Fixed Income: A Sinking Ship or Much Ado About Nothing

Time is a powerful modifier of perception and purpose. No need to look any further than the frequent rumblings surrounding fixed income in the current rising interest rate environment. That isn’t to say the frequently touted “bond bubble” and rising interest rate topics are unimportant or overstated, it’s merely a reaction to the volume and misappropriation of focus often exhibited in these ongoing conversations. Monitoring … Continue reading Fixed Income: A Sinking Ship or Much Ado About Nothing

Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck! – Negotiating Retirement Plan Fees with Your Provider

According to plan sponsors, one of the most harrowing aspects of their fiduciary obligations is to ensure that plan fees are reasonable. From administration and recordkeeping to compliance and investment management, how can a plan sponsor feel assured that they are aware of all plan fees, understand them thoroughly and then determine their fair and reasonableness? It’s quite a task! Best practices dictate the use of … Continue reading Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck! – Negotiating Retirement Plan Fees with Your Provider

Competing with Starbucks / Franchising of 401(k) Advisory Services

Imagine you own an independent coffee shop and Starbucks offers you a franchise with no upfront costs and a healthy revenue share going forward. Well, you could continue to figure out where to buy your napkins, how long to roast the beans, and a thousand other operational details, or you can implement a proven business model where much of the marketing, operations, and client deliverables … Continue reading Competing with Starbucks / Franchising of 401(k) Advisory Services

Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows distributions to be excluded from income if they are rolled over to an eligible retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) within 60 days. Revenue Procedure 2016-47 offers additional guidance, as well as a self-certification process that details how a taxpayer could accomplish a rollover that does not meet the 60-day requirement under certain circumstances. Conditions for Written Self-Certification … Continue reading Waiver of 60-Day Rollover Requirement

Establishing Your Retirement Plan Committee Charter

As retirement plan consultants we strongly encourage our clients to formally establish a retirement plan committee. The establishment of a committee may be formalized by adopting a Committee Charter. This document helps to protect the named fiduciary, typically the Board of Directors, by delegating certain identified fiduciary responsibilities to the committee. It protects committee members by defining the specific duties for which they are responsible. … Continue reading Establishing Your Retirement Plan Committee Charter

Fiduciaries, Plan Administrator, Trustee, Investment Manager

Are You Excluding Part-Timers From the Retirement Plan?

Many plan sponsors mistakenly believe that they are not required to offer the retirement plan to part-time employees. Regardless of what type of retirement plan you have, all employees, including part-time employees that work 1,000 hours in a year, must be offered the retirement benefit. Though your plan may contain a service requirement that essentially prevents “part-timers” from ever becoming eligible (such as a one … Continue reading Are You Excluding Part-Timers From the Retirement Plan?

Retirement Plan Investment Design

“5…4…3…2…1…liftoff!” Ultimately the value a retirement plan advisor brings to plan clients can be measured in plan outcomes and participant readiness for retirement.  Offering meaningful processes for investment selection and monitoring, benchmarking vendor services and fees, and supporting plan fiduciaries are now just table stakes.   Advisors who cannot offer independent processes for supporting plan clients in these areas will not be competitive, especially on larger … Continue reading Retirement Plan Investment Design

Social Security, Social Security Benefits, Retirement

When should I take Social Security benefits?

Before deciding when to begin taking Social Security, consider these factors: Other sources of income. Work with your retirement plan consultant to evaluate the tradeoffs involved in taking your Social Security benefits earlier (and letting other assets grow untouched for a longer period) vs. dipping into retirement assets immediately and deferring your Social Security benefits. Your taxable income. Tax-related factors could also affect your decision. … Continue reading When should I take Social Security benefits?

Retirement Plan, Funds, Forfeiture Dollars

Forfeited Retirement Plan Funds

Forfeiture dollars are to be allocated annually in accordance with your plan document’s direction. Typically forfeitures can be used to pay allowable and reasonable plan expenses and/or to offset employer contributions. If dollars remain they should be allocated back to participants in the year for which they are accrued (again, as directed in the plan document). The issue with not allocating forfeitures for the year … Continue reading Forfeited Retirement Plan Funds

Retirement Plan Consultants, Retirement Plan Committee

Establishing Your Retirement Plan Committee Charter

As retirement plan consultants we strongly encourage our clients to formally establish a Retirement Plan Committee.   The establishment of a Committee may be formalized by adopting a Retirement Plan Committee Charter. This Committee Charter helps to protectthe named fiduciary, typically the Board of Directors, by delegating certain identified fiduciary responsibilities to the Committee. It protects the Committee members by defining the specific duties for … Continue reading Establishing Your Retirement Plan Committee Charter