GE Freezes Pension Plan

General Electric Freezing Pension Plans

GE freezes pension plan for 20,000 employees

General Electric is pulling the plug on its pension plan, and that’s a surefire way to derail workers’ retirement planning.

GE GE, +0.29%  announced on Monday it was freezing pensions for 20,000 employees with salaried benefits in an attempt to reduce its $8 billion pension deficit, and that it would also freeze supplementary pension benefits for about 700 workers. Current retirees already receiving their pension payments will not be affected and no new hires have been enrolled in the pension plan since 2012. (Read more)

Do you want to work into retirement?

Private companies are moving away from pension plans. Only 16% of Fortune 500 companies offered a defined-benefit plan (otherwise known as a pension plan) in 2017, down from 59% of the same employers in 1998, according to London-based insurance company Willis Towers Watson. Instead, some — not even close to all — private companies offer employees defined-contribution plans that require employees voluntarily save for themselves (but might include an employer match). Only a third of Americans are saving in such a plan, according to U.S. Census Bureau researchers, and that’s only if their employers offer such a plan. Only 14% of private companies do provide a 401(k), and they’re usually larger companies. (

GE is not the only company in this situation.

“It’s often the employees who end up losing out. Freezing pensions has become a more popular strategy for companies in recent years. A decade ago, about 20% of Fortune 500 companies with pension plans in place since 1998 had frozen their plans, according to Willis Towers Watson. Since then, that figure has swelled to 42%.” – Bloomburg (read more)

Pensions are not guaranteed. How does your retirement look if you lost yours?

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Learn More: Retirement Income Strategies

Read about how you can set up income strategies that will have a long-term effect for your retirement years.

Nick Abbate: New Assistant General Agent

Nicholas Abbate was #3 in the field force for 2018 for ALL the Knights of Columbus. Now he's the Abbate Agency Assistant General Agent

The 2019 General Agent Training Class

Nicholas and Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

Nick Abbate completed General Agent training at the Knights of Columbus home office in New Haven, CT. This helps prepare him for his promotion to Assistant General Agent for the Abbate Agency.

This training will help Nick, and the entire agency, to better serve owners attain their goals through financial advice, founded in faith.

In the Abbate Agency, we take your financial goals and objectives seriously and always aim for the tip. How can you know that's true? Just look at the numbers.

The Abbate Agency was #2 for 2018 (read more)

Bob Abbate led the Agency to the number 2 position in the entire Knights of Columbus in 2018. Pictured are Bob Abbate, Julie Abbate, and Ed Polich, the Virginia State Deputy.

Nick Abbate was #3 for 2018 (read more)

Nick Abbate took the number 3 position of all the worldwide field force in the Knights of Columbus. All the Abbate Agency Advisors take serving our clients seriously. 60% of our advisors have qualified for MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table), a designation only held by the top 2% of all advisors in the world.

"It was an honor meeting our Supreme Knight, but it was equally awesome meeting our colleagues from all over the country! Great group of people, great support from our Home Office and great members we serve! Thank you for the wonderful experience and I look forward to the future with the #KofC!"

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Intermediate Council Website Design

Basic Council Website Design

Council website link

Introducing a whole new product line at the East Coast Regional Conference

Greetings from the East Coast Regional Conference for the Knights of Columbus

Introducing a whole new product line!

Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)
Moderator: Robert Abbate FIC, CSA, LACP, LUTCF. Panelists: Kevin Moran FICF, CLTC, Jeffrey Denehy FIC, Robert Canter Jr. FICF, CSA, LUTCF, Joseph Spinelli FICF, LUTCF, CLU
From all over the East Coast....
Knights of Columbus Advisors gathered in Baltimore this week to stay up to date on the best ways to serve our owners.

Advisors from all over the East Coast gathered in Baltimore, MD, to learn how to better take care of our owners. Bob Abbate, our General Agent, moderated the discussion on Million Dollar Round table and three out of five panel discussions featured our advisors. 

A key topic at training was the whole new suite of products is available now allowing our advisors to provide a broader range of services. Policies can now be designed to pay off in specific years, making it very, very flexible. This is an exclusive to our agency and the Knights of Columbus. 

For example, we can now design a financial product with any amount of money with pay cycles that vary from 5 years to 100 years and anything in between.  

We are now able to provide solutions that are as unique as our clients are. Ask your Abbate Agency Advisor for more information.

Together, the advisors focused on a principle alive in well in our Agency: 

“I don’t sell products. I solve problems.”

The following are some comments from the moderator and three panelists from the Abbate Agency.

Robert Abbate, FIC, CSA, LACP, LUTCF: Moderator, MDRT Panel

"MDRT represents the top 2% of all financial advisors in the world. 60% of the advisors in the Abbate Agency have qualified for MDRT. The panelists talked about how MDRT improved their practices and their family lives. Through that greater efficiency, our advisors have stronger practices that can better serve our clients. Everything about MDRT is about better serving our clients. Many advisors struggle with finding referrals. Our advisors primarily work on referrals, as our owners' friends want to join in our creed and have a part of "Excellence in Life Planning"®."

Max Abbate, FIC, MDRT: Panelist, In Depth Fact Finding

"The whole process begins with fact finding. No one can build a full in-depth financial plan or create a profitable portfolio with out in-depth fact finding. That includes setting expectations, setting financial goals, analyzing what do you have in place, and more. It's the beginning of where all the planning takes place. People don't plan to fail, but they often fail to plan. You can't achieve your financial goals without a plan. That's where everything comes into place. We gather all the information about a client and form a relationship, and the rest is history. We have an agency-wide 90%+ retention rate with all of our clients because of how in depth and personal we are when we meet with all of our clients. It's not only financial planning, it's life planning. And we're a family that provides Excellence in Life Planning"®."

Nick Abbate, FIC, MDRT: Panelist, Retirement Planning

"How do you have a healthy and happy retirement? Financial security is key to the peace of mind you need to enjoy retirement. Retirement isn't just for clocking time after your job is done. You should enjoy it, not worry, and have fun! Proper planning makes that possible. Together we achieve Excellence in Life Planning"®." - Nick Abbate

Kevin Moran, FIC, CLTC, MDRT: Panelist, MDRT

“I’ve been a member of MDRT for 3 years. It has been an enlightening experience, and there is so much more for me to learn by attending the worldwide Million Dollar Round Table conferences. Every time I return from them, I’m inspired with new gained knowledge on how we, my team and I, can better serve our clients and how I can instill more thoughtful and productive management within my staff.

I am happy and proud to be a member of the top 2% of Advisors in the world as an MDRT member.

The Abbate Agency, Knights of Columbus, has 11 advisors serving within the Richmond Diocese. Did you know that six of those eleven advisors, Ben Salazar, Nick Abbate, Raymond Selg, Max Abbate, Sal Fillapelli, and myself, are Million Dollar Round Table members?

The Abbate Agency is proud to represent the best of what the Knights of Columbus can offer to its members and their families through these processes.

We are here to protect every single Catholic Family with the diocese, every single day, by providing them “Excellence in Life Planning ®️.”

My question to you is: have you revisited your plan with to your Catholic advisors lately? Contact us to see what the KofC can do for you. Cntact your Abbate Agency Advisor today!”

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg

Are you confident in your emergency fund? Do you know how much you need or how to build one?

What To Expect From The S&P 500 Over The Next 20 Years

 What does “Rate of Return” mean? Most of us understand the principle, but what about the meaning? 

Having a positive cash flow over a long period of time, 15 – 30 years, is what we all hope for!

But having a diverse portfolio where you have assets in the marketplace, through your work 401(k) or 503(b) and through no risk investments like a Knights of Columbus Guaranteed Annuity or Whole Life Insurance is a perfect balance towards anyone who truly wants to build wealth and retirement security later on in life. 

Always remember when it comes to your portfolio, the first rule of investing: diversification.

– From one of our Million Dollar Round Table Advisors

What To Expect From The S&P 500 Over The Next 20 Years

"In the 20-year period ending 2018, the S&P 500 has compounded at an inflation-adjusted 3%." - Wayne Duggan Benzinga, June 22, 2019, Yahoo! Finance

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Disability Income Insurance

Disability Income Insurance

Your most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income.

Should you or your spouse experience a serious illness or injury, how would the loss of income impact you? Combine the loss of income with increased expenses due to necessary medical care, and the financial stress of a disability can become just as taxing as the disability itself.

While your employer may cover you with some form of company-paid disability insurance, often coverage is only partial and/or short term. Purchasing a Personal Disability Income Insurance policy can help you cover any financial gaps that you may have, with the added bonus that these benefits are paid to you tax-free.

Because the benefit period of short-term policies last a maximum of two years and long-term policies have a typically extensive waiting period, it is wise to acquire both long-term and short-term disability insurance policies. Having both policies will assure that you are covered from the unfortunate moment you fall ill or become injured through the entire period of disability, or even the rest of your life.

Policy Considerations

l Definition of disability: Some policies pay benefits if you are unable to perform the duties of your regular occupation, while others pay only if you can engage in no gainful employment at all. Some policies also pay benefits if you become ill or injured and are unable to earn a specified percentage of your income.

Amount of income: This amount varies by policy, but a policy that pays 50 to 60 percent of your monthly salary (not including bonuses or commission) is the most common and most affordable option.

Length of benefit period: You can choose to receive benefits that are payable from one year, two years, five years or to retirement age. Opting for coverage that lasts through age 65 affords the best protection against an injury or illness that permanently removes you from the workforce.

Residual benefits: Selecting this feature will give you partial payment in the event of an income reduction due to being unable to fulfill all of your job responsibilities.

Cost of living increases (COLA): Adding optional COLA to your disability policy means that the coverage you purchase today will keep up with the pace of inflation during the lifetime of the policy.

Short-term disability policies have a waiting period of up to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years.

Long-term disability policies have a waiting period of several weeks to several months, with a maximum benefit period from a few years to the rest of your life.

When disability occurs, most options, except insured income replacement, may be inadequate or quickly exhausted. 

Disability is difficult enough – disability without income is even worse. Disability income insurance can be a sound long-term solution to a long-term disability.


Odds of Death Chart

Use the chart below to learn more about current statistics of death before 65yo.

Odds of Death at Age







Within 15 Years

1 in 50

1 in 39

1 in 27

1 in 18

1 in 12

1 in 7

Within 30 Years

1 in 14

1 in 9

1 in 6

1 in 4

1 in 3

1 in 2

Before Age 65

1 in 6

1 in 6

1 in 7

1 in 7

1 in 7

1 in 8

Odds of Disability Chart

Use the chart below to learn more about current statistics of becoming disabled before 65yo.​

Odds of Disability at Age







Within 15 Years

1 in 37

1 in 31

1 in 21

1 in 14

1 in 9

1 in 6

Within 30 Years

1 in 11

1 in 7 

1 in 5




Before Age 65

1 in 5

1 in 5

1 in 5

1 in 5

1 in 6

1 in 6


Source for odds of death: 2001 Commissioners Standard Ordinary Table for Male, Age Last Birthday.

Source of odds of disability: 2012 Society of Actuaries IDEC Table for Male, Occupation Class 1, 90-day elimination.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Do I Need Disability Insurance

Read more about how disability insurance can keep and your family safe in a stressful time of need.

Retirement Assets Depletion Rates

Retirement Assets Depletion Rates

Important: Hypothetical illustrations generated by Morningstar regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.

Results may vary over time and with each simulation. This is for illustrative purposes only and not indicative of any investment. An investment cannot be made directly in an index. © 2017 Morningstar. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee for future results.

High Withdrawal Rates Will Quickly Deplete Your Assets

Several issues should be examined when determining an investor’s withdrawal rate. Asset allocation, time horizon, and consumption patterns are all important factors in shaping how long portfolio wealth will last.

This chart looks at a hypothetical 50% stock/50% bond portfolio and the effect various inflation-adjusted withdrawal rates have on the end value of the portfolio over a long payout period. Each hypothetical portfolio has an initial starting value of $500,000. It is assumed that a person retires at age 65 and withdraws an inflation-adjusted percentage of the initial portfolio wealth ($500,000) each year beginning at age 66. Annual investment expenses were assumed to be 0.73% for stock mutual funds and 0.60% for bond mutual funds.

As illustrated, the higher the withdrawal rate, the greater the chance of potential shortfall. The lower the rate, the less likely an investor is to outlive their portfolio. Therefore, retirees who anticipate long payout periods may want to consider assuming lower withdrawal rates.

The image was created using Monte Carlo parametric simulation that estimates the range of possible outcomes based on a set of assumptions including arithmetic mean (return), standard deviation (risk), and correlation for a set of asset classes. The inputs used herein are hypothetical, based on historical long-term figures. The hypothetical risk and return of each asset class, cross-correlation, and annual average inflation follow. Stocks: risk 20.2%, return 12.1%; Bonds: risk 5.7%, return 5.4%; Correlation 0.00; Inflation: return 3.0%. Other investments not considered may have characteristics similar or superior to those being analyzed. The simulation is run 5,000 times, to give 5,000 possible 35-year scenarios. A 90% confidence level indicates that there is a 90% chance of the outcome being as shown or better. Higher confidence levels are chosen in order to view tougher market conditions. A limitation of the simulation model is that it assumes a constant inflation-adjusted rate of withdrawal, which may not be representative of actual retirement income needs. This type of simulation also assumes that the distribution of returns is normal. Should actual returns not follow this pattern, results may vary.

Government bonds are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States government as to the timely payment of principal and interest, while returns and principal invested in stocks are not guaranteed. Diversification does not eliminate the risk of experiencing investment losses. Holding a portfolio of securities for the long term does not ensure a profitable outcome and investing in securities always involves risk of loss, including the risk of losing the entire principal.

About the data

Stocks are represented by the Ibbotson® Large Company Stock Index. Bonds are represented by the five-year U.S. government bond, inflation by the Consumer Price Index, and mutual fund expenses from Morningstar. An investment cannot be made directly in an index. The data assumes reinvestment of income and does not account for taxes or transaction costs.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Building Your Nest Egg: An Emergency Fund

Read more about how to keep your retirement years safe with tips to build your nest egg with an emergency fund.

Ways to Work Towards Happiness in Retirement.

Ways to Work Toward Happiness in Retirement.

The economy is struggling and that is affecting everyone’s financial future. As a result, you must take control of your retirement to ensure that you’ll stay above water when you’re ready to put your feet up and relax.

Here are some things to consider when planning for your retirement:

• Obtain adequate assets before you stop working. Do not rely on company pensions or benefits as your sole income in retirement.

• On average, women live longer than men; many married women outlive their husbands by at least 15 years. Economic decline often occurs after becoming a widow, so women need to prepare to be financially secure for their long lives.

• Outliving your assets is a reality. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), life expectancy in 1952 was 68.6 years old. In 2006, that figure had risen to 77.85 years old. At this rate, this trend will continue because of lifestyle improvements and advances in medical care. It is wise to organize your portfolio so that a portion of your retirement assets cannot be outlived.

• Contribute as much as possible to your 401(k) savings plan. Set the company match as your baseline for your contributions. Then, as finances allow, increase your automatic contribution amount so that you can set your savings on auto-pilot.

• Save early and diversify your assets to seek to maximize the return on your investments for the amount of risk you are willing to take. Keep in mind that diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against market loss.

• Be prepared for changes in retirement. Remember to take inflation, a possible decline in your functional status, medical costs, and the death of a spouse and other changes in your life into account when saving.

• Decisions made before retirement will affect you in your golden years. This includes taking a new job, getting married, getting divorced or having or adopting a child.

• Maintain your job skills to protect your financial security. Your benefits ultimately depend on your ability to make money. By keeping your skills up-to-date, you can better ensure that you are able to work and make money.

* This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes and is not indicative of any investment. Investments involve risks that could result in the loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the strategy illustrated will produce positive investment results. This example assumes payroll deductions of $400 per month for the next 20 years growing at an assumed rate of return of 8.00% (converted to a monthly return), and then compounded monthly.

According to recent government statistics, people age 65 and older have the following incomes:

The median income for people aged 65 or older is $30,193, but there are wide differences within the total group. Approximately 11% have income under $10,000, and roughly 32% have an income of $50,000 or more.

Income differences by age are associated with differences in marital status. Income is highest for married couples, who have a median income more than 2½ times that of non-married persons. Median income is generally lower in older age groups. The striking differences by age are due in part to the disproportionate number of non-married women in older age groups.

In 2014, 85% of married couples and 83.6% of non-married persons aged 65 or older received Social Security benefits. Social Security was the major source of income (providing at least 50% of total income) for 47.8% of married couples and 70.7% of non-married persons aged 65 or older.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Income of the Aged Chartbook 2014; and Income of the Population 55 or older 2014, Released April 2016.

Take the first step toward achieving your financial goals.

Learn More: Retirement Assets Depletion Rates

Read about just how fast retirement funds are spent to maintain current lifestyles.