Contact Us Today

Monday, November 13, 2017

HANYS Benefit Services' Carol A. Idone Receives Prestigious SPARK Advisor Award

Vice President, Client Relationship Management and Consulting,
Honored for Leadership in "Plan Design & Administration Innovation"


HANYS Benefit Services (HBS) is pleased to announce that Carol A. Idone, CFP®, AIF®, Vice President, Client Relationship Management and Consulting, is the recipient of the 2017 SPARK Advisor Award: Plan Design & Administration Innovation. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

7 Ways to Mitigate Retirement Plan Fiduciary Liabilities

1. Document all decisions— Appoint a secretary to take notes on all actions and decisions.

2. Hold retirement plan committee meetings regularly—Quarterly is the best practice; make sure your people get there and have a good attendance record.

3. Appoint qualified committee members—If you want to bring in people from different departments within the hospital to have them more involved in the retirement plan process, be sure that people are chosen who understand how the retirement plan and investments work. You also need to have an odd number of people on the committee to avoid votes that end in a tie.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Retirement Plan Administration Best Practices

Retirement plan sponsors have a difficult challenge: balancing the desire to offer a valued and valuable retirement plan to their employees, with the administrative and regulatory requirements and expense of maintaining the plan.

Experts agree that plan sponsors can help address these issues by consistent adoption of plan administration and oversight best practices.These steps can lower costs, increase plan enrollment, boost savings rates, and better prepare employees for a more secure retirement, while helping mitigate the risk borne by plan fiduciaries.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fiduciary Responsibilities: ERISA Standards of Conduct

  • Act solely in the interest of plan participantsThis may seem obvious, but you cannot prioritize your board, president, or local community interests over the plan participants.
  • Act prudentlyThe duty to act prudently requires expertise in areas such as investment. Lacking that expertise, a fiduciary should hire someone with that professional knowledge. Fiduciaries are responsible for a decision process, not investment results. The process used to make decisions must be documented to show fiduciaries acted prudently. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Active vs. Passive Investing Styles: An Age Old Rivalry

Active vs. Passive investing styles is an age-old debate in the investing world. Investment managers on either side tend to be steadfast advocates of the merits of their approach. Active managers seek to exploit market inefficiencies by relying on analytical research, forecasts, and their own judgement and experience to decide which securities to buy, hold, and sell. Passive investing involves simply tracking an index to avoid the management fees and trading costs that can be a drag on performance by adhering to a buy-and-hold strategy.

However, no one strategy always triumphs. It cannot be ignored that both investing strategies have positive attributes and have helped define the historical and current investing trends we have witnessed in the retirement marketplace.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

11 Questions Employers Should Ask About Stable Value Funds

Stable value investments have been a core investment option in defined contribution retirement plans since the 1970s and are an attractive alternative to money market investments due to steady returns and principal preservation guarantees. Stable value funds have proven their worth to investors during the protracted period of low interest rates present since the recent financial crisis. Consider the following comparison of 2007-2016 calendar year total return for the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX)[i] to the HBS MetLife Stable Value Fund.

1.           What is a stable value fund? 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Q2 Retirement Market Recap - Stocks and Bonds Advance Again in the 2nd Quarter

As of June 30, 2017 U.S. equities advanced for the seventh consecutive quarter, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 3.09% in the second quarter and 9.34% year to date. With the economic expansion and the bull market for stocks both in their eighth year, it is understandable that many investors are nervous about a market correction. Equity prices are reflecting a very solid U.S. economy, operating at full potential and full employment. Most of the economic data followed by investors has been positive:
  • surges in Leading Economic Indicators, and the Small Business Optimism Index;
  • accelerating global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast;
  • rising housing starts;
  • strong Purchasing Managers Indexes (manufacturing and service sectors), strong hiring, declining unemployment, record low weekly unemployment claims and high quit rate;
  • low inflation;
  • strong consumer data: growth in average hourly earnings/real disposable personal income, household balance sheets, savings rates, credit scores, and record low household financial
  • obligations ratio; and
  • strong retail sales.
Read the Q2 Retirement Market Recap to learn more about the 2nd quarter stocks and bonds performance, and also review tips on "Understanding Non-Governmental 457(b) and 457(f) Plans".

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or email us at hbs@hanys.org.