Principal’s Stable Value Product Called Out in Lawsuit – Rozo v. Principal Life

A lawsuit filed against Principal Financial concerning its traditional stable value product alleges that Principal serves as a plan fiduciary with respect to this product and violated its fiduciary duties by charging excessive fees. This case appears to have legs as it was recently certified as a class action on behalf of 41,000 investors. Stable value products are unique to retirement plans. Principal’s product is … Continue reading Principal’s Stable Value Product Called Out in Lawsuit – Rozo v. Principal Life

Qualified Versus Nonqualified Plans

For most employees, qualified retirement plans are a critical component of their retirement savings strategy. For others, qualified plans place restrictions on their utilization of such plans, so they have to look for other ways to save. That’s why employers often offer both qualified and nonqualified plans. Why are there two classes of plans, and how do they differ? In the simplest of terms, qualified … Continue reading Qualified Versus Nonqualified Plans

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?

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

Complying With ERISA 404(c)

According to ERISA, plans intending to comply with 404(c) must provide that participants: Have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of investment alternatives (which are adequately diversified); may direct the investment of their accounts with a frequency which is appropriate; and can obtain sufficient information to make informed investment decisions. The plan sponsor must provide annual written notification to participants with its intent … Continue reading Complying With ERISA 404(c)

Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Plan sponsors are often concerned with the prudence and process of obtaining insurance covering ERISA retirement plan fiduciaries. While fiduciary insurance is an important aspect in mitigating the financial impact of fiduciary litigation, there are a number of additional, important activities that are prudent for fiduciaries to embrace. ERISA fiduciaries are well advised to follow a comprehensive strategy to optimize fiduciary risk mitigation. Other important … Continue reading Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Allowable Plan Expenses: Can the Plan Pay?

The payment of expenses by an ERISA plan (401(k), defined benefit plan, money purchase plan, etc.) out of plan assets is subject to ERISA’s fiduciary rules. The “exclusive benefit rule” requires a plan’s assets be used exclusively for providing benefits. ERISA also imposes upon fiduciaries the duty to defray reasonable expenses of plan administration. General principles of allowable expenses include the following: The expenses must … Continue reading Allowable Plan Expenses: Can the Plan Pay?

ERISA Update

At a recent Western Pension Benefit Council/ASPPA Conference the new Fiduciary Rule was reviewed. The new Fiduciary Rule (definition) has come under significant criticism by many industry groups and Congress, some of whom brought litigation to redefine and suspend the effect of this regulation. To date, the DOL shows no intent to revise their position substantially. They indicate that the new rule is structured solely … Continue reading ERISA Update

Allowable Plan Expenses: Can the Plan Pay?

The payment of expenses by an ERISA plan (401(k), defined benefit plan, money purchase plan, etc.) out of plan assets is subject to ERISA’s fiduciary rules. The “exclusive benefit rule” requires a plan’s assets be used exclusively for providing benefits. ERISA also imposes upon fiduciaries the duty to defray reasonable expenses of plan administration. General principles of allowable expenses include the following: The expenses must … Continue reading Allowable Plan Expenses: Can the Plan Pay?

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“Non-Qualified” Success 401(k) Advisors Overlook

Retirement plan advisors can often miss opportunities to meet client needs, add revenue, and tighten relationships that are literally staring them in the face. While intent on designing and managing retirement plans for the benefit of plan sponsor clients and their workforce, 401(k) specialists may neglect the opportunity to help business owners and key executives in meeting their own personal retirement plan objectives and creating … Continue reading “Non-Qualified” Success 401(k) Advisors Overlook