Tag Archive for Pentegra Retirement Services

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Written by John E. Pinto, President and CEO, Pentegra Retirement Services

Register for the webinar, “The 401(K) Plan of the Future,” presented by Pentegra Retirement Services and NAFCU Services on Wednesday, August 13, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

It was not a typical day for retirement plan professionals, but it was certainly memorable.

On May 15, 2014, I had the pleasure of joining 15 of our passionate employees from our White Plains headquarters to clean gardens, dig in the dirt to plant flowers, and create crossword puzzle white boards. This was one of the most productive and fulfilling days—personally and professionally—we agree we’ve all had in a long time, and I guarantee that we will be doing it again soon! Read more

It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel…Fine?

Originally published on CUinsight.com.

No, I’m not talking about the fiscal cliff, although some here in Washington, DC are calling it the end. Worse. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and if you’re into certain doomsday theories, that day marks the end of the world. Which means I need to quit my job today, right now, and enjoy my remaining time on earth (T-minus 30 days) lounging on a faraway tropical island.

For the most part I’m joking, but fantasizing about cashing out to live on an island makes me wonder—will I be ready to retire when I want to?

Although retirement seems like a lifetime away (at least twenty years), and I have a background in financial services, I’m not so sure that I’ll be ready when the time comes. I have a 401(k)—several actually—as well as IRAs, brokerage accounts, and a rainy day fund. I even participate in direct stock purchase plans. It would seem like with my knowledge of financial planning (and a predisposition towards frugal living, thank you Mom) that I would be well on my way to a secure retirement. The uncertainty of the market over the past few years has left me questioning my ability to ever retire. Unfortunately, quite a number of people feel the same way.

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Does Your 401(k) Have ‘Fee Vampires’?

Originally published on CUinsight.com.

We’re big into energy conservation in my household, and it wasn’t until we began looking more seriously into why we were using so much electricity that we discovered the dark side of all those ‘instant on’ appliances and electronics. Plugged in all the time, they act like little energy vampires, sucking what is individually a small amount of electricity out of the grid for our convenience. Problem is, all those small amounts add up to a big chunk of our monthly utility bill.

We all want the best for our employees when it comes to their retirements.  We encourage, cajole, and practically order them to participate in our 401(k) programs to take maximum advantage of the tax benefits and any matching program we might have. And then we often provide education about investment options to give every employee the opportunity to select a pattern of investment that fits their personal style and time of life, to maximize the value they are going to receive from the program.

But just like we went through an energy audit, you need to go through a fee audit for your 401(k) to make sure that superfluous fees aren’t sucking a chunk of the potential return away from your employees. Read more

Nine Credit Union Industry Experts Tell Us What To Watch For In 2012

I like to say that one of a visionary leader’s most important functions is seeing over the horizon and recognizing opportunities and threats before anyone else does, and then shaping the strategy and tactics of the organization accordingly.

So for our year-end blog post I asked our Preferred Partners to tell us what they see coming over the horizon, from their perspective, that credit union executives need to be focused on and/or prepared for as we head into 2012.  Here is what a few of them said — Read more

Is The Fox Guarding the Henhouse Cheating Your Employees With Hidden and High 401(k) Fees?

I know that employee benefits can be complex and hard to understand, but I wanted to flag an issue that may be needlessly costing your employees as much as 50 basis points on transfer and between 20 and 25 basis points a year on their 401(k) investments.

It is not uncommon for credit unions without the requisite in-house expertise to hire a consultant to look at outside options for their employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. Usually the process involves an RFP, an evaluation of the responses, and presentations to the credit union leadership by the finalists.  Credit union managers think they have gone through an impartial and unbiased assessment of what is best for the credit union.

But appearances can be deceiving.  Often the consultant that the credit union turns to will receive hefty initial and ongoing fees directly from the 401(k) provider.  These fees can be substantial – for a credit union with $20 million in its employer-sponsored 401(k), first year fees to consultants can run $125,000 or more, and ongoing fees can run $25,000 or more, depending on who the business is placed with. Read more