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Category: Retirement News

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This article originally appeared on Marketwatch

The extended U.S. government shutdown that occurred earlier this year shined an unflattering spotlight on our country’s financial preparedness.

It revealed that many people who wouldn’t typically be considered impoverished are still clearly living paycheck to paycheck. This certainly doesn’t bode well for them saving enough money to be financially independent in retirement.

Now, more than ever, retirement is built on personal savings and it’s up to the individual — not the government or employers — to make that dream a reality. The notion of working your entire life while simultaneously stashing away money for your future is something I frequently refer to as, “the great retirement experiment.” Let’s take a look at how we got here.

How our modern retirement system came to be

Before the 20th century, our country’s economy was based almost entirely on agriculture. Americans didn’t have hopes or dreams about retirement in the 1700s, 1800s or even early 1900s. They simply worked until they no longer could, and hoped that their families would take care of them in old age.

The retirement system that we know of today didn’t come into existence until after World War II. Following the war, companies hired people in droves and provided pensions. At the time, this was the best concept available for retirement security and many people from this generation benefited. My grandparents, for example, retired with a full pension and my father retired with a partial pension. As time went on, however, companies realized funding these programs entailed a lot of complexity and decided to freeze pensions or stop offering them altogether.

In the late 1970s, the government recognized these resources wouldn’t sufficiently support people through their retirement years, so it implemented tax-deferred savings accounts and the 401(k) was born shortly thereafter in the early 1980s.

The broken three-legged stool of retirement

Over many decades, we have come to think of retirement as a three-legged stool consisting of Social Security, a pension and personal savings, all working together to fund your retirement. Today, the three-legged stool looks more like a pogo stick.

Social Security, the first leg, is projected to have a reduction in benefits by 2034, if no changes are made today. This program was introduced in 1935 and originally designed to help those in dire need of financial assistance. It was never intended to be relied on as heavily as it is today as a primary means of retirement income.

Personal pensions, the second leg, have recently seen a staggering, swift disappearance. This chart, provided by CNN Business with data from Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, depicts the shrinking population of workers covered by company pensions. Today, the majority of workers don’t expect to see a pension unless they’re unionized or government employees.

 

With pensions nearly extinct and Social Security looking less and less reliable as a means of income, the onus is now largely on individual citizens to save enough money during their lifetimes for retirement, serving as the vital “pogo stick” leg of the stool. Realistically speaking, can people bear that burden?

This is why we call it the great retirement experiment. Although the outcome is unknown, it must be brought to light.

The challenge is that not everyone takes a diligent and responsible approach to saving for retirement on their own, nor should they be expected to. We have asked everyday people to become both financial and investment experts, which ultimately may set them up for failure. Not to mention, people are now living longer than ever before and working later in life to fund retirement or catch up on lost savings.

How defaulting to Social Security could change it all

So, how can we solve the issue of underfunded retirements? While there is no surefire solution, I believe a significant adjustment to our Social Security system could alleviate much of the burden currently placed on everyday Americans.

Let’s keep Social Security as we know it today, the same. However, let’s augment the required Social Security savings from both the employer and the employee by doubling the amount saved, which would add an additional 12.4% (6.2% employer contribution, 6.2% personal contribution, doubling it would increase it to 24.8%) of income contributed to retirement. This could be credited into an account that is in the individual’s name so they have complete control over the investments, but won’t be able to access to the funds until normal retirement age.

Retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs would still be in play, just not as the main source of income. This also solves the portability issues with retirement accounts. If the Social Security account is already under an individual’s ownership, it doesn’t matter how often you change jobs.

Bottom line, our retirement system is not as good as it gets. Savers must be aware of the flaws in the existing retirement savings experiment as well as the great responsibility of saving for their own future.

March Media Roundup

Dylan Telerski / 18 Mar 2019 / Press, Retirement News

Ubiquity Media Roundup

Ubiquity in the News

As a pioneer in small business retirement savings, we’ve been leading the charge for nearly 20 years on making it as simple and convenient as possible to save for your future. With this mission rooted deep in our company, respected members of the media frequently turn to Ubiquity Retirement + Savings for our insights and expertise on the retirement market, savings strategies, and fintech industry trends.

Check out some recent media placements below, featuring insights from our Founder and CEO, Chad Parks. For more tips on optimizing your firm’s retirement savings plan, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

WealthManagement.com

From his early days as a financial advisor to his current role at Ubiquity, Chad has seen a lot of changes and improvements in financial services throughout his career. He drew upon these experiences to craft some ‘predictions’ for the industry, which he recently shared with the readers of WealthManagement.com. In this bylined article, Chad pointed to two key trends that could transform the financial services landscape, including the introduction (and eventual takeover) of artificial intelligence in financial advisory roles and the elimination of the asset-based fee model. Though these changes may seem drastic, Chad underscored that they will ultimately improve the savings experience for businesses and everyday consumers alike.

Zacks Investment Research  

Zacks Investment Research welcomed Chad on its Tech Talk Tuesday podcast to discuss everything from the small business retirement plan marketplace, to financial technology, to potential implications of the looming retirement crisis. Host Ryan McQueeney kicked things off by asking Chad about his early career in financial services, where Chad illustrated what sparked his passion for serving the small business market. From there, Ryan and Chad covered the current small business retirement landscape and how Ubiquity got its start catering to this historically underserved community. Chad then highlighted his involvement in producing the “Broken Eggs Film” documentary, which shines a light on the dangers of an under-funded retirement with powerful stories from real people. Closing out the conversation, Ryan and Chad discussed how the fintech industry will continue to become further integrated to provide a “one-stop-shop” for the best possible user experience. This podcast was even picked up by Yahoo Finance and Nasdaq!

 

PLANSPONSOR

PLANSPONSOR, a leading retirement industry trade publication, turned to Chad for his thoughts on best practices when converting to a new retirement plan recordkeeper. In this piece authored by Editor Lee Barney, Chad discussed how to keep things organized when making the transition to a new recordkeeper, and by extension, how to avoid any mishaps in the process. This means getting your documents, including financial statements, compliance tests and annual reports, organized before you even start the process. Chad also underscored the importance of ensuring everything is fully compliant with the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prior to the conversion, and double- and triple-checking that participant account balances are correct once the conversion is complete.   

Kiplinger’s Retirement Report  

A successful retirement doesn’t stop at building a nest egg; having a plan to guide your decisions along the way is critical. That’s why Chad spoke with Kiplinger’s Retirement Report Editor Rachel Sheedy to identify key dates those nearing retirement can’t afford to miss out on. Chad reminded savers that all 2018 IRA contributions must be made by the tax-filing deadline of April 15, 2019. For the 2018 calendar year, Chad noted IRA contribution limits are capped at $5,500 for those under age 50 and $6,500 for those over 50. He also provided tips to ensure all your paperwork is in order to properly file crucial tax documents ahead of the deadline.

 

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings: Stay Up-To-Date.

Download our 2019 contribution guide

The IRS has announced the 2019 contribution limits for retirement and health savings accounts. This includes contribution limits for 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as income limits for IRA contribution deductibility. Additionally, the salary threshold to classify “key” and “highly compensated employees” has been announced. Review our quick guide of the updated limits below.

401(k) and 403(b) individual contribution limits (IRS 402(g) Limit)

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

$18,500

$19,000

Age 50 and older

Additional $6,000

Additional $6,000

The IRS has also set limits for the total amount that may be contributed to your retirement savings 401(k) account from all sources combined (IRS section 415 limit). This includes any employer matching or pro t-sharing contributions, and any employee after-tax contributions. For 2019, the maximum is $56,000.

Every plan is different, so it’s important to refer to your Plan Document for any compensation or other applicable limits.

Highly Compensated and Key Employee definitions and limits

2018

2019

Key Employee Officer Compensation

$175,000

$180,000

Highly Compensated Employee

$120,000

$125,000

Annual Compensation Limit

$275,000

$280,000

Roth and Traditional IRA contribution limits

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

Up to $5,500 (must have earned income)

Up to $6,000 (must have earned income)

Age 50 and older

Additional $1,000

Additional $1,000

Traditional IRA modified adjusted gross income limit for partial deductibility

2018

2019

Single

$63,000 – $73,000

$64,000-$74,000

Married – Filing joint returns

$101,000 – $121,000

$103,000 – $123,000

Married – Filing separately

$0 – $10,000

$0 – $10,000

Non-active participant spouse

$189,000 – $199,000

$193,000 – $203,000

Roth IRA modified adjusted gross income phase-out ranges

2018

2019

Single

$120,000 – $135,000

$122,000 – $137,000

Married – Filing joint returns

$189,000 – $199,000

$193,000 – $203,000

Married – Filing separately

$0 – $10,000

$193,000-$203,000

Simple IRA contribution limits

2018

2019

Age 49 and under

$12,500

$13,000

Age 50 and older

Additional $3,000

Additional $3,000

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) contribution limits

2018

2019

Individual (employer + employee)

$3,450

$3,500

Family (employer + employee)

$6,900

$7,000

Age 55 or older**

Additional $1,000

Additional $1,000

If you need more detailed guidance, see IRS Notice 2018-83.

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© 2019 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
Privacy Policy
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3060
San Francisco, CA 94104
Support: 855.401.4357

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