Monday, March 28, 2016

Plan Health: Here’s why you’re here

To assess plan health, comprehensive Annual Plan Reviews continue to be of value, and plan providers are developing more concise versions of the report — offered on paper or online. According to the Lincoln Financial Group study, You are here: Understanding financial wellness, retirement readiness and plan health, plan sponsors use plan health data to get quick, timely updates on employee retirement preparedness levels and to help meet their goals by leveraging data to make informed plan design decisions.

Next steps for plan sponsors
  1. Review year-over-year trends to identify patterns and opportunities.
  2. Compare your plan by industry, asset size, and number of participants to set competitive goals.
  3. Work with your provider to optimize participant data to help limit assumptions and provide more accurate reporting.
  4. Continue to monitor traditional success measures — balances, contribution rates and diversification — while adding new metrics, such as income replacement rates.
  5. Work with your plan provider, advisor or consultant to prioritize the aspects of your plan health data that are most valuable to you; reporting will be more valuable with your input.

To learn more about this research or to begin developing your organization’s action plan toward optimal plan health, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or e-mail us at hbs@hanys.org.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2016 Human Resources Conference


The 2016 Human Resources Conference is designed for senior level human resource and employee benefits professionals looking for new insight and ideas to address today’s human resources challenges. Best-selling author and internationally recognized management and leadership expert Bruce Tulgan will offer a three-hour workshop sharing strategies to engage Millennials in the workplace. Additional conference sessions will be led by the industry's top thought leaders, inspiring discussion around:
  • Workforce Design Strategies 
  • Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on Retirement Plans 
  • Legal Trends & Updates 
  • Building a Successful Wellness Program – One System’s Example 
  • Strategic Internal Communications 

LEARN MORE

This program is offered in partnership with the Statewide Human Resources Advisory Council.

SHRM and HRCI credits pending.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Retirement Readiness: Where do you need to be?

In the Lincoln Financial Group study, You are here: Understanding financial wellness, retirement readiness and plan health, plan providers agree that retirement readiness is unique to each individual. A single, accurate income replacement rate does not completely define retirement readiness. Yet, replacement rate is the one measure that seems to be gaining momentum among plan sponsors. Whether plan participants need between 70% and 85% of pre-retirement income, or whether they plan to retire at age 62, 65, 67 or older, plan sponsors are unanimous in the belief that translating assets to potential income is critical.

Take action on retirement readiness:
  1. Work with your recordkeeper, plan advisors and consultants to generate greater employee engagement, and seek an approach that makes it easy for participants to take action.
  2. Ask for employee communications to demonstrate the benefits and impacts of measured, realistic, small steps and to promote content that’s neither simplistic nor condescending.
  3. Encourage employee interaction with retirement planning tools and automated features.
  4. Ask participants to provide key data during open enrollment, when they’re already thinking about their benefits.
  5. Use your plan health reporting to monitor the plan design choices impacting retirement readiness and to identify employee groups who may need more help to get on track to meet their retirement savings goals.

To learn more about this research or to begin developing your organization’s action plan toward optimal plan health, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or e-mail us at hbs@hanys.org.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Financial Wellness: You could be someplace better

In the Lincoln Financial Group study, You are here: Understanding financial wellness, retirement readiness and plan health, plan sponsors reported that employees need financial education, and they believe instituting a financial wellness program leads to improved job performance and increased employee loyalty. The industry defines “financial wellness” as a program of financial topics delivered through multiple channels to help people minimize their financial challenges. Financial wellness is aspirational, and the path to wellness for participants involves setting reasonable goals and taking positive steps forward.

As financial wellness programs become more prevalent and significant over the next few years, we anticipate closer alignment with health and wellness programs. New service providers and program opportunities are rapidly emerging.
Best practice considerations:
  1. Talk with your retirement plan provider, advisor or consultant about available financial wellness resources.
  2. Survey participants and build programs based on topics of highest interest, deepest need and greatest likelihood of success.
  3. When implementing a new program, start small and gradually roll out new elements to the program.
  4. Connect financial wellness delivery to health program delivery to make the most of employee time and attention spans.
  5. Offer programs to all employees, not just plan participants. Include one-on-one and group meetings and webcasts during, before and after work, at lunchtime, and over weekends to accommodate employees. Encourage employees to bring spouses and partners, and make meetings mandatory for high-impact topics. 

To learn more about this research or to begin developing your organization’s action plan toward optimal plan health, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or e-mail us at hbs@hanys.org.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Understanding financial wellness, retirement readiness and plan health

In the study, You are here: Understanding financial wellness, retirement readiness and plan health, the Lincoln Financial Group explored three emerging trends in retirement plan administration.
  1. Financial wellness programs. Similar to health wellness programs, financial wellness programs can be adopted by a plan sponsor to improve an individual’s financial health so he or she can accomplish specific financial goals, such as saving amounts sufficient for retirement. In many cases, low participation and savings rates in retirement plans are the results of an inability to save due to financial challenges, such as poor budgeting and credit card debt.
  2. Retirement readiness communications. Retirement readiness communications are designed to help participants understand how much income they may need to achieve their retirement goals, whether their savings are on track, and how any shortfalls can be addressed. For plan sponsors, retirement readiness indicators provide an opportunity to monitor success for the entire participant population.
  3. Plan health reporting. A complete Annual Plan Review or a more streamlined version — the plan health report — includes key plan metrics, such as participant savings, investment outcomes and other indicators of retirement readiness. Plan sponsors can easily identify opportunity areas, such as specific groups of employees whose savings rates or investments aren’t in line with their retirement goals. Reports also can help support plan sponsor goals and initiatives.


Optimal plan health is achieved when you take full advantage of financial wellness and retirement readiness programs and communications.

To learn more about this research or to begin developing your organization’s action plan toward optimal plan health, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or e-mail us at hbs@hanys.org.