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COVID-19 Update

Alliant Wealth Advisors is an "essential business" under Virginia state law and we remain fully operational during the COVID-19 crisis.

To keep our clients, staff and colleagues safe we are currently holding all meetings via video conferencing. And we are alternating a small number of staff in our office while the majority serve you from their home.

Speaking of our office. Our headquarters in Prince William will relocate to the Signal Hill Professional Center at 9161 Liberia Avenue, Suite 100, Manassas, VA 20110 effective Monday, April 20, 2020.

Whether we are virtual or in person, we are here for you. Please keep safe.

Best Regards,

John Frisch, CPA/PFS, CFP®, AIF®, PPC®

President

A Better
401(k) Solution

  401(k) and 403(b) Plans Made Simple  


Secure Retirement by Design

Alliant Qualified Plans provides a consultative process backed by an ultra-high level of service and state-of-the-art technology. Learn More

Better Plans

We offer better 401(k) and 403(b) plans to help retirement plan sponsors improve their employees’ ability to build toward retirement, reduce the potential personal liability of their plan fiduciaries, and simplify plan compliance and administration.

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Our Differentiators

Better Plan Investments

We access the low-fee funds offered by institutional money managers.

Better Participant Experience

Better funds along with our professional investment management, broad financial education and mobile account tools result in more engaged, better invested, better prepared employees.

Reduced Liability for Plan Sponsor Fiduciaries

We accept delegation – and liability – for investment selection and monitoring under ERISA 3(38).

 

TOP 9 COMMON MISTAKES OF PLAN SPONSORS

The most common mistakes made by well-meaning companies and business owners include a failure to:

  • 1. Establish and follow written investment policies and procedures

  • 2. Understand sponsor fiduciary duties and potential personal liability

  • 3. Apply innovative plan design strategies to achieve employer/employee goals

  • 4. Monitor and replace poor investment options

  • 5. Understand and evaluate plan fees

  • 6. Administer the plan correctly, monitor periodically

  • 7. Identify conflicts of interest

  • 8. Provide employees the retirement tools they need

  • 9. Take action

  • Let’s start the conversation.


Going the extra mile

avatar The retirement-plan business is a competitive one. We deliver an “above-and-beyond” level of service that we believe all businesses should demand.

Joe Walsh heads Alliant Qualified Plans. His passion is working with employers to design and manage innovative 401(k) and 403(b) plans that meet organizational goals and employee needs. Joe’s expertise as a professional retirement plan consultant is backed by 30 years’ experience with money center banks providing clients with 401(k), investment management, pension, custody, and trustee services. This combination makes him a uniquely qualified advocate and partner for Alliant’s clients.

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  • CONFLICT FREE | Your Fiduciary

    CONFLICT FREE | Your Fiduciary

    Objectivity is the hallmark of our services and advice – we’re conflict free today and we’ll continue to be so, just as we’ve always been. As a retirement plan sponsor, you need to have absolute confidence that your provider is impervious to the influences of third-party financial institutions.

  • PEOPLE | Commitment to You, Your Employees

    PEOPLE | Commitment to You, Your Employees

    The ability of many Americans to retire has been questioned by the news media and government leaders, as well as individuals. It is with those concerns in mind that Alliant has developed a slate of distinctive retirement plans, each with its own unique set of qualities.

  • OUR BEST | We Do Things Right

    OUR BEST | We Do Things Right

    Beginning with your goals, we help you strategically design both 401(k) and 403(b) plans to benefit your organization and your employees.

  • A LEGACY OF TRUST | Your Needs are Important to Us

    A LEGACY OF TRUST | Your Needs are Important to Us

    For more than a quarter of a century, Alliant Wealth Advisors has built a proud tradition of integrity, trust and financial excellence.

Latest News

Financial Service Firm 401(k) Sponsors Sued by Own Employees!

September 25, 2017—As a plan sponsor of a 401(k) plan you know - or at least should know - that decisions you make regarding the plan must be in the best interests of your plan participants. This covers all areas of the plan, including your decisions regarding plan investment options. Unfortunately, it is common (in my opinion) for employers not to devote the time necessary to investment options due diligence and instead rely on the investment suggestions made by the plan’s platform provider.

For example, if they have a Principal 401(k) program and Principal suggests that the employer select Principal funds for their plan, the employer will often go along with the recommendation. Business owners should understand that when a mutual fund or life insurance company offers its own investment products to the plan it has a financial incentive to do so, creating a conflict of interest.

Think about it: how does a mutual fund company make its money?

No, not by running 401(k) plans, but by selling their funds to 401(k) plan participants. The goal of the mutual fund company is to get their funds into the plan. The goal of the employer is to have the best funds in the plan. These two goals do not often complement each other.

If you still are thinking to yourself, “well I’m with such-and-such household name firm, and they’ve got my back,” you may want to reconsider. The employees of these same mutual fund and insurance companies apparently don’t even believe their employer has their back. If they did, there would not be so many lawsuits by employees of financial service firms against their own employers for including proprietary funds with excessive costs in the fund line up.

Here is a list of financial service companies whose employees have sued them for using their own funds in the employees’ plans: Allianz, American Century, BB&T Bank, BlackRock, Charles Schwab, Deutsche Bank, Edward Jones, Franklin Templeton, Fidelity, Great West, Jackson National, J.P. Morgan, M& T Bank, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, Principal Life, Putnam, T. Rowe Price, Wells Fargo.

You will notice that these companies are not just small, lesser-known entities. On the contrary, many of them cover a huge portion of the industry, both in terms of assets under management and plan participants. One may even be providing services to your plan presently.

Of all these lawsuits, only two cases to date were resolved in the favor of the financial services company. One of them was against Great-West, who won outright. The other, against Wells Fargo, was dismissed. In these cases, like most of the others, the allegations were of high fees or poor performance for the proprietary (company) funds used in the employee’s plan. For example, the Wells Fargo employees claimed that the Wells Fargo target date funds used in the plan were 2 ½ times the cost of similar target date funds. However, the employees did not make their case that the alternative funds were “similar.” This may indicate that this outcome doesn’t justify the high cost of the Wells Fargo funds, but instead reflects more on how the employees made their case. In the Great-West case the judge didn’t even address the merits of the claims. Great-West got off the hook because the investor lacked standing to pursue their claim in the first place.

As prominent ERISA attorney Ary Rosenbaum wrote in his article “The real reason bad funds are in 401(k) plans,” when researchers looked at data to try to figure out why many poor 401(k) investment choices lingered on fund line-ups they concluded that “a subpar fund is much more likely to stay on the menu if it’s managed by the mutual fund company that’s helping administer the plan.”

The moral of the story is this: if your plan provider also offers their own mutual funds or insurance products, understand the dynamic of the relationship. The provider’s job is to sell you their funds. After all, that’s why they even offer a 401(k) plan in the first place: to distribute their funds. And there is nothing wrong with this. But your job as a plan fiduciary is to ensure that your participants have the best funds you can provide to them. If you do not feel that you have the expertise to fend off your platform provider, then get help from an advisor who is independent and will work for the best interest of the plan participants - not for the fund or insurance company.

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