Making the Most out of Trade Shows

Trade shows are an essential part of the Employee Benefits industry. They function as meeting places where brokers, carriers, and other players in the space can interact. As I am freshly returned from Source Media’s “Benefits Forum & Expo”, I thought it might be useful to dive into what goes on at these shows and how to get the most value out of the experience. In my 16 years with Judy Diamond, I’ve attended about a half dozen shows per year, on average, giving me roughly 100 shows under my belt. For someone in my position, there are two distinct ...
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/ Blog, Introduction, Trade Shows

Tax Transcripts: What are they anyway?

Tax season is still a few months off, but it is always a good idea to make sure one has their ducks in a row. One such tool available to tax preparers is the tax transcripts. However, with so many different transcripts available combined with the changes the IRS made to these documents, it is easy to become confused.  What are tax transcripts? Why are they useful? What are tax transcripts? Tax transcripts are documents provided by the IRS describing a taxpayer’s returns. These transcripts give details on a return in lieu of a full copy of a tax return ...
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/ Blog, EINs, Tax

Back-to-school: 403(b) Plans

At the time of this writing, it is mid-September. The air is beginning to chill, the leaves are starting to turn, but most importantly your kids are now back in school. This makes it the ideal time to talk about 403(b) plans, the savings vehicle most commonly used by teachers (and others in the not-for-profit space) to save for retirement. If you understand 401(k) plans, you mostly understand 403(b) plans as well. 403(b)s are Defined Contribution plans where the participant’s money is tucked away for tax-deferred growth. Traditional Defined Benefit pension plans for teachers are critically underfunded, and many states ...
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How to make Benchmarking and Peer Groups Work for You

Last April, Judy Diamond Associates released Retirement Plan Prospector+, a brand new upgrade to Retirement Plan Prospector that features an extensive collection of tools to boost retirement plan prospecting, from back office marketing support to advanced data analytics. One of the features introduced in the Retirement Plan Prospector+ update is the ability to benchmark retirement plans on a level of granularity that hadn’t been possible before. The Plan Scorecard is a form of retirement plan benchmarking, but the default views available through the Plan Scorecard aren’t always the most useful when looking at how a plan stacks up compared to ...
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7 Data Points You Need to Use When Prospecting the Group Insurance Market – A Primer

My favorite part of the Form 5500 is the Schedule A. Here’s where we find the meat of health and welfare plans, the insurance contract disclosure and any brokers that sold the policy. Retirement plans will fill out this Schedule as well if they have an annuity contract. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll focus entirely on how to interpret a Schedule A on welfare plans. This article is an introduction, and you can check out its follow-up for building more nuanced searches. Given how integral it is to either developing broker relationships or assessing competition, there’s a ...
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