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Ret plans - info for employees

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Considerations Before Maxing Out Your 401(k)
"Get an employer match.... Pay down high interest debt.... Create an emergency fund.... Avoid high-cost 401(k) plans.... Balance other savings goals.... Consider the tax savings." (U.S. News & World Report)
Are Cybercriminals Targeting Your 401(k)? (PDF)
"[S]teps you should take now to protect your 401(k) assets: [1] Check your account regularly.... [2] Use a unique and strong password.... [3] Beware of phishing scams ... [4] Avoid using public computers and public Wi-Fi networks ... [5] Never share your login username or password ... [6] Inquire with your 401(k) service provider or human resources department about the availability of advanced security measures." (Francis Investment Counsel LLC)
Developing a 2019 Retiree Spending and Withdrawal Budget
"[If] you invested significantly in equities in 2018, it is likely that you experienced some investment losses last year. In order to avoid undesirable fluctuations in recurring spending, you may wish to consider some or all of the following actions: [1] Dipping into the Rainy-Day Fund that you previously established with investment gains enjoyed in previous years; [2] Reducing 2019 non-essential non-recurring expenses, or [3] Using the Smoothed Actuarial Budget Benchmark[.]" (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
A Precarious Existence: How Today's Retirees Are Financially Faring in Retirement (PDF)
97 pages. "For the majority of their working careers, 68 percent of retirees participated in some form of employer-sponsored retirement benefits ... The majority of retirees (61 percent) saved for retirement outside of work.... Two-thirds of retirees (66 percent) say their most recent employers did 'nothing' to help pre-retirees transition into retirement and 16 percent are 'not sure' what their employers did.... Three in ten retirees (30 percent) used a financial advisor before retiring ... [A]lmost three in four retirees (73 percent) agree they wish they would have saved more and on a consistent basis." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)
How to Manage Your 401(k) Plan in a Time of Market Volatility
"For most people with 401(k) retirement plans, stock market volatility is taking its toll.... [R]ecent dips may feel like serious threats to one's retirement plans. But investment professionals suggest that rebalancing one's account is as radical a change as one should make.... That may be hard to hear at the moment for those experiencing 'account balance trauma.' But, despite the fact that the majority of 401(k) participants have exposure to equities, only around 8 percent are all in on stocks ... And if they have been keeping up with their accounts, they may just be closer to flat than seriously down." (Born2Invest)
What to Do with Retirement Plan Accounts After You've Left Your Employer
"Generally you cannot keep contributing to an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), if you have left that employer, but you do have several options when it comes to managing those savings going forward -- and they can all impact the size of your future nest egg.... [1] Do nothing ... [2] Roll into your current employer's plan ... [3] Roll into an annuity ... [4] Roll into an IRA ... [5] Cash out your retirement balance." (MassMutual)
Common 401(k) Plan Participant Misconceptions
"[1] I only need to contribute up to the maximum company match ... [2] It is OK to take a participant loan ... [3] I should stop making 401k contributions when the stock market crashes ... [4] Actively trading my 401k account will help me maximize my account balance ... [5] Target date funds are not good investments ... [6] Money market funds are good investments ... [7] A million-dollar 401k balance is enough." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
How Millennials Can Maximize Savings for Retirement
"Someone who consistently saves 10% of pay for 40 years should have enough -- combined with Social Security -- to maintain their pre-retirement living standard without a significant risk of going broke over the following 30 years ... But people who start saving 10 years after they've begun working and save for 30 -- rather than 40 -- years would have to set aside 20% annually to reach the same goal[.]" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
[Official Guidance] Text of EBSA FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following the 2018 California Wildfires (PDF)
22 Q&As covering health and retirement plan benefits, including: [1]  I think I may lose my health coverage because of the 2018 California Wildfires. How can I obtain other health coverage? ... [2] I lost my spouse in a wildfire. My spouse's employer has agreed to pay the premiums for my health coverage for 12 months. Will that affect my future eligibility for continuation health coverage under COBRA? ... [3] My employer did not pay my insurance premium. May I pay the premium to continue my coverage? ... [4] How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by the wildfires? ... [5] Can I get money out of my retirement plan if I need financial assistance now? ... [6] All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of the wildfires. What do I do? (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
How to Contribute to Multiple 401(k)s
"If you are one of the over 7 million who have more than one job, you could have the opportunity to make salary deferral contributions to more than one 401(k) plan. When doing so, you must take care not to exceed the statutory limit of $18,500 for 2018/ $19,000 for 2019, plus any catch-up contributions for which you are eligible. This is a 'per person' limit.... If you participate in a governmental 457(b) plan, you may defer up to 100% of your compensation, up to $18,500 for 2018/ $19,000 for 2019, plus catch-up contributions of $6,000 if you are eligible. This is in addition to (separate from) any salary deferral contributions that you make to a 401(k) plan." (Denise Appleby, via Forbes)
Recognizing That All 'Rates of Return' Are Not the Same
"[I]ndividuals (or plans) that are in 'pay-out mode' can experience dramatically different results in their remaining portfolios -- even though they are all obtaining the same 'average rate of return.' ... [D]uring a 'distribution period' it is better to take loss in return later, when it will have a lesser impact on you overall savings.... Portfolio re-allocation may not be the same as portfolio insulation.... Be aware of, and honest about, your investment horizon." (Best Best & Krieger LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of EBSA FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following Hurricanes Florence and Michael (PDF)
22 Q&As covering health and retirement plan benefits, including: [1] I think I may be losing my health coverage as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes. What can I do to obtain other health coverage? ... [2] I lost my spouse in one of the hurricanes. My spouse's employer has agreed to pay the premiums for my health coverage for 12 months. What effect will that have on any future eligibility for continuation health coverage under COBRA? ... [3] My employer did not pay my insurance premium. May I pay the premium to continue my coverage? ... [4] How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by the events of one of the hurricanes? ... [5] Can I get money out of my retirement plan if I need financial assistance to help me at this time? ... [6] All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes. What do I do? (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
More Than 50% of Millennials Risk Never Being Able to Retire
"[N]early 52 percent of millennials aren't contributing to retirement accounts ... and ... they're putting themselves at risk of falling short later on. The good news, however, is that if they change their ways soon, they have ample opportunity to catch up.... [G]iving yourself a 45-year savings window will allow you to turn a total of $216,000 in out-of-pocket retirement plan contributions into a rather impressive $1.37 million. That's more than a $1 million gain." (USA TODAY)
How to Prioritize IRA and 401(k) Accounts
"[T]here are some scenarios where placing contributions in a traditional or Roth IRA ahead of your 401(k) could make sense. If you're able to save in multiple tax-advantaged accounts, getting the order of operations right matters.... Check the match.... Compare investment options and fees.... Think about timing.... Don't forget about your HSA.... It's not either/or." (U.S. News & World Report)
How Retirees Adjust Their Lives Once They Discover Their Pre-Retirement Assumptions Are Mistaken
"More important than anything else is the sometimes difficult transition from saver to spender. Retirement is, by definition, a negative cash flow event. That can be a challenge for many.... Health issues fall into two categories. The first is simply maintenance.... In retirement, purpose all comes down to two words: 'Get Involved.' " (Fiduciary News)
How You Can Become a 401(k) Millionaire
"Savers are choosing a lower standard of living now with the goal of saving enough money to finance a number of years of living without working. In other words, their retirement.... [1] Save as much as you can in qualified retirement plans ... [2] If you are married, contribute 15% for both ... [3] Capture all the company match ... [4] Invest aggressively ... [5] Do not sell when the stock market crashes ... [6] Be disciplined in your approach ... [7] Do not take 401k plan loans ... [8] Don't be afraid to get advice." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
'Retire Rich!' -- Don't Believe the Sales Pitch
"Many of these exploitative videos are targeted to 20-somethings new to the financial world, who may be more vulnerable and persuadable. But perhaps they are also able to attract hundreds or even thousands of viewers because they offer easy solutions to what may be our most anxiety-producing financial challenge: Will I ever be able to afford to retire?" (Squared Away Blog, by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
How to Avoid Hidden 401(k) Fees
"One of the easiest ways to lower your costs is to look for cheaper investment options. Typically, the biggest bargains will be found among index funds ... If you work for a large employer, you may have another low-cost option: institutional funds, which may include lower-cost share classes of retail funds or collective investment trusts[.]" (Consumer Reports)
Here's Why You Shouldn't Retire Super Early, Even If You Can
"Not all members of the [financial independence, retire early (FIRE)] community agree on how much you actually need to retire or how to go about saving that much, but they tend to agree the concept is very much worth the extra work and sacrifice. Is it though? MarketWatch spoke with financial advisers about the financial and emotional consequences of early retirement." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
Your Age at Retirement: The Most Important Number for Planning
"If there's one factor that can make or break your retirement plans, it's the age at which you begin that coveted lifestage.... [R]etiring at age 56 requires saving 27% of income a year, compared with 16% for retiring at 67.... [S]omeone who is 35 [and] has quite a bit already saved -- in line with at least one retirement benchmark, which suggests having a retirement balance equal to your annual salary saved by 35 ... still needs to save 38% of income to retire at age 56. That's nearly twice what would be required if she planned to retire at the typical age of 67." (Forbes)
Deciding If a Lump Sum Pension Payout Is Right for You
"[1] Compare using a 4% withdrawal ratio ... [2] Compare using an income annuity ... [3] Check the funding status of your pension ... [4] Evaluate your health." (Joe Allaria, CFP, via Nasdaq)
Retirees: Use Online IRS Withholding Calculator to Avoid Unexpected Taxes on Pensions
"With tax reform bringing major changes for the year ahead, the [IRS] today urged retirees to make sure they are paying in enough tax during the year by using the Withholding Calculator, available on The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers including retirees.... For retirees who receive a monthly pension or annuity check, this may mean changing the amount of federal income tax they have withheld. The easiest way to do that is to use the Withholding Calculator. Though primarily designed for employees who receive wages, this useful online tool can also be helpful to those who receive pension or annuity payments on a regular schedule, usually monthly or quarterly." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Rules of Thumb for Retirement Savings
"[These rules of thumb assume a retirement age of 67, which is the full Social Security benefits age for those born in 1960 or later.] ... [1] [S]ave enough to replace at least 45% of your preretirement income, after accounting for Social Security.... [2] [S]ave 1x your current income by 30, 3x by 40, 6x by 50, 8x by 60, and 10x by 67.... [3] [S]ave at least 15% of your pre-tax income a year over the course of your working life.... [4] [L]imit withdrawals to 4% to 5% of your initial retirement savings, then keep increasing this withdrawal based on inflation." (Fidelity)
Save Some of Your Income from Part-Time Employment in Retirement for Later
"[This post includes] a simple example and a more visual approach to encourage you to save some of your part-time employment income for your later years in retirement. Before you actually go back to work on a part-time or a full-time basis, however, you should familiarize yourself with the Social Security earnings limit rules to see if your Social Security benefit may be affected by your employment." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
When Saving for Retirement MIGHT Not Make Sense
"If you have already met your retirement goals but have not yet funded a Health Savings Account; it may make sense to redirect funds into an HSA account.... If you don't earn a lot of money and have no reasonable expectation of earning a lot of money prior to retirement -- Social Security ... is going to replace a substantial amount of your preretirement income, mitigating the need for retirement savings.... If you have NO emergency fund ... it might be best to redirect contributions until the account is funded, then returning to retirement focus." (Cammack Retirement Group)
Where to Turn if You've Been Wrongfully Denied Your Retirement Benefits
"The Pension Rights Center acts as a resource for six federally funded pension counseling projects that together serve individuals in 30 states across the country. The pension counseling projects provide free legal assistance to anyone -- regardless of age or income -- who needs help understanding their rights to retirement benefits they have earned through their employment. These projects even offer legal help obtaining wrongfully denied retirement benefits by working through a retirement plan's internal claims and appeals process." (
How to Find a Lost Retirement Account
"[1] If you remember the name of your 401(k) provider (Vanguard, Fidelity, TIAA, Voya, etc.), first contact them to see if your money is still there. [2] You can also contact the old employer. Look for the company online, and if it still exists, contact the HR department either by phone or email and ask them for your balance and account information.... [3] Your account may have been reported as 'abandoned.' To search that, visit the US [DOL] abandoned retirement plan database.... [4] Each state has an unclaimed property web site that is searchable as well." (Financial Finesse)
Target Date Funds: The Dangers of Putting Your 401(k) on Autopilot
"The biggest issue with target-date funds is that they only focus one variable: your retirement age.... [D]efined contribution plan participants should focus on at least three variables: their contribution rate, company matching contributions or profit sharing, and how much progress they've made thus far toward their retirement goals." (Investopedia)
Navigating Retirement Portfolios During Market Volatility
"Retirement plan investors should stick to the long-term plan and avoid emotional biases such as reacting to media coverage of falling markets or checking account balances too frequently.... Diversification is one of the most powerful tools for long-term investing, and market volatility reinforces the value of diversification.... A period of dramatic loss may be a good time to ensure that a portfolio's asset allocation remains aligned within its target.... [H]olding all of a retirement portfolio in cash can be detrimental over the long term." (Cammack Retirement Group)
What To Do With Your Previous Employer's Retirement Plan
"As long as you have at least $5k in the account, most plans will allow you to keep the money there. If you have company stock or any unique investment options that you'd like to keep, this may be the best option for you. It also gives you time to decide during what is likely to be a hectic time in your life." (Financial Finesse)
Participants Should Watch for Late 401(k) Deposits
"One thing participants do not review often enough is contribution deposit dates. Reviewing this information not only ensures that your employer is timely depositing your contributions, but also that any late contributions include an extra lost opportunity contribution in accordance with the [DOL] rules." (Slott Report)
The Hierarchy of Tax-Preferenced Savings Vehicles
"[T]here is still the foundational tier of savings to provide an emergency fund ... but the key point is to acknowledge that there is a hierarchy of tax-preferenced accounts -- ranging from triple-tax-preferenced accounts to accounts with no tax preferences -- and high-income earners can better limit their tax liabilities and maximize their growth by adhering to this hierarchy!" (Nerd's Eye View)
How to Use Income Tax Withholding on IRA Distributions, and When Not To
"Using withholding saves the trouble of sending a payment to the IRS yourself.... Withheld tax is treated as if it is paid at an even rate over the year even if in fact it is all paid just before year-end. This means that withholding on an IRA distribution taken just before year-end can be used to retroactively escape underpayment penalties on earlier missed quarterly estimated payments.... Quarterly payments and withholding can be used together." (Slott Report)
Top Ten Reasons Not to Save Now for Retirement
"[10] We'll sell our home and move somewhere cheaper when we retire.... [9] I'll work forever.... [8] I'll rely on Social Security or other government programs.... [7] I'm going to receive a large inheritance.... [6] My kids will take care of me.... [5] Saving reduces how much I can spend currently.... [4] I'm too young to save for retirement.... [3] We won't live that long.... [2] I'll win the Lottery.... [1] It will somehow all work out." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
Could an Early Retirement Help You Live Longer?
"There's conflicting research on the connection between retirement and life expectancy.... The drawbacks of early retirement.... Finding a purpose in retirement is paramount for health and happiness." (U.S. News & World Report)
Depending on Your Age, This Will Protect You from a Social Security Fail
"Social Security remains on the cusp. Out of balance as of this year, it's doomed to go insolvent in 2034. What can people do to help protect themselves against the failure of Social Security? Here are some practical examples of how people, based on their current age, can best protect themselves (and their children) from this imminent failure." (Fiduciary News)
Expressing Projected Accumulated Savings as Lifetime Retirement Income
"[The Actuarial Lifetime Retirement Income Estimator (ALRIE)] is a more robust tool for retirement plan providers (including [DC] plan sponsors, DC plan administrators and brokerages) who want to give plan participants a better idea of how much lifetime retirement income their account balances may provide." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
401(k) Deferrals: How Much Should Employees Be Contributing?
"We are back-loading contributions into our accounts rather than front-loading, contributing a lot at the end of our careers and very little at the beginning. As a result, we are missing out on all of that compounding that takes place over time. So we end up with a 401k account balance that is way too low." (Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants)
Kentucky Pension Exclusion 2018
"The State of Kentucky passed a comprehensive tax reform package in April that creates a 5% single rate individual income tax.... Kentucky workers, who will have less than $31,110 in annual income from qualifying retirement plans, can totally eliminate the Kentucky income tax of 5% on both the money they contribute to these plans and the future investment gains on those dollars." (Retirement Management Services, LLC)
Don't Miss These Retirement Milestones
"Age 50: The age you can begin making catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts ... Age 55: If you leave a job ... you can take penalty-free withdrawals ... Age 59-1/2: Make penalty-free withdrawals from all traditional IRAs and employer retirement plans ... Age 62: Earliest age at which you can claim Social Security retirement benefits ... Age 65: Enroll in Medicare ... Age 66 and 67: Full Retirement Age for Social Security ... Age 70: Claim the maximum benefit from Social Security ... Age 70-1/2: Begin taking [RMDs]." (Fidelity)
How to Build Your Own Pension with Annuities
"If you have a retirement nest egg, one thing you can do with a portion of your savings is purchase what's known as an immediate annuity. By doing so, you can essentially build your own pension and get a guaranteed income to supplement Social Security for the rest of your life." (CNNMoney)
Avoiding the Curveball of a Taxable 401(k) Loan under the New Tax Act
"Under the new Tax Act, the 60-day period was extended to the filing due date for the participant's tax return for the year in which the loan offset amount arises.... [T]his extension of time is only available for loan offsets that become taxable due to separation from employment. This extension is not available for participants that defaulted on a loan repayment while still employed." (Belfint Lyons Shuman)
Did Someone Try to Hack My Retirement Account? A Personal Cybersecurity Story
"Apparently, verification code forwarding attacks are a thing. While the issuance of [the author's] verification code does not appear to be malicious, it could have been.... While it is tempting to make login credentials the same for retirement and other financial accounts, don't do it! ... Frequently monitoring account statements for suspicious activity and reporting anything unusual (such as a verification code that wasn't received) to the recordkeeper and the appropriate party at an organization can help protect retirement plan accounts." (Cammack Retirement Group)
Three Big Reasons You're Underestimating How Much Retirement Income You Need
"[T]he 4% rule gave you a 6% chance of running out of money -- but with the intermediate-term real interest rate below historical averages, the chance of running out of money following the 4% rule went up to 57%.... 59% of retirees spend more of their Social Security benefits on healthcare costs.... [T]axes that have to be paid upon withdrawals, unless you have a Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA." (
[Official Guidance] 2017 Instructions for IRS Form 8915B: Qualified Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments (PDF)
"Use Form 8915B if you were adversely affected by a 2017 disaster listed in Qualified 2017 Disaster Distribution Requirements ... and you received a distribution that qualifies for favorable tax treatment." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Simplify Your Retirement with These Money Tips
"Select primary accounts.... Pay off all debts.... Consolidate investment funds.... Eliminate paper.... Downsize or move to a newer home ... Rent ... Cut subscriptions and recurring expenses.... Consider an annuity." (U.S. News & World Report)
How to Generate Retirement Cash Flow by Rebalancing
"A trap some retirees can fall into when it comes to retirement income planning is limiting their strategy to interest and dividends and neglecting the power of rebalancing to capture portfolio growth as an additional income source." (Charles Schwab)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 575: Pension and Annuity Income, for Use in Preparing 2017 Returns (PDF)
47 pages. "What's New: New rules provide for tax-favored withdrawals, repayments, and loans from certain retirement plans (including IRAs) for taxpayers who suffered economic losses as a result of Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, or the California wildfires.... Beginning in 2018, a qualified plan loan offset amount may be rolled over by the due date (including extensions) for filing the tax return for the tax year in which the offset occurs." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
How to Cope with Stock Market Declines in Retirement
"Shift to more conservative investments.... Create a cash reserve.... Avoid emotional investment decisions.... Continue to invest." (U.S. News & World Report)
How to Avoid Penalties on Unpaid 401(k) Loans
"Let's say you leave your job in June, while still owing $2,000 on a 401(k) loan. If you extend your tax return for that year until October, you'd have about 16 months to pay back your loan; that's $125 per month.... Because it is unclear what type of documentation the IRS will require, make sure to keep all forms and communication you receive and consult your tax professional to help you reflect this process on your tax return. Keep in mind that this process could take a few back-and-forth letters with the IRS, due to the timing of when the 1099-R and Form 5498 are mailed." (Financial Finesse)
HSA 'Chicken' or 401(k) 'Nest Egg' -- Which Comes First?
"The important question to ask may be how to prioritize for those who have limited ability to save.... The answer depends, in part, on a number of factors, including but not limited to: geographic location, the match (if any) in the 401k plan, whether the 401k plan offers a robust loan feature, whether there is an employer contribution to the HSA and if so, whether it is in the form of a match or if it meets the comparability rules." (Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA])
Reasons Americans' 401(k) Balances Are Too Small
"[1] Less than full participation ... [2] Contributions that are too low ... [3] 401(k) fees that are too high ... [4] Leakages from 401(k) plans." (Motley Fool)
Choosing the Same 'Walkway' May Be Key to Couples' Retirement Success
"Decades ago, a couple's retirement decision focused on the generosity of the husband's retirement benefits and the impact the timing of his retirement had on future benefits. Not so today. Many women have accumulated substantial retirement savings, and these differences in employment and personal circumstances can complicate a couple's retirement planning efforts ... Over time, women increasingly have been retiring after their husbands." (Prudential)
Retirement New Year's Resolutions (PDF)
"Set a date.... Do the math.... Start saving as early as you can.... Save as much as you realistically can.... Increase your 401(k) savings rate with each pay raise.... Play catch up.... Review your portfolio regularly.... Plan with your partner." (Pentegra)
For Participants: A Quick-Start Guide to Your 401(k)
"Aim to save at least 15% of your pre-tax income for retirement annually--including any contribution from your employer. If 15% is too much right now, contribute at least enough to get any match from your employer and aim to save a little bit more each year. Whether you choose your own investments or choose to stick with the default investment option chosen by your employer, the key factor is investing for the future." (Fidelity)
SEC Offers Free Financial Planning Tools for Retirement Savers and Investors
This page provides links to the following tools, developed by the SEC: [1] 401(k) and IRA Required Minimum Distribution Calculator ... [2] Compound Interest Calculator and Savings Goal Calculator ... [3] Social Security Retirement Estimator ... [4] Retirement Ballpark Estimator ... [5] Mutual Fund Analyzer ... [6] 529 Expense Analyzer. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)
Every Good Fiduciary Should Know the Answer to These 401(k) Plan Questions
"[These] commonly asked questions ... open the door for teachable lessons.... [1] Should I invest into the 401k, and will I save on taxes? ... [2] How much guaranteed interest do 401k plans earn? ... [3] Once I make the contribution how quickly can I take the money out? ... [4] Do I have to notify my employees of the plan? ... [5] Can I force employees to meet one-on-one with financial advisers? " (Fiduciary News)
Are Annuities a Viable Retirement Solution?
"There are definite advantages to annuities that may make them a suitable choice for a portion of your total retirement income, but there are some downsides that purchasers need to be aware of before incorporating them into their retirement planning." (Frenkel Benefits)
Modeling Deviations from Assumed Future Experience
"[A] reasonable amount of risk assessment and risk mitigation can be helpful in facilitating achievement of your long-term financial goals.... In addition to making assumptions about the future and periodically balancing your assets with your spending liabilities, ... periodically stress-test important planning assumptions ... so that you can possibly mitigate negative outcomes if actual future experience punches you in the mouth." (Ken Steiner, FSA Retired)
[Official Guidance] Text of DOL FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and the California Wildfires (PDF)
22 Q&As. "My employer's place of business is closed. I cannot locate my plan administrator. Who do I contact to file a claim for benefits, or to obtain replacement identification documents? ... I think I may be losing my health coverage as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes or the California Wildfires. What can I do to obtain other health coverage? ... My employer's place of business is closed due to the events of one of the hurricanes or the California Wildfires. Who should I contact to file a claim for retirement benefits or make sure that I will continue to receive my pension payments on time? ... How can I make changes in the way my 401(k) plan account is invested if it was affected by the events of one of the hurricanes or the California Wildfires? ... If my employer faces economic difficulties as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes or the California Wildfires, can my employer terminate my retirement plan, and if so, what happens to my benefits? ... All of the records concerning my employment with the retirement plan sponsor and my participation in the retirement plan were destroyed as a result of the events of one of the hurricanes or the California Wildfires. What do I do?" [Editor's note: this document seems to supercede the FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries Following Hurricane Harvey issued Aug. 29, 2017. It seems to contain few new provisions with respect to such persons, if any.] (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
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