Years ago I conducted an experiment as a project for my psychology class where I literally gave every participant the exact same results to an assessment and then asked how accurate the reading had been. Without exception, every participant stated that the results were unerringly on target.
I had stumbled upon the Barnum Effect, a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that are seemingly customized specific to them, but are, in truth, vague and general enough to apply to anyone. It totally soured me on all personality assessments.
So when I heard about The Predictive Index’s Behavioral Assessment™, I immediately thought of my psych class. However, someone I respected (Cascade’s very own Courtney LeCompte!) had recommended it to me so, despite my skepticism, I gave it a shot. Although my skepticism was only heightened by the fact it only took me six minutes to complete the assessment, I was amazed by how accurate the results were. I was even more floored (and convinced this was no Barnum Effect) when my colleagues discussed their results with me as well.
As it turned out, that was just a taste of what The Predictive Index could do. While the Behavioral Assessment is a fantastic coaching and professional development tool, it can also be used with PI’s Job Assessment to ensure that organizations hire individuals that are a natural fit for the role they need to fill. And with the Cognitive Assessment, a tool that measures how quickly someone learns, PI makes it much more likely that people will be successful (and stay longer!) in their new roles.
I have never before seen a tool that addresses every stage of the employee lifecycle from hire to retire. I am both thrilled and proud that Cascade has been selected to become a PI Certified Partner because I believe it has the potential to revolutionize the way we help members achieve excellence in the workplace. I have no doubt that it will become the golden thread that links together all our services here at Cascade and I’m excited to share it with anyone who will listen – even with skeptics like me.
If you are an employer that sponsors a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, chances are good that you’ve had a discussion with your service provider about the default investment choice for your plan. This “default fund” is the investment option that would be automatically selected for a participant should they have money come into the plan but have not made any kind of election on where to place those dollars. In other words, an employee has money going into their account but has no investment choice on record. This can typically happen when a non-participating employee gets a profit sharing contribution or if an organization utilizes automatic enrollment in the plan for its new hires.
Years ago, it was considered to be standard procedure to make the most conservative investment in your 401(k) lineup – usually a money market fund – the default investment for a plan. The logic behind that reasoning was that the employer was putting the funds at the least amount of risk of losing value. We now know, of course, that this is not a prudent investment choice for a majority of employees participating in these types of plans. Eventually, that thinking shifted and employers began to move away from interest-bearing money market funds as default choices and toward a more balanced approach.
In 2006, a new section was adopted into the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by way of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) and it created a new standard in default choices called the “Qualified Default Investment Alternative” or QDIA. This new provision of the law basically stated that an employee was deemed to have exercised control over their investments, even when they haven’t elected those investments, if the employer defaults them to a QDIA. This alleviates the employer and other plan fiduciaries from the liability of investment loss in the default investment, assuming the employee was given all of the appropriate notices, had an opportunity to make an investment selection, and, most importantly, the investment is prudent and appropriate for the employee. Funds that qualify for this QDIA status include:
- Balance Funds
- Target Date Funds
- Asset Allocation Funds
- Professionally Managed Accounts
In rare cases, the old standard of a money market fund or other capital preservation fund can be used, but only in the case of automatic enrollment plans and the money must not stay in the default fund for more than 120 days. But, the bottom line is that your QDIA should be a prudent choice for your employees and one that’s in their best interest. If you are unsure what the default fund is for your plan, contact your service provider to find out and to start the discussion about a prudent and appropriate choice for your group of participants.
In truth, this just scratches the surface on the topic of default funds and fiduciary liability for an employer and I encourage you to call or email us with any questions you may have or to learn more about how Cascade can assist your organization with their retirement plan.
As times change, so does this member company. Hi-Tek Electronics’ team is filled with hard-working, passionate individuals committed to producing some of the highest quality circuit boards in the industry. Did you know…
- Its History – Hi-Tek Electronics was founded around 1989 in Silverton, Oregon by Gary Foster. Three employees who started working for the company over 25 years ago remain an integral part of operations today. Daniel Gossack, the current and fourth owner, had been a customer of Hi-Tek since 1993 through another company, TimeMark Incorporated.
- Its Production – Hi-Tek is a contract manufacturer of electronic circuit board assemblies for companies in a wide variety of industries throughout the Northwest. In 2016 it placed an estimated 6 million parts on 95,000 circuit boards for 43 customers.
- Its Customers – Examples of products using the circuit boards that Hi-Tek builds are: commercial drone cameras; industrial 3D printers; material handling machines; medical imaging; commercial baking equipment; communications systems; battery control systems; electronic keys; agricultural spray units; industrial compressors; traffic counters; industrial measuring; diesel motor monitors; underground communications equipment; and ceramics ovens.
- Its Capacity – Hi-Tek has machines that can place and inspect components as small as 0.0256 inch by 0.0138 inch. There are employees who can solder these same components using microscopes and incredibly steady hands. Over 5,000 individual parts are stocked and several thousand more consignment parts are provided by customers.
- Its Other Services – Hi-Tek has a subsidiary, Hi-Line Assembly, that provides mechanical and electrical assembly services, including: testing, adding cables, assembling in enclosures, calibration and packaging. Although these services are mostly additional production done to PCB assemblies built by Hi-Tek, they have been contracted for other applications.
Cascade is pleased to feature Hi-Tek Electronics, where long-term customer relationships are forged by providing exceptional services and unsurpassed flexibility to meet customer needs.
Don’t mind our dust! As Cascade Employers Association celebrates our seventieth year of operation, we’ve partnered with MemberClicks to refresh our Web site with new and better technology.
A few of the new features include:
- Style update
- Simplified URLs and other navigational improvements
- Workshop color-coding and other training calendar improvements
- More flexible forms, including an updated membership application
- Updated communications, including registration confirmation emails
- Improved online payment system
- And more!
In addition, if you already had a username and password for our website – good news! They’ve already been imported to the system for as seamless a transition as possible. (If you have any trouble logging in, contact us and we’ll get it straightened out right away!)
If you have any questions or cannot locate what you need on the site, just let us know and we’ll help you out.