December 7, 2017—A record number of 401(k) and 403(b) plan sponsors – 38% – are actively seeking new plan advisors, according to a recent Fidelity Investments survey. That’s not a surprise given changes in the retirement plan industry. Among other things, the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Rule requires employers to confirm their advisors are acting as fiduciaries and in the best interests of their clients. Advisors who are unprepared have caused some employers to interview other advisors.
November 4, 2017—408(b)2 Provider Disclosures have created confusion for employers who sponsor 401(k) and 403(b) plans ever since the rules first requiring them took effect in 2012. To make matters worse, with the June 2017 effective date of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, employers’ responsibility with respect to the disclosures increased.
October 5, 2017—Guaranteed Insurance Contracts, or GICs, are marketed as a reliable - even simple - company retirement plan investment vehicle. In my experience, however, employers whose 401(k) or 403(b) plans include GICs and their participants could benefit from carefully examining the GICs inner workings as they consider the best option to build toward a secure retirement.
My initial sit-down with employers who include a GIC in their company retirement plan offers a good occasion to “pop the hood” of their plan. Frequently I hear that their employees like the GIC because it “guarantees” a rate of return, they are protected from potentially negative investment returns, and – in most cases – there are no “fees” associated with their selection of the GIC. So, I find it helpful to examine with them some of the gears and levers that make a Guaranteed Insurance Contract tick.