Tag Archives: retirement savings

OregonSaves and other state-run retirement programs may require employer action

President Trump recently signed into law (P.L.115-35) a bill “disapproving” a U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) final rule that permitted states to create retirement savings programs for nongovernmental workers whose employers do not sponsor a retirement plan. The August 30, 2016, final rule specified the conditions to qualify for a “safe harbor” that would exempt certain state-run individual retirement arrangements from ERISA, the federal law that governs retirement plans sponsored by employers in the private sector.

Despite the disapproval, several states (and municipalities) remain committed to creating or studying retirement savings vehicles for workers whose employers do not offer a plan. Oregon became the first to launch such a program, called OregonSaves™. This Client Action Bulletin provides some perspective.

Employers honored with Save 10 award for helping their employees save for retirement

Save 10 awardees at the Seattle event with their Milliman consultants and special guests Milliman Chairman Ken Mungan and Francis Creighton of Financial Services Roundtable. Photo by Ryan Hart

Twelve employers based in the Pacific Northwest were recognized with the Save 10 award during the 45th annual Milliman Employee Benefits Conference held in Seattle on April 6. The Save 10 award honors their work helping their employees save for retirement.

The Save 10 initiative is a movement to reinforce a “Save 10” rule of thumb, recognizing employers who help their employees to save at least 10% of their income toward retirement. Why Save 10? According to Francis Creighton, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs of Financial Services Roundtable, which sponsors the initiative, 10% is easy to remember and reflects the old adage of saving at least 10% of your income for retirement. While this may not be the ideal contribution rate for everyone, getting employees to save for retirement, and providing employers the tools to allow their employees to do so, remains fundamental.

The Save 10 initiative emphasizes the effectiveness of auto features in retirement plans, such as auto enrollment and auto escalation. Research shows that auto features encourage employees to save, even though they may not remember to sign up and start saving from their hire date. The rate of success in saving increases even more for employees with auto escalation of contribution rates.

Milliman is proud to work with companies that want to provide the best benefits for their employees. Milliman works closely with employers to help provide best-in-class retirement plans for their employees that reflect the philosophy and unique identity of each organization.

Employers honored at the April 6 event were: Expeditors International of Washington, Inc., ICOM America, Inc., McKinstry Co., M Financial Group, Nelson Irrigation Corporation, Olympia Federal Savings, PACCAR Inc., Swanson Group, Inc., Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc., Valley Medical Center, Washington Permanente Medical Group, and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, LLP.

More information about the initiative is available at www.save10.org.

Milliman clients join “Save 10” initiative

Five Milliman clients were awarded “Save 10” recognition by the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) at a recent event in Hartford, Connecticut. Save 10 is a business-to-business, peer-to-peer initiative encouraging responsible employers to help their employees secure a better retirement by enabling them to save 10% of their income.

“Helping people save for their financial future can be as simple as companies automatically enrolling their employees in workplace savings programs,” said FSR President and CEO Tim Pawlenty. “Save 10 recognizes these kinds of efforts by employers across the nation. We hope that by highlighting these companies’ terrific efforts, more companies will offer similar savings tools to their workers.”

The Milliman clients recognized are Hall’s Fast Motor Freight, Northeast Controls, Pinnacle Foods Group, Steuben Trust Company, and The Eastern Company.

Milliman clients recognized by “Save 10” initiative

Milliman announced this week that a group of its clients will be recognized by the Financial Services Roundtable’s “Save 10” initiative, which is a business-to-business, peer-to-peer effort encouraging responsible employers to help their employees better prepare for retirement by helping them to save 10% of their income.

“One of the best ways to help people save for their financial future is for companies to automatically enroll employees in workplace savings programs,” said former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Financial Services Roundtable. “Save 10 recognizes such companies, and we hope that by highlighting their terrific efforts, more companies will become Save 10 employers.”

The Milliman clients joining the Save 10 effort include Mankato Clinic, Francis Investment Counsel, Fish & Richardson, Tiller Corporation, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, CliftonLarsonAllen, Felhaber Larson, and Communications Systems, Inc.

“We work with our clients to provide a meaningful retirement benefit,” said Milliman principal Kevin Skow. “Features like auto-enrollment and auto-escalation allow employers to better help their employees save for retirement. Our plan participant tools help to educate employees on how much they need to save and how they can accomplish their retirement goals.”

Nearly 82% of employees save for retirement when their employers offer an auto-save program compared with just 64% when employers do not. Save 10 aims to fundamentally change these facts.

To be considered for recognition as a Save 10 employer, companies must certify that they engage in certain activities that qualify them as Save 10 certified. This includes offering a retirement plan, providing employees opportunities to save 10% of their income, contributing to employee retirement accounts, ensuring employees can “keep 10” by providing access to disability and life insurance plans, and other criteria.

Other companies that have joined the Save 10 effort include Allstate, Assurant, AXA, EZE Castle Integration, First Horizon, Franklin Resources, IBM, LPL Financial, Mastercard, Nationwide, Northern Trust, Popular Community Bank, Principal, Prudential, Putnam Investments, Quicken Loans, State Farm, SunTrust, TransAmerica, Toyota Financial Services, United Technologies, and UNUM.

Read more about the Save 10 initiative and qualifying criteria at www.Save10.org. For more on Milliman’s retirement planning tools, click here.

Employers helping former employees deal with rollover fees

Many defined contribution plan participants are incurring excessive fees when they roll over their account balances into their IRAs. Sponsors can help former employees maintain their savings by retaining the account balances within their qualified plans. In this article, Milliman consultant Doug Conkel discusses what plan sponsors are doing to help their former employees make better decisions with their plan balances.

Here is an excerpt:

Plan design thoughts

Like other transformations within the defined contribution (DC) market, the genesis of these changes is linked to creating a defined contribution plan with some attributes passed down from the “pension plan era.” Participants and sponsors alike are considering changes that shift the plan design discussion from retirement accumulation topics to the “de-accumulation” or payout phase. So what plan design changes are they making?

Partial lump-sum distributions. Many sponsors have modified their plans such that former participants can request a partial lump-sum distribution of their account balances. This enables former participants to satisfy a one-time expense while leaving a portion of their account balances in the plan.

Installments. Years ago, many sponsors simplified their distribution options by removing installments, based on the conclusion that “a participant can set up installments outside the plan (usually an IRA or annuity).” However, now some sponsors have come to realize the issues noted above with outside accounts and some participants are requesting in-plan installments. Some sponsors are again electing to liberalize the distribution options by allowing former participants to elect installment payments from the plan, which gives participants flexibility and allows them to keep their accounts in the plan….

Education and communication

Guidance on comparing fees. A plan that is run in an unbiased environment is able to provide guidance to participants to help them understand the fees they pay under the current plan provisions and how they might compare those fees to individual retail arrangements. The participant fee disclosure rules introduced a few years ago provide participants with the information they need to access their current plan’s total fees. The plan’s annual notice provides the investment expense ratios from which participants can calculate a weighted expense ratio using their personal account. Plus, using their quarterly statements, a participant can also determine the amount of direct expenses (if any) being deducted from the account. These two key pieces of information yield the total cost of a participant’s account within the qualified plan. If participants can obtain the same information about proposed IRAs or new employers’ retirement plans, they should be able to perform an apples-to-apples comparison of the fees. A best practice in the future would be to provide some guidance to former plan participants to assist them in making this comparison so they can then make informed decisions.

Milliman awarded “Save 10” recognition for helping workers save for future

With more than half of Americans not saving enough for retirement, the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), Washington’s leading financial trade association, is recognizing Milliman with a “Save 10” award for its tremendous efforts to help their employees prepare for a secure retirement by enabling them to save 10% of their income.

G-Erickson_Milliman-Save-10-Award
Milliman’s Gerald Erickson receives Save 10 Award from FSR CEO Tim Pawlenty on behalf of the firm.

The newly launched “Save 10” campaign is a business-to-business, peer-to-peer effort to encourage responsible employers to help their employees save for a secure financial future by initiating programs to encourage employees to put aside 10% or more of their income each year.

Milliman’s plan includes a 50% matching contribution on a 6% auto-enrollment provision and a generous profit-sharing contribution. The profit-sharing contribution, which has historically been 10% of compensation annually, paired with the matching contribution, provides for high average account balances among participants in the Milliman plan.

“One of the best ways to increase retirement savings in America is through employers and Milliman is leading the way,” said FSR chief executive officer (CEO) and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. “Save 10 will be an easy way for workers to think about saving. There are many companies like Milliman helping to put their employees on the right path to savings and Save 10 will recognize those employers in an effort to encourage others in the marketplace to follow suit.”

One of the cornerstones of Save 10 is to encourage “auto-save” programs. Auto-save includes programs such as auto-enrollment in a retirement plan upon being hired and auto-escalating employee savings contributions as incomes rise. Nearly 82% of employees save for retirement when their employers offer an auto-save program—compared with just 64% when employers do not. The Save 10 campaign aims to fundamentally change these facts.

To be considered for recognition as a Save 10 employer, companies must certify that they engage in certain activities that qualify the company as certified for Save 10. These activities include offering a retirement plan, contributing to employee retirement accounts, ensuring employees can “keep 10” by providing access to disability and life insurance plans, and other criteria.