- Inflation – transitory or more durable? First, an inflation definition and its effects are appropriate. Inflation is the decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time. The rise in the level of prices means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods. For example, an inflation rate of 2% as we’ve generally seen over the last few decades in the US cuts purchasing power in half in a fairly distant 35 years. However, a 4% inflation rate cuts your savings in half in only 17 years. Hence the reason people invest in risk-assets to try to outpace inflation. Extreme inflation expectations today range from those that believe we will never climb out of the disinflationary vortex to those that believe inflation is about to go on a huge ascent. Likely, the truth is somewhere in the middle and the current inflation figures have been somewhat distorted to the upside with various supply bottlenecks.
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- Redefining the Retirement Plan is Axia’s guide to trends and strategies that will help employers get the most out of their retirement programs. Defined Benefit plans and Social Security have been the simple answer to retirement for the past century. Life expectancy has improved though and an added strain has been placed on plan sponsors to help their employees replace their incomes in retirement. Fortunately, employers are equipped with more tools than ever before to help their employees retire with dignity.
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Maintaining an employer-sponsored retirement plan can be an onerous task. With Basic Plan Documents, interim amendments, required restatements, Summary Plan Descriptions, enrollment and beneficiary forms, and federal forms it’s easy to see just how much paper a Human Resources department can accumulate in short order. Before you go off and shred some of those old documents in an effort to clean up your fiduciary file, you should know that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has specific requirements for the retention of records relating to employee benefit plans.read more
When we were children, none of us wanted to eat our vegetables. We were told the benefits of eating them, but the constant begging from our parents produced little results. As we fast forward to adulthood, we’ve found that not only do we eat our vegetables, we actually like them. We know the health benefits – reduction in blood pressure, less risk of cancer, stroke and diabetes – and now we also enjoy eating a salad. Imagine something we hated as a child that we now love eating every day for lunch (as long as there’s plenty of dressing).read more
It is no secret that health care is a top concern for employers and employees, as legislative reform and rising costs are challenging company resources and limiting employers ability to offer the type of benefit packages that have become the standard. With limited...read more