Fees in defined contribution (DC) plans can be complicated. Historically, fees have not been fully and simply disclosed, but the industry is changing towards greater and more understandable disclosure.
The active versus passive debate has been with us for a while. generally, proponents of active management are looking to “beat the market”. For several years, during our recent raging bull market, the average passively managed fund has outperformed the average actively managed fund.
Plan sponsors are required by ERISA to provide an investment lineup for participants that has been prudently selected and monitored to minimize and control risk. To ease this burden, a retirement plan advisor may act as an ERISA 3(21) investment fiduciary with regards to the selection, monitoring and replacement of plan investments or as an ERISA 3(38) fiduciary with full discretion regarding the selection, monitoring and replacement of plan investments.
What Should I Keep, For How Long and How Should I Organize It?
We hear time and time again, “what records should I keep, how long should I keep them, and how should I organize my files?” Remember several rules of thumb when it comes to record retention.
The number of notices and disclosures required to retirement plan participants has increased while methods to access information changed drastically. Many people receive their news and information on electronic devices through apps and social media. What remains the same is the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) guidance about permissible methods to provide notices electronically.
Over the last few years, there has been a fair bit of concern in the market over the general impact of rising interest rates.“You shouldn’t be holding bonds because rates will rise soon” goes the logic. But what does this really mean for investors? If interest rates rise, what will ultimately be the impact on investors’ portfolios?
Deferred compensation programs typically offer open enrollment year-round. Employees can choose to participate when they feel ready and motivated to do so. This traditional enrollment method is known as the “opt-in” approach. However, many employers are moving to an “opt-out” or “enhanced active choice” approach where employees are asked to specifically indicate that they do not want to save for retirement.
The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) Employee Benefit Audit Program is used to audit and enforce. The IRS’s emphasis, with respect to defined contribution plans is on compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code), the plan’s tax qualification and administration of all plan documents. In the event of noncompliance with regulations, the IRS can impose taxes, penalties and interest.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, retirement plans and IRAs account for about 60 percent of the assets of U.S. households investing at least $100,000.¹ Both state and federal laws govern the disposition of these assets, and the results can be complicated, especially when the owner of the account has been divorced and remarried. Therefore, it is important for plan fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans to understand their role regarding beneficiary designations and the regulations that dictate.
When we think of employee benefits in today’s traditional landscape, we don’t typically include wellness within that core definition. Instead, wellness is often considered a standalone strategy. But this can be a disastrous scenario, considering how employee benefits and well-being go hand in hand.
Here are the essentials to know about your retirement plan...