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You Might Have a Problem With Your Retirement Plan When…

There are so many situations when you know you have a problem like when you forget to shut off the stove before you left home or when your lock your keys in the car with the engine running or you forget to pick your child up...more

LLP Members and Pensions Auto-Enrolment: An Update

The UK Supreme Court ruled in May 2014, in Clyde & Co LLP and another v Bates van Winkelhof, that members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are to be treated as “workers” and therefore are covered by the protections...more

The Small Things that Create the Biggest Problems for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

“For Want of a Nail” is a proverbial rhyme that shows that the smallest of action can have huge consequences later down the line, just like a snowball effect “For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse...more

Mistakes that 401(k) Plan Sponsors Should Avoid, But Do Anyway

The Surgeon General’s report on smoking was released almost 50 years ago and people still smoke cigarettes. We know the effects of cholesterol, heart disease, and the calorie count at many fast food restaurants, yet their...more

Equity Compensation Alphabet Soup – ISO, NSO, RSA, RSU and more

Startups and public companies alike often use equity to help attract, retain and incentivize talented employees and other service providers. The different forms of awards have proliferated in the past several years, though,...more

How Plan Sponsors Can “Reboot” and Improve Their 401(k) Plan

In movies and television, a reboot is a mechanism to discard all previous continuity in a series and start anew with fresh ideas. So all established fictive history is irrelevant to the new storyline, and the series is...more

Plan Sponsor Should Avoid These Retirement Plan Provider “Con Games”

The George Clooney-Brad Pitt trilogy of heist films known as Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen were remembered for their twist endings, stylish pacing, and lightheartedness. Since the Ocean gang were...more

Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Using Their Payroll Provider as Their 401(k) TPA

I stick to what I know, so I venture very little outside the retirement plan space. I do that because I believe it is less likely to cause trouble. The two largest payroll providers don’t follow that philosophy -- they are...more

A 401(k) Financial Advisor Shouldn’t Refer a TPA Just Because They’re Cheap

Animal Farm by George Orwell was a clever allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union where the oppressed animals overthrew Farmer Mr. Jones, only to start oppress- ing each other. A similar situation is when I...more

Bottom Line: This is what Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Do

My great Uncle Jack Urbinder passed away a few weeks back at age 88. He was my Grand- mother’s only brother (out of 3) who survived the Holocaust. Much like my grandmother, Uncle Jack was genuine and he told it as he saw it....more

ERISA Fiduciaries: Making Sense of All The Numbers

In the Golden Age of Boxing, there was one world champion. Whether it was Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano as the heavyweight kingpin or Sugar Ray Robinson as middleweight crown holder, you knew who was champion. There was one...more

Plan Sponsors’ Misconceptions About Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure

To me, there is no greater television show than Seinfeld because it’s timeless and there is something about each episode that reminds you of normal day life. In the reverse chronology episode set in India called “The...more

The Good Fundamentals of Being a Retirement Plan Financial Advisor

In 1983, the Chicago White Sox won the American League Western Division under the guidance of future Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa. Doug Rader, then-manager of the Texas Rangers, accused the Sox of "winning ugly" for...more

Why an Employer Should Visit a Retirement Plan Dentist to avoid a Plan Root Canal

More than a dozen years ago, there was a medical report that dental plaque could cause heart disease. I thought it was some sort of dental conspiracy to increase revenue as fluoridated water and other dental hygiene has had...more

OSFI Issues Guidance on When a Limited Partnership Meets Definition of “Pooled Fund” or “Mutual Fund”

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has posted guidance (the Guideline) on the question of whether a fund established as a limited partnership by a corporation meets the definition of “pooled fund” or...more

Mandatory Retirement in Professional Services Firms

On May 22, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in McCormick v Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. The Court found that John McCormick, an equity partner in Faskens, was not an employee for the purposes of the...more

Doing Business In Iowa

ABOUT IOWA - A. Population and Geography - Centrally located in the United States, the state of Iowa is characterized by rich agricultural land, with wetlands, woodlands, and prairie throughout. The state...more

Why you Shouldn’t Hire your Friends or Family as your Retirement Plan’s Financial Advisor

They often say that it doesn’t matter what you know, it’s who you know. At one time or another, we have all derived a form of financial benefit because of someone we know. Maybe it’s a job and maybe it’s free Yankees tickets....more

CalPERS Proposes To Amend Global Principles

Next Monday, the Investment Committee of CalPERS’ Board of Administration is scheduled to consider several amendments to CalPERS’ Global Principles of Accountable Corporate Governance. Among other changes, the committee will...more

How an Employer can detect if their Retirement Plan Provider is Breaking Bad

I am the last to know anything, so I binge watched the television series Breaking Bad months after the series had concluded its run on the American Movie Classics cable channel. Needles to say, I was mesmerized on how a nice...more

How a Retirement Plan Financial Advisor Can Survive In The World Today

If I could pinpoint what it takes for a financial advisor to survive and thrive in this business, I would say it takes two things: a hook and timing. A hook is a marketing term, it’s something to attract a plan sponsor’s...more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

When It’s Time To Hire An ERISA Attorney

When I tell people that I’m an ERISA attorney, most people (including attorneys) don’t know what I do. While I’m not going to do a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation and claim I get no respect, the fact is that many plan...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

Practical Issues in Pension Fund Investing – Execution of Subscription Agreements

There is a famous phrase which is particularly apt in the area of pension fund investing – “the devil is in the details”. This is the first in a series on practical issues that arise in connection with investments by Canadian...more

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