529 plans: An A+ choice for employers?

College savings plans can help companies boost their employee benefits packages

Tom RowleyBusiness owners are always looking for ways to show their employees they care — and with higher education costs rising every year, I believe there’s no better time for corporations to look into adding a 529 college savings plan to their employee benefits packages.

Today, a college education is estimated to cost close to $20,000 per year for an in-state, four-year public school, and $40,000 for a private university — that’s a pretty hefty chunk of change.1 But tuition rates aren’t the only numbers on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the costs to implement employee benefits programs, such as health insurance and 401(k)s, are increasing as well.2 As a result, employers


It’s IRA season: Five tips for your clients to get their IRAs in order

Part of Invesco’s Retirement Strategies series

Tom RowleyIn today’s world, it’s easy to feel drowned in distraction — an inbox that burns you out, for example, or a schedule that swamps you. But you may remember when the ability to stay on task to complete a single project efficiently and effectively was considered a desirable skill. That single-focus, get-it-done approach to a task had its own acronym — OHIO, or “only handle it once.”

There’s even a holiday devoted to focus — Single-Tasking Day, celebrated on Feb. 22. Advisors could use this holiday as inspiration to focus their clients’ attention on a very important part of their investment plan: their IRA.

Why focus on the IRA?


Three ways to help Americans secure their financial future

Part 2 in a series detailing recommendations from the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings

In my last postLockhart, I listed six key challenges facing Americans as they save for retirement, as identified by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings (of which I am a co-chairman). I also discussed the commission’s recommendations on ways to address three of those challenges: limited access to workplace retirement savings plans, insufficient personal savings for short-term needs and the risk of outliving retirement savings. In this post, I discuss the commission’s proposed solutions to the final three challenges to saving for retirement.


White House directs DOL to examine fiduciary rule

Part of Invesco’s Legislative Insights series

Jon VoglerOn Feb. 3, 2017, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Labor Secretary to undertake an updated “economic and legal analysis” of the likely impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule with several key considerations in mind:

  • Whether the April 10, 2017, applicability date of the fiduciary rule has harmed (or is likely to harm) investors through a reduction of Americans’ access to certain retirement savings offerings, retirement product structures, retirement savings information or related financial advice.
  • Whether it has resulted in dislocations or disruptions within the retirement services industry that may adversely affect investors or retirees.
  • Whether it is likely to cause an increase in litigation and an increase in the prices that investors and retirees must pay to gain access to retirement services.

Test your CIT knowledge

Do you know the key features of collective investment trusts? Take our quiz and find out.

Warrick_headhsotI regularly talk with retirement plan sponsors who are considering collective investment trusts (CITs), along with mutual funds and other investment vehicles, as part of their investment menus. I find that their knowledge is growing about CITs (pooled investment funds designed exclusively for qualified retirement plans), but they still have many questions about how CITs work.

To help you gauge your knowledge about CITs (also known as collective trust funds, or CTFs), I developed this short quiz. There are no prizes — other than the CIT knowledge you need when developing your lineup of investment options for your plan participants. Answers are at the end.


Six key retirement challenges facing Americans today

Part 1 in a series detailing recommendations from the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings

LockhartThe nation’s retirement system has many strengths, but it is also experiencing challenges. Retirement and savings policies have evolved over the decades into a true public-private partnership. Assets in workplace retirement savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) have grown dramatically over the last four decades, but too many Americans are still not preparing adequately. Social Security remains the base of financial support in old age for most Americans, yet the program faces substantial financing problems. A long history of bipartisanship built these systems to promote savings and improve retirement security, but much work lies ahead.