As we work to implement thoughtful plan design structures and to ensure participants receive adequate opportunity for investment diversification, it’s helpful to study how participants are using various plan features. Further, it’s helpful to assess the trends and examine the direction participants’ actions are headed.

Each year Vanguard publishes one of the most insightful retirement plan report, which it titles “How America Saves”. A FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) representative studied this year’s report and assembled a concise summary of six American savings trends. We think it’s worth three or four minutes to read his summary, which addressed the following trends:

(1) A record number of Americans saving automatically;
(2) More participants having money in professionally managed fund options;
(3) Much higher allocations to equities than in the past;
(4) Participants diversifying away from company stock;
(5) Participants trading less often; and
(6) Participants beginning to save more than one might think.

Taken together, those seem to be positive trends. Although plan design features and investment options do not come in a one-size-fits-all package, the trends and currently available tools provide a great starting point to construct the right package for your company’s employees.

Matt Eickman

Matt Eickman

Full Bio

Matthew loves to write. He also loves to think, though he’s probably a better writer than a thinker. He does not like to be on camera or in videos. This blog will allow him to write, challenge his ability to think, and, from time to time, test him with video blog entries.

He has a unique blend of legal and practical experience that helps us to serve our clients well. On the one hand, he has more than 12 years of private legal practice experience focusing exclusively on employee benefits, including time as a partner in an employee benefits boutique where he has represented clients in front of the DOL and IRS. On the other hand, he holds his FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations and serves as the Director of ERISA Services for Qualified Plan Advisors.

Matthew likes to stay active. He provides fiduciary training, Investment Policy Statement design, and vendor oversight to our clients. He is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section, serving as Chair of the Defined Contribution Plans Subcommittee. He also has been appointed to the IRS TE/GE Gulf States Council and is a frequent speaker on regulatory developments, fiduciary responsibilities, and retirement readiness.

Most importantly, he stays active with his family. His wife, Laura, is the founder of REbeL, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. His three young boys are mixed up in far too many sports, and they enjoy traveling, watching college football, running with Dad, and rooting for the Huskers.
Matt Eickman
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