As the year-end approaches, our to-do lists can be lengthy. There are holidays to prepare for, employee performance reviews to complete, and, oh, wait, there is also the year-end data collection package from your TPA! We have once again reached that magical time of the year when you get to submit information regarding your retirement plan so your compliance services can be completed. While your TPA firm does the heavy lifting, the information you submit is the basis for accurate compliance testing. While not very exciting, this information is important. So, what should you know about the year-end tasks?
Millennials. You may have noticed them around the office. You might think of them as the lazy, flighty, entitled generation born between the early 80's and 00's that say "totes" when they agree with you. Like any group of misplaced stereotypes, not all is as it appears when it comes to the younger contingent and, since they are taking over as the largest sector of the workforce, you may want to take a second look at them as adults, assets, and major contributors to your company's retirement plan.
Financial advisors and retirement plan consultants work together with business owners and plan sponsors to develop qualified retirement plans that address the specific objectives of the owners and key executives. The retirement plan consultant may conduct an annual projected contribution analysis for an existing plan to determine if the defined contribution plan design (401k and/or profit sharing type) allows for contributions that would benefit the owners/partners on a tax deductible favorable basis.
There has been a large amount of upheaval in the retirement world as of late and it centers around the "F" word. And by "f" word, I mean "fiduciary." The New Fiduciary Rule means that many professionals in the finance world that weren't previously considered fiduciaries will now have to take on that title. So, why is that such a bad thing? Well, it's not per se, but the implications of how this may change the way the retirement financial business and its institutions function may have many cursing its name for a myriad of reasons. But before we get too bent out of shape, let's break it down and see what we're truly looking at.
Times can get tough for people. With the onset of Hurricane Harvey having decimated parts of the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma following its destructive lead, we are reminded that at any point we may find ourselves in hardship. Companies make layoffs, natural disasters occur, emergencies… well, emerge. With nowhere else to turn, some will look to their 401k for their own disaster relief. A withdrawal in the form of a "hardship distribution" is one of the tools that participants may use in this situation.
What does it mean when fees are assessed "pro-rata"? The pro-rata method of assessing a fee is when the total fee amount is deducted proportionally from participant accounts. In terms of fee fairness, pro-rata fees will ensure that all participant fees are reasonable based on their account balance. In terms of fee clarity, a participant will never be able to verify or calculate their pro-rata fee, since they are only aware of their individual account balance and not the balances of other participants.
CEFEX, Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC, has certified RPG Consultants of Valley Stream, NY as adhering to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice for Retirement Plan Service Providers. RPG Consultants (RPG) was among the first firms in the United States to successfully complete the independent certification process for recordkeepers, and has now earned the certification for the 6th consecutive year.
RPG Consultants was invited to participate in the PLANSPONSOR magazine 2017 DC Recordkeeping survey along with Fidelity, Empower, Vanguard and other top recordkeepers in the industry. We are proud to say that in over 30 years of service and company growth, we continue to maintain the small-business mentality and personal client relationships as we rank with multi-billion dollar corporations. We are recognized in our industry for our unparalleled service, personalized solutions, client retention and success.
For many years, plan sponsors have wrestled with the decision to offer loans to their plan participants. Some consider them to be a benefit and even promote them as a legal way to use tax free money while participating in the plan. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 87% of plan participants can take a loan against their retirement account. Of those employees with access to take a loan, about one-fifth borrow against the retirement account. Come retirement, what are the effects of loans taken from pension funds on an employee's account?
The latest news regarding retirement plans has centered around service provider fees. While fees are a highly important aspect of managing an employer-sponsored retirement plan, they are not the only metric of your overall retirement plan's health. A low-cost retirement plan does not necessarily parallel a fruitful pension program for employees. Studies show that since Social Security was never designed to fully fund an individual's retirement, employer-sponsored retirement plans have become an integral part of employees' overall financial plan for their future. Relying so heavily on this one component should prompt any plan sponsor to ask one very straightforward question… How healthy is my company's retirement program?