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Articles by Patty Kujawa

Improving Employees' Financial Literacy

November 1, 2010
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While many employers offer some form of investment advice, a recent national survey shows that employees are slow to tap that expertise. One Minneapolis-based construction company has been able to better connect with employees by hosting a series of financial workshops.
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Weighing Retirement Calculator Options

October 4, 2010
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As retirement calculators become more sophisticated, employees can gain better insights into how much they need to save. But the number of steps involved, as well as the underlying statistical models, can dramatically alter that bottom-line figure.
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Retirement Readiness Can Employers Do More

September 10, 2010
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Despite the growth in 401(k) plans, nearly half of Americans ages 56 to 62 haven't saved enough for retirement, according to a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute analysis. Defined-contribution plans don't reach some employees, including those working in small businesses. Even BrightScope, the relatively young defined-contribution ranking company, is only now establishing a plan.
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Financial Reform Postpones a Key Stable-Value Decision

July 20, 2010
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The financial reform law asks federal agencies to study whether stable-value funds should be classified as swaps. How they are classified could influence whether they fall under the new law’s regulatory provisions.
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More Workers Checking In on Pension Plans

July 6, 2010
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Mercer reports a 40 percent increase in defined-benefit participants asking for their estimated end benefit in 2009 versus 2008.
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Employers Take a Second Look at Collective Investment Trusts

June 11, 2010
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Since 2008, the number and type of collective investment trusts have proliferated. One driver: a heightened employer interest in low-cost investment options.
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Investment Help Pays Off, Study Finds

June 9, 2010
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People who use professional help to manage their 401(k) plans get higher returns than those who try to figure it out themselves, a recent study shows.
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Restoring the 401(k) Match

May 6, 2010
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Six months after it suspended its matching contribution to employees’ 401(k)s, Briggs & Stratton decided it was time to bring the dollars back. The company is part of a trend: Of the 293 U.S. employers that suspended matching contributions last year, 44 percent have already restored the match or intend to restore it by next year, Fidelity found.
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Most Workers Woefully Unprepared for Retirement

April 5, 2010
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Twenty-seven percent of employees have less than $1,000 in savings, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual retirement survey. More than half of respondents say their total value of household savings and investments is less than $25,000. The survey results present a strong case for automatically enrolling participants in plans and automatically escalating contribution rates.
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Minority Employees Trail in Retirement Plan Participation

February 24, 2010
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The lowest participation is by nonnative-born Hispanic workers. Employers can tackle the problem of lower minority-worker participation through automatic enrollment, automatic escalation of deferral rates and adding more sophisticated financial education.
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