Retirement Plan Provider “Con Games” That Plan Sponsors Should Avoid


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 con-men, it did introduce us to the con game jargon like using a Boesky (a wealthy bankroller with insider info); a Jim Brown (confrontation between two people, to distract lifting info); an Ella Fitzgerald (tape looped back to look like a live recording); a Bundle of Joy (pregnant woman) and a Billy Martin (a second chance). A con game is a confidence trick, which is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. In the retirement plan industry, there is jargon that acts like a confidence trick because it tricks plan sponsors into using a service based on what is a con game without the criminal intent because retirement plan providers eliminate the criminal intent by having plan sponsors sign off on disclosures that plan sponsors won’t read. So this article is an introduction to terms and services in the retirement plan industry that plan providers may try to trick you into using that either does not provide what you believe it promises or it’s a little short on detail on what it really is.

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