Living longer – bonus or liability?

Life expectancy is increasing dramatically in America, putting pressure on retirement funding. If the traditional three-legged stool (government-individual-employer) needs lengthening, employers will feel the burden.

Employers need to manage their commitment to employee retirement income security more effectively. That starts with a thorough and ongoing analysis of basic sponsored programs like 401(k) and Roth plans. It continues with exploration of supplemental and voluntary facilitated plans that will fill gaps and help assure employees they have found the right employer for their future.

Has your management team been shortchanged?

  • Your senior management, executive team, and other key employees have the longest life expectancy. With qualified plans alone they face retirement income shortfalls and lifestyle downsizing. Expanding your support will more effectively align their personal financial goals with your corporate financial goals.
  • You can provide nominal-cost education programs to help them make more informed financial decisions toward becoming retirement self-sufficient.
  • You can consider nonqualified deferred compensation plans, constructed properly to meet recent regulatory requirements and achieve corporate cost recovery.

How can employees depend on the company?

For the moment, 401(k) and related plans remain an effective retirement income funding structure for most employees. But matching performance with longevity gains requires independent objective analysis.

  • Plan design
  • Participant communication
  • Administration and management fees
  • Investment alternatives

Personal investment success outside employer plans presents its own set of obstacles. Individual investors need access to comprehensive planning advice, as well as more effective investment options and tax strategies.

Our mission is to help fill those gaps for employers and employees with knowledge, experience, and insight to optimize retirement planning success.

What should employers expect from their employee benefits advisors?

Our commitment to help educate participants and staff provides a foundation for your company’s employee benefits plans going forward.

We help integrate your staff and our staff administration capacities with provider systems and regulatory procedures.

Next we help navigate the use of online and onsite enrollment strategies.

Then we help initiate communication for all ongoing participant and company decisions.

Our permanent role is to anticipate change and guide your company’s response. We combine our annual strategic review structure with continual staff-to-staff contact – not only to monitor results but also to help capture opportunities as soon as they arise and help resolve problems before they arise.

Where should employers focus to regain control of healthcare benefit costs?

Healthcare utilization is the primary driver of soaring benefit costs. Today’s plans can manage utilization by shifting more cost management options to employees. Customization becomes the primary driver of lowering benefit costs. Beyond utilization you have to contend with government mandates, carrier pricing strategies, and healthcare and drug company profit models.

To make the most effective use of a custom approach requires advisors who can design diverse solutions and who have the industry presence to negotiate favorably with all parties on behalf of employer clients.

How can employers determine the right changes to make on healthcare plans?

Some companies shape benefits to meet employee expectations. Others raise employee expectations to raise commitment. The rest struggle with the latest cost crisis because their objectives are in conflict. Here is our advice.

  • Make the starting point focus – clear objectives lead to clear solutions.
  • Next test your current programs for internal gaps, overlaps, and inefficiencies and weigh new marketplace trends, product developments, and legislative changes to define your decision environment.
  • Then design the optimal solutions to tie objectives, current strengths, and new opportunities in the most effective and efficient manner.
  • Evaluate the impact of employee wellness and education programs
  • Consider higher upfront deductibles and co-pays
  • Appraise the value of menu-based employee-managed programs