American workers' confidence in being able to afford a comfortable retirement has fallen dramatically since the start of the economic downturn in 2008, according to several recent reports. At the same time, employer-provided retirement benefits have undergone a transformation, with greater emphasis on "automating" 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, shifting away from defined benefit pensions (sometimes replaced with "hybrid" plans), and increasing employee access to retirement planning and investment advice services.
As if that weren't enough, the regulatory environment has become hyperactive, with far-reaching proposed and final regulations impacting fee disclosure, pension funding, investment advice and fiduciary responsibilities. In these and other areas, maintaining effective participant communications has been an ongoing challenge.
To help SHRM members stay up-to-date on these developments and to better prepare employees for a secure retirement—which can improve engagement and retention—in September 2011 SHRM launched its new online Retirement Plans Resource Page.
The web page is a portal that provides the latest news and features on defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, compliance and retirement planning. As a comprehensive resource, it also includes a detailed topical directory with hyperlinks to related SHRM content by subject, ranging from "Administration & Provider Selection" to "Terminations & Freezes."
SHRM members are encouraged to visit and bookmark this important new resource at www.shrm.org/retirement.
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
SHRM Online Benefits Discipline
SHRM Online Retirement Plans Resource Page