Employer Articles

Learn more about employer topics.

Mutual fund share class changes
Last Modified: 1/31/2019
To ensure the quality of our retirement programs, Member Benefits regularly reviews investment options. We review a variety of factors to ensure we continue to offer high quality, low cost investments. We also look to provide members with access to . . . (Full story)

Universal Availability Notice
Last Modified: 1/31/2019
Every year around the plan’s effective date, each plan sponsor must distribute a Universal Availability Notice to each eligible employee on an annual basis to remain compliant with the 403(b) regulations. Failure to meet this requirement may cause the 403(b) plan to be disqualified. . . . (Full story)

403(b) fee cap change
Last Modified: 1/31/2019
The annual fee cap for the WEA TSA Trust 403(b) program has increased from $300 to $500 annually, but other related fees remain unchanged. The last increase was in 2010. . . . (Full story)

Looking for ways to increase employee participation in your 403(b) program?
Last Modified: 10/24/2018
Automatic enrollment might be a good option for your district. A 2017 worker survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that automatic enrollment can be a powerful tool for increasing retirement savings. . . . (Full story)

Good things coming your way for 403(b) plan documents
Last Modified: 10/24/2018
WEA Member Benefits has started working with districts, CESAs, and technical colleges across the state to convert their plan documents to an IRS pre-approved plan document. . . . (Full story)

Employee-paid long-term care insurance program
Last Modified: 10/24/2018
Since 1998, we have educated over 25,000 public school employees, retirees, and their families about the often-devastating consequences of not being insured for long-term care (LTC). Almost no one is asking your staff: “If you need long-term care in the future, how will you pay for it?” . . . (Full story)

A quick who’s who for you
Last Modified: 10/24/2018
There is often confusion between WEA Member Benefits and other independent organizations that also serve the Wisconsin education community. . . . (Full story)

Have you reviewed your 403(b) approved vendor list recently?
Last Modified: 7/25/2018
Compliance of your 403(b) program ultimately falls on you as the plan sponsor, not on your vendors. If no one is utilizing a vendor in your list, now is a good time to deselect that vendor. Fewer vendors makes your 403(b) easier to administer as there is less oversight on your part. . . . (Full story)

WRS contribution rates to decrease
Last Modified: 7/25/2018
The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rate will decrease slightly from 13.4% to 13.1% in 2019. Generally, the adjustment will not have a significant impact on take home pay. However, the rate reduction is an opportunity for staff to evaluate their savings strategy and increase their contributions in other retirement savings accounts, such as an IRA or 403(b). . . . (Full story)

NEW! Personal investment account opportunity
Last Modified: 7/25/2018
Let your staff know about this new option We are now scheduling appointments for those interested in personal investment accounts (also referred to as a nonretirement investment account). . . . (Full story)

Important notice: Model portfolio update
Last Modified: 4/16/2018
We will be updating our model portfolio option in the near future. This will include black-out periods for account transactions and payroll processing for both 403b and IRA plans in June and July of 2018. . . . (Full story)

Hardship withdrawal changes
Last Modified: 4/16/2018
Changes are on the way for hardship withdrawals. As part of the budget bill Congress passed earlier this year, two requirements under the needs testing will be eliminated. . . . (Full story)

Retirement security is more than savings plans
Last Modified: 4/16/2018
When American workers were asked how helpful further education would be to achieve their goals, a large majority expressed the need for additional financial education. Member Benefits can help you assist your staff with financial education. . . . (Full story)

Are your employees prepared for retirement?
Last Modified: 1/16/2018
Not only may your employees be unprepared for retirement, they may not even know it. . . . (Full story)

403(b) enrollment made easy
Last Modified: 1/16/2018
Did you know that we offer three easy ways for your employees to enroll in our 403(b) program? . . . (Full story)

Employees should think twice about 403(b) loans and hardships
Last Modified: 1/16/2018
According to an article from PLANSPONSOR, loans, hardship withdrawals, and suspended deferrals reduce employees’ defined contribution plan savings by an average of 14%. The impact is greater for younger workers, who still have more years ahead to save. . . . (Full story)

IRS approved plan documents available soon
Last Modified: 10/13/2017
We have exciting news! In 2018, Member Benefits will provide Wisconsin public schools with a 403(b) plan document that has received formal approval from the IRS. . . . (Full story)

Employee financial wellness starts with the district
Last Modified: 10/13/2017
Member Benefits will be presenting a session on how districts can help their employees become retirement ready at the Rural Schools Conference on October 31 in Wisconsin Dells. We hope you’ll join us for this important topic. . . . (Full story)

403(b) contribution limits for 2018 to be released at the end of this month
Last Modified: 1/2/2018
The amount of elective contributions to the 403(b) can change from year to year and will likely be released by the IRS at the end of October 2017. . . . (Full story)

Avoiding the cost of financial stress
Last Modified: 10/13/2017
A 2016 study found that employees who suffer from financial stress or struggle to maintain financial stability may come at a cost to their employer, including higher absenteeism, delayed retirement, and more. Fortunately, you have a great resource right now to help you improve your employees’ financial wellness: WEA Member Benefits. . . . (Full story)

Roth IRA vs. Roth 403(b): They’re not the same
Last Modified: 8/15/2018
An employee walks into your office and says “I’d like to open a Roth account. What do I need to do?” Watch out. It’s a trick question. You don’t have enough information to give an answer. . . . (Full story)

Building internal controls may lessen compliance gaps
Last Modified: 7/18/2017
Processes, procedures, and effective internal controls are vital to avoiding possible compliance gaps and maintaining a successful retirement plan. . . . (Full story)

Have you reviewed your 403(b) approved vendor list lately?
Last Modified: 7/18/2017
Compliance of your 403(b) ultimately falls on you as the plan sponsor, not on your vendors. If no one is utilizing a vendor in your list, now is a good time to deselect that vendor. . . . (Full story)

Older workers who need to delay retirement cost employers
Last Modified: 7/18/2017
Many employers are unaware of the cost of having older workers who are unable to retire. According to PLANSPONSOR, a recent study found that for each individual who can't retire, the cost to employers averages an extra $50,000 per year. . . . (Full story)

The benefits of 403(b) matching and vesting programs
Last Modified: 4/19/2017
Many school districts offer an employer match through their 403(b) program, as well as a vesting program. While not required, they provide benefits to employees and employers alike. . . . (Full story)

Do you have employees returning to work after they retire?
Last Modified: 4/19/2017
If an employee retires from your district in the year they turn 55 or after, but returns to work in your district before age 59 ½, give us a call to avoid possible penalties. . . . (Full story)

Baby Boomers’ retirement savings are falling short
Last Modified: 4/19/2017
According to a recent Insured Retirement Institute survey, nearly half of Baby Boomers said they have nothing saved for retirement. Fortunately, there's something they can do to improve their retirement situation. . . . (Full story)

Reasons to offer the Roth 403(b) option to your employees
Last Modified: 1/24/2017
Here are a few reasons why offering a Roth 403(b) could be good for your employees. . . . (Full story)

403(b) plan loans vs. 403(b) hardship distributions
Last Modified: 1/24/2017
In our discussions with districts over the last few years, we’ve learned there is confusion about the difference between loans and hardship withdrawals. . . . (Full story)

Middle income workers need financial planning help
Last Modified: 1/24/2017
An article from PLANSPONSOR stresses the need for individuals to seek out financial planning help and shows that workers who have financial plans tend to save more for retirement and address more financial issues directly. . . . (Full story)

Keep your plan running smoothly
Last Modified: 10/24/2016
There are a number of things you can do to prevent errors in your 403(b) plan. Here are some tips to keep it running efficiently. . . . (Full story)

IRS says: 'Every paycheck'
Last Modified: 10/24/2016
Does your district pay employees more than 24 times a year? If so, please keep this in mind: Salary Reduction Agreement contributions must be taken out of every paycheck. . . . (Full story)

Helping younger employees become financially engaged
Last Modified: 10/24/2016
Are you wondering how to get your younger employees to utilize their retirement benefits? To get young employees engaged with your district’s retirement options, check out these tips. . . . (Full story)

Fulfilling unique financial wellness needs
Last Modified: 10/24/2016
A recent analysis suggests ways plan sponsors can tailor their programs to meet some of the unique needs certain groups of employees have for financial wellness. Learn what some of these groups are most concerned about. . . . (Full story)

Get help from our compliance experts
Last Modified: 7/20/2016
We understand that you are in the business of running a school district, not a retirement plan. That’s where we come in! . . . (Full story)

Trending: 403(b) matching-vesting programs
Last Modified: 7/20/2016
If your district is interested in setting up a matching/vesting program, our 403(b) experts can help. . . . (Full story)

New voluntary benefit: Long-term care insurance with no cost to district
Last Modified: 7/20/2016
We’re proud to announce an exclusive multi-life LTCi program which gives participants the benefits of simplified underwriting and the lower cost of an employer-sponsored program without requiring the typical employer’s premium contribution or payroll deduction. . . . (Full story)

IRS expectations for meaningful opportunity standards
Last Modified: 7/20/2016
The National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA) has a good article that discusses the need for financial education to satisfy the IRS’ “meaningful opportunity” requirement. . . . (Full story)

Financial knowledge leads to better retirement saving behavior
Last Modified: 7/20/2016
A recent study by the Pension Research Council discusses the correlation between financial knowledge and savings behavior. Interestingly, financial education can be beneficial even to employees who have a good knowledge about finances. . . . (Full story)

Get information on matching and vesting
Last Modified: 4/15/2016
Imagine increasing employee participation in your 403(b) benefit program by nearly five times in one month. Learn how one district accomplished this and more by partnering with Member Benefits and utilizing the expertise of our staff. . . . (Full story)

We’re here to help!
Last Modified: 4/15/2016
Are you new to the district? Do you need assistance with your district’s 403(b) plan? Do you have questions about your plan documents or third-party administrator? If so, Member Benefits is here to help. . . . (Full story)

Is your district on top of current employee benefit trends?
Last Modified: 4/15/2016
According to U.S. News and World Report, employers are beefing up their employee benefits programs to include financial wellness and transparency with retirement fee disclosures. . . . (Full story)

Support employees’ financial wellness needs
Last Modified: 4/15/2016
This article from PLANSPONSOR recaps research done by Fidelity Investments that shows while there are diverse needs among different employee groups, emotions about financial wellness are consistent across the board. . . . (Full story)

Thinking about changing your retirement benefits?
Last Modified: 1/26/2016
Is your district thinking about changing its retirement benefits? Thinking about added matching or vesting to your plan or making changes to your plan documents? Good news…we’re here to help! . . . (Full story)

IRS renews focus on plan compliance
Last Modified: 1/26/2016
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that, in 2016, its Employee Plans unit will focus resources into specialty program casework, particularly Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) and 457(b) plans. . . . (Full story)

And the second highest plan audit issue is...
Last Modified: 1/26/2016
We bring this up a lot: “Districts are required by the IRS to provide a meaningful notice to all employees eligible to contribute to our 403(b) plan.” The IRS continues to report this as the second highest plan audit issue. We encourage districts to provide notice more than once per year to ensure you are covering all employee groups for whom a notice is required. . . . (Full story)

15-year special catch-up
Last Modified: 1/26/2016
Have you eliminated the 15 year special catch up? If so, have you received resistance from your employees? Proper communication may help them to understand why the change was made. Here are some concepts to share. . . . (Full story)

Millennials: Reality vs. myth
Last Modified: 1/26/2016
If you think they’re a generation of young workers who can’t be bothered to save for retirement, think again. Fidelity has a flyer that discusses five myths about millennials, the reality behind the myths, and ways employers can encourage them to save for retirement so they can reach their financial goals. . . . (Full story)

New school year: Time to educate educators about saving
Last Modified: 10/15/2015
The beginning of the school year is a great time to get public school employees on track for a secure retirement. You can help your staff learn more about becoming financially secure by sharing the following information. . . . (Full story)

Member Benefits makes 403(b) enrollment easy
Last Modified: 10/15/2015
Did you know that we offer three easy ways for your employees to enroll in our 403(b) program? . . . (Full story)

Have you changed vendors or third-party administrators?
Last Modified: 10/15/2015
This helpful article from plansponsor.com discusses maintaining adequate records and records retention after a change in recordkeepers or TPAs. Learn what records to keep and for how long, and pick up some tips for maintaining adequate records. . . . (Full story)

If you’ve recently changed your plan documents…
Last Modified: 10/15/2015
Please be sure to forward a copy of the updated documents to us so we can be assured that we are administering your plan in accordance with your plan documents. This would include a change in your approved vendor list. . . . (Full story)

Plan sponsors: Retaining hardship and loan documentation
Last Modified: 7/27/2015
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently defined expectations that plan sponsors retain formal documentation for employee loans and hardship distributions. What does this mean for you? . . . (Full story)

Online salary reduction agreements
Last Modified: 7/27/2015
Did you know that you and your employees can take advantage of completing salary reduction agreements (SRAs) online for WEA TSA Trust 403(b) contributions? . . . (Full story)

Need help meeting 403(b) “meaningful opportunity” standards?
Last Modified: 7/27/2015
According to the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association (NTSA), 403(b) regulations speak to the universal availability requirement that there be an effective opportunity given for purposes of new enrollments, or changes for current participants in the 403(b) plan. However, what comprises an effective or meaningful opportunity isn’t so clear. . . . (Full story)

Empowering your employees
Last Modified: 7/27/2015
Not only may your employees be unprepared for retirement, they may not even know it. With benefits shrinking and public educators uncertain of their future, more and more districts are looking for ways to assist their staff with resources to fill in the gaps and learn more about their benefits. . . . (Full story)

Automatic enrollment = Easy saving
Last Modified: 7/27/2015
Many workers are looking for an easier way to get started in their workplace retirement plans. Automatic enrollment makes it easy for employees to begin saving for their future right away by skipping the complicated decision making process that often prevents them from taking action. . . . (Full story)

Are you submitting contributions electronically?
Last Modified: 4/20/2015
If you don’t already submit your contributions through your PLAN ACCESS, we encourage you to consider switching over. . . . (Full story)

Post-employment 403(b) contributions: Elective vs. nonelective
Last Modified: 4/20/2015
Do you know the difference between post-employment elective (employee) deferrals and employer (nonelective) post-employment contributions? . . . (Full story)

Helpful tips to keep your plan running smoothly
Last Modified: 4/20/2015
We've got four quick tips to help you stay on top of your district's plan. . . . (Full story)

IRS announces 2015 contribution limits for 403(b) plans
Last Modified: 2/4/2015
The elective deferral limit for employees who participate in a 403(b) plan has increased in 2015. Employees may wish to re-evaluate the amount they’re putting toward retirement. . . . (Full story)

403(b) plan fixes
Last Modified: 2/4/2015
Mistakes sometimes happen when managing retirement plans. Fortunately, the IRS has many resources to help prevent mistakes and to fix common errors. . . . (Full story)

Encourage young employees to start saving for retirement
Last Modified: 6/30/2016
One of the concerns younger employees have about saving for retirement is the ability to access their retirement savings for other things that come up in life. Many of these employees may not be aware of the options or the flexibility that may be available in your 403(b) plan. . . . (Full story)

Encourage employees to save for retirement
Last Modified: 10/21/2014
As employers, you know how important it is for your employees to save for their retirement. As the employer, you can offer the following features that may encourage retirement savings, enhance staff morale, and help attract and retain good employees. . . . (Full story)

Keep your 403(b) plan up to date
Last Modified: 8/27/2014
These four tips can help you keep your 403(b) plan running smoothly. . . . (Full story)

Make it easier to save for retirement with automatic enrollment
Last Modified: 8/27/2014
Automatic enrollment makes it easy for employees to begin saving for their future. . . . (Full story)

A big thank you, important learning opportunities, and more
Last Modified: 6/3/2014
New system update with your PLAN ACCESS; Simply Solutions Business Professionals Conference, November 2014; Financial Fitness Fairs - Let's Get Fi$cal! summer seminars; Nominate a financial mentor. . . . (Full story)

Upcoming 403(b) record-keeping system change
Last Modified: 1/20/2014
Member Benefits will be implementing new record-keeping system for plan sponsors and participants to provide improved responsiveness, enhanced customer service, and more user-friendly online account access. . . . (Full story)

Tax credit helps low- and moderate-income workers save for retirement
Last Modified: 12/30/2014
The Retirement Savings Contribution Credit allows filers with low and moderate incomes to reduce their federal income tax liability by making eligible contributions to a retirement or savings vehicle. . . . (Full story)

New interest in IRS audits: Are you providing meaningful opportunity?
Last Modified: 4/15/2015
The final 403(b) regulations speak to the universal availability requirement that there be an effective opportunity given for purposes of new enrollments or changes for current participants in the 403(b) plan. . . . (Full story)

A retirement plan helps people save–Automatic enrollment makes it easier
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
Your 403(b) plan is a great way for you and your employees to save for the future, and it offers tax advantages and incentives that can be used today. When you automatically enroll employees in your plan, it’s easier to start and maintain a successful plan. . . . (Full story)

Should I go active or passive?
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
When we assist your employees with investment decisions in their retirement savings accounts, the discussion often revolves around actively vs. passively managed mutual funds.  . . . (Full story)

Top 10 list: Most common 403(b) plan audit errors
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
We recently participated in a conference call with members of the IRS audit staff. Here are the top ten most common plan mistakes. . . . (Full story)

Red flags for IRS auditors: Low 403(b) participation and no financial education plan
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
Recent reports of 403(b) plan audits in progress in April and May 2013 are shedding new light on how the IRS views whether “meaningful opportunity” is being provided by employers to employees. . . . (Full story)

Two ways to utilize your 403(b) in your benefit programs
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
With shrinking resources and budgets, many districts are in the process of reviewing their post-employment packages. Finding benefit solutions that will attract and retain highly qualified employees, and at the same time help districts quantify costs and manage budgets in the future can be a challenge. . . . (Full story)

403(b) compliance: Best practices
Last Modified: 10/14/2013
Common questions about Universal Availability requirements for 403(b) plans. . . . (Full story)

A Roth 403(b) may be worth more than a pretax 403(b)
Last Modified: 6/29/2016
When deciding between a Roth 403(b) (in which you pay taxes now but not on qualified withdrawals) and a pretax 403(b) (in which you do not pay taxes now but you may pay taxes or penalties on withdrawals), you may not realize that there can be a significant financial advantage with the Roth option. (Please refer to your plan document to determine the availability of withdrawals and Roth contributions.) . . . (Full story)

Do you allow Roth 403(b) contributions?
Last Modified: 4/25/2014
Frequently, 403(b) plan participants call with questions about Roth 403(b) contributions. They want to know if their district allows them and they want to discuss how Roth contributions can help them plan for retirement. . . . (Full story)

Is your plan a well-oiled machine?
Last Modified: 6/29/2016
These four tips can help you keep your plan running smoothly. . . . (Full story)

Motivating staff to save for retirement
Last Modified: 12/7/2015
Do you leverage the resources of your plan providers to help your employees get the most out of their retirement plan? This article provides simple and effective ways you can take advantage of plan provider resources to instill a sense of optimism and motivate staff to plan for their financial future.  . . . (Full story)

Post-Employment Elective Contributions
Last Modified: 4/14/2015
Post employment elective deferrals should not be confused with nonelective (employer) post employment contributions.  Post employment elective deferrals are based on amounts that represents pay an employee would have received or leave that could have been taken when he or . . . (Full story)

Universal Availability
Last Modified: 4/15/2015
Beginning in the calendar year with the effective date of the plan, each plan sponsor must distribute a Universal Availability Notice to each eligible employee on an annual basis to remain compliant with the new 403(b) regulations.  Failure to meet . . . (Full story)

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