improve Your Plan Participants’ Financial Literacy

Millennials and Generation Xers have very similar attitudes toward retirement saving, according to a January 2016 survey* of defined contribution plan participants conducted by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). For the most part, this group (defined as plan participants ages 22-50) have a great deal in common when thinking about retirement: Most of them (87 percent) agree that it’s important to start saving for retirement early. Almost as many (83 percent) say that saving is a priority. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) feel that they will live longer than previous generations. Four out of five (80 percent) like their jobs and value employee benefits. A majority (69 percent) think it’s fine if their employer raises their savings rate by one percent each year. The survey notes that by age 40, participants are thinking seriously about retirement, and their financial literacy increases rapidly. Differences emerge, however, when the survey looks at younger participants,...
Continue reading
958 Hits
0 Comments

Client Lockbox

Contact Details

1060 Maitland Center Commons

Suite 360

Maitland, FL 32751

Phone: 866-625-4611

Fax: 407-740-6113

Email: info@fiduciaryfirst.com