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Tales of a Former TPA Attorney

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

Retirement Plan Professionals That Plan Sponsors Should Avoid

In the Nelson Algren novel, A Walk on The Wild Side, there are 3 important rules of life to follow: “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse...more

401(k) Pros That Financial Advisors Should Partner Up With

Starsky had Hutch, Cagney had Lacey, Fred had Ginger, Bogie had Bacall, Bonnie had Clyde, Bert had Ernie, Baskin had Robbins, and Sheriff Bart had the Waco Kid. Whether it’s law enforcement, entertainment, or any type of...more

Proactive Steps Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Take

Retirement plan sponsors have a lot of headaches and liability because of their role as plan fiduciaries. They can sit back and do nothing, thereby increasing their potential liability. They can also be proactive and take...more

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

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

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business?...more

How 401(k) Financial Advisors Can Breakthrough to the “Next Level”

I have been a New York Mets fan for over 30 years and despite all the jokes, there were certainly some good times (especially in 1986). From 1977-1983, the Mets were going through many of their dark ages. They traded Tom...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

New York City Bar Association Report Offering New Proposed Guidance on the Treatment of a Partner as an Employee for Federal Tax...

This report, which was submitted on behalf of the New York City Bar Association by its Committee on Taxation of Business Entities, proposes new guidance, relating to the treatment of certain partners as employees for federal...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

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

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

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