State Sponsored Retirement Plans Continue to Expand

Several states are taking the lead from California, Oregon and Illinois by offering state-sponsored retirement plans that encourage or require private sector employers to participate.

The plans are referred to as auto-IRAs because eligible workers are automatically enrolled, generally within 30 days of employment. The default contribution rate is typically 3-5% of a paycheck and the employee can stop, restart or transfer plan assets depending on their needs. Referred to as “public-private partnerships” by the Pew Charitable Trust, there is no cost to the employer. Proceeds are managed by a private financial firm management for a pre-determined fee. The plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) like other sponsored pension and benefit plans.

This article provides an overview of the states that currently offer savings programs, as well as those that plan to do so in the future.

OregonSaves

Oregon was one of the first states to implement a savings program for employees of small businesses who are not otherwise eligible for a workplace sponsored pension plan. Titled OregonSaves, it is a state retirement program that is available to an employer or an individual planning for the future.

OregonSaves had almost $57 million in assets as of mid-2020. Employee contributions averaged $127 to $135 per month as of that time.

Enrollment is automatic for employees, with contributions being made through payroll deductions. Each employee account is portable and can be moved from one job to another.

All Oregon employers, regardless of employee size, must facilitate the State’s program for their employees if they do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The plan is working with small employers to make the process as simple as possible.

CalSavers

CalSavers is available to California workers whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement plan, self-employed individuals, and others who want to increase their savings. Plan participants contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that belongs to them.

California employers with more than 50 employees must register with CalSavers by June 30, 2021 if they do not already sponsor a retirement plan. Registration is available to all California employers with at least five employees.

The CalSavers program opened statewide in July 2019 and had $4.3 million in assets as of mid-2020. On average, participating employees contribute $105 to $120 monthly. Like the Oregon plan, the default savings rate is 5% of the employee’s pay and employees are automatically enrolled after 30 days of employment. They can stop, restart or transfer plan participation at any time if they change employers.

CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is designed to simplify employer participation with no employer fees, no fiduciary responsibility, and minimal ongoing responsibilities. Employers that fail to offer participation in the plan as required are subject to fines.

In May 2021, a federal appeals court in San Francisco dismissed a legal challenge to the CalSavers plan.

Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

Illinois launched its Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program in 2018. It is a state-facilitated retirement program that is open to employees who work for an eligible employer as well as other employees who want to enroll independent of their employer. Approximately 32,000 Illinois employees saved $8.5 million in the first year of the Illinois Secure Choice program, according to state reports.

The Illinois Secure Choice account is a Roth IRA for the employee. The default savings rate is 5% of gross pay. Employees are automatically enrolled through payroll contributions after 30 days of employment. An employee can opt out at any time. Plan participants are charged a fee of 0.75% of assets per year ($0.75 for every $100 saved), which pays for program administration and operating expenses.

The Illinois Secure Choice had 5,544 registered employers as of May 2020. There are no fees for employers to facilitate the program and employers cannot make contributions to their employee accounts. Employers serve a limited role as a facilitator. As of November, 2019, employers with 25 or more employees that have been in business for two years or more are required to participate in the program. Employers that already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are exempt from this legislation.

New Jersey Secure Choice Savings

The “New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Act,” was signed into law in March 2019, with a two-year time frame scheduled to take effect in March 2021.

The Act requires employers that have been in business for two years and have 25 or more employees to participate in a retirement savings program administered through automatic payroll deductions. Private sector employees of businesses of any size are able to participate in the retirement savings program. Smaller or newer employers could join voluntarily. Failure to comply will result in fines to the employer.

Employees will be automatically enrolled at the leve of a 3% paycheck contribution. The annual contribution maximum is $6,000 for those under 50 years old, and $7,000 for those 50 or older.

Connecticut Secure Choice Savings Plan

Connecticut employers with five or more employees must offer a retirement plan to employees, and private employers with four or fewer employees may choose to do so. Employees are auto-enrolled within 120 days of employment, and employees must be notified of their rights within 30 days. Employers are not permitted to make contributions to the program.

The Connecticut Retirement Security Authority, a quasi-public agency, was formed in 2016 to oversee the program. The state estimates that as many as 600,000 employees may benefit from the plan.

How This One Thing Can Destroy a Client Relationship

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #18

Why being mindful of clients’ perspectives can keep them supporting your business

We all have them.

Days when everything pisses us off.

In fact, I doubt there’s a human being on this planet who hasn’t been in a bad mood every now and then.

I know I sure have my fair share of them!

And for a variety of reasons too.

But there’s one thing we business owners have an unwritten rule about (well probably it’s written somewhere by someone) is that no matter what, we don’t bring our bad mood with us when communicating with clients.

Would you agree with that fundamental principle?

But how many times have you, as a client or customer, been on the receiving end of someone’s bad mood?

It happened to me recently and that single instance literally destroyed a 30 year working relationship.

I had a hair appointment with the same gal that I’ve been seeing for decades. She works out of her home and lives about 25 minutes away from me.

I know exactly how long it takes for me to get to her place and am typically on time, every time.

Except the last two appointments.

The time previous to this last visit, I had an emergency come up just before heading out the door. It was something I had to take care of or faced dire consequences (as in having a very angry client on my hands!)

It meant I was going to be about 5 minutes late for my appointment. I texted her when I was leaving stating I was hurrying over and will be a few minutes late.

She didn’t reply and never said anything when I got there. We had our usual girl talk that I very much looked forward to.

This recent time I needed to do a quick errand before my appointment. I completely misjudged how much time it would take me to get from that other location to my stylist’s place. Plus… I got lost finding my way there since I was coming from a different direction.

I didn’t want to risk taking any time to stop and text her and honestly thought I was just a minute away… except it was more like 15 minutes before I finally got there.

I’ve never been 15 minutes late for anything and I felt terrible. I apologized profusely but unfortunately, she wouldn’t hear any of it.

She was pissed.

So angry in fact, she first lectured me on “always” being late, citing my text from the previous appointment, and that she was sick and tired of constantly hearing, “sorry I’m late” as if I’m the only one that says that every time I walk into her room.

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian. We apologize for everything, even if we’re 1 minute late!

Stunned at how mad she was, especially knowing I was the last appointment of the day, I apologized again and tried to explain why I was late and even offered to leave with my hair wet to make up for the lateness so we would still end in time.

I didn’t know what else to do to rectify my error.

She was so angry, she gave me the silent treatment and only grunted her “hold your head here” and “move to the sink” commands throughout the entire time there.

I did leave with wet hair, 15 minutes earlier than what our appointment time would have ended at had I been on time, vowing to never return again.

I fully realize I was the catalyst that set off her anger, and I also realize she had to have been having one helluva a bad day before I arrived, and I got the brunt of her wrath.

I get it.

But as a customer, a loyal one for 30 years at that, there’s no excuse whatsoever to be treated like that.

Never.

When I have bad days like what she must have experienced, I set aside whatever is going on and treat anyone who I speak with that day, whether it’s one of our team members, a client, a lead or even chatting on social media, with the utmost respect and kindness.

Even if they are the reason for my having a bad day.

It serves no purpose whatsoever to make the other person feel worse than what I am feeling.

I found this experience to be so distressing, I posted about it on Facebook.

I received a variety of responses, ranging from my owing her an apology (which I did) to justifying why she blew up, right over to demanding I fire her on the spot (which I ended up doing).

These kinds of responses go to show how we are all human and all look at experiences from our own lens and past history.

For me, I was taken straight back to elementary school when I was the victim of bullying quite a bit. A feeling I never want to experience again!

For others, they empathized with her where time is very important to them and get angry themselves when someone disrespects it. (I’m actually the same way – being punctual is a huge deal for me.)

One thing I have done as a result of this experience is to find the lesson behind it all. For one, I will definitely plan my time better and ensure I give myself enough time to do what needs to be done in time!

I also learned just how fragile our relationships can be.

She lost a client of 30 years – and I lost any further opportunities to visit with someone I’ve known a long time to get some of the much valued girl time I look forward to with each visit.

It doesn’t take much to destroy a 30 year working relationship.

Yes I realize I could reach out and try to mend the fences but I am choosing not to. At least not right now.

At the end of the day, this lesson goes to show how important it is for us all to keep our anger in check. To realize our anger is being received by the other person, and be aware of how they are receiving it with their own personal response. They won’t always understand where you are coming from because they’re looking at things from a different perspective.

So what do we do when we’re having a bad day and business must go on?

If you ever find yourself feeling angry, whether justified or not, here’s eight tips on what you can do to avoid creating irreparable situations with your clients:

Exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, box with a punching bag. Whatever works for you to do some venting.
Meditate. Or just sit quietly and practice deep breathing.
Yoga. Nothing is better at centering our emotions and getting back in touch with our bodies than practicing yoga.
Watch a funny show or listen to a positive podcast. It’s amazing how quickly your anger can turn around when you’re laughing or receiving positive energy from someone else!
Use the anger as motivation. If you can control the scenario that’s causing your anger, then you can do something about it!
Focus on something more positive. A great thing to do here is think of something you are grateful for and focus on why you’re so grateful about it. Putting yourself in a state of gratefulness will trigger those happy endorphins and will get you out of that pissy mood fast.
Get productive. Feeling on purpose can be quite energizing. If you have something that’s calling your name, get busy and shift your attention to that.
Write in a journal. A great way to release that negative vibe from your body is to write it out. Keep writing until you’ve vented everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s not the same thing that got you angry in the first place – just let it all out!

I’m curious if you have ever experienced someone either getting angry with you in a business relationship or did you lose your cool and get angry with a client or service provider? How did it turn out? What lesson did you learn? And do you have any other tips on how to let go of anger to share?

To your business success,

Susan

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

READ: Learn effective communication principles from an expert. This book from communications specialist Yvonne Douma is a must-read. It will be available on June 8th but you can get yourself on her notification list and grab some great bonuses if you purchase on launch day: REFRAME: How to Change Your Conversations to Resolve Those Messy Conflicts.
WATCH: Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of customer service from another company and vowed to never do business with them again? And most certainly never told anyone else about them? This is why customer service is so vital to business success as I explain in this eTip episode on why it’s the primary reason we have such a high referral rate: How Great Customer Service Gets You Business Referrals (on our website)
READ: I guess all of us have been on the receiving end of a situation where we are not satisfied with customer service. But how do you respond? Read this great piece from Kindi Gill who shares excellent insights on managing difficult client situations: Five Tips for Managing Customer Complaints (on our website)

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Custom CMS Development Services With Amazing Features

An impressive, informative, user-friendly and search-Engine friendly website is the key to success in today’s competitive world. You need to focus on each and every part of website design or web development – mainly the right one that you can manage easily without any assistance from professionals. If you are looking for such development platforms, where you can upload image or content without any command over specific language or technology, custom CMS development is the right platform for you – designed and developed on WordPress to provide you seamless web design experience.

Because of having endless possibilities for integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website or apps, WordPress is counted as the right custom CMS development platform. However, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore are other options to choose – mainly to get optimized workflow.

WordPress CMS Development Services by Experienced Professionals

WP CMS development services are offered by experts from a recognized web application and software development company. It is based on innovations, adding new frameworks, Plugins and customizing themes to transform your web presence. Professionals use this platform to make necessary changes, adding real time information pop-ups, Live Twitter Feed and updating module. They deliver high-performance web solutions that you need for a better standing. They help you with a seamless CMS installation and configuration; while you will get a gamut of solutions – from installation to configuration like:

WordPress Design & Development
WordPress Websites & Blog Setup
Free & Paid WordPress Theme Configurations
Web Forms, Email Notification and different automation

You will get complete solutions from WordPress theme development to WordPress Plugin Development and WordPress Migration and Maintenance Services. They also provide you with API Integration and module management.

Custom CMS Development Services with Customizable Features and Modules

Because of endless possibilities of integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website applications, custom CMS development services have become the most vital need amid developers and programmers to develop websites with amazing customizable features. Professionals, who are offering you such services, help you integrate your CMS by following a few simple steps. Professional developers, who are offering you custom CMS development services, implement customizable features, modules, plugins and extensions within existing CMS platform like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore to optimize workflow.

Racketail Offers Custom CMS Development Services

If you are looking for custom CMS development services, you will get precise solutions from Racketail – offering cutting-edge enterprise CMS development and Open-Source solutions – developed from scratch and implemented within your existing workflows through custom feature integrations. Racketail’s custom CMS solutions are SEO-friendly and success-driven that is designed to incorporate with existing content management system – mainly to enhance and lift up your website, application, social media network and e-commerce store or blog.

From experts at Racketail, you will get flexible and customizable CMS solution with integrated features, modules, themes, plugins and extensions. Their service process will help you to enhance existing solutions and to create a brand new custom-tailored system – enabling effective content and workflow management. Racketail offers you enterprise CMS solutions and Secure CMS solutions too.

Experienced professionals at this leading web and app Development Company can develop new Open-Source CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla; while integrating customizable features and modifications within your existing platform – mainly to provide you with added functionality, interoperability and workflow efficiency.

What a Rank Tracker Can Do for You

If you can find a tracker that can be customized, the better. You may need to track your position ranking globally or even locally so as to make some decisions. You can also monitor universal listings and map listings, and even the rank of your competitors very easily. You would be better placed when you choose a tracker that gives you unlimited access.

Geo-specific kind of rankings

There are trackers that can give you Geo-specific rankings even if not in the area you reside in. A tool, which is able to track the positions accurately regardless of what you choose, is, ideal, as it will give you so much more than bargained for.

The keyword tools

The best trackers make it possible to have all research tools in the same place. When the sources are used together, they can come up with the wide range of keywords that you may not have been able to find anywhere else. When new keyword ideas come up, they are automatically grouped according to the topics. You can analyze and to target whole keyword groups without the need to go through all the terms.

Reinvention of keyword analysis

Apart from finding many keywords that you can use, you will be able to pick the very best ones and give them the priority they need for the targeted audience. A rank tracker can also calculate the difficulty of a keyword. All SEO strengths are assessed and compared to your competitors. This helps you pick keywords that stand out and definitely attract traffic.

Custom reports

The best trackers have customizable reports and they are designed to support different devices. Sharing such reports should be easy and they should be easy to upload. You can even automate some trackers where you set up some tasks for a scheduled time and the tracker will come up with reports and have them delivered to the clients as an attachment or a direct link.

Why you should use trackers

Keyword trackers are important in today’s marketing which is mainly done online. A good tracker is able to give the most accurate ranking information as well as intelligence. This means that you will receive some very clean reports that are very easy to customize including the data which is relevant to every client.

You should choose a fast rank tracker. It is always so frustrating to have to wait for a long time for the tracker to load and give results from different search engines.

What to do after you get the ranking results

After you have done the keyword research successfully and you have a list of the best keywords in hand, you should start tracking the site’s rankings. Even though it seems easy, some preparations need to be done so as to ensure that you do not track the correct things and in the correct manner.

You need to select the target search engines, specify the location, choose landing pages, set up the tracking for universal results, add competitors, and the preferences. When this is done, rank tracking becomes very easy.

Detailed Insight of Online Trading

Introduction:

Online trading has become very popular nowadays. Millions of people worldwide are engaged in this form of trading. It usually meant trading off stocks. It has become as common as doing shopping. There are three things that one needs to start doing this trading:

A device (mobile or computer)
A stable internet connection
A banking application
Enough funds and balance in a bank’s account

If someone has sound knowledge about the stock market and related formation, they can make amazing profits from it.

The functions of a broker:

An important part of online trading is a broker. He is someone who buys and sells things (assets) on behalf of others. Due to the advancement of technology, online brokerage has come into the picture. Online brokers are similar to normal brokers. They too buy and sell assets and do transactions between a buyer and a seller, but just on the internet.

A broker is an intermediary between the two individuals (buyers and sellers). A brokerage can be broadly classified into three types: Online brokerage, discount brokerage, and full-service brokerage. A discount brokerage usually helps to buy and sell assets but at a reduced commissioned rate. The third type is the full-service brokerage provides detailed information and assistance regarding online trading and the stock market, and everything else related to it. A broker has various functions to perform. Following is the list of functions of a broker explained in detail.

The primary function of a broker is to do something for an individual on his or her behalf on the financial side. It mostly includes buying and selling assets and looking after other transactions. There are other functions too, like providing information regarding trading.

Advantages of an online trading platform:

There are various advantages of this trading. It is usually simple and does not cost a lot of money. One has complete control over what they want to do on the platform. It is quick and convenient. Chances of errors are pretty less when it comes to online trading and using online trade apps. The user has the option to keep a check on the investment at all times. One of the most significant advantages of trading on online platforms is that users can get notifications regarding prices and other information via emails or messages. There are lots of trustworthy online trading platforms. Some of the popular ones are eToro, Upstox Pro, Zerodha KITE, Fidelity, and many more.

Some safety measures while doing trading:

One must not make a transaction using a public device or sitting in a cybercafé. One should log out every time after the job is done. Personal computers and mobile phones need to be secured from viruses by anti-virus software. Online trading can be very convenient, quick, and lucrative only if done properly, keeping in mind all the safety measures and being very careful during the transactions. Otherwise, one might end up losing a lot of money or funds in it.