Category: Retirement Trends & News

Get the latest information on Retirement Trends from the experts at Ubiquity Retirement & Savings. Get important news that can affect your retirement, along with tips and advice from our team of retirement experts. Call Ubiquity today for a Free Consultation at 855.466.5825.

The retirement planning landscape has undergone transformative changes with the introduction of the SECURE Act in 2019 and the SECURE Act 2.0 in 2022. These legislative milestones have reshaped retirement plan eligibility, especially for long-term part-time employees. For plan sponsors, understanding and adapting to these changes is essential for tailoring your company’s retirement solutions. This post aims to provide an insightful guide for plan sponsors navigating these new regulations, ensuring smooth transition and compliance.

Defining Long-Term Part-Time Employees:

Central to these changes is the redefined criteria for long-term part-time (LTPT) employees, a key group affected by the SECURE Act. Individuals, who have logged over 500 hours (around 12.5 weeks full-time) annually for three consecutive years, starting from January 1, 2021, are now eligible for retirement plan participation, marking a significant shift in eligibility criteria.

Flexibility and Impact of Updated LTPT Eligibility Criteria:

The SECURE Act’s modifications, effective from January 1, 2024, introduce not just new eligibility criteria for Long-Term Part-Time (LTPT) employees but also considerable flexibility. If they meet the plan eligibility criteria, LTPT employees can continue their participation in the company’s 401(k) plan even with fluctuating annual work hours, ensuring financial inclusivity and acknowledging the diverse contributions of all employees. However, it’s important to note that plans are not required to include LTPT employees in employer contributions, automatic enrollment, or the plan’s non-discrimination testing, including Top Heavy requirements. This distinction is crucial for understanding both the scope and the limitations of LTPT employees’ participation in these retirement plans.

Staying Ahead with SECURE Act 2.0:

In 2025, the SECURE Act 2.0 will further amend the eligibility requirement for LTPT employees, reducing it from three to two consecutive years. It’s crucial for plan sponsors to stay informed about these legislative changes and adapt their strategies accordingly to anticipate future shifts.

Effective Communication Strategies:

Plan sponsors are tasked with the crucial role of communicating SECURE Act updates to eligible long-term part-time employees. They must ensure these employees are informed about their new retirement plan eligibility and enrollment process before January 1st, 2024. While plan sponsors may coordinate with their plan providers for logistical support, the primary responsibility for clear and timely communication lies with them.

Ensuring Compliance Through Plan Document Updates:

Understanding the evolving landscape of the new LTPT rules is essential for maintaining compliance in the future. Currently, the industry is awaiting further technical guidance from the IRS regarding these requirements. While plan amendments for LTPT compliance have not yet begun, it’s important to operate in good faith with the anticipation of adapting your plan accordingly. Once the IRS approves the necessary amendments, leveraging the expertise of your plan provider will be key to ensure your documents are accurately updated and fully compliant with the new regulations. Staying informed and prepared will help mitigate potential issues and align your plan with the latest regulations when the time comes.

Preparing for the Change:

The inclusion of long-term part-time employees in retirement plans is a significant step towards financial security and inclusivity. As a plan sponsor, staying informed and adaptable to these evolving regulations is crucial. By adhering to the new eligibility criteria, engaging in effective communication, and being vigilant about legislative updates, you ensure that your retirement solutions are inclusive and compliant. This proactive approach not only aligns with current regulations but also promotes a culture of financial well-being among your employees.

Explore Retirement Solutions with Ubiquity Retirement & Savings®

Need assistance with the SECURE Act’s retirement plan changes? Ubiquity Retirement + Savings offers expert solutions for small businesses. Whether converting an existing plan or setting up a new one, we’re here to guide you to the right choice. Contact us today for compliant and efficient retirement plan options tailored to your business needs.

Inflation is a topic that has been widely discussed in recent times, and its impact on retirement planning cannot be overlooked, especially for small business owners. Planning for retirement involves ensuring that there will be enough funds to cover expenses and maintain a comfortable lifestyle in the future. Understanding the effects of inflation and how to navigate them is crucial for effective retirement planning. In this article, we will explore the impacts of inflation on retirement and provide strategies to help small business owners and their employees prepare for it.

What is Inflation?

Inflation refers to the persistent increase in the general price level of goods and services over time. As prices rise, the purchasing power of money decreases, meaning that the same amount of currency can buy fewer goods or services. Inflation is influenced by various factors, including changes in supply and demand, government policies, and economic growth rates. It is an inherent characteristic of most economies and has a direct impact on people’s financial well-being.

The Impact of Inflation on Your 401(k)

Inflation poses significant challenges for retirees, as it erodes the purchasing power of their fixed incomes over time. Many retirees rely on fixed income sources such as pensions or annuities to sustain their lifestyle during retirement. However, as prices rise due to inflation, the value of these fixed incomes diminishes. This can lead to a gradual decline in the standard of living, making it essential to account for inflation when planning for retirement.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

Planning for Inflation in Retirement

When setting up a small business 401(k) plan, it is important to consider the impact of future inflation rates. While it is difficult to predict inflation with absolute certainty, historical data and economic indicators can provide some guidance. Consulting with a plan advisor or a financial advisor who specializes in retirement planning can help develop a personalized strategy that takes into account factors such as inflation, longevity, and individual goals.

Strategies for Inflation-Proof Retirement

While it is impossible to completely avoid the impacts of inflation, there are strategies that can help mitigate its effects on retirement savings. Consider the following strategies when planning for inflation:

  1. Contribute the Maximum Amount: Take advantage of the maximum allowable contribution limits to your retirement accounts. These limits increase annually to keep up with inflation. For example, in 2023, the maximum contribution to a 401(k) rose to $22,500, with an additional $7,500 in catch-up contributions for individuals age 50 and older.
  2. Employer Match: If your small business offers an employer match for employee contributions to the 401(k) plan, encourage employees to take full advantage of it. An employer match is essentially free money that can significantly boost retirement savings. And don’t forget that as the employer, you can contribute to your own retirement this way – up to the IRS limit of $66,000 in total for 2023!
  3. Budget for Rising Healthcare Costs: Healthcare costs may rise faster than the general inflation rate. It is important to account for these expenses when planning for retirement and ensure that sufficient funds are allocated to cover future healthcare needs.
  4. Regularly Monitor and Review Your Plan: Keep a close eye on your small business 401(k) plan and make necessary adjustments as needed as your business needs and company change. Stay informed about economic trends, investment performance, and changes in regulations that may impact retirement savings.
  5. Diversify Investments: Spreading investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, can help provide a hedge against inflation. Each asset class may react differently to inflationary pressures, reducing the overall risk to the portfolio.
  6. Adjust Asset Allocation: Evaluate your asset allocation based on risk tolerance and retirement timeline. If you are a small business owner offering a 401(k) plan, consider providing options that align with your employees’ retirement timelines or offer monitoring by investment experts who have fiduciary responsibilities.

By implementing these strategies and staying proactive in your retirement planning, you can better prepare yourself and your employees for the impact of inflation. It is important to work with financial professionals who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances and help ensure that your retirement plan is equipped to withstand the challenges posed by inflation.

In conclusion, small business owners need to consider the impact of inflation on retirement planning. By understanding inflation and its effects, and implementing appropriate strategies, it is possible to mitigate the erosion of purchasing power and build a retirement nest egg that can withstand the test of time. Stay informed, seek professional advice, and regularly review your retirement plan to ensure that you and your employees are well-prepared for the future.

 

Ubiquity is not a registered investment advisor, and the information provided herein should not be considered legal or tax advice. We recommend consulting with your financial planner, attorney, and/or tax advisor for personalized advice. 

Retirement planning has been evolving over the years. In the past, retirement planning was primarily about saving money in a 401(k) or IRA. However, with the emergence of technology and the changing demographics of the workforce, retirement planning is taking on a new form. In this article, we will explore the trends and innovations that are shaping the future of retirement planning.

Importance of Retirement Planning

Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or an employee, planning for retirement is crucial. It ensures that you have enough money to cover your living expenses and healthcare costs in the future. Retirement planning allows you to live the lifestyle you desire and pursue your passions without worrying about financial constraints.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

The Future of Retirement Planning

As we look ahead, we can expect to see more innovation and personalization in retirement planning. Here are some trends that are shaping the future:

  1. Personalized Retirement Plans: Traditional retirement plans often take a one-size-fits-all approach. However, the future of retirement planning lies in personalized plans. These plans will consider individual circumstances such as age, health status, and financial goals to help individuals save and invest according to their unique needs. For small business owners, choosing the right 401(k) plan for your employees can also provide a level of personalization and support.
  2. Increased Use of Technology: Technology will play a significant role in making retirement planning more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective. With the advancements in financial technology, individuals will have access to tools and platforms that enable them to monitor their retirement savings, track their expenses, and make informed investment decisions. For small business owners, working with a low-cost, flat-fee1 provider that utilizes proprietary technology can ensure that your small business 401(k) plan is optimized for success.
  3. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors are automated investment platforms that use algorithms to provide personalized investment advice and manage portfolios. These platforms will become more prevalent in retirement planning, offering individuals a convenient and cost-effective way to manage their investments. Robo-advisors can help individuals make informed investment decisions based on their risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon.
  4. Impact Investing: As people become more conscious of the impact their investments have on society and the environment, impact investing will gain popularity. Impact investing allows individuals to align their investments with their values by investing in companies and organizations that make a positive impact on society. This trend will give retirement savers an opportunity to make a difference while growing their wealth.
  5. Longevity Planning: With increasing life expectancies, longevity planning will become more important. Longevity planning involves creating a financial plan that accounts for the possibility of living a longer life. Individuals will need to consider factors such as healthcare costs, long-term care, and estate planning. Small business owners should also factor in longevity planning when designing retirement benefits for their employees, as women tend to live longer than men on average.

The future of retirement planning is marked by innovation and personalization. Technology will play a crucial role in making retirement planning more accessible and efficient.

Personalized plans, robo-advisors, impact investing, and longevity planning are some of the trends to watch. As a small business owner, staying informed about these trends will help you design effective retirement plans for yourself and your employees, ensuring a secure and prosperous future.

 

1 Decimal, Inc. charges flat fees for recordkeeping and administrative services. Third-party service providers may assess asset-based fees to customers. We advise Plan Sponsors to review all service agreements with providers, such as investment advisors, custodians, and broker-dealers, to evaluate the total cost of the plan. 

Ubiquity is not a registered investment advisor, and the information provided herein should not be considered legal or tax advice. We recommend consulting with your financial planner, attorney, and/or tax advisor for personalized advice. 

55 million American workers—more than 40% of full-time, private-sector employees—don’t have access to a workplace retirement savings plan. As very few employers offer pensions and Social Security is drying up, with funds expected to be depleted as soon as 2035, the responsibility for saving falls more on the individual than ever before.

Automatic enrollment is a retirement plan feature that enables employers to admit new participants into the plan as soon as they are eligible to participate. Instead of the traditional method of waiting for the participant to meet eligibility requirements and then enrolling manually (or not – many eligible employees procrastinate or forget), this lets employers add new eligible participants quickly and easily.

But why is this so great?

The #1 most significant element to impact a plan balance is the contribution rate.  

Not investments, not management. Simply contributing to a retirement plan makes all the difference, and we designed our 401(k) plan options with this in mind. Here are three compelling reasons why small business owners should embrace the ease that automatic enrollment options bring to your 401(k) plan:

1. Auto-enrollment makes saving easy for employees

Although a 401(k) plan is the second-most popular employee benefit after health insurance, only a fraction of employees actually participate because they believe that enrollment is complicated.

But a plan with the auto-enroll feature removes that complication and gets employees the benefit they want as soon as they’re eligible to enter the plan without the hassle of completing forms. They can start saving for retirement and accumulating earnings on those savings sooner, which means more money for their retirement!

Employees can always opt out but using auto-enrollment has shown to double or even triple the rate of participation, particularly among younger employees and those earning less than $30,000.

2. Auto-enrollment helps employers attract and retain talent

Staying competitive in the job market is vital in today’s economy. It is becoming ever more important to attract and retain employees—and offering free snacks or a ping-pong table is not going to cut it. Instead, salary, healthcare insurance, and a retirement plan are the top three most critical elements job seekers consider.

Giving your employees a way to save for their retirement is a cost-effective and easy way to attract and retain talent and maintain an edge over the competition.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

3. Employers whose plans feature auto-enrollment save on taxes

All employers who open a new 401(k) plan may be eligible for substantial tax credits. You can qualify for up to $15,000 in credits just for opening a new 401(k) plan.

And when you add automatic enrollment, you save even more. This one feature can qualify you for a tax credit worth $500 per year for the first three years of the plan.

These tax credits for your business—a total of up to $16,500—can help small business owners like you save for your own retirements.

A few things to remember:

Ubiquity 401(k) plans offer the option of auto-enrollment with or without auto-escalation (i.e., to have their savings amount increase automatically). Participants can opt out of auto-enrollment at any time to:

  • Change their contribution amount
  • Make Roth contributions (if available in the plan)
  • Opt out of participating in the plan altogether

All contributions made through auto-enrollment remain in the participant’s account even if they opt out within the first 90 days. Once a participant opts out of auto-enrollment, they cannot opt back into having their contribution amount(s) increase automatically if auto-escalation is included in the plan; however, they can change their savings amount at any time.

To speak with a retirement expert on which retirement plan is right for your small business, reach out to Ubiquity today.

 

 

1 Eligible employers may be able to claim a tax credit of up to $5,000, for three years, for ordinary and necessary costs of starting a 401(k) plan. IRS’ qualifying factors are: you had 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in compensation from you in the preceding year, you had at least one participant who was a non-highly compensated employee (NHCE) and in the three tax years before the first year you’re eligible for the credit, your employees were substantially the same employees who received contributions or accrued benefits in another plan sponsored by you, a member of a controlled group that includes you, or a predecessor of either. Those plans with automatic enrollment can claim a tax credit of $500 per year for a 3-year taxable period.

Ubiquity is not a registered investment advisor, and no portion of the material herein should be construed as legal or tax advice. Please consult with your financial planner, attorney and/or tax advisor for advice.

 

If you’ve held off on providing a 401(k) plan to your employees in the past due to startup expenses, then it’s time to look into the SECURE Act tax credit. As of January 1, 2020, small business 401(k)s are eligible for a tax credit that offsets the cost of plan setup and administration for the first three years.

As a small business 401(k) provider, the experts at Ubiquity will provide all the information you need to offer a new retirement plan at a low, fixed cost.

Step 1: Determine your SECURE Act eligibility.

For SECURE Act 2022 eligibility, you must:

  • Have less than 100 employees who receive $5,000+ per year in compensation.
  • Have at least one plan participant who is a non-highly compensated employee.
  • Not have had a 401(k) or other qualifying retirement plan within the past 3 years.

Answer a few simple questions to find the optimal plan for you and your small business.

How many employees do you have?
I am a sole proprietor
(just me/or my business partner/spouse)

Or schedule a free consultation with a retirement specialist.

Step 2: Set up your small business 401(k) plan.

Next, you’ll need to work with a small business 401(k) plan provider to set up your plan. You’ll need to create a plan document that complies with IRS Code and outlines all the details of your retirement plan. You’ll also need a trust to hold the plan assets and a broker to help you select funds and execute the investments.

Over the years, your 401(k) administrator will help you maintain 401(k) records, enroll new employees, track employee deductions, provide information to plan participants, and keep your plan in compliance with the law.

Ideally, you will choose a low-cost 401(k) provider that focuses on small business clientele and charges a flat fee for service. Administrative costs can vary considerably, with some providers charging per-person fees and assets under management fees — expenses that grow along with the size of your plan. Alternatively, Ubiquity provides flat-fee plans whose cost will never rise, no matter how much your savings grow.

Step 3: Claim your SECURE Act credit.

When you file your taxes, you’ll need to file IRS Form 8881 to claim your startup tax credit. Taking this simple step can qualify you for a tax credit worth $500 to $5,000, put toward up to 50% of your 401(k) setup and administration expenses. If you choose the automatic enrollment feature, you qualify for an additional $500 per year, dollar for dollar.

These credits can be applied for the first three years of your new plan. In total, you can get up to $16,500 in free money for your business just for starting a retirement savings plan, which can help you save more for your own retirement and make your company more competitive in the job market.

Keep in mind that even after the first three years, you’ll be able to write off any non-elective or matching contributions to reduce your company’s taxable income. What’s more, any money put into your own 401(k) will reduce your personal taxable income. The saved money will gain compounding interest over the years, helping you to feel more financially secure in your retirement.

Questions about 401(k) retirement plans for your small business? Contact Ubiquity today.

Millennials make up the largest labor force in the U.S. and are expected to work longer due to college debt, rising rent costs and uncertain retirement benefits such as Social Security.

The Millennial generation, which spans 18 years, hasn’t been dealt the best hand, having come of age during the post-9/11 and Grand Recession era. However, that doesn’t mean that they should abandon hopes for the the future, or consider a “work till I’m dead” approach. Financial education and smarter decision making will help this generation overcome obstacles, while also potentially being the savviest generation on record.

1. Your teens

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your teens is not seizing the opportunity to learn about money and establish a foundation for the rest of your life.

Some of us are lucky in that our states require us to complete personal finance courses to graduate high school, so we’re forced to pay attention to the importance of learning about savings.

However, regardless of whether financial education is required or not, you should make it a priority at this point in your life.

A lot of people complain that personal finance is boring, but if you listen to the experiences of the people you know — parents, grandparents, relatives, family friends, etc. — you will learn a life lesson and probably hear some great stories in the process. At this stage in your life, it is all about the basics. You don’t have to start investing now!

Lastly, consider getting your feet wet in the job market with a part-time job you enjoy so you can start understanding the value of money and learning how to budget for yourself.

2. Early 20s

In your early 20s, you may be in college or just entering your first full-time job. Either way, both these paths bring a new kind of freedom. However, while it’s easy to embrace and experiment with that independence, you can’t forget that earning extra income will give you cash to spend now and to save for later.

Whether you’re in college or working after high school, don’t wait to start saving for retirement until you have access to a 401(k) plan. Consider using a saving app, or even going to your local bank to set up a savings account. Not only are you saving money early, but you’re building a financial reputation with your bank, which will come handy if you seek a loan in the future.

3. Mid- to late-20s

By now, you’re probably either a full-time member of the workforce or actively pursuing your career. This is when you want to look for jobs that value their employees enough to offer the right benefits that will help you save for retirement and other necessities.

It’s okay if your first job does not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan – you are still investing in your career by gaining useful experience. However, you want to make sure your next company offers some kind of employer-sponsored savings plan.

Even if it seems like a flashback to a classroom, go to your company’s open enrollment meetings, which are filled with useful information.

After you start contributing to a retirement plan and building the foundation for a nest egg that will grow over time, you will start to learn about yourself and your investment style. Are you risky, conservative or somewhere in between?

4. Early 30s

As your salary and responsibilities grow, so will some of your expenses, but it’s important to increase your savings contributions with those raises and promotions. This is the right time to identify bad financial habits you may have developed and correct them before it’s too late.

If you miss out on savings opportunities now, it will cost you a lot more down the road. Everyone has retirement dreams, but they won’t become a reality without implementing a healthy savings strategy!

FinTech, or financial technology, is receiving loads of attention, but there is still a great deal of confusion over what it is and what it means—especially as it applies to retirement. Let’s try to clarify this.

We’ve all been incredibly frustrated by the fallout from the financial crisis, regardless of which generation we hail from. Retirement plans and every single financial, legacy-laden organization out there still include a ton of nest egg-sucking fees hiding in their fine print. FinTech cuts against this, ushering in the age of transparency. The traditional financial institution, from banks to retirement, is being crowd-transformed – by the people – for the people.

This includes a financial humanization overhaul. A vast portion of people—women and minorities for example—will now be included in this conversation from which they’ve previously been excluded.

Questions to ask

In this respect, advisers and employers have to ask themselves what financial providers are they working with and what do they stand for? Are they part of the financial literacy revolution? Do they offer fee transparency? Or are they part of the legacy problem? Remember—employers hoping to attract and retain talent these days, must align with what candidates and employees are looking for. 401(k) and health benefits remain at the top of that list.

FinTech heralds a financial revolution that is for everyonenot just the country’s top earners. It’s cloud-based, consumer-friendly and offers education in a consumable manner. It makes an employer’s life easier, with low-cost tools that enable them to offer better products and greater resources to an audience that is starving for entrée to a financially secure future. Basically, it’s like taking all aspects of the financial realm and making them as simple and frictionless as ordering a cab from Uber.

Like Uber, FinTech offers simplicity, transparency, mobility, and portability. It embraces flat-fee, paper-free, transparent, simple, humanistic service. In other words, especially as it pertains to retirement, FinTech is here and it’s here to stay.

Download Ubiquity’s Definitive Guide to Small Business 401(k)

Millennials and boomers are constantly being compared to in the media as generations with conflicting goals, challenges, and lifestyles – including their retirement savings habits. We were intrigued by the results of this T. Rowe Price study, which found the two generations’ are saving about the same while their budgeting habits differ. The study compared their retirement plan contributions, budgeting practices, and auto-enrollment preferences.

After checking out the study, we compiled the most compelling statistics for you into an infographic.

ubiquity-millennial-boomer-infographic

It’s time to wake up! There’s a looming retirement crisis in America, and it’s going to take more than our government to fix these broken eggs. Let’s put it this way. We’re going to get scary, then we’re going to discuss what the heck we’re going to do about the mess.

Did you know?

  • 46% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement
  • 29% have less than $1,000 saved
  • $6.6 TRILLION SHORT, American workers are falling drastically short of what they need to retire
  • 20% of all bankruptcies happen to those age 55 and older
  • 74% of us believe that we are going to need to work until we’re dead

Now if those statistics aren’t startling, you obviously don’t fall into any of those categories. However, if that startled the stuffing out of you, it’s time to really start considering how we’re going to get out of this mess.

Broken Eggs: The Looming Retirement Crisis in America is a hard-hitting and feature-length documentary film covering everything from the Pension crisis to Social Security insolvency, and more. It’s a multi-generation film, covering the stories of real people who are struggling with saving, are retired and aren’t making it, along with the policy makers and shakers in Washington D.C.

The thing is, we need to promote this conversation and get people really thinking about the issues. We all owe it to ourselves, our future selves, and everyone we share this country with to get involved.

That means you, your friends and family, me, everyone.

 

In this week’s Andrew Answers, we hear from Bob, an entrepreneur looking to do right by his employees. Bob wants to open a small business 401(k). Bob needs help getting started.

Get a short rundown on what to do before the year-end as you’re opening that shiny new retirement plan. I touch on timing, plan features, and what to look out for.

If you are a small business owner who wants to start a 401(k) plan by 2014, or an employee of a small business in need of the option to save for retirement at work, this episode is for you!

Oh, and I’ve got a mustache. Here’s why.

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Visit our Help Center
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© 2024 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94104