Thought LeadershipAscensus Supports Small Businesses
President Donald Trump has signed into law a $484 billion relief package that will infuse $320 billion in additional funding into the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Also included in the package is funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the SBA’s Disaster Loans Program Account, along with relief for hospitals dealing with the immediate effects of the pandemic, and, specifically, for enhanced COVID-19 testing.
Thought LeadershipHow Saver and Employer Behaviors Are Evolving in Response to COVID-19
Proprietary data from Ascensus reveals how U.S. employees shifted their savings behaviors in March 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak caused major disruption to the U.S. economy and financial markets.
Thought LeadershipUnderstanding the CARES Act: Coronavirus-Related Distributions (CRDs)
Understanding the CARES Act: Coronavirus-Related Distributions (CRDs)
Thought LeadershipUnderstanding the CARES Act: Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Waiver
Understanding the CARES Act: Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Waiver
Thought LeadershipState of Savings: December 2020
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt far and wide, both in the U.S. and globally. But what has it meant for tax-advantaged savings levels in vehicles such as retirement , 529, and health savings & flexible spending accounts? Our proprietary data, tracked over the course of 2020, reveal shifts in contribution and withdrawal behaviors by business owners and individuals in response to the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. Overall, these insights suggest a continued appreciation for the importance of savings and the ability to access these savings when needed.
Thought LeadershipState of Savings: August 2020
Our proprietary data reveals how individuals in the U.S. have changed their savings behaviors over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as business and travel restrictions disrupted our economy. Throughout the summer months, we've started to see some very early signs of recovery.
Thought LeadershipState of Savings: October 2020
Our proprietary data reveals how individuals in the U.S. have changed their savings behaviors over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as business and travel restrictions disrupted our economy.
Thought LeadershipState of Savings: July 2020
Our proprietary data reveals how individuals in the U.S. have changed their savings behaviors over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic as business and travel restrictions disrupted our economy. Not surprisingly, we saw notable shifts in savings plan contributions and withdrawals in the first few months of the outbreak, as individuals experienced changes in employment and braced for the potential financial fallout. States across our nation have since begun phased reopenings of businesses, and our data already suggests positive signs of savings recovery.
- The industries that we reported as having the most significant drop-off in retirement plan contribution activity as of the end of May have seen striking improvements in these contribution deficits:
- Accommodation & Food Services: 5.4% more plans contributed in June, a 96% deficit reduction from May
- Health Care & Social Assistance: 3.8% more plans contributed in June, a 75% deficit reduction from May
- Retail Trade: 2.4% more plans contributed in June, a 95% deficit reduction from May
- Though there was a 7.4% decrease in the total amount of employer contributions through June based on projections, this represents a 4 percentage point improvement over May.
- Positively, 9.0% of employers that decreased their retirement plan match in or after March have since increased their match or returned to pre-March levels.
- In January through June, 93.1% of savers made no change to their savings rates. Only 1.3% of savers stopped their deferrals entirely, and only 1.9% reduced their savings rate.
- 13.7% of employers have adopted coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs), with only 1.6% of all eligible savers actually taking a CRD as of the end of June. The monthly CRD utilization rate of CRDs by savers is quite slow but steady.
- In June, there was 16.5% decrease in the total amount of one-time 529 account contributions based on projections, representing a 4 percentage point improvement over May. This improvement was primarily driven by higher average amounts per one-time contributions made in June. While there may be fewer savers actively making one-time 529 contributions (9.5% less than projections), those who continue to invest in their 529 via one-time contributions are saving at pre-COVID levels.
- 529 withdrawal activity remains low, with a 29.6% decrease in the number of withdrawals, as schools and students continue to evaluate how their learning environment and expenses might shift in light of the pandemic.
Health and Benefits
- According to data from Chard Snyder, an Ascensus company, there was a 10.1% increase in the number of COBRA qualifying events March through May. In June, qualifying events returned to 2019 levels.
- Chard Snyder also reports a 21.1% decrease in debit card transactions from consumer-directed healthcare accounts in March through May. In June, the number of these transactions returned to pre-COVID projections and the average amount per transaction increased over 2019 levels. This trend highlights the pent-up demand by consumers to access healthcare services and leverage these savings.
View and download the complete State of Savings report here.
Thought LeadershipChange is necessary
In the past week, disturbing events have once again reminded us that freedom from racism and injustice is still not universally available to black Americans, along with other diverse communities.