Are Your Written QDRO Procedures in Place?

A QDRO, or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, is a court mandate to divide the assets of a retirement account among divorcing spouses. While there are probably few QDROs that will need to be processed by your plan over its lifetime, it’s still important to confirm that you are in QDRO compliance. ERISA Section 206(d)(3)(G)(ii) requires that a plan have written QDRO procedures in place … Continue reading Are Your Written QDRO Procedures in Place?

Fiduciary Risk when Using Industry Average Reports to Determine Fee Reasonableness

This is a very important and often misunderstood issue. Industry average fee data can serve as a good general “second opinion” of fee reasonableness. The industry recognizes that fees can be very plan-centric in nature.  National averages may not capture the nuances of plans that drive cost (both in a positive and negative manner). Thus a more tailored approach (such as what is provided in … Continue reading Fiduciary Risk when Using Industry Average Reports to Determine Fee Reasonableness

Fortified Decision-Making – Structure your plan committee meetings for success

Defined contribution (DC) plan committees face increasing scrutiny on the myriad of decisions they make for their respective plans. During quarterly committee meetings, it’s no longer enough to run through an agenda of basic responsibilities; now, more than ever, leading plan committees recognize that they need to address all of the issues that they are responsible for, including emerging issues. As such, committee decision-makers need … Continue reading Fortified Decision-Making – Structure your plan committee meetings for success

Did Someone Order a Large?

Any committee member sitting through their share of plan investment review meetings has heard the term “large cap” come up quite frequently. In our experience, large cap funds are top of list when the review turns to the stand-alone funds in the lineup.  Given this place of prominence, it is critical to ponder its definition, its importance and how they can be utilized best in … Continue reading Did Someone Order a Large?

Are You Devoting 88% of Your Attention to Target Date Funds?

By 2019, it is projected that 88% of new retirement plan contributions will be invested in target date funds.¹ Since introduction of the Pension Protection Act in 2007, the use of TDFs as Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs) has increased from 36 to 86%.² As a retirement plan advisor, you may not be devoting 88% of your attention to the TDFs, but in the future … Continue reading Are You Devoting 88% of Your Attention to Target Date Funds?

IRS/DOL Plan Error Self-Correction Programs

In the event that a plan discovers a practice breach based on IRS or DOL regulations, they may be well advised to attempt to apply for one of the self-correction programs identified below. It is typically advantageous to self-correct prior to the error being discovered by the IRS or DOL, as penalties and consequences may be significantly more severe. IRS Self-Correction Programs Plan errors can … Continue reading IRS/DOL Plan Error Self-Correction Programs

Test Your CIT Knowledge

More retirement plan sponsors are considering collective investment trusts (CITs), along with mutual funds and other investment vehicles, as part of their investment menus. As knowledge is growing about CITs (pooled investment funds designed exclusively for qualified retirement plans), there are still many questions about how CITs work. To help you gauge your knowledge about CITs (also known as collective trust funds, or CTFs), take … Continue reading Test Your CIT Knowledge

2017 Tax Saver’s Credit

Participants may be eligible for a valuable incentive, which could reduce their federal income tax liability, for contributing to your company’s retirement plan. If they qualify, they may receive a Tax Saver’s Credit of up to $2,000 ($4,000 for married couples filing jointly) if they made eligible contributions to an employer sponsored retirement savings plan. The deduction is claimed in the form of a non-refundable … Continue reading 2017 Tax Saver’s Credit

Assessing the International Equity Markets

The end of 2016 saw another subpar year in the international equity markets when compared to U.S. equity markets. The MSCI EAFE¹ (NR USD Index²), a proxy for international stocks, finished slightly higher during 2016, up 1.00 percent³. Compare that to the S&P 500⁴ (TR5), a proxy for U.S. stocks, which was up 11.96 percent³ over the same time period. The margin of outperformance for … Continue reading Assessing the International Equity Markets