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week ending February 21st, 2020
Americans are drowning in debt. Studies have shown that debt and homeownership are top reasons retirement plan participants withdraw funds from their retirement accounts early. And a recent Hearts & Wallets survey found more consumers think employers should help pay off student loan debt (39%) than should help with retirement (25%). These findings signal a strong need for financial wellness programs that address debt management. In addition to solutions to address student loan as well as consumer debt, employers may want to consider emergency savings solutions to help employees avoid debt in the first place. This edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend will give you food for thought about structuring your financial wellness program.
Editor's Choice
Participants
Debt, Homeownership Driving Participants to Withdraw Retirement Funds
Data about retirement plan participant loans and hardship withdrawals supports the need for better financial wellness programs, especially for Millennials and Gen Xers.
Administration
Employer Student Debt Help Not Reaching All Who Need It
A Fidelity analysis found Baby Boomers and Generation X have high student loan debt, but as it may be for their children’s education, many employer programs are not helping.
Data and Research
High Cost of Living, Debt Are Reasons Americans Don’t Save Enough
A survey found more Americans are prioritizing building an emergency savings fund over retirement savings.
Benefits
Automating Emergency Savings for Retirement Plan Participants
Aside from the benefit of having emergency savings, people acclimated to having retirement savings automated will likely stay with an automated process.
Administration
Mechanics of Implementing a Sidecar Savings Account
Keeping retirement plan contributions rolling in while also allowing employees to save for emergencies.
Popular Reads
Administration
Rules for Retaining Benefit Plan Records
Electronic filing is popular, but benefit plan sponsors need to know the rules about what documents can be stored digitally and how.
Compliance
Effect of the Biden Administration on Health and Retirement Benefits
Health and retirement benefit plan sponsors will likely see efforts to reduce health costs for Americans and a rolling back of current administration efforts, especially on ESG investing.
Benefits
What Happens When Student Loan Payment Deferral Ends?
Employers can steer employees to help when they have to restart student loan debt repayments, and there is hope that more government help is on the horizon.
Administration
COVID-19 and Biden Policy Could Intertwine to Affect DB Plan Funding
The future health and political landscape could make a big difference on assumptions used for calculations and defined benefit plan funding policy.
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