Headlines about "Ret plans - info for employees"

Gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com.
Are More Americans Saving for Retirement Today? (PDF)
"The decline in those who reported saving for retirement occurs among those under age 55, especially among those ages 25-34 ... Workers age 55 and older today are actually more likely than their counterparts a decade ago to say they have saved for retirement." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Don't Make These 401(k) Blunders
"With all of the literature that accompanies retirement plan enrollment, why do retirement savers continue to blow it? [Jacob Hale Russell of Stanford Law School] posits that people are simply overwhelmed by the decisions that they need to make. The policy response has been to use behavior economics to 'nudge' retirement plan participants into making better decisions." (Chicago Tribune; subscription may be required)

You Can Get Help Unraveling Your Pension Benefits
"Developing a financial plan for retirement can be a challenge. You will need to navigate the waters of federal and state regulations, Social Security income, investments and, as you have found out, the world of changing corporate pension policies. If your financial planner is to develop a retirement income strategy to meet your goals, your advisor will need pension information from your previous employers. You can start gathering that information by contacting the New England Pension Assistance Project[.]" (Providence Journal)

Lifetime Income Scores: Latest Assessment of Retirement Preparedness (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "For the second year in a row, working Americans are on track to replace 61% of their household income in retirement.... Deferring 10% or more to a workplace savings plan and using a financial advisor continue to have a major impact on retirement preparedness. Plan eligibility, participation, and auto-plan features continue to be core elements of successful retirement planning for most American workers." (Putnam Investments)

Helping Employees to Visualize Retirement
"Getting employees to build an 'emotional connection' with their future selves may be the key to getting them to save more for retirement.... [R]esearchers found that when study participants were given the chance to interact with 'age-enhanced' digital renderings of themselves ... They were willing to put an average of 6.8 percent of their pay into their 401(k) plans. This compares to participants in a control group who were not shown such images -- they were willing to contribute an average of only 5.2 percent of their pay." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Millennials Eschew Retirement Plans for Online Brokerage Accounts
"74% of affluent millennials -- those with more than $100,000 in investable assets -- have assets in online brokerage accounts, while only 67% have assets in a defined contribution plan. This cohort is alone among working age segments to be more likely to invest assets in online brokerage accounts than retirement plans ... For example, only 30% of millennial investor assets are allocated to employer-sponsored retirement plans, in contrast to Generation X, the next age cohort, which has allocated 48% of their assets to such plans." (Financial Planning)

Labor-Force Participation Rates of the Population Ages 55 and Older, 2013
"The labor-force participation rate for those ages 55 and older rose throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, when it began to level off but with a small increase following the 2007-2008 economic downturn.... [A]mong those ages 65 or older, the rate increased for both males and females over that period. This upward trend in labor-force participation by older workers is likely related to workers' current need for continued access to employment-based health insurance and for more years of earnings to accumulate savings in defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans and/or to pay down debt." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Using Your Income Tax Refund as an IRA Contribution
"[If] you're thinking about using that refund to help save for retirement, you're in luck. The IRS allows you to have that refund check directly deposited into an IRA if you follow certain procedures when you file your federal income taxes for 2013." (The Slott Report)

Gen Y Workers Are Optimistic But Realistic About Their Financial Future
"Gen Y says their American Dream will cost $3.1 million in today's dollars.... Saving for retirement tops their list of financial goals, followed by paying off student loans and paying down credit card debt.... Almost two-thirds started saving for retirement at 25. Two-thirds plan to retire after age 65. Nearly half have not calculated the amount of money needed to retire or have a set goal." (The Principal Financial Group)

How Much Income Will You Need in Retirement?
"[W]hen viewed in terms of consumption rather than income replacement ... about 70% of individuals age 66 to 69 in the mid-2000s were adequately financially prepared for retirement. But some individuals, given their by education, sex, and marital status, were not financially prepared, most notably single females who lack a high school education. Just 29% of that group is adequately prepared[.]" (USA TODAY)

The Importance of Tax-Efficient Investing
"Tax-smart investors hold tax-efficient investments in taxable accounts and less tax-efficient investments in tax-advantaged accounts.... Tax-advantaged accounts such as Roth IRAs and tax-deferred accounts including traditional IRAs, 401(k)s and deferred annuities are ideal for... Individual stocks you plan to hold one year or less; Actively managed funds that may generate significant short-term capital gains; Taxable bond funds, zero-coupon bonds, inflation-protected bonds or high-yield bond funds; [and] Real estate investment trusts (REITs)." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)

What to Do With Your 401(k) When You Retire
"The ability to invest in nearly anything is a central attraction of an IRA ... as is the chance to get away from the extra administrative costs and pricey fund options that dog some 401(k) plans. Other respondents said they chose to roll over multiple 401(k) accounts from multiple employers to a single IRA for convenience and simplicity.... Several respondents said they had in fact chosen to stay put in their high-quality, low-cost plans, citing extra creditor protections and the ability to pick up a bit of extra yield in a stable-value offering." (Morningstar)

Chart of Rollover-Eligible Retirement Plans and IRA Combinations (PDF)
BenefitsLink came across this handy unofficial chart on the IRS web site. It is a one-page summary in the form of a table, listing the eight kinds of plans and IRAs that can make rollover-eligible distributions, and the corresponding eight kinds of plans and IRAs into which those distributions can (or cannot) be rolled over. (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

Most People Still Haven't Estimated Their Retirement Income Needs (PDF)
"Less than half (44 percent) of workers responding to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) report they and/or their spouse have ever tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for retirement. That's comparable to the findings measured over the last decade by the RCS ... Workers with higher income are significantly more likely to complete the needs calculation than their counterparts." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Most (Still) Haven't Estimated Retirement Income Needs (PDF)
"Less than half (44 percent) of workers responding to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) report they and/or their spouse have ever tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for retirement. That's comparable to the findings measured over the last decade by the RCS.... Workers with higher income are significantly more likely to complete the needs calculation than their counterparts." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Retirement Tax Considerations for Middle-Income Americans
"More Americans have an accurate understanding of how lottery winnings are taxed (94%) than the mainstays of their retirement income: Social Security benefits (39%), traditional IRAs (35%), Roth IRAs (31%) and 401(k) plans (29%). When asked to choose which activity they dislike the most, respondents say that doing taxes (23%) is almost equally as disliked as the unpleasant experience of going through airport security (29%). In fact, getting a flu shot is preferable to doing taxes for many middle-income Americans over age 50. Only 6% ranked flu shots as their most disliked task." (Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement)

Financial Education for Today's Workforce: 2014 IFEBP Survey Results
"Approximately half of all organizations offer benefits literacy and retirement security education. Nearly two in five organizations feel a responsibility to educate workers on pension and benefit options, encourage retirement savings and help them become financially literate mangers of their money. Half of organizations surveyed have experienced an increase in demand from employees/participants for financial education in the last five years." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])

DOL, Your Silence on DB Statements Is Deafening (PDF)
"Defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors are required to provide benefit statements at least every three years, but the DOL has not published the guidance it promised in August 2007.... As it stands today, there's no evidence that a single keystroke has been made to start the ball rolling. This delay has left plan sponsors adrift in what they hope is a safe harbor. However, in the absence of guidance, plan sponsors are going through the motions year after year, but are likely spending more time and money producing DB statements in order to play it safe." (Milliman)

Your Retirement Planning Checklist
"Many who are planning their retirement need someplace to start -- a list to begin their thinking. The information in this article is just such a list and includes links to relevant content to help in this planning." (MarketWatch)

How to Create a Benefits Plan That Appeals to the Young and Cool
"Millennials care about their benefits.... Millennials want to choose what type of coverage they get.... Millennials have competing benefit offers; they need to be courted.... Millennials want real-time, instant information ... But they also crave face-to-face mentorship.... Insurance Cards will no longer do the trick." (Forbes)

Four Questions to Ask About Your 401(k)'s Target-Date Fund
"Investors love [target-date funds] because they're easy to understand. Pick a retirement year and a manager will choose a group of funds to get you there. But life is rarely that simple. Here are some questions to ask: [1] What's Inside the TDF? ... [2] What's the Glidepath? ... [3] How Much Does it Cost? ... [4] Does the Glidepath Work For You?" (Forbes)

Three Easy Ways to Tune-Up Your 401(k) for Spring
"[1] Make a Rational Use of the Menu of Funds. Just because your plan offers 30 choices doesn't mean that you have to invest in every fund.... [2] Become More Passive.... Instead of loading up on actively managed funds, move as much money as possible to index funds.... [3] Focus on Simplicity. Investing doesn't have to be complicated, even though employers rarely make it easy for you." (Forbes)

More U.S. Workers Satisfied with Finances, Retirement Confidence
"[N]early half of respondents (46%) are satisfied with their current finances, a sharp increase from 26% in 2009. However, nearly six in 10 (58%) remain worried about their financial future. Additionally, employees' confidence in their ability to retire has climbed steadily since the financial crisis, with nearly a quarter (23%) very confident of their income sufficiency for the first 15 years of retirement. However, that confidence deteriorates when workers look farther ahead, with only 8% very confident of having adequate income 25 years into retirement." (Towers Watson)

Your Retirement-Planning Time Table: It Pays to Consider the Details Early
"It's never too early to start dreaming. And, of course, the earlier you actually start saving for your retirement, the easier it will be to amass the amount you'll need to fund your desired lifestyle. If you want to retire at 60, for example, you should get serious about planning by the time you hit your mid-40s." (Consumer Reports)

How Would Defined Contribution Participants React to Lifetime Income Illustrations? Evidence from the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey (PDF)
"The vast majority of respondents said the retirement income projection was useful; more than 1 in 3 (36 percent) of the respondents thought that it was very useful to hear an estimate of the monthly retirement income they might expect from their plan, and another 49 percent thought it was somewhat useful. A total of 17 percent of the respondents indicated that this information would lead them to increase the amount they were contributing. However, of those responding that their illustrated value was much less or somewhat less than expected, 35 percent indicated they would increase their contributions." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Are Workers Rethinking Retirement Age? (PDF)
"Since 2009, between 20 and 25 percent of workers have reported that the age at which they expect to retire increased in the last year.... [O]nly 15 percent of workers report an increase in their expected retirement age in the past year, compared with 22 percent [last year]. In 1991, just 11 percent of workers expected to retire after age 65. Twenty-three years later, in 2014, 33 percent of workers report that they expect to retire after age 65, and 10 percent don't plan to retire at all. At the same time, the percentage of workers expecting to retire before age 65 has decreased, from 50 percent in 1991 to 27 percent." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Most Find Monthly Retirement Income Estimates Helpful, Unsurprising
"The vast majority of respondents said the retirement income projection was useful; more than 1 in 3 (36 percent) of the respondents thought that it was very useful to hear an estimate of the monthly retirement income they might expect from their plan, and another 49 percent thought it was somewhat useful. A total of 17 percent of the respondents indicated that this information would lead them to increase the amount they were contributing. However, of those responding that their illustrated value was much less or somewhat less than expected, 35 percent indicated they would increase their contributions." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Your 401(k) Is Not Free
"[T]he delivery of these various functions can be fully bundled, partially bundled, or totally unbundled. Generally (and hopefully) the outside investment advisor is independent of the other service providers.... it is incumbent upon the organization sponsoring the plan to monitor the costs and quality of the services as part of their Fiduciary duty to you the plan participant." (The Chicago Financial Planner)

On 401(k)s, Plan Fees Really Do Matter, and the Government Wants to Get You a Better Deal
"Like a GPS device calling out turn-by-turn directions, the guide would direct employers to a specific page or section to easily find fee information. Why does this matter to you? Because your employer has a fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest regarding your workplace plan. To this end, your employer also has an obligation to watch the fees and expenses and to make sure they are reasonable. Folks, this guide directly affects you." (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)

The Pursuit of Happiness: Savings and Income for a Lifetime
"Investing throughout retirement, to preserve capital, generate income and perhaps even obtain a measure of growth, will be a necessity for many if they are to address the most pervasive fear about growing old: outliving their retirement savings... [S]ome 49% of survey participants were willing to pay for protection against outliving their retirement savings or retirement asset volatility.... Of those with an annual household income of $100,000 or more, 59% indicated they would be willing to pay either to protect themselves from outliving their retirement savings or to protect their retirement assets from volatility." (Franklin Templeton Investments)

How to Make $1 Million Last Through Retirement
"[E]ven if you have $1 million or more set aside for retirement, figuring out how much to withdraw each year is a challenge.... Should I follow the 4% rule? ... Are there better alternatives to the 4% rule? ... What's a good investment mix?" (Fidelity)

401(k) Employee Education Tip: Helping Participants Make Better Decisions
"[I]nvestors are much more afraid of making a bad investment decision than they are of doing nothing and missing an opportunity.... When older investors were asked about those decisions they regretted most, 25% responded that they regretted the bad decisions they made. Conversely, 75% indicated they regretted not taking action when faced with an opportunity. Study results showed that, while the initial feelings of action regret were stronger, they also faded quicker. In contrast, feelings of inaction regret that were initially low, grew over time." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)

How Many Will (Not) Run Short in Retirement? (PDF)
"[A]pproximately 56.7 percent of Early Baby Boomers, 58.5 percent of Late Boomers, and just under 58 percent of Gen Xers are projected to not run short of money in retirement. Those results are somewhat higher than EBRI's 2013 analysis, based on changes in the market value of defined contribution and individual retirement account (IRA) assets, as well as the increase in housing values during that period." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])

Can the Enrollment Experience Improve 401(k) Participant Outcomes? (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "Can a guided enrollment tool with a limited choice of savings rates and a single specific investment option increase the likelihood that employees would [1] fully complete the enrollment process, and [2] save at a higher rate? Based on the results of our study, we believe the answer is an unqualified yes." (Fidelity Investments)

Advisers Warn Against 401(k) Loans
"In U.S. 401(k)s and related accounts, one out of every four plan participants has borrowed against his or her principal ... Meanwhile, an estimated $6 billion a year in loans wind up in default ... The vast majority do pay off their loans ... But those making less than $30,000 a year are most likely to get into situations where they need to take out a loan[.]" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Behavioral Effects and Indexing in DC Participant Accounts 2004-2012
"Participant investment allocations in DC plans are influenced by a complex set of behavioral mechanisms, including default, simplified choice, menu, and inertia effects ... In an effort to reduce plan costs or active risk exposure, plan sponsors ... may exploit these effects in several ways: adding index target-date funds to the plan investment menu, designating index target-date options as the plan's default investment, or reenrolling participants into index target-date strategies.... [T]he choice of a type of target-date series is likely to strongly influence the cost and active risk exposure of an entire DC plan over time." (Vanguard)

One-Third of Americans Are Not Familiar with Their Retirement Plan Investment Options
"One-third (33 percent) of Americans who participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan say they are not familiar with the investment options in their plan ... 37 percent of women [state] they are not familiar compared to 29 percent of men.... 43 percent of Gen Y respondents stating they are not familiar with their plan options.... Twenty-eight percent of survey respondents stated they do not understand all of their choices for how to invest their money in their retirement plan. More than one-third (36 percent) feel they have either too many or too few investment choices." (TIAA-CREF)

IRA, 401(k), 529: What's the Best Tax-Sheltered Account Type for You?
"[G]iving due care to the wrapper you choose for your investment accounts and maximizing your investments in tax-sheltered vehicles can greatly enhance your take-home return.... Here's an overview of the various types of savings vehicles available for your long-term investing assets -- especially retirement -- including a summary of the types of individuals who will tend to benefit most from each investment vehicle. Note that there's not a single best investment wrapper for any one individual; most savers will hold a combination of these account types during their lifetimes." (Morningstar)

Tax Implications of Lump-Sum Payouts from DB Plans
"The economic impact of a lump-sum payout must be carefully evaluated by the recipient. It may not be as advantageous as it appears. Plan sponsors implementing this strategy may wish to consider the impacts of the ACA as they draft the communications to the prospective payees." (Milliman Retirement Town Hall)

How to Retire a Millionaire (Hint: It's Easier Than You Think)
"Why don't we see a lot of 'teenage' millionaires? First, IRAs haven't been around long enough for our hypothetical 15 year old to have turned 70 yet. More to the point, though, is why haven't we seen a lot of teenage IRAs in the first place. 'In my experience of dealing with young savers,' says Michael Lecours, Financial Advisor & Marketing Manager at Ohanesian / Lecours in West Hartford, Connecticut, 'they will always have a reason not to invest -- not enough money, simply forgot, or need money to pay other expenses. Something comes along that seems to be more important than saving for something that won't be used for 50 years.'" (Fiduciary News)

Financial Planning Considerations for Same-Sex Couples After Windsor (PDF)
"As a result of the new ruling, employee benefits and financial planning strategies once available only to opposite-sex married couples may now be available to same-sex married couples. This paper highlights several of the changes that have taken place, and details how same-sex couples may wish to incorporate them into their financial planning." [Includes a checklist.] (Prudential Retirement)

The Importance of Being Earnest: Implications of Saving, Investing and Future Policy Changes on Today's Retirement Investor (PDF)
"Many Americans live for two to three decades after they retire. Without adequate planning, some may struggle to create sufficient savings and post-retirement income and suffer declines in lifestyle. This paper examines post-retirement dynamics for median income families that are heavily affected by the availability and use of qualified retirement plans, the balance between savings and consumption, and the level of portfolio risk they choose over time." (J.P. Morgan Asset Management)

Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions
"This paper presents new evidence on the effects of retirement benefits on labor force participation decisions. The analysis is based on a mandated rule for employer-provided retirement benefits in Austria that creates discontinuities in the incentives for workers to delay retirement.... Overall, multiple results highlight modest impacts of financial incentives on retirement decisions." (Day Manoli and Andrea Weber via SSRN)

SEC Investor Bulletin: How Fees and Expenses Affect Your Investment Portfolio (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "As with anything you buy, there are fees and costs associated with investment products and services. These fees may seem small, but over time they can have a major impact on your investment portfolio.... Along with the other factors you think about when choosing either a financial professional or a particular investment, be sure you understand and compare the fees you'll be charged. It could save you a lot of money in the long run." (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

Social Security File-and-Suspend Strategies for Couples and Individuals
"[T]he file-and-suspend strategy is not just an effective planning tool for couples and families with minor children.... [E]ven single individuals may wish to routinely file-and-suspend if they intend to delay anyway, as a way to 'hedge' against a future change in circumstances.... [T]here are caveats of the file-and-suspend strategy that must be navigated as well, including the fact that suspending will result in a suspension of all benefits (which limits couples from criss-crossing spousal benefits by having each file and suspend), and the fact that filing and suspending still triggers the onset of Medicare Part A benefits, which can render someone who chooses to file and suspend to be ineligible to make any more contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA)." (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)

The High Cost of Early Retirement
"Let's say you have a job at 55 and want to retire next year. Even if you don't have to worry about kids, what's it going to cost you? Here's an itemized bill: [1] There's the salary you'll never get.... [2] And the benefits you lose.... [3] You're responsible for your own health care.... [4] You sacrifice Social Security benefits.... [5] You rob your future." (U.S.News & World Report)

One in Four Older Workers Has No Plan for DC Plan Assets Once Retired
"27 percent of U.S. workers, ages 55-64, say they do not know how they will use their defined contribution (DC) plan savings after they retire. Women are much more likely than men not to have planned how they will use their DC assets (38 percent vs. 19 percent).... two-thirds of workers ages 55-64 planned to make withdrawals - either directly from their DC accounts or after rolling over the assets into an IRA. Only 1 in 6 say they plan to convert some or all of their balance into a guaranteed lifetime income." (LIMRA)

Retirement Readiness for Priests: What Every Diocese Needs to Know and Do (PDF)
"[D]ioceses are beginning to ask the question: 'Are we providing an adequate monthly benefit through our Priest Pension Plan?' ... [T]he answer requires information and knowledge about many things such as a priest's Social Security benefit, their personal savings, their desired living arrangements in retirement, and part-time work to name a few.... [W]e have built an adequacy model that incorporates each of these elements (and more) to create a holistic look into the retirement of your priests." (Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company)

Putting Your 401(k) on Autopilot
"As policy makers continue to debate Americans' retirement readiness -- or unreadiness, as the case may be -- Vanguard and other 401(k) providers have been busy devising ways to coax, nudge and, in some cases, shove workers into joining their plans, raising their savings rates and making better investment choices. Increasingly they are finding it isn't enough to hand employees an information packet and send them on their way.... 'The 401(k) industry spends over $1 billion a year on employee education, and they have not been able to move the dial at all,' says Greg Kasten, founder of Lexington, Ky.-based Unified Trust[.]" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Cashing Out Can Derail Retirement: Employees in Transition Need Help (PDF)
"[O]ne out of three job changers cashed out some or all of their workplace savings potentially causing a long-term impact to their retirement security.... [Y]ounger, lower compensated, lower balance participants are cashing out at the highest rates, a trend that has remained consistent over the last 5 years.... [T]he percentage of participants between the ages of 20 and 29 who cashed out some or all of their plan assets is 44%. Cash-out rates for those in their thirties and forties are at 38% and 33%, respectively." (Fidelity Investments)

[Guidance Overview] Text of SEC Investor Bulletin: Variable Annuities, An Introduction (PDF)
"This SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy Investor Bulletin provides some basic facts about variable annuities and how they work. Variable annuities are complex products, and this Investor Bulletin focuses solely on the basics.... You should consider the financial strength of the insurance company selling the variable annuity. This could affect the company's ability to meet its obligations to you under a living benefit, or to meet other obligations, such as a death benefit or a fixed account obligation. Living benefits are complex and often have limitations and conditions.... Before you exchange one variable annuity product for another, compare both carefully.... Variable annuities with bonus credits may have a downside -- like higher expenses, higher surrender charges, and longer surrender charge periods -- that can outweigh the benefit." (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

How Much Stock Should You Own in Retirement?
"Here are three different approaches financial experts are pushing, all of which conclude that people should be investing more heavily in stocks- -- even after they've collected the gold watch: [1] First reduce, then increase equity allocation over time ... [2] Divide assets into five buckets that can last 30 years ... [3] When allocating investments ... the 'bond' part should include any pension, along with Social Security." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Goldilocks and the Three Glide Paths: Part 1 - Too Hot!
"One argument that can be made is that participants investing for retirement have very long time horizons and therefore are able to take almost unlimited risk. This argument suggests the participant will find that volatility risk is irrelevant.... [C]certainly if we were investing in a fairy-tale world which exactly mimicked the past, this could potentially all be true." (The Principal Blog)

Nine Things to Know About Obama's myRA Accounts
"The White House offered details Wednesday about a new retirement savings account that President Barack Obama unveiled in his State of the Union address.... Businesses will not administer or run the accounts. They will simply offer them to their employees if they decide to participate.... Accounts can be taken by the employee from one job to the next, and they can be rolled into an Individual Retirement Account at any time.... Once someone's account grows to $15,000, the myRA must be rolled over into a private-sector Roth IRA." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Morningstar's 401(k) Week
"[H]ow do we make [the 401(k) system] work? What role can employers play? And how can we, as employees and as savers, also become the good investors we need to be to ensure a comfortable, well-funded retirement? This week, we aim to help you stack the deck for success in your 401(k) plan. We'll cover the basic rules and tax advantages of the investment wrapper, how to allocate your 401(k), and what to do with your assets once you enter retirement. We'll also look at the viability of the 401(k) itself in a special roundtable discussion on Friday." (Morningstar)

How Much, If Anything, Should You Invest in Your 401(k)?
"One of the first major capital-allocation decisions confronting many investors is how much to steer toward their 401(k)s (or 403(b)s or 457s, depending on their type of employer). The vehicle carries many advantages ... [yet] maxing out a 401(k) isn't necessarily the best use of everyone's cash. The decision about whether to do so depends on your own personal choice set. Answering the following questions, in roughly the same sequence, can help you arrive at the right solution." (Morningstar)

Flexing Your Financial Muscles: Get in Shape and Stay in Shape for Retirement (PDF)
"Despite the tools available and the significant communications efforts aimed at providing important information on saving for retirement, many workers aren't comfortable with this type of detailed planning. They need to be reminded that they have to save more, not pick winners in the stock market. Therefore, employees need a rational, well thought out retirement savings target. They need a plan to reach that target, and they need routine progress reviews and adjustments to make sure they stay on the right course." (Buck Consultants)

Advised Investors Underperformed Self-Directed Ones in 2013
"Investors who paid fees for portfolio management saw portfolio returns of 14.1% last year, according to SigFig, a website that helps investors track and manage their money. But investors who didn't pay those fees captured a 17.1% return over the year, said Samantha Murillo, a spokeswoman for the firm, which tracks about 1 million investors' portfolios." (InvestmentNews)

Text of FINRA Investor Alert: The IRA Rollover -- Ten Tips to Making a Sound Decision
"If you are considering rolling over money from an employer plan into an IRA -- or if you have been in contact with a financial professional to do so -- follow these tips to decide whether an IRA rollover is right for you. Evaluate your transfer options.... Minimize taxes by rolling Roth to Roth and traditional to traditional.... Think twice before you do an indirect rollover.... Be wary of 'Free' or 'No Fee' claims.... Realize that conflicts of interest exist." (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA])

Peer Pressure Could Help Raise Deferral Rates
"Participants are shown a projection of how on track they are for an adequately funded retirement. In addition to the percentage of total account balance that is funded, a sliding lever beneath allows a participant to make changes to the deferral rate to instantly see the effect of increasing contributions. They can also compare their progress in saving for retirement with others in their peer group, as well as the top-tier savers." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


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