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Cold Turkey Withdrawal

By Jack Towarnicky

Just in time for Thanksgiving, on November 14, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service published a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 changes that liberalized hardship withdrawals – changes that will increase leakage.1  This guidance came out exactly one week after the Department of Labor’s request for comments regarding “auto portability” – changes designed to reduce leakage. Read More >>

A ‘Retirement Ready’ Thanksgiving List

By Nevin Adams

Thanksgiving has been called a “uniquely American” holiday, and though that is perhaps something of an overstatement, it is unquestionably a special holiday, and one on which it seems appropriate to reflect on all for which we should be thankful.  And so…  

I’m thankful that participants, by and large, continue to hang in there with their commitment to retirement savings, despite lingering economic uncertainty and competing financial priorities, such as rising health care costs and college debt. Read More >>

Pension Promises Without Funding Are Mere Dreams

By Jack Towarnicky

First things first: Congress should begin by addressing the significant underfunding of Social Security and Medicare. States and local governments should be focused on public employee pensions. Similarly, Congress also should resolve the funding challenge of Multiemployer Pension Plans without increasing taxes or negatively impacting single-employer pension plans. Read More >>

Impediments to Saving for Retirement – Part 2 - The Solution? The Right Kind of Liquidity

By Jack Towarnicky

What’s the best solution where saving for retirement is not a priority? Meet workers where they are with the right kind of liquidity! Don’t agree? Well, what about the next best solution? You guessed it: help workers avoid the wrong kind of liquidity!

No recent headline includes more hyperbole than the news reporting from Deloitte and its guesstimates of “leakage” from plan loans. Read More >>

The Birth of a Notion

By Nevin Adams

“Unintended consequences” are generally a bad thing.  But not always.  The 401(k), for example.

Today is being celebrated as the birthday of the 401(k) – because it’s the anniversary of the day on which the Revenue Act of 1978 – which included a provision that became Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sec. Read More >>

Impediments to Saving for Retirement – The Barriers, Part 1

By Jack Towarnicky

Today’s typical histrionic, hyperbolic headline: “Retirement Crisis: Workers Can’t Afford to Save For Retirement Due to Crippling Out of Pocket Medical Expenses and Crushing Student Debt!”1 The accurate rewrite: “Saving For Retirement is Doable – Almost All Workers Have Low, Budget-able Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses, and Student Debts. Read More >>

Few Read Mandatory Benefit Disclosures; Even Fewer Take Action (Reprise)

By Jack Towarnicky

Congress has proposed that participants should pay more fees to receive yet another mandated disclosure – this time, a lifetime income estimate that participants didn’t ask for, that will almost always be inaccurate, that doesn’t apply to all retirement savings, that few will notice, even fewer will read, less still will understand, and that almost no one will correctly apply in retirement savings decision-making. Read More >>

Coincidence is not Correlation; Correlation is Not Causation

By Jack Towarnicky


  • Back in 1978, New York Times sportswriter Leonard Koppett reported that you could correctly predict stock market returns based on the Super Bowl winner.1
  • Once there are 23 people in a room, there is a 50/50 chance that two of them will share the same birthday. Read More >>

But I Repeat Myself – You Should Offer a Health Savings Account-Capable Health Option*

By Jack Towarnicky

An Employee Benefits Version of Groundhog Day1

A week or so ago, in a presentation titled, Health AND Wealth in Retirement, I once again stood in front of a crowd of plan sponsors extolling the value of HSAs. Read More >>

True-up, Catch-up, What’s up?

By Jack Towarnicky

“The wonderful thing about second chances is that they exist.”1

True Up – Internal Revenue Code (IRC) §§401(k) and 403(b) plans, and Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

Many Individual account savings plans and some HSAs offer an employer match. Some calculate the match each payday. Read More >>

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