Participant Corner: Tips to Weather a Turbulent Market

With the recent market volatility, it’s understandable that you may be concerned about your investments. Volatile markets can make you wonder if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals. Don’t be discouraged and most of all, don’t panic. Instead, be proactive! Consider the following steps you should be taking in both up and down markets: Review Your Portfolio. Know your investment mix and be … Continue reading Participant Corner: Tips to Weather a Turbulent Market

Hey Joel! – Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans?

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney. Hey Joel, Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans? ~ Fingers Crossed in Florida Dear Fingers, There are some organizations out there promoting this approach. Here is the problem: There is no regulation indicating a situation in which … Continue reading Hey Joel! – Can I avoid an audit by splitting my employees into two plans?

Don’t Let Your Retirement Plan Turn from Benefit to Liability

A retirement plan is important to your business — and to all the employees relying on it for income later in life. However, mistakes and confusion can turn retirement plans from an attractive benefit into a liability. A properly administered retirement plan avoids unnecessary costs and administrative problems, and ultimately mitigates liabilities for plan fiduciaries. The IRS recommends periodic plan reviews as part of proper … Continue reading Don’t Let Your Retirement Plan Turn from Benefit to Liability

How and When to Pay Plan Expenses With Plan Assets

Some retirement plan expenses can be paid for with plan assets — but many can’t. Which are the “reasonable and necessary” retirement plan expenses that can be paid out of plan assets? Generally, services required to maintain the plan’s compliance and administration can be paid from plan assets. Obvious examples include the annual nondiscrimination testing and preparation of the annual Form 5500. Another example is … Continue reading How and When to Pay Plan Expenses With Plan Assets

The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session

The opening keynote session at the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) addressed innovations around the world, and specific to this conference, how to make people take retirement seriously. Keynote speaker Scott Wayne suggested that the more we talk of innovation, the less innovative we are. When addressing problems such as retirement savings or other problems such as legal immigration, reproductive rights, gun … Continue reading The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session

Q3 Market Review

U.S. equity markets advanced 7.1% (Russell 3000) on solid earnings, economic growth and a tightening labor market. With continuing trade tensions, international equities increased at a slower pace than domestic equities, posting a 0.7% gain over the quarter (MSCI ACWI ex U.S.). The U.S. fixed income market was flat for the quarter (Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate) as interest rates increased modestly. Additionally, the yield curve continued to … Continue reading Q3 Market Review

Hey Joel! My Prospect is a 501(c)(3) Org. Are They Eligible for a 401(k) Plan?

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney. Hey Joel, My prospect is a 501(c)(3) organization that is not affiliated with a church or school. Are they eligible for a 401(k) plan? Are there any benefits over a 403(b) plan? – Contemplating in Kansas Dear Contemplating, Contemplate no more! A 501(c)(3) … Continue reading Hey Joel! My Prospect is a 501(c)(3) Org. Are They Eligible for a 401(k) Plan?

Beware of the IRS and DOL: Four Red Flags They Seek on Form 5500

The Form 5500 is an ERISA requirement for retirement plans to report and disclose operating procedures. Advisors use this to confirm that plans are managed according to ERISA standards. The form also allows individuals access to information, protecting the rights and benefits of the plan participants and beneficiaries covered under the plan. Make sure you are compliant. Be aware of red flags that the IRS … Continue reading Beware of the IRS and DOL: Four Red Flags They Seek on Form 5500

How Do You Monitor a Dash? Evaluating Stable Value Funds

As you read your plan’s lineup, you see the following scores: Large Cap Fund – 9 – Great! Small Cap Fund – 8 – Good! International Fund – 10 – Perfect! Fixed Income Fund – 10 – Perfect! Stable Value – — – Hmm…what does that mean? Periodically you review your plan’s fund lineup; you place some funds on Watchlist, you replace under-performers and you … Continue reading How Do You Monitor a Dash? Evaluating Stable Value Funds