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Compliance Essentials

Compliance Essentials

At a glance, compliance tests assure that every retirement plan is producing a meaningful benefit to rank and file employees and that it demonstrates a level of fairness in the benefits those same employees get as compared to the benefits achieved by owners and other highly compensated employees. While it's not your responsibility to oversee these tasks, we think it's important to keep in mind that data requests and compliance tests are part of how clients experience their retirement pla...
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Use Benchmarking to Your Advantage

Use Benchmarking to Your Advantage

In some ways you can divide clients into two groups - those who are primarily motivated by lowest cost and those who seek value. That doesn’t necessarily align nicely with retirement plan benchmarking since it’s much easier to compare and report things that are more easily quantified than things like expertise and quality and the care of consulting that we deliver together.
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Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions

Everyday companies large and small make decisions to combine forces. In fact, in 2017, more than 15,000 companies announced a merger or an acquisition. And it probably won’t surprise you, but M&A activity spans all major industry sectors and nearly all geographies. For some, it’s a strategy for growth. For others, it’s a defensive move to survive as markets and business requirements change.
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Four Things to Know About ERISA Fidelity Bonds and Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Four Things to Know About ERISA Fidelity Bonds and Fiduciary Liability Insurance

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act known as "ERISA" regulates 401k and most other types of employee benefit plans. Under ERISA, anyone who handles plan funds must be covered by a fidelity bond. The bond protects the PLAN from losses that may result from fraudulent or dishonest acts. Here are some important things to know about Fidelity Bonds. An ERISA Fidelity Bond is not the same thing as Fiduciary Liability Insurance.
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Aligning Plan Design with Client Goals

Aligning Plan Design with Client Goals

Download The Action DocMost of us live in homes that were not custom-designed for us. We adapt to them rather than expect them to be optimized to how we like to live. Most retirement plans are sold the same way. Companies buy something off the shelf that was intended for a generic audience, but not necessarily ideally suited for them. The irony is that while these plans are sold as cost-efficient, they often wind up costing their buyers a great deal in the long run because of lost tax savings or...
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Your TPA Partner Can Help You Win Business

Your TPA Partner Can Help You Win Business

Download The Action DocWhen it comes to the administration of retirement plans, most TPAs can execute the work pretty competently. And while there are differences in quality of process and internal expertise, most of this is technical work that happens behind the curtain. The result is that the vast majority of advisors, and clients for that matter, don’t generally see or perceive these differences.Where we really differentiate are in three important areas you and your clients DO see and experi...
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Advantages of an Unbundled Platform

Advantages of an Unbundled Platform

Download The Action DocThere are some things that we’re happy to buy right off the rack. After all, mass production usually means consistency and cost-savings. On the other hand, when we do buy off the shelf, we compromise on individual choice and sometimes flexibility in getting the exact qualities and features we want. In retirement plan terms, that can be a good way to think about the difference between a bundled solution and an unbundled solution.In a bundled approach, the client typically ...
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Plan Audits

Plan Audits

 Download The Action DocYour clients are familiar with the idea of an audit on their personal or corporate tax return, but they may not be familiar with an audit of their qualified retirement plan. There are two broad categories of plan audits. Today, we’ll focus quickly on two groups of plans that the Department of Labor requires to have financial statement audits by an independent qualified public accountant, or CPA.These audits are based on a plan’s participant count or if the plan hol...
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Maximizing an Owner's Retirement Benefit

Maximizing an Owner's Retirement Benefit

 Download The Action DocIt’s a common story – business owners put everything into their businesses for years before being in a financial position to put real money away for retirement. Once they’re ready to really get going, we can suggest a number of retirement plan designs and individual plan features that can help them reach their goals. Depending on their situation, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the most popular:First, a 401(k) plan with a Safe Harbor featur...
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Understanding how forfeitures work in retirement plans

Understanding how forfeitures work in retirement plans

 Download The Action DocWhen we talk about 401k type retirement plans we sometimes focus on the contributions made by employees that are ALWAYS immediately vested. In other words, it's THEIR money and they can always withdraw it without forfeiting ANY- subject to IRS rules about early withdrawals.We know, of course, that employers often make profit sharing or matching contributions, too. These contributions may be subject to a VESTING schedule. Vesting over a period of years provides an inc...
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