Savings trends

Peg Creonte Discusses Progress of OregonSaves Program

In a broadcast segment on CNBC’s Nightly Business Report, SVP Peg Creonte discusses the progress of the OregonSaves state-sponsored retirement program to date. She also shares the Ascensus perspective on how these programs are helping address the national retirement savings gap. “Study after study shows that people are 15x more likely to be saving for retirement if they’re offered access through their employer,” states Creonte. Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read joins Peg to discuss his expectations for the future of the program. Owner of Reach Break Brewing Company, Josh Allison, also shares his personal account of how OregonSaves is making an impact in the financial lives of his employees and helping him attract talented employees to join the business.

Since the broadcast, Nightly Business ReportPower Lunch, Closing Bell, On t​he Money​, and CNBC affiliate shows​ have re-run the segment. ​

 


Ascensus Joins National Retirement Security Week

Ascensus, a technology-enabled solutions provider that helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future, is proud to participate in National Retirement Security Week 2017. National Retirement Security Week is an annual weeklong initiative dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement.

National Retirement Security Week, held during the third week of October, was established by the United States Congress in 2006 as a way to promote retirement savings among Americans and encourage more employees to participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plans.

According to the 2016 National Employee Benefits Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69% of American workers have access to retirement benefits through their employers but only 54% participate in these plans. The Boston College Center for Retirement Research’s National Retirement Risk Index (the NRRI) has shown that about half of today’s working-age households won’t be able to maintain their preretirement standard of living in retirement. In order to address this retirement savings gap, retirement plan sponsors and providers like Ascensus join in the celebration of National Retirement Security Week, giving savers the insights they need to make informed decisions.

Ascensus specializes in recordkeeping and administration, third-party administration, and compliance services for qualified retirement plans, IRAs, and state-sponsored retirement programs. The firm channels its vast experience to create retirement plan solutions and tools that make it easier for individuals to reach their savings goals. As a National Retirement Security Week participant, Ascensus will share savings tips throughout the week on social media using the campaign’s official hashtag (#NRSW17).

“At Ascensus, we understand that everyday priorities and competing expenses can make saving for the future a challenge. With our recent acquisitions and entrance into the state-sponsored retirement plan market, we can now help an even broader base of Americans, including those who might not have access to a workplace plan, save for their retirement goals,” states Shannon Kelly, Ascensus’ president of retirement.

“This National Retirement Security Week, we celebrate our dedicated associates, our clients who provide their employees with a plan for retirement, our financial institution partners, and our network of financial professionals who encourage positive savings behaviors.”

About Ascensus

Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports approximately 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of June 30, 2017, Ascensus had over $155 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.

View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ascensus. For the latest company news, follow @AscensusInc on Twitter.

About National Retirement Security Week (NRSW)

NRSW is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. It is held annually during the third week of October. Congress first passed the enabling legislation for NRSW in 2006, at the request of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA), NRSW has continued each year with Congressional support. Most recently, in 2016, the Senate passed Resolution 575 continuing its support of National Retirement Security Week. The primary sponsors of are Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY).


Cash Balance Retirement Plans Surge 17%, Plan Assets Rise to $1.1T

Tax advantages and the need to catch up on delayed retirement savings make Cash Balance the fastest growing sector of the retirement plan market 

Los Angeles, CA – Kravitz, Inc., an Ascensus company, today released the 2017 National Cash Balance Research Report, showing a 17% net increase in the number of new Cash Balance retirement plans compared with a 3% increase in new 401(k) plans. This marks more than a decade of double-digit annual growth in the Cash Balance plan market, concurrent with the decline of traditional defined benefit plans. Cash Balance plans now make up 34% of all defined benefit plans, up from just 2.9% in 2001.

There were 17,812 Cash Balance plans active in 2015, the most recent year for which complete IRS reporting data is available. This 17% year-over-year increase surpassed industry projections and significantly outpaced the 401(k) market. Plan sponsors made a record-setting $29.3 billion in Cash Balance contributions in 2015, with total plan assets rising to $1.1 trillion.

“Cash Balance plans offer considerable advantages for employers, including the opportunity to double or triple tax-deferred retirement savings,” said Dan Kravitz, head of Kravitz. “Cash Balance plans are also very appealing to employees, and can help companies attract top talent in a tight labor market.”

Also known as “hybrid” plans, Cash Balance plans combine the high contribution limits of traditional defined benefit plans with the flexibility and portability of a 401(k).

Key findings from the 2017 National Cash Balance Research Report:

  • Increasing diversity of companies adopting Cash Balance plans: while medical/dental groups and law firms still make up close to half the market, Cash Balance plans are becoming increasingly popular across the business world, from the technology sector to retail and manufacturing.
  • Small business continues driving Cash Balance growth: 92% of Cash Balance Plans are in place at firms with fewer than 100 employees.
  • Companies more than double contributions to employee retirement savings when adding a Cash Balance plan:the average employer contribution to staff retirement accounts is 6.6% of pay in companies with both Cash Balance and 401(k) plans, versus 3.7% of pay in firms with 401(k) alone.
  • IRS regulations allowing broader Cash Balance investment options have accelerated plan growth: the ‘Actual Rate of Return’ option and other new investment choices approved in the 2010 and 2014 Cash Balance regulations made plans more flexible for employers and removed certain funding issues. The number of large plans using Actual Rate of Return has increased almost 20%.

These and other highlights of the 2017 National Cash Balance Research Report will be discussed in an upcoming Cash Balance Outlook 2017 webcast led by Dan Kravitz on Tuesday, September 12 at 10 a.m. Pacific. Registration is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about Cash Balance Plans.

Download the 2017 National Cash Balance Research Report here.

Register for the Cash Balance Outlook 2017 webinar here.

For more information, call Dan Kravitz at 818-379-6162 and visit www.CashBalanceDesign.com.

 

About Kravitz
Since 1977, Kravitz, an Ascensus company, has delivered the latest in design, administration, and management of corporate retirement plans. The company designed its first Cash Balance plan in 1989. Today Kravitz, Inc. administers over 1,300 plans, including more than 800 Cash Balance plans, helping over 150,000 people retire successfully. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has offices in New York, Chicago and Atlanta, with satellite offices in 11 other states. Kravitz was acquired by Ascensus, Inc. in 2017. Visit CashBalanceDesign.com

 

About Ascensus
Ascensus helps more than 7 million Americans save for the future—retirement, college, and healthcare—through technology-enabled solutions. With more than 35 years of experience, the firm offers tailored solutions that meet the needs of asset managers, banks, credit unions, state governments, financial professionals, employers, and individuals. Ascensus supports approximately 50,000 retirement plans, more than 4 million 529 college savings accounts, and a growing number of ABLE savings accounts. It also administers more than 1.5 million IRAs and health savings accounts. As of June 30, 2017, Ascensus had over $155 billion in total assets under administration. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com.


Ascensus Trends Report Featured by NAPA

In a recent NAPA article, Ascensus’ trends report Inside America’s Savings Plans is discussed. The report highlights that retirement savers are adopting a more proactive approach, however most aren’t sure how much they should be deferring from their pay. Our data suggests that employee education and financial wellness tools indicating how current savings decisions can translate to future retirement savings can make a major impact. For additional trends and insights from Ascensus, visit http://pulse.ascensus.com.


Forbes Discusses Benefits of ClearFit Retirement Plan for Small Business Owners

Forbes recently published an article highlighting the benefits of sponsoring a retirement plan and discussing the key features of the ClearFit retirement plan. Small business owners that opt to offer a plan can enjoy significant tax benefits, employee productivity, and increased financial well-being as a result, states the article. Ascensus has teamed up with Morgan Stanley to offer the ClearFit retirement plan to provide plans that their clients previously did not have access to and make it simple for employees to invest for their future.


Rick Irace Discusses Auto Feature Benefits and Retirement Industry Outlook

In a recent PLANADVISER article, Rick Irace discusses the benefits of instituting automatic features and the role that retirement plan providers should play in promoting retirement readiness. “With one in three Americans having zero saved for retirement and nearly one-third of Americans over the age of 85 having no savings, it is hard to say that we as a nation are preparing people for retirement,” notes Irace. “As providers, we have been charged with this noble cause. We are not doing enough.”


Dennis Zuehlke Discusses New Report on Participation in Employer-sponsored Retirement Plans

In his latest article for Credit Union Insight, Dennis Zuehlke discusses a new report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) focused on participation in employer-sponsored retirement plans. The CRS report highlights how the shift from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans in recent years has affected participation in employer-sponsored pension plans. Among workers who have access to a defined benefit plan, 85 percent participate in the plan. Among workers with access to a defined contribution plan, only 69 percent participate in the plan. “It [the report] is certain to pique Congress’ interest, as it scrutinizes the effectiveness of tax-advantaged savings plans as part of overall tax reform,” concludes Dennis.