Older workers and retired plan beneficiaries will appreciate stepped up communications related to safely accessing their retirement accounts in this digital era.
Identity Fraud: $17 Billion
Increasingly, identity theft—and fraud are impacting more and more of us. AARP reports: “more than 1 in 4 Americans were hit by identity fraud last year, when losses were almost $17 billion.”
As the report explains:
Identity fraud is worse than identity theft, which is when your personally identifiable information (PII) is stolen or compromised, as in a data breach. In identity fraud cases, a crook capitalizes on that sensitive data and rips you off or commits a related offense….
Just imagine the criminal uses of the identifiable information associated with retirement accounts—not to mention the funds themselves! For example, according to Investopedia, the average 401(k) balance for those 60-69 is $182,000; and, for those 70-79 the average is $171,400.
Personal Safety Precautions To Share
As a plan sponsor, you can help prevent identity theft and fraud by encouraging all plan participants to follow standard best practices in online safety. Take extra time to communicate with the oldest beneficiaries of your plan—especially if they are isolated at home. Make sure they have a phone number to contact you or your designees, should they have concerns related to the security of retirement accounts.
A good start toward reducing cyber theft and fraud is promoting the use of stronger passwords—and using different passwords for different accounts. Although this sounds basic, experts encourage spurring action on these important practices. As reported in AARP: “Once the criminal cracks the formula, so to speak, and they take over your account, they just start to take over everything because you’ve made it very, very easy for them.”
Many of us have trouble remembering passwords—and this is especially true the older we get: among those 65 and older, 60 percent of adults say remembering passwords is difficult. Consider providing information about using password management apps, as well as encouraging the use of fingerprint or facial recognition features increasingly available on digital devices. It’s also important to continue reminding older adults not to take calls from strangers or respond to unverified email requests.
Protecting the Retirement Plan, The Company—and Yourself
To help in these challenging times, Colonial Surety Company is offering retirement plan sponsors unique, comprehensive and affordable coverage packages. At Colonial, select a package that arms you with:
- TheERISA bond required to protect the assets of the retirement plan from theft;
- Cyber Liability coverage to safeguard your company and plan from covered losses and expenses in the event of a cyber breach; and,
- Fiduciary Liability coverageto protect you and your assets from personal liability.
Colonial Surety Company understands that plan sponsor are busy juggling their responsibilities. That’s why we offer a user-friendly, digital and direct service. You can easily and quickly purchase your bonds and related insurance coverage online.
To protect your plan, remember, only companies named on the Department of Treasury’s listing of approved sureties are able to provide ERISA fidelity bonds. A leader in the field, Colonial Surety Company is not only U.S. Treasury listed, but also rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, and, licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and most U.S. Territories.
Colonial Surety Company even includes retroactive ERISA fidelity bond coverage for past years when the plan was not covered. Colonial makes it easy, direct and instant: