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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

How a 401(k) Financial Advisor Can Limit Their Liability

There is the old saying that the cobbler’s children have no shoes. I know that firsthand when my mother threatened to call an electrician because my father the electrician didn’t have time to do some electrical work in our...more

Why Employers Should Sponsor a Retirement Plan

Starting and running a business is one of the hardest things out there and I know from experience in starting my own law firm. You start a business to make a living and when the need arises and when you can afford it, you...more

Only 2 Things A Retirement Plan Sponsor Needs to Limit Their Liability

People in the professional services industry (legal, financial, or accounting) have a propensity to make something sound more important than it is. Those folks think that by making something sound more important than it is,...more

In Lawson, Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors

On March 4, 2014, in Lawson v. FMR, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a public company’s private contractors can be covered under the whistleblower protections of Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Supreme Court’s...more

The Complete Worthlessness of The 401(k) Fiduciary Warranty

When it comes to selling products and services, marketing is everything. Marketing can help push a product or service into popularity, regardless of whether it’s good or not. Spuds MacKenzie was such great marketing; it made...more

Harriet Tubman And Navigating To Become An Ethical Company

March 10th was the 101st anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman. She was one of the greatest conductors on the Underground Railroad, which took slaves out of the old south and up to freedom in the north and into Canada. I...more

The $550 TPA is no Advantage

Because you demanded it or at least one TPA demanded it. A handout of a blog post, that says that a la carte pricing can really be more expensive when you add it all up....more

How My Career Mistakes Can Help You as a Retirement Plan Provider

As Frank Sinatra would say: “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.” In my e-book, How to Succeed in the 401(k) Plan Business: (and 401(k)'d: A Life) (cheap plug here, available on Amazon.com for...more

“Toxic” TPAs a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Avoid Hiring

While most of the news about 401(k) plan fiduciaries and their responsibilities is about plan expenses, plan investments, and participant education, there is very little topic about the one issue that is important that most...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Successful Strategies For Doing Business In Asia: Thailand

1. What role does the government of Thailand play in approving and regulating foreign direct investment? The Thai government regulates foreign direct investment by requiring foreign investors to obtain approval from...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

Successful Strategies For Doing Business In Asia: Philippines

1. What role does the government of the Philippines play in approving and regulating foreign direct investment? The following Philippine government agencies are involved in approving and/or regulating foreign direct...more

A Simple Q&A for Retirement Plan Providers

When I was an associate at a semi-prestigious Long Island law firm, the goal was that I would start a national single employer retirement plan practice. I couldn’t have my articles published because the marketing department...more

When it’s Time to Fire Your Retirement Plan Providers

Whether it’s a business or personal relationship, we start with the best of intentions that it will last a long time. Unfortunately, some relationships need to end and you need to recognize it and the courage to end than...more

The Plan Checklist That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Needs

While they don’t have a book called Retirement Plan Sponsorship for Dummies, they should. So in the interim, here is a checklist that plan sponsors should review that can help them develop good practices and avoid unnecessary...more

Dumb Things Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Doing

Whoever said that there is no such thing as a dumb question obviously wasn’t in attendance at my Global History class in high school when someone asked whether it was true that if you take a picture of an Amish person, the...more

Things They Never Tell You as a Retirement Plan Provider

I always say that whatever I learned as an ERISA attorney and the retirement plan business; I couldn’t have learned it in class or in a textbook. So if you’re a retirement plan provider, this article will have some short...more

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of

What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building material until it was found to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma Thalidomide was a great drug for morning sickness until it...more

Executive Compensation Considerations for 2014

Executive compensation is a topic that just won’t go away, particularly with pay disparity and pay for performance regulations still looming. We highlight below some of the matters directors should be considering as they...more

10 Hidden Liability Pitfalls for Retirement Plan Sponsors to Avoid

Being a retirement plan fiduciary such as a plan sponsor or a plan trustee is like being a homeowner. Homeowners see their homes as a serious financial accomplishment and an important investment. Homeowners are unaware of the...more

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