- The “word of the day” can be found on everything from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood (a childhood T.V. favorite) to wall calendars. The “word of the day” for equity markets during the fourth quarter was UN-CER-TAIN-TY. As the equity market shows, it reacts poorly to uncertainty. A few main topics are driving current concerns: the Fed’s response, diminishing growth and trade/tariffs. On October 3rd, Fed President Jay Powell made the following comment, “We may go past neutral, but we’re a long way from neutral at this point, probably” sending markets lower. Since then, the Fed has sent multiple signals in all directions increasing ambiguity. Slowing global growth seems apparent, but additional questions remain whether a global recession is imminent. Add to the list, the US and China’s currently inflexible trade stances and equity markets developed more volatility. As a result, the US large caps declined 13.5% during the quarter and 4.4% for the year with small cap US stocks dropping 20.2% and 11.0%, respectively. International developed and emerging markets outpaced the US during the quarter, but trailed over the last year.
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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