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As A 401(k) Sponsor, A Class Action Lawsuit Is The Least Of Your Legal Worries

Having been in my own practice for over 6 years, it’s a broken record hearing from 401(k) plan sponsors on how they have nothing to fear about being sued since their plans are small potatoes. The problem with that view is...more

How An RIA Can Profit Off Of The New Fiduciary Rule

When it comes to an industry, change is often fraught with trepidation and fear. However, I always believe that change also brings opportunity. So while people are predicting gloom and doom when discussing the Department of...more

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans

As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some “magic beans” and his mother is so angry, she throws the beans on the ground and a magic beanstalk grows overnight. When it comes to...more

A Plan Sponsor Should Never Assume Their Providers Are Doing A Great Job

My wife and I have been in our house for over 11 years and it’s been one remodeling project after another. This is what happens when the previous owner did nothing for 20 years. We hired a general contractor to redo our...more

How A Plan Sponsor Can Increase 401(k) Participation Without Costing Much $$$

My former Synagogue wanted Hebrew school parents to attend Synagogue events, so they created a participation fee where parents would have to pay $180 that they could use to attend events. Before I was involved as a Trustee...more

Why A Plan Sponsor Should Get A Plan Review

Retirement plan sponsors tend to be reactive rather than pro-active. They would rather not spend money to undergo a plan review and assume everything is fine until they run into a big compliance issue or mistakes are...more

A “Crystal Ball” On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going to have a profound change in how financial advisors work with their retirement plan clients. It’s unchartered waters,...more

Glaring Problems A Plan Sponsor May Not Be Aware Of When They Think Everything is OK

I knew a family member who would never go to the doctor for preventative care. She always reasoned that if she went to a doctor, that meant she was sick. That meant that her goal was avoiding the doctor at all costs. It’s...more

The To-Do List For 401(k) Plans Now: 2016-2017 Edition

Being a retirement plan sponsor is a tremendous responsibility and the problem is that most plan sponsors don’t understand that. Plan sponsors often act passive because they hire retirement plan providers to help them. The...more

401(k) Plan Providers’ Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients

Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I’ll never get the financial advisor who was fired because the client’s new Chief Executive Officer wanted...more

How to Pick Your Retirement Plan Providers

Too often, retirement plan providers are selected at the family dinner table, the golf outing, or at a house of worship. While those are nice places for social gatherings, they are not the ideal place for selecting retirement...more

401(k) Sponsors Say Their Plan is OK, but They Really Have No Idea

When I was dating my wife, she asked me if I had a good credit score and I said I did. I never checked my credit score, but I paid all my bills in full and on time. Of course when I got a copy of my credit report, my credit...more

The Laurita Rules for 401(k) Plan Providers.

Once upon a time in the 401(k) world, I knew a man named Richard A. Laurita. I worked with Rich (as his friends called him) for two different third party administration (TPAs) firms for over 9 years and he had the most...more

How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Improve Their Plan At Little Cost

There are many ways that a retirement plan sponsor can improve their 401(k) plan, but they usually balk when it comes to the time and the money needed to rectify it. With so many issues regarding their business especially the...more

Concerns For Who You Pick As Your 401(k)’s TPA

I was very lucky that when I started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, I worked as a staff attorney for a third party administrator (TPA). It gave me insight and experience that I could never have gotten as an attorney working...more

What 401(k) Plan Sponsors Shouldn’t Forget

It’s easy to forget things. Heck, half of the things my wife tells me to do is forgotten by the afternoon. My wife often suggests that I keep a list of things I need to do so I don’t forget. Of course, I forget to keep lists....more

401(k) Plan Sponsors: Please Read This Article!

You’re a 401(k) plan sponsor and we understand that you’re busy running a business and talking about retirement plan issues is as exciting as watching paint dry. The problem is that paint drying won’t expose you to liability,...more

How To Have A Good 401(k) Plan After The Long Run

I’m a big fan of The Eagles and one of my favorite songs is the title track “The Long Run.” “You can go the distance. We'll find out in the long run.” While the song is really about love and relationships, I like it because...more

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Deal With The Fiduciary Rule Change

At its prime, Blockbuster Video had 9,000 stores and was actually bought by Viacom in 1994 for $8.4 billion. Then some things called DVDs, Netflix, Redbox, and digital delivery caused Blockbuster to go out of business....more

Don’t Use Your Payroll Provider As Your 401(k) TPA

I’ve been writing articles for the past 6 years and the ones that are remembered the most are the ones about how it’s a bad idea for plan sponsors to use payroll providers as the third party administrators (TPAs) of their...more

How to Communicate and Understand Retirement Plan Sponsors

Being a retirement plan provider isn’t just about selling services, it’s really about selling yourself and you can’t sell yourself properly if you can’t communicate with clients and potential plan clients. This article is...more

Mistakes A Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before An IRS or DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 17 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

Features That Turn Your 401(k) Plan Into A 401(k) Disco

There is a difference between throwbacks vs. vintage clothing. A throwback is a sports uniform styled to resemble the uniforms that a team wore in the past. Vintage clothing are actual clothing garments from another era. I...more

The Plan Sponsor Awakens

Like most of my generation, I have been a Star Wars fan since I first saw A New Hope when I was 5 in1977. I even liked the prequel trilogy (except for Jar Jar Binks). When they announced that there would be an Episode VII, I...more

What Retirement Plan Sponsors Have To Fear

In his inauguration speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Retirement plan sponsors have more to fear than fear itself except the problem is that they’re unaware that they...more

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