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Retirement is Far Off!

11/25/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

The Ants & The Grasshopper1

Once upon a time, the grasshopper danced and sang: “… I see no reason to worry and work.” He sang a different tune once winter arrived: “I’ve been a fool, all (a)long. Now I’m singing a different song. Read More >>


Is it Time Yet?

11/18/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Retire the 401(k)! Retire the 401(k)?


Ten years ago, this was the October 9, 2009 Time Magazine cover.1 The author asserted that America would be better off if we “retired” the 401(k). Read More >>


It’s Not Too Late - But, Don’t Wait!

11/15/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Some things for plan sponsors to consider before you “give thanks,” light the candles on the menorah, celebrate the Solstice, Nativity, Kwanzaa, or sing Auld Lang Syne.

Health Savings Account (HSA) Capable Health Option – Add December 1st Not January 1st
Are you adding your first HSA-capable health option in 2020? If so, why not add it effective December 1st, 2019? Adding a new option will qualify as a health status change, so workers can change their cafeteria plan election. Read More >>


Perquisites Behaving Badly?

11/11/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

In a recent Colorado Sun article, University of Oregon associate professor of law Elizabeth C. Tippett asserts1:

  1. Companies offer all sorts of benefits and extras to attract the most favored workers, from health care and stock options to free food. But all those perks come at a price: your freedom. Read More >>

It’s My Money and I Need it Now!

11/04/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

On Demand Pay Apps Address Financial Illness Symptoms – Are They The Newest “Attractive Nuisance?”1

Workers living payday-to-payday? Cash-strapped? Money problems? Unbanked, underbanked? Unexpected expenses? Damaged credit? Income shocks? Unable to cover normal, periodic, expected, everyday expenses?

Do your workers need cash now? Are you getting demands to add an on-demand pay app? Are you getting solicitations from “financial wellness” providers who argue such programs are dramatically less expensive compared to payday loans and other forms of high-cost credit – with fees of perhaps $6 a month, plus perhaps $5 per payday per use, plus interest rates of 6% to 36%. Read More >>


Irresponsible, Unaccountable, Unreliable

10/25/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Who are we talking about - plan sponsors or participants? Is there added exposure for plan sponsors who do (more than) the minimum?

Nearly a decade ago, my predecessor David Wray wrote a blog post titled: “401(k) Adequacy and Employer Liability. Read More >>


A Focus on Fees – Seven Years Later

10/21/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Few read mandated fee disclosures; the disclosures may mislead more than they inform.

In 2012, I analyzed the EBSA’s fee disclosure regulations. Here’s part of the abstract from my paper:

"Over the next ten years, let’s increase the fees paid by individual account plans, like the 401(k), by hundreds of millions of dollars per year to deliver newly mandated fee and investment information that no participant specifically asked for, few will read, even fewer will understand, and still fewer will correctly apply in their investment decision-making. Read More >>


What’s in Your Plans?

10/14/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

Please confirm what your advisor(s) recommended for 2020.

It is October. By now, you will probably have had an annual review with the advisor(s) for your individual account retirement savings plan.

Interestingly, advisors regularly ask us at PSCA to confirm plan sponsor priorities. Read More >>


Rock, Paper, Scissors – Average, Median, Mode – Deceiving Data

10/07/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy1

Everything I needed to know about averages and employee benefits I learned long ago. Read More >>


HSA Heuristics

09/30/2019
By Jack Towarnicky

There is No Contribution “Rule of Thumb” That is Best for Everyone

A heuristic technique is any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method, not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but instead may be sufficient to make an immediate decision. Read More >>


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