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  • About the Author: Anna M. Rappaport

    Anna Rappaport is an internationally recognized expert on the impact of change on retirement systems and workforce issues. Following a 28-year career with Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Rappaport h…

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18 Jun. 2018 | Comments (0)
Learnings from Survey Research with Americans Age 85+
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) recently completed the study The Post-Retirement Experiences of Individuals 85+ Years Old. The research includes in-depth interviews and two surveys, a telephone survey of individuals age 85+ and an on-line survey of adult children who are familiar with their parents’ finances and planning.

06 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
Insights from Listening to Older Retirees
This research, together with focus groups conducted in 2015 with retirees who had been retired at least 15 years, provides new insights and demonstrates that some of the most important decisions for many middle-income American families go beyond the traditional issues of saving and investing. It should be of interest to employers who are building retirement education and planning programs.

28 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
New Ideas for Evaluating Lifetime Income Options
As Defined Contribution (DC) plans have become the primary retirement vehicle in more organizations, there is a growing recognition that the method of payout and the options during the payout periods are an important part of making these plans real retirement vehicles rather than just asset accumulation plans.

21 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
Financial Wellness Part 2: A Focus on Personal Planning
The Society of Actuaries recently published a collection of essays on financial wellness. Overall, the essays focus on ideas and suggestions to improve financial wellness through better planning and personal financial management. These ideas are important to employers who may decide to offer employees planning support through software and/or individual advisers. This blog post shares ideas from the essays discussing personal planning considerations and provides my perspective on these issues.

14 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
Financial Wellness Part 1: Employer Program Considerations
Employers seeking to provide benefits that effectively deal with employee needs are increasingly embracing the concept of “Financial Wellness.” Employers know that their employees often look to them for resources to help them make optimal choices and relieve financial stress and anxiety. In addition, many employees have no source of financial advice other than what they get from their employer.

19 Jul. 2016 | Comments (0)
Helping your Employees Choose Between a Lump Sum or a Monthly Pension
Employer-sponsored retirement plans are an important source of retirement security for those employees with long service in companies that provide these plans. For many employees, the employer-sponsored plan is their most important source of retirement funds in addition to Social Security.

31 May. 2016 | Comments (0)
Thinking about Employer Support for Retirement Advice
The Society of Actuaries’ publication Retirement and Investment Advice: A Guide for Employers identifies a range of approaches that are available to employers to help employees make better retirement decisions. Advice can be in the form of robo-advice, one-on-one or managed accounts. Most of the approaches are helpful to those who are doing it themselves, whereas managed accounts are a “do it for me” approach.

03 Feb. 2016 | Comments (0)
New Insights on the Finances of Americans Support Need for Financial Wellness Programs
The 2015 new study “How Americans Manage Their Finances”1 provides insights into financial management and at all ages. The study provides insights into use of financial products, debt, financial stresses, and planning for the future by age group. This article offers a few highlights from the study and my views about the implications for employers and employee benefits.

22 Jan. 2016 | Comments (0)
New Insights into the Finances of Older Americans
The most recent Society of Actuaries’ post-retirement risk research, released in January 2016, offers insights into financial shocks experienced by older Americans and into how older Americans perceive and manage financial risks. The focus groups were designed to understand how retirees were doing and how much they had been affected by shocks.

04 Jan. 2016 | Comments (0)
Should We Help Employees Secure Retirement Advice?
Employers play a major role in helping their employees achieve successful retirements. They sponsor employee benefit plans, offer education about them, and structure the plans to achieve desired outcomes. A key question today is: Should they go further and also offer advice services to employees?

23 Feb. 2015 | Comments (0)
Helping Employees Make Better 401(k) and Other Retirement Decisions: Focusing on the Questions to Ask
This blog serves as a follow-up to my prior post on Helping Employees Make Better 401(k) and Other Retirement Decisions: Models of Financial Advice for Retirement Plans, and is focused on issues to consider in setting strategy and choosing service providers for decision support and advice.

17 Feb. 2015 | Comments (0)
Helping Employees Make Better 401(k) and Other Retirement Decisions: Models of Financial Advice for Retirement Plans
As the Boomers are aging, there is growing concern about how secure Americans will be in retirement. A new Society of Actuaries’ study provides an overview of the issues plan sponsors should consider as they decide whether or not to provide employees with advice and other decision-making support.

05 Feb. 2015 | Comments (0)
Retirement Planning And Long-Term Care – Can You Influence the Future?
This blog serves as a follow-up on my recent post: Retirement Planning And Long-Term Care— The Impact on Your Employees and Workplace. This article deals with the challenges to the long-term care system and ideas for the future.

26 Jan. 2015 | Comments (0)
Retirement Planning And Long-Term Care – The Impact on Your Employees and Workplace
The Society of Actuaries newly released monograph: Managing the Impact of Long-Term Care Needs and Expense on Retirement Security Monograph provides various views on how retirement security and long-term care intertwine and offers ideas for the future of the long-term care system.

08 Dec. 2014 | Comments (0)
Using Phased Retirement And Alternative Work Options To Match Business And Employee Priorities
In my last blog, I examined the need to increase phased retirement and alternative work options for older Americans moving from full-time engagement in the labor-force to total exit. This post analyzes alternative options that are a good fit for both business and employees alike.

01 Dec. 2014 | Comments (0)
It Is Time To Revisit Phased Retirement And Alternative Options For Older Worker Employment
More boomers are moving into the traditional retirement age range. When asked, Americans nearing retirement say they expect or want to continue working during retirement. More likely would work if their employment options were more appealing.

17 Nov. 2014 | Comments (0)
Time to Take a New Look at Including Lifetime Income Support in Defined Contribution Plans
New guidance from the U.S. Treasury is designed to encourage expansion of the use of income annuities in defined contribution plans. The new guidance enables employers to include deferred annuities in target date funds.

28 May. 2014 | Comments (0)
New Opportunities to Address Disability and Retirement Savings
New regulations from the Treasury open up opportunities to improve disability coverage and offer the equivalent of a waiver of premium provision. The final regulations provide that participants will not be taxed for disability insurance premiums paid by the plan if the following conditions are met.

07 Feb. 2014 | Comments (0)
Public Policy Wish List
On January 28, 2014, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. He included some provisions for improving retirement security for those who do not have access to retirement plans. Professor Jeffrey Brown provides us with a good perspective on the MyRA proposal.

23 Oct. 2013 | Comments (0)
Insights on Financial Decisions in Retirement
This blog post follows up the earlier post on New Insights on How People Retire. It offers further findings from the Society of Actuaries focus group study, The Decision to Retire and Post-Retirement Financial Strategies.

15 Oct. 2013 | Comments (0)
New Insights on How People Retire
The Society of Actuaries recently conducted focus groups to learn more about the decisions made by people who have retired voluntarily in the last few years. The research team felt that two findings offered new insights.

09 Jul. 2013 | Comments (0)
Rethinking Family-Related Benefit Programs after the Doma Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court held the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. This ruling will have many impacts on employee benefits, and extend to same sex married couples the rights of married couples as required by Federal law.

21 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
More on Income Replacement and the Importance of a Paycheck During Retirement
In this post, I wish to highlight the results of a report from The 2012 ERISA Advisory Council, which studied the topic, “Examining Income Replacement During Retirement Years in a Defined Contribution System.”

03 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
How to Improve Disability Protection in the Era of Individual Responsibility
In my last blog, Disability: An Important Issue With Regard to Long Term Retirement Security, I highlighted some of the important findings of a recent ERISA Advisory Council report. In this blog, I will continue to share some of my personal views regarding the report’s findings.

26 Apr. 2013 | Comments (0)
Disability: An Important Issue With Regard to Long Term Retirement Security
Disability can derail retirement security, but many people do not realize that. In a world where retirement benefits are increasingly provided through defined contribution plans, disability is a major financial and life-altering risk facing most adults throughout their work life.

01 Nov. 2012 | Comments (0)
Focus on Helping Employees Build a Paycheck Replacement in Retirement
Successful retirement strategies depend on managing financial resources and life situations during retirement. New resources offer information for employees, as well as insights for employers as they consider what they should do.

05 Jul. 2012 | Comments (0)
Thinking about the Future of Retirement Security
The 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances has just been released, and it demonstrates a large decline in median family assets as well a more modest decline in income. Individuals are more responsible for their own retirement security.

10 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Retirement Planning: SOA Study Finds Keeping Up With Inflation and Having Enough Money for Health Care are Biggest Concerns
The SOA released findings from its 2011 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey, which concludes that pre-retirees and retirees are not taking the risk-mitigating action to keep up with inflation and have enough money to afford adequate short- and long-term health care.

06 Feb. 2012 | Comments (0)
Valuable Resources for Your Employees on Important Retirement Planning Issues
Many employers have shifted away from defined benefit pension plans and are now asking employees to take more responsibility for their retirement.