2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference Speaker and Agenda Announced!

The 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference, sponsored by Pension Consultants, Inc., is coming soon!

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The Tools Your Retirement Plan May Be Missing: Auto-Enrollment & Auto-Escalation


What are your goals for your retirement plan? Are you a plan sponsor reviewing your plan and wondering to yourself, “Why is my plan not performing competitively against others,” or even more so, “How do I increase employee participation in my retirement plan?”

The answer could be, as we will outline in this post, something as simple as adding auto features to your plan design.

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Underestimating Retirement

The financial planning industry has overplayed the marketing line ‘what’s your number.” I am referring to how financial literature and commercials primarily focus on having a particular asset value (i.e. one million dollars) and once you reach that mythical dollar amount you can have a successful retirement.Continue reading

Using Match Structures to Improve Retirement Readiness

Most plan sponsors/employers would agree that the ultimate goal of a company-sponsored retirement plan is to help participants better prepare for life after their working career is over.   With that in mind, many employers offer a company match to help encourage employees to save more for the future.

Unfortunately, there can be an unintended consequence of the employer match.Continue reading

The Second Phase of Life during Retirement: Slow, Slow, Slow

There are three different and distinct phases in retirement.  Initially, you will find yourself in the go, go, go phase.  You might call the second phase slow, slow, slow, later followed by the no, no, no phase. This post will focus on the second phase of retirement life, the slow, slow, slow phase (for more information on the active phase of retirement read our post on the go, go, go phase).Continue reading

Preparing for Retirement Isn’t a Game

trafficlightHave you ever played the game “Red Light, Green Light?” One player controls the traffic light while everyone else alternates between stops and starts depending on what color is showing. The last three to five years on the way to retirement can seem a little bit like that game.

You come to realize you’re down to your last handful of working years. The imagination phase of retirement is behind you and you’re likely filled with joy and excitement of your nearing retirement. You may not have the exact date, but at least the year is coming into focus.

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Sequence of Returns Risk

One of the greatest risks to a successful retirement is out-living your assets. This could be caused by unaccounted-for inflation, uninsured medical expenses, or just living a lifestyle your assets cannot support for the long term. But sometimes you can save tenaciously, plan fervently, live frugally, adhere to all commonly accepted investing principles and still have your retirement nest egg dwindle. One possible cause of this scenario could be the risk from your sequence of returns.

Sequence of returns risk can be summarized as the risk from the order in which investment returns occur and the impact it has on the longevity of withdrawals available during retirement. Table 1 shows a very basic example:Continue reading

Washington’s Answer to the Retirement Readiness Issue

Recently proposed budgets and legislation illustrate a trend, and the trend in Washington is retirement readiness. In 2014’s First Quarter, the notion of improving retirement readiness—both by making it easier for lower income individuals to save for retirement as well as by easing the burden on small employers in offering benefits plans—has been presented in budget and legislative proposals. This blog will summarize some of Washington’s key proposals, including those relevant provisions within President Obama’s proposed budget for 2015, Senator Collins’ and Nelson’s Retirement Security Act of 2014, and Senator Harkin’s USA Retirement Funds Act of 2014.Continue reading

Retirement Readiness Q&A

After our recent Educational Series Webinar on Retirement Readiness: Is your plan getting employees to a better retirement?, Cody Mendenhall, CFP®, Executive Director, responded to the questions the audience asked. Here’s what he had to say.

Question: In this economy and with the markets fluctuating so much over the last year, do you see a trend in employer confidence in individuals’ ability to save? And if so, how are they responding to this economy?

Cody: Individuals’ lack of confidence in their retirement readiness is well documented in studies, but a recent study from Aon Hewitt showed a significant decline in employer confidence in their employees’ retirement readiness as well. The study showed a decline of employer confidence from 30% last year to just Continue reading