Do 457 Plans Have Fiduciary Duties?

457 plans are outside the governance of ERISA jurisdiction, but municipal retirement boards and their members should still pay heed to certain areas of this legislation. Read more

Target Date Fund Considerations for 457 Plans

Target Date Funds (TDFs) are a simple, popular, fee-conscious way to invest one’s retirement account to ensure a layman investor does not “mess up” their retirement investment. Read more

Biden Tax Plan(ning)

When President Biden ran for office, he proposed a tax plan that is designed to raise four trillion dollars of government revenue, coming largely from wealthy individuals, families, and businesses. Unified Democratic control in D.C. means there is an increased likelihood of major tax reform. Read more

Weighing Your Family Continuation Options Before Drawing A Pension

Employees who will be receiving a pension at retirement have a difficult decision to make about how to pass their pension to heirs... Read more

Retirement and Estate Planning Considerations

Consider the following: Dad is 80 years old, had been retired for 15 years, and has a car collection as part of his estate... Read more

My Portfolio Took a Hit – Now What?

COVID-19 has caused wide-spread emotional and financial strife, and seeing one’s savings and investment values drop substantially can be alarming. Read more

Considerations for Your Restricted Stock Units

Restricted stock units (RSUs) are an increasingly popular form of compensation given to key employees and company executives. If maintained properly, RSUs can be effectively leveraged for a child’s education, purchasing a home, retirement, estate planning, or a host of other important financial goals. Read more

White Paper: Retirement Plan Fees Explained

Choosing a suitable retirement plan for your organization can be a challenge for even the most experienced committees. The decision-making process can be highly complicated, encompassing investment offerings, administration, and fee arrangements and one wrong move can have significant ramifications for your organization. Read more

Is CalSavers Right for Me?

The first step to any retirement plan is to save; the goal is to save for the day that you can sleep in and hang up the work clothes. A workplace retirement plan is the easiest vehicle for employees to save for retirement. The California State Treasurer has taken notice of this struggle and created the CalSavers plan. Read more

Use Plan Analytics to Evaluate Your Plan

Your retirement plan is a valuable resource for your employees and serves as a vehicle to attract and retain top talent. Ensuring plan success is crucial. Examining plan analytics can help evaluate its success. Read more

Beware of the IRS and DOL: Four Red Flags They Seek on Form 5500

The Form 5500 is an ERISA requirement for retirement plans to report and disclose operating procedures. Advisors use this to confirm that plans are managed according to ERISA standards. The form also allows individuals access to information, protecting the rights and benefits of the plan participants and beneficiaries covered under the plan. Read more

How and When to Pay Plan Expenses With Plan Assets

Some retirement plan expenses can be paid for with plan assets — but many can’t. Which are the “reasonable and necessary” retirement plan expenses that can be paid out of plan assets? Read more

What’s the Magic Number When it Comes to Record Retention?

You don’t need to be a magician to know what records to keep and for how long. Refer to the chart below to know which documents you need to keep in case of a plan audit. Read more

Your Newest Employee Benefit—Student Loan Debt Repayment Assistance

The Society for Human Resource Management reports that while only about 3 percent of employers offer this benefit, interest among employers is growing rapidly. Research also shows that a student loan repayment benefit is an attractive recruitment and retention benefit. Read more

Changing Rules for Hardship Withdrawals

The opportunities to take in-service distributions from retirement plans are limited prior to age 59½. An exception is hardship withdrawals. Read more

HSAs: A Tax Trifecta Investment Opportunity

When it comes to fiscally frugal health insurance options, health savings accounts (HSAs) aren’t exactly new to the game. They’ve been around since 2003 and have only increased in popularity among employers, politicians and certain types of employees. Read more

Have You Conducted a Fee Equalization/Levelization?

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. Read more

Active vs. Passive Funds

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. Read more


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. Read more

What Should I Keep, For How Long and How Should I Organize It?

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. Read more

Do you send participant notices via email? Should you?

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. Read more

To Bond or not to Bond?

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? Read more

Behavioral Finance: Can Enhanced Active Choice Help Increase Participation?

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. Read more

Are You Prepared for an IRS Audit?

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. Read more

No Beneficiary Designation. Who Gets The Money?

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. Read more

Five Ways to Expand Your Definition of “Benefits” to Include Wellness

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. Read more

Retirement 101

Here are the essentials to know about your retirement plan... Read more