401 (k) - Alliant Qualified Plans
August 2, 2016—Welcome to the Alliant Best Practices Series for 401(k) Plan Sponsors, in which we offer 10 best-practice essentials for helping plan participants achieve retirement plan success. Here’s the sixth best practice in our series.
“It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.”
— “Good to Great” author Jim C. Collins
September 5, 2016—Welcome to the Alliant Best Practices Series for 401(k) Plan Sponsors, in which we offer 10 best-practice essentials for helping plan participants achieve retirement plan success. Here’s the seventh best practice in our series.
“This witch's brew of hidden fees, conflicts of interest and complexity in applications is at odds with investors' best interests.”
- SEC Chairman Christopher Cox
Once upon a time, there was a busy company manager named Goldilocks who was lost in the woods of deciding which ERISA bond was right for her company’s qualified retirement plan. She knew that her Worker Bees had to be well protected, but she also knew that it was hard for her to resist a sale!
Enchanted by the idea of a bargain, her curious eyes came to rest upon the Wee Bond. “I’m not sure if it’s the best fit, but it’s so affordable!” she said.
Just as she was about to purchase the Wee Bond, a wee warning tag appeared with wee writing – writing that was so small that she almost missed it in her excitement! The print read, “This Wee Bond has a wee price, but beware - it won’t cover all your Worker Bees!”
August 2, 2016—An attorney in St. Louis, Mo, Mr. Jerome Schlichter, is advertising to participants in certain employer 401(k) plans to hire him in a class action against their employers. This particular attorney is well known in the 401(k) industry for suing and winning awards against a number of household name firms.
“Fiduciary” is a word used frequently in the retirement industry, often to the confusion of plan sponsors and participants. “We have a fiduciary,” some employers tell me when we sit down to talk about their plan. “I am a fiduciary, and I have a fiduciary,” others will say. “We were issued a fiduciary warranty by our provider.” And so forth.
That’s how our discussions on fiduciaries often begin. When we dig in to the specifics of the financial services their hired “fiduciary” offers (and does not offer), many employers are surprised to learn that – contrary to what they were led to believe – their fiduciary does not reduce their responsibility or potential personal liability for selecting or monitoring the investments in their company’s retirement plan.
August 2, 2016—When you choose to add a 401(k) plan to your employee benefits package you offer your employees the opportunity to improve the quality of the lives of their families in retirement. In other words, you do a good thing. However, 401(k) plans come with an obligation. When you adopt a 401(k) plan you become responsible for your employee’s retirement funds. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, places responsibility on the employer to manage the plan at an extremely high level.