401(k) plan participants have been pulling out funds more in the past two years than before. What does this mean for plan sponsors, plan participants and the future of retirement savings?
Articles by Patty Kujawa
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey, 1 in 5 workers say they aren’t going to retire on time. How are companies preparing for this trend of older workers who don’t leave—or who are applying for jobs?
Annuities aren’t viewed as a popular retirement income stream for employers with defined contribution plans. However, an increasing number of providers are offering annuity products for plan sponsors to introduce to participants. What are these products, how do they work, and do they benefit plan sponsors?
For the first time in 35 years, Labor Department officials are exploring whether they should change the definition of ‘fiduciary’. The agency wants to make the change so it can better protect the rights of participants, but the benefits community doesn’t see it that way.
At a time when defined benefit or pension plans are growing scarcer, they have become a more potent recruiting and retention tool. Clearly, employees still value the security the retirement plans promise, based on the results of a recent Towers Watson & Co. survey.
Wage and hour lawsuits are by far the most common type of employment litigation. The number of these lawsuits far outpaces any other form of employment litigation and verdicts and settlements are steadily increasing. What are employers doing to address this situation and to limit their liability?
A recent survey of 210 employers by consulting firm Aon Hewitt shows that 57 percent automatically enroll new workers into defined contribution plans. However, less than half automatically raise participants’ contributions.
While it is part of plan sponsors’ federally mandated fiduciary obligation to review provider services, experts say vendor turnover will continue to be active because of recent regulatory and legislative changes as well as a response to an improving economic climate.
New Labor Department regulations require defined contribution plan sponsors to supply information on revenue sharing and more detailed data on fees and expenses to participants.
Some employers are more proactively educating workers about insufficient contributions to their 401(k) plans, a trend that’s expected to persist into 2011. One company, after mailing nearly 17,000 personalized letters about current employee investing levels, tracked a 45 percent increase in contributions.