The concept of an “open architecture” recordkeeping platform has been trending in the financial industry lately and it’s not hard to see why. For many years, 401(k) providers offered bundled platforms with fixed investment options (consisting of proprietary investments) and provider fees paid through investments (via revenue sharing). Open architecture platforms offer features that increase investment flexibility and reduce conflict of interest.
There is a common misconception that safe harbor plans are exempt from testing requirements. This overly general and inaccurate statement calls for a proper explanation. A safe harbor plan requires tests other than non-discrimination, entails proper administration to satisfy the plan design and can benefit from testing for plan optimization.