From new Department of Labor regulations to state-mandated retirement plans, there is no shortage of activity in the retirement space today. Industry publications regularly turn to our team members for their expert opinions on the latest announcements, programs and research impacting retirement savers like you.
Employee Benefit News
When the Department of Labor reduced the limitations governing multiple employer plans (MEPs), Employee Benefit News consulted our Vice President of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Nasrin Mazooji. Nasrin weighed in on the likelihood that the industry will move to authorize open MEPs, which would allow employers without a common nexus to join forces and offer a retirement savings plan.
In their current design, MEPs typically reduce the cost, administrative burden and fiduciary liabilities associated with offering small business employees access to a workplace retirement savings plan. However, they aren’t quite as flexible as company-sponsored retirement plans. Nasrin explained why MEPs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution and how small businesses should approach them under this new legislative action.
Another area of legislation impacting the retirement savings industry is state-mandated retirement plans. More than 30 states have expressed interest in establishing legislation requiring small businesses to offer employees a retirement plan. Our Director of Product Development, Ashvin Prakash, has been keeping a close eye on the implementation and adoption of these programs and recently authored a piece for 401k Specialist about how they could affect 401(k) product development.
In an effort to better serve small businesses, more 401(k) providers are opting for simplified plan designs and increased reliance on flat-fee models. To compete with the state’s plan, private providers will likely incorporate 3(38) offerings into their plans to reduce fiduciary risk and develop new API integrations to streamline payroll automation.
With the introduction of these mandates, Ashvin expects demand for savings plans to increase. Our team is continuing to monitor how these state-sponsored retirement plans will affect small businesses and the retirement industry as a whole.
Research indicates that 42 percent of Generation X is prioritizing paying off debt over saving for retirement. PLANSPONSOR, a go-to resource for America’s retirement benefits decisionmakers, turned to our Founder and CEO, Chad Parks, for insight on the unique financial challenges facing this generation and how plan sponsors can help individuals tackle them.
As a Gen Xer himself, Chad shared his experience of juggling financial responsibilities as part of the sandwich generation and how account aggregation solutions can help people in similar situations appropriately allocate their money and prioritize saving for retirement.
With more than 24 years of experience in the retirement industry, Chad has witnessed firsthand the evolution of 401(k) record-keeping technology. In this bylined article, Chad shares his observations from his time as an independent registered investment advisor and CFP. The difficulty he experienced in finding plan providers who offered cost-effective access to multiple fund families for his small business clients led him to establish an online, fully bundled, open architecture 401(k) platform in 1999. Chad’s vision withstood and evolved with the introduction of numerous regulatory changes such as the Single(k), fee disclosure rules and the fiduciary rule.
These technological advancements have improved small business access to professional investment management, lowered costs associated with offering a workplace retirement savings plan and automated investment selection. For this reason, Chad underscores how crucial it is for advisors today to embrace technology but never underestimate the value of human connection in client relationships.