Confero Magazine

Issue #34 - Defined Contribution Plan Design

April 2021 [ download pdf ]

Designing and managing a defined contribution retirement plan can seem like a daunting task. Many issuess need to be addressed, including plan design, investment menu selection, participant education, fee management, and legal compliance.

In this issue of Confero Magazine, we take a look at the many facets of defined contribution plans and offer best practices to help you optimize your company’s retirement plan. With articles from industry experts, we address topics such as investment lineups, plan fees, employee contributions, retirement outcomes, and employee benefits.



Issue #33 - Greatest Hits

January 2021 [ download pdf ]

Confero Magazine officially launched back in 2012. The content back then was a little different, but the goal has remained the same: to have a place where we could collaborate with other thought-leaders in the retirement community. A place where we could discuss the ever-changing landscape around us. A place where we could share best practices with plan sponsors.

In this issue, we take a look back at the previous 32 Confero issues and highlight the work of some of our great contributors. This is a collection of some of the best content and most influential articles published through the years. Thank you to all of our contributors for their insight and expertise.



Issue #32 - Defined Benefits Plans

October 2020 [ download pdf ]

When you hear someone talk about their company’s retirement plan, most people assume they are talking about their 401(k) or defined contribution plan. This is a fair assumption because most companies today use this model for their employees, but it is not always the case.

There are still many companies that have defined benefit or pension plans offered to their employees. They were much more popular years ago, but there are many industries where they are still the norm. Pension plans bring up their own set of unique problems and questions that require a skilled hand to solve. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of Confero magazine on how to navigate the sometimes tricky world of defined benefit pension plans.  As always, your Fiducia Group consultant is available to answer questions.



Issue #31 - Coronavirus

August 2020 [ download pdf ]

Since mid-March we have experienced a period of time in our workplaces and economy like none  other.  The strain on each of us personally and professionally has been a challenge that we will not soon forget.

Businesses have been forced to adapt. Much of business has moved online, with Zoom meetings and conference calls becoming the norm.  How will the new "temporary normal" impact our future approach to the workplace?

In Confero Issue 31, our writers examine how the world has changed and what your company should do to adapt. With contributors from the human resources, benefits consulting, and legal fields, this issue provides an array of perspectives and ideas for navigating this new environment.



Issue #30 - Human Capital

April 2020 [ download pdf ]

We are all in this together. At the time of this publication, April 2020, the world is going through an unprecedented time. We are in lockdown from COVID-19. We are having to reimagine what the modern workplace looks like, creating many new questions for human-resource departments.

Confero Issue 30 focuses on helping HR professionals with the challenges that they are currently facing by providing expert advice and best practices. Implementing these practices will help your workforce function at a higher level and grow the professional relationship between your company and your employees.



Issue #29 - Retirees

January 2020 [ download pdf ]

Being prepared for retirement is the number one goal of most employees. How can I provide for myself and my family for years to come? What is the best way for me to save? What are the benefits that my employer provides that will help me prepare for retirement?

These are among the many questions that plan participants have concerning retirement, benefits, and savings goals. In our first 2020 issue of Confero Magazine, we answer these questions and address additional topics that are important to all those planning for retirement.



Issue #28 - Financial Literacy

October 2019 [ download pdf ]

In this issue, we address some of the key pain points for retirement plan participants and how you can help them understand their financial status. Nearly half of households aged 55 and older have no retirement savings. Yet, participants are often unaware of the significant savings shortfall they are most likely facing.

In this issue of Confero Magazine, some of the retirement industry’s thought leaders share what they believe plan sponsors ought to be thinking about and offer advice on how sponsors can begin engaging and educating employees through financial literacy.



Issue #27 - Blind Spots in Your Retirement Plan

July 2019 [ download pdf ]

Have you ever gone to change lanes while driving – putting your turn signal on, checking your mirrors, slowly shifting into the other lane – only to be caught off guard by a blaring horn and an angry driver in the other vehicle? That’s because you did not check your blind spot!

Just like driving a car, operating a retirement plan requires checking blind spots and making adjustments. For many, they do not even know that blind spots exist or where to find them. Our goal with this issue of Confero is to provide best practices on where to look for blind spots and how you can protect your companies’ retirement plans with just a few easy steps.



Issue #26 - Retirement Savings Trends

May 2019 [ download pdf ]

Spring is finally here! The weather is changing, and so is the world of retirement. In fact, the retirement world is always in flux, and that is why our goal with this issue is to update you, the plan sponsor, on retirement savings trends and the factors impacting those trends.

In this issue, we address some of the most important and current topics — everything from health care costs in retirement to how young adults are attempting to save for retirement. The issues and trends that we discuss will bring you up to speed on the changing landscape of retirement planning and help you improve your company's retirement plan.


Issue #25 - Fiduciary Issues for Health and Welfare Plans

January 2019 [ download pdf ]

We are welcoming the new year with an enlightening issue of Confero Magazine focused on the fiduciary issues that sponsors of health and welfare plans face. This is a fairly nuanced topic, so it was important to get the right contributors for this issue. Included alongside our loyal Confero contributors in this issue are two new contributors, offering insight and guidance on this valuable topic.

With the beginning of the new year, it is a good time to reflect on 2018 and make resolutions for the year ahead. Make a resolution in 2019 to understand the fiduciary responsibilities surrounding the health and welfare plans that your company offers. This issue of Confero is a great place to start.


Issue #24 - Employee Benefits

October 2018 [ download pdf ]

Do you understand all the benefits that are offered by your business?  Are you a plan sponsor that wants to increase your offerings to your employees but don’t know how make the right changes to benefit them?  Well this issue of Confero magazine is for you!

In this issue, we strive to give you the most up-to-date information on employee benefits – what benefits are becoming more popular and the best ways to use certain benefits.  The use of HSA's as a retirement savings vehicle is featured.  Fiducia Group can help you integrate your HSA provider with your retirement plan program.  As always, the contributors to this issue are some of the best and brightest minds in the employee benefits field.  Every one of them has expert experience on the topic they have covered.   

We hope that in this issue we have given you the knowledge to understand the world of employee benefits better.  Feel free to reach out to your Fiducia Group consultant for a deeper discussion on any of the content.


Issue #23 - Cybersecurity

June 2018 [ download pdf ]

Confero Issue 22

Have you ever received an email that looked like it was from someone you knew, but had a suspicious link embedded in    the email?  You may have clicked it on only to have your computer light up like a Christmas tree with warning lights.  This is an example of how hackers are using emails as  phishing attempts to create cybersecurity breaches.


Our Spring edition of Confero Magazine focuses on Cybersecurity.   A recent NAPA (National Association of  Plan Advisors) survey revealed that cybersecurity is    becoming an increasing concern for plan sponsors at all asset levels. 


This issue discusses best practices that businesses can employ  to protect information and strengthen your company's cybersecurity.  There are several articles that focus on cybersecurity issues associated with benefit plans and a plan sponsor's fiduciary role.  There is also a nice article to share with your employees, "Cybersecurity Tips", that provides tips on protecting their information across various devices. 

We hope you enjoy this issue on cybersecurity and as always, please reach out to your Fiducia Group consultant with questions or to discuss in greater detail.


Issue #22 - Non-Qualified Workplace Retirement Programs

March 2018 [ download pdf ]

Confero Issue 22Our Spring edition of Confero Magazine focuses on a timely topic, non-qualified workplace retirement programs.  These programs come in many different design flavors and names, “executive compensation”, “non-qualified retirement plans” and “deferred compensation plans” just to name a few.  Whatever the flavor, there are changes afoot thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that you will want to check out in this issue.  Spring is about change, so perhaps an implementation or redesign of an executive compensation program for your organization is something to consider as you work through the impact of tax reform.

As we always do, we gathered thought leaders in the retirement community to shed some light on this topic.  In this issue we looked at every angle of executive compensation, from compensating executives in the age of technology to how employers can attract and retain top talent using executive benefits.  We hope you enjoy this issue on executive compensation and as always, please reach out to your Fiducia Group consultant with questions or to discuss in greater detail.


Issue #21 - Higher Education Institutions

January 2018 [ download pdf ]

Fiducia Group Confero 2018 Higher Education InstitutionsHigher education plan sponsors have a unique set of challenges.  In this issue we focus on insights and solutions specific to this market. We gathered many thought leaders in the retirement community to share some simple best practices that could strengthen a higher education 403(b) retirement program.

BUT WAIT…don’t skip reading this issue if you’re NOT a  higher education plan sponsor as you’ll miss out! We have a number of great articles for 401(k) plan sponsors as well. You    will want to take a moment to read about “whether your plan governance is up to par” and a fascinating article on  “3 ways    data can drive how you address your employees’ financial well-being”.

Every Confero issue features the Roland Roundup which highlights court cases during the quarter which impact plan fiduciaries. An easy “must read” for all ERISA fiduciaries.

As always, Confero Magazine can provide the background for a conversation with your Fiducia Group consultant. Let us know if you have questions and enjoy the Winter issue of Confero!


Issue #20 - Change in Retirement

october 2017 [ download pdf ]

In this issue, we are focusing on how the retirement landscape has changed over the last several years. There are new policies, laws, investment strategies, etc., that have changed how we all look at retirement. The evolution of the plan sponsor, changes in technology, litigation trends and indexing in target date funds are just some of the highlights of our Fall issue.

We know you face constant change in your areas of responsibility beyond your retirement program. Tax and regulatory updates, health & welfare benefits, employment law….the list is endless and makes it challenging to stay up to date. It is our hope that a quarterly read of Confero magazine and a Fiducia Group consultant is all that you need to keep current with retirement changes.

Enjoy the issue and give us a shout with questions.


Issue #19 - Washington's Impact on Retirement


Fiducia Group likes to keep you aware of the political and legislative landscape and the impact Washington can have on your retirement plan and plan participants.   We dedicated our spring 2017 Education Workshop and many of our blog posts to this topic and now Confero digs in further.

In this issue, we discuss Washington's impact on the retirement landscape.  Some of the topics include the presidential election's impact on the economy, the DOL fiduciary rule, and Taft Hartley plans.

Enjoy and let us know if you would like to discuss any of the content in greater detail!


Issue #18 - Financial Wellness


When we ask our clients, "What is the most important issue facing you today?" many of them say, "financial wellness." They want to take that extra step to assist their employees with making great decisions financially.  So our goal with this issue was to address financial wellness head on to assist you with this goal.

In this issue, we discuss a variety of topics around financial wellness, including, the evolution of financial benefits, increasing productivity through financial wellness programs, participant behavior, the new fiduciary standard and its impact, and HSA's.

Our goal is to give our readers ideas about how they can help their employees.  A healthy and happy workforce that does not have financial worries will inevitably be more productive and effective.


Issue #17 - Plan Errors

January 2017 [download PDF]

With the start of the New Year, we thought we would address a topic that is underrepresented and less written on....common errors in workplace retirement plans.  Plan errors do happen and in most cases they are easily resolved.  

In this issue, we focus on common plan errors, including, 401(k) plan errors, employee benefits plans, late deposits, and operational errors.  Our goal is to inform readers of the problems that you could face and how they can be corrected.

Errors do not have to feel so daunting.  We expect this issue will provide some great insights.  Let us know if you have questions!


Issue #16 - US Retirement System

October 2016 [download PDF]

With the change of seasons comes our latest issue of Confero, which is focused on the U.S. Retirement System. We followed the most current trends in the industry to bring you the most relevant and pertinent information in retirement today. As a thought leader in fiduciary advice, we want to make sure that we keep you informed on current happenings in the U.S. retirement landscape, where it has succeeded, and where it has fallen short. 

In this issue, we discuss various topics, including investment strategies and what we have learned from the past 10 years of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), financial literacy, uncovered private sector workers, and retirement readiness.


Issue #15 - Health Care Systems

July 2016 [download PDF]

The 15th issue of Confero is another publication by Confero Fiduciary Partners.  Following Issue 14 is no small task. It was the inaugural issue with Confero Fiduciary Partners and one of our best issues to date.  We are building on that success to bring you a fantastic and well-rounded Issue 15.

In this issue, we discuss various topics related to health care systems. Managing 403(b) vendors, retirement trends in health care, ERISA 3(38)s, legacy 403(b)s, IRS regulations, and the   impact of the new fiduciary rule are some of the subjects discussed.


Issue #14 - Pension Plans

April 2016 [download PDF]

The 14th issue of Confero marks the first edition by Confero Fiduciary Partners. The integration of Confero Fiduciary Partners has allowed our publication Confero, to expand its horizons and grow as a magazine. In this Issue, we discuss various topics including defined benefit plans, pension de-risking, liability driven investing (LDI), plan audits, plan termination, pension funding relief, and much more. Our goal is to discuss the topics that are important but may not be top of mind for plan sponsors.


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