It seems everyone has an opinion about what effect, if any, the DOL’s Conflict of Interest Rule will have on consumers. Opponents of the rule insist it will raise costs and reduce access to adequate retirement advice, while proponents argue the increased transparency will be a win for the investor. So, who is correct?
As a 401(k) plan sponsor, you may have heard the terms “reasonable fees” or “reasonable compensation” in your conversations with your plan service providers. Perhaps those service providers have even provided some benchmarking reports to show that their fees are reasonable. But whose job is it to determine if fees and/or compensation related to an employer-sponsored retirement plan are, in fact, reasonable?
When it comes to implementing investment menus for 401(k) plans, the phrase “less is more” really rings true. And, while the overall trend in number of choices is down, there are still companies offering 35 (or more) fund options to their employees.
Administering a 401(k) plan for your company is not an easy job. There are a host of requirements that you as a plan fiduciary must comply with. One of those key requirements is to ensure that any fees associated with the retirement plan be considered “reasonable.”
In the federal government’s eternal quest to raise tax revenue, corporate sponsored 401(k) plans are once again squarely in the crosshairs. At the moment, there are a number of proposed changes that could have a dramatic effect on how 401(k) plans operate.
The proposed DOL regulations would finally deem anyone providing advice to a 401(k) plan to be a fiduciary. Understanding this rule change and its effect on your company’s 401(k) plan is essential and will depend on what type of advisor you currently employ.
Getting participants to actively engage with tools to help them successfully plan their retirement has been a struggle for decades. The key to encouraging participants to use high-tech tools may be more old-fashioned than you might think.
Are the 401(k) or retirement plan benefits you offer to your employees appreciated? Educating your employees can help them better undertand their benefits and create a more retirement ready workforce. Learn how.
Excessive fees can drain your employees’ 401(k) balances over time, threatening their retirement security. Learn how fee awareness can help your participants save money as well as reveal other underlying problems with your plan’s vendors.
401(k) advisors are expected to be investment experts, but investment skills alone don't always determine a plan's success. 401(k) plan design expertise has a crucial role in making your plan as successful as it can be.
Over 70% of 401(k) plans audited by the Department of Labor in 2013 were found to have at least one violation. Learn how to keep your company’s plan in compliance with DOL regulations.
As a plan fiduciary, you are required to know the amount of revenue created by the funds in your plan that is paid to third party providers. But there are various types of fees and revenue streams that often go undetected by employers.
Maintaining a qualified employee benefit plan carries a significant amount of responsibility, along with potential liability. Find out why many business owners mistakenly believe an ERISA bond will protect them from such liability.
An Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is a critical piece of documentation for your company’s 401(k) plan. Although an IPS is not required, this is one area of plan oversight and governance that you do not want to leave to chance.
Your role as a fiduciary requires you to independently evaluate vendors’ services and fees to the retirement plan. How do you avoid conflicts of interest when your providers offer multiple services to your business?
Ensuring that your employees are retirement ready benefits the individual employees, and can also lead to a significant and positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
Selecting the right advisor and understanding their fee structures can sometimes be as complicated as deciphering the regulations put forth by the Department of Labor.
Target Date Funds are sold as a “one-size-fits-all” solution, but are they right for you and your participants?
In addition to making sure notices are received from ALL covered service providers, there is an inherent obligation on the plan sponsor to actually do something with these notices. In the event of a DOL audit, you will likely be asked what you did with the notices you received. So, just filing them away is not a good strategy.
Most plan sponsors do not have expertise in exercising discretion or control of investments. However, absent an advisor who fills that role for them, the fiduciary responsibility for selecting and monitoring investments falls solely on the plan sponsor.
Many fiduciaries are steered towards index funds as the best way to show lower costs to the plan. But participants may need better investment choices to ensure a financially secure retirement.