News & Analysis as of

PBGC Supports Lifetime Income

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued a proposed regulation designed to encourage participants in defined contribution plans (e.g., 401(k) plans) to roll over their account balances to their...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

Advisors Advantage - July 2014

If they made the poor Plan decisions, they may take offense on your criticism. They will take offense. Two years ago, I had the worst call with a prospective client in the 14 years I have been an ERISA attorney...more

Fees are only part of a 401(k) Plan’s problem

10 years before I went on my own and started my own practice, I started The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. It was a side venture, kind of an attempt to see if I can start my own practice without actually having to leave my day job....more

If they made the poor Plan decisions, they may take offense on your criticism

Two years ago, I had the worst call with a prospective client in the 14 years I have been an ERISA attorney. Without divulging any information about this prospective client, this 401(k) plan sponsor was like many...more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

Advisors Advantage

Do you have it? It will determine whether you'll be a big hit or not. When it comes to being a retirement plan provider and selling your services, you have to have it. Those who have it, succeed. Those who don't,...more

Advisors have to offer Investment Education

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...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

Potential clients and the plan provider ties that bind

How many times as a retirement plan provider that you contact a retirement plan that is paying too much money and getting too little back in plan services? If you’re a registered investment advisor offering 3(38) service and...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...more

And still the #1 issue with 401(k) Plans

The fixation and discussion about plan expenses usually flares up when the stock market isn’t doing well. Two major corrections within a 10-year period (2000-2010) made fee disclosure regulations inevitable. With the way the...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...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

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

Law Firm Review - December 2013

Why a Plan Review Shouldn't Be Treated Like a Trip to the Dentist. Why it should and needs to be less painful than a trip to the dentist. When it comes to their health, people dread going to the dentist. I dread...more

Final Regulations Issued on Safe Harbor Contribution Suspension

The Treasury Department has issued final regulations regarding the ability to suspend employer contributions to "safe harbor" 401(k) and 403(b) plans during a plan year. Employers that maintain safe harbor plans should...more

A Plan Sponsor’s Guide to 401(k) Revenue Sharing

One of my favorite movies of all time is Casino, directed by Martin Scorcese. It doesn’t get as much love because it is often compared to GoodFellas, which was another mob movie that was directed by Scorsese, and also...more

Year 2014 IRS Dollar Limits

The IRS announced the Year 2014 cost-of-living adjustments for various provisions affecting employee benefit plans. The following table shows certain Year 2014 limits and those from prior years. ...more

The Smaller Stuff Creates the Biggest Liability Pitfalls for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

When I was a kid, I had an Intellivision. For those people born after 1980, Intelliivision was video game console that had better graphics than an Atari 2600 but people didn’t buy. One of my favorite games on Intellivision...more

A Plan Sponsor’s Guide to 401(k) Compliance Testing

My great uncle was in the meat provisions business for over 40 years. When Uncle Jack told us which hot dogs we should eat, we trusted his opinion because he knew how hot dogs were made (the company he worked for made...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

Another Participant Challenge to Defined Benefit Plan Investments: Could Your Plan Defend its Investment Program?

The focus of U.S. litigation challenging plan investments has been 401(k) plans, but that may be changing. Defined benefit plan sponsors may have felt that they were immune to these types of claims because the funding rules...more

The Hidden Dangers for the 401(k) Plan Sponsor

Thalidomide was supposed to be the wonder drug that helped women manage morning sickness until they discovered it caused birth defects. Asbestos was supposed to be the ultimate fire resistant material that was later found out...more

Plan Sponsors of 401(k) Plans/Pension Plans: Must Recognize Same Sex Married Couples Effective September 16, 2013

On August 29, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that for federal tax purposes, spouse includes an individual who is legally married to a same-sex individual under state law. This Revenue Ruling 2013-17 has a...more

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