Our View

Health Care Industry — It’s a New World

Written By Rob Rogers

It has always been said that politics are local…that has also been the case with health care delivery. Whether it was the family physician or the community hospital, it has always been local or regional at best.

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Cash Balance Plans and Late Retirement Adjustments – Are They Required?

Written By Lisa Tomlin

Even though cash balance plans should be fairly simple plans to administer, they have been fraught with complications and lawsuits for many years. The Pension Protection Act (PPA) and subsequent regulations alleviate the challenges that cash balance plans faced with age discrimination and with the determination of the lump sum amounts that required these plans, in some cases, to do burdensome whipsaw calculations.

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Are Auto-enrollment 401(k) Plans Gaining Traction?

Written By Kyle Pifher

When it comes to employee benefits, a retirement plan is something of a must for many companies. But how to get employees to contribute and the rationale for employers to want them to is something that has bubbled up as an opportunity for further exploration.

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Pension Plan Dilemma When Reemploying Retirees?

Written By Colleen Lowmiller

To help keep benefit costs down, many defined benefit pension plans have a "suspension of benefits" provision under which plan sponsors stop or suspend pension benefits being paid to retirees if they are reemployed. The law allows (but does not require) such a suspension for retirees who are reemployed for as few as 40 hours in a month.

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Big Changes Coming to PBGC Premiums for 2014

Written By David Davala

On November 6, as expected, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, (PBGC) announced the premium rates that will be applicable for 2014. The per-participant rate (flat-rate premium) is increasing from $42.00 to $49.00, a 16% increase.

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Retirement Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Role – What is the Best Fee Benchmarking Method?

Plan sponsors are wondering what to do with the influx of data generated by our new age of regulated fee disclosure. What are the fiduciary responsibilities surrounding this data?

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Next Steps for Employers in 401(k) Fee Disclosure Requirements

Written By Kyle Pifher

Let’s face it; a significant number of Americans are not even close to being ready for retirement. So as employees begin to see the fees they pay for their 401(k), employers may need to do some damage control. Many of our clients are preparing their communication to employees about the 401(k) fees they are paying. Being proactive can help your company enhance the trust of your employees and ensure them the plan’s services and fees are being periodically reviewed.

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Call Centers in the Cloud

Written By Doug Sheffer

With the recession behind us, call center usage is on the rise. During the recession companies looked to cut costs to protect their assets. In looking for cost benefit savings often customer support centers became expendable as they were viewed as more of an expense than an asset. Now with the recession behind us and thanks to continued improvements in technology companies are starting to explore call center solutions once again.

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Retirement Plan Service Providers – When the Cheapest Option May Not Be the Least Expensive

Written By Mike Szyperski

Recent regulations related to fee disclosure have prompted a renewed focus on the amount plan sponsors are paying for services related to their retirement plans. When choosing a service provider, or "shopping around" to determine if their current fees are reasonable, plan sponsors may be tempted to give considerable weight to the cheapest option. Often overlooked, however, are the costs associated with utilizing an inferior service provider such as poor plan design or inaccurate compliance testing.

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Are Recent Rising Interest Rates Impacting Your Retirement Decision?

Written By Todd Strada

In the last few years of the current economic rebound, the Federal Reserve has taken numerous actions to help keep our economy from going back into its 2008 swoon. One such measure, referred to as "quantitative easing", is an unconventional monetary policy used by central banks to increase money supply and stimulate the national economy. With this policy, interest rates have stayed consistently lower than they were prior to 2008.

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