Alex Assaley, AIF®

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Mid-Year Check-Up: Legislation and the State of Retirement

As you continue to navigate the second half of this unprecedented year, we want to provide you with an update on the most important legislative changes enacted in 2020 thus far that directly impact you and your employees. The following information will help you gauge the changes to the retirement, employee benefits, and employer-sponsored retirement plan landscape throughout this year to ensure you are aware of what you are responsible for as an employer and/or committee member. In addition to discussing the items managers and HR executives should be aware of in terms of their organizations’ employees’ well-beings, financial lives, and benefits, I’ll also shed light on the overall state of retirement in this COVID-19 environment and explain how challenges can also create opportunity for long-term investors.

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Is Your Company Thinking of Reentering the Workplace?

Developing a plan to re-active your workspace will be challenging and complex. You must determine which workers need to come back first, develop a phase-in period for welcoming them back, and adjust your workspaces to adequately reflect and implement social distancing guidelines, and overall and most importantly, provide a safe and healthy environment for your employees to work in.

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How Are You Administering Your Plans in the Era of the CARES Act?

Earlier this year, at the end of March, the CARES Act was passed into law with broad legislation around stimulating the economy and providing some stability to businesses, households, and individuals during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Within the CARES Act, there are provisions that impact both companies and organizations that offer retirement plans to their employees. Here, we’ll identify how these changes come into play as we move throughout the year, what these key provisions mean for retirement plans, and the administrative oversight these new provisions necessitate from employers.

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Measuring ER Match and Contributions in a Recession

The coronavirus pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges on employers, as we have seen companies being forced to implement layoffs and furloughs and navigate financial constraints from decreased revenues and profits. It has become clear that the COVID-19 health crisis has brought and will continue to bring significant economic disruption, which means that employers need to confront the challenges related to their 401(k) plans. Many organizations have been coming up with ways to prudently manage their budgets and expenses, and one topic that deserves attention is the flexibility surrounding changes to employer-sponsored retirement plans with respect to the employer match, profit-sharing, and discretionary contributions.

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COVID-19 and the Markets

We want to take a moment to address the extreme selling that has transpired in the markets throughout the last few days and weeks. It’s too early to say if yesterday’s capitulation-style selling signaled a market bottom, and it is too early to predict what the resulting short-term and long-term damage to the domestic and global economies will be. Our view is that most industries and sectors will recover from the coronavirus sell-off, while the industries that have been most directly impacted by the virus – hospitality, transportation, and tourism – will face a prolonged recovery. The timing and degree of recovery is first and foremost dependent on the spread and subsequent containment of the virus.

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Should You Allow After-Tax Contributions in Your Plan?

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Blog Post

We are all aware of the 401(k) contribution limits set annually by the IRS, but what if you’ve maxed out your contributions for the year and still want to save money for retirement? You could fund a brokerage account separate from your 401(k), but you would face a costly capital gains tax on those earnings. This is where leveraging an after-tax source in your 401(k) comes into play.

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The SECURE Act: What Does It Mean for Your Company’s Retirement Plan?

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Blog Post

Before dispersing for its winter break, Congress passed significant changes to retirement savings law that will affect many of us now and all of us in the future. This new law, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, is part of the massive government spending bill that was approved by Congress on December 19 and signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019. This bill extensively reshapes the realm of employer-sponsored retirement plans for both employers and employees and enacts the biggest changes to the U.S. retirement system since 2006.

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VIDEO: What Does ESG Investing Mean?

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Blog Post

Have you heard of, or considered, socially responsible – or, what the industry now calls ESG, investments? These investmentvehicles have been gaining a lot of tractin this year for focus on sustainable, socially conscious, "green" and/or ethical screens for the companies they own in their portfolio (i.e. mutual fund or ETF) and also for their ability to point of potntial financial risks that can't be identifyied by typical quarterly results. They seek to consider both financial return and specific environmental, governance, and social metrics to do help investments do well by “doing good.” In this video, I sat down with Clarice Avery of Natixis Invest Managers. We talked about all the things you should know when considering an ESG investment for your investment line-up. You can learn more at Natixis’ site and ESG101.

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Are Incentive-Based Programs Worth it?

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Alex Assaley, AIF®

Blog Post

Companies and organizations across America are constantly struggling with two major workplace challenges: attracting top talent, and then, retaining that talent. When an employee thinks about your benefits program, is he or she content, confused, disappointed, or simply unaware?

Regardless of industry or service, every HR department and Corporate Executive wants to keep their best current and future employees satisfied. In order to push employees to their fullest potentials, leaders in an organization should demonstrate they are making positive strides to better their employees’ lives, both inside and outside the office.

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