Contact Us Today

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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Q1 Market Recap - Yin and Yang

Last quarter we reported to you that investors turned decidedly bullish toward equities after the U.S. election. That trend continued in the first quarter of 2017, with the S&P 500 Index hitting an all-time high of 2395.96 on March 1, immediately following President Trump’s conciliatory speech to Congress. That represented a 12% advance in the Index from pre-election levels. The Index closed the quarter off the all-time high, at 2362.72, as investors re-evaluated the probability of President Trump and Congress’ ability to deliver on tax cuts and increased federal spending on infrastructure. The S&P 500 returned a very strong 6.07% in the first quarter—the sixth consecutive quarter of positive returns for the Index.

In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate. The U.S. has entered a period where proposed policy or political risks, the "yin" have moved to the forefront in driving market volatility, the "yang."

Read the Q1 Retirement Market Recap to learn more about the "yin and yang" forces affecting the U.S. market performance, and also review tips on "Understanding Your Retirement Plan Fee Methodology".

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.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Webinar

Get Ready for Paid Family Leave

Effective January 1, 2018, New York State Paid Family Leave Program will provide New Yorkers job-protected, paid leave. Working families will no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and risking their economic security.

But how does this impact you as the employer?

This webinar will cover the new regulations for the Paid Family Leave law and how to prepare for it including:
  • which employers are covered, and employees are eligible for benefits; 
  • the differences between Paid Family Leave (PFL), Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and 
  • what employers should do to get ready.

Thursday, May 18 at 11:00 a.m.

CLICK HERE to register

PRESENTERS:

Wesley Price
Sales Account Executive Employee Benefits
HANYS Benefit Services

Wesley is responsible for assisting clients with health and welfare benefits, and any other area of human resource consulting. Before joining HBS in 2009, Wes worked in the insurance business for seven years marketing and servicing clients on both an individual and group level. He has spent many years consulting with clients in many other human resource related functions including payroll and background screening. Wes is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.




Jessica Boldyga
Regional Account Executive - Group Benefits
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc

Jessica joined The Hartford in 2002. Jessica is responsible for selling group life and disability insurance in the Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, Vermont and Northeast New York areas. Prior to becoming an Account Executive with The Hartford in 2005, she was a group Life and Disability Underwriter for three years. Jessica graduated from Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Economics, and Trinity College (Hartford, CT) with a master's degree in Financial Economics.



Julie Crawford 
Group Benefits Segment Lead - Statutory Disability
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

Julie has 17 years pre-sale, implementation, compliance, regulatory, and Government Affairs group benefits and statutory disability experience. Julie joined The Hartford in 1999. As The Hartford’s Subject Matter Expert for Statutory Disability, Julie provides training (both CE and Non) and consultation to Hartford sales and service representatives as well as Hartford producers. Julie is the contact for NY, NJ and Hawaii state statutory agencies on behalf of The Hartford.