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10.01.2015 07.35 GMT+0000

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Employer experiences with 401(k) plans provide some valuable lessons

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The 401(k) plan was born in 1978 and has since “grown up” to become the dominant employer-sponsored retirement vehicle in the U.S. During that time, employers have learned many lessons about how to play the role of plan sponsor—encouraging employees to contribute (through the use of tools such as matching contributions and automatic enrollment), offering the right investment options (such as through balanced funds and “qualified” default investments), and helping employees through complex investment decisions (such as through target date funds and automatic rebalancing). Throughout this period, employers have labored mightily to teach employees key principles of saving and investing....

31.03.2014 07.56 GMT+0000

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Healthcare Consumers and the Digital Divide

Healthcare Consumers and the Digital Divide

The narrowing digital divide between older adults and other healthcare consumers is key to understanding how retirees access healthcare information online. The digital divide is defined as unequal access to, or knowledge of information and communication technologies. For example, the Pew Internet and American Life Project describes older healthcare consumers who have never used the Internet and have no access to online information as,"truly disconnected." Anecdotal evidence suggests that older people are sometimes resistant to digital innovations...

10.02.2014 04.16 GMT+0000

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Retiree Health Insurance Shift Mirrors Pensions To 401K

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In my last blog I compared changes in post-retirement health insurance with changes in pension plans. The bottom line from that blog: individuals are now more responsible for selecting, managing and financing their post-retirement health insurance. As noted, we have seen this scenario play out before as employers moved from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans and shifted more responsibility to individuals. When the pension world began to change with the introduction of the 401(k) plan, individuals had to learn how to manage complicated financial decisions...

29.01.2014 08.45 GMT+0000

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Healthcare Consumers’ Online Behavior

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Healthcare.gov -- along with the state health insurance exchanges -- is pushing the landscape of the health insurance market in the direction of the online consumer economy. Online consumer behavior is key. On January 17, 2014 in the Wall Street Journal, a story appeared about online consumer behavior oriented to shopping for products formerly purchased at the shopping mall. According to ShopperTrak (and the Wall Street Journal story), retailers got nearly half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did three years earlier....