It’s a New Ballgame for 401k Plans

Blue Prairie Group ERISA consultants Ty Parrish and Michael Rom discuss the new DOL Fiduciary Rule, as well as how the role of the traditional retirement plan advisor is changing, and what services you should should expect (and how much you should pay for them) going forward. It’s a New Ballgame for 401k Plans – PDF Presentation It’s a New Ballgame for 401k Plans from Blue Prairie Group on Vimeo.


What’s Reasonable? Rule of Thumb Benchmark for 401k Advisory Fees

Plan sponsors are increasingly aware of their fiduciary responsibility to ensure that their plan only pay “reasonable fees” to their service providers. While commonly used benchmarks on recordkeeping and investment data are readily available, there is far less information on the fees plan sponsors pay to their advisors. The best way for a plan sponsor to benchmark the reasonableness of their advisory fees is to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP). As a quick check, we’ve developed the following grid to help plan sponsors with some quick guidelines on advisory fee data. Click here to read more

Investment Perspectives First Quarter 2017

GDP continued its modest growth trend with an upwardly revised GDP growth estimate for the fourth quarter of 2016 to a still lackluster 1.9% (vs. 1.6% for the entire calendar year of 2016 – the worst performance since 2011). Growth last quarter was driven by a large increase in consumer spending (which was, in turn, driven by rising consumer sentiment), offset to some degree by reduced business investment. We’re still a few days away from the official release of first quarter 2017 growth numbers, but our expectations are for somewhat muted results. Read More

Economic Commentary


Blue Prairie Group’s Chief Investment Officer, Gary Silverman, CFA, gives his opinion on philanthropy, and what you should consider before making charitable donations.  


The Power of Design for Workplace Retirement Plans

Blue Prairie Group ERISA consultants Carmela Elco and Paul Sommerstad share best practices on improving defined contribution retirement plans by applying proven behavioral finance solutions. The Power of Design for Workplace Retirement Plans – PDF Presentation The Power of Design for Workplace Retirement Plans from Blue Prairie Group on Vimeo.

The Evolution of 401(k) Advisory Fee Arrangements

ERISA plan fiduciaries are obligated under ERISA to ensure that the total amount of compensation paid to a service provider is reasonable and not excessive. Faced with a decade-long series of lawsuits challenging the “reasonableness” of provider fees, and with greater illumination of expenses afforded by fee disclosure requirements, plan sponsors have aggressively pushed for savings from investment managers and recordkeepers. The upshot of these efforts has been a 40% drop in investment fees for a typical 401k participant and a lowering of administration fees by nearly 45%. The Evolution of 401(k) Advisory Fee Arrangements

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Economic Commentary

Investment Perspectives Fourth Quarter 2016

The biggest event of the 4th quarter for us here in the U.S. and probably for those overseas as well, was the surprise election of Donald Trump as President. This is the second (or possibly the third) surprise election in 2016, the first being the Brexit vote that occurred back in June. As with the Brexit vote, the electoral victory of Donald Trump was greeted by a short-lived market swoon which was quickly retraced. Here in the US, the retracement was followed by a jump to new record highs in the markets, in what is now being called “the Trump [ read more ]

Top 12 Biggest Plan Mistakes…and How to Avoid Them

No one likes to make mistakes — especially retirement plan mistakes that can result in costly fines or even litigation. In 2014, the Internal Revenue Service/Department of Labor collected nearly $600 million for plan restorations, penalties and fines. Here’s the DOL break down: 3,928 DOL investigations closed, with Nearly 65 percent resulting in monetary compensation for plans or other corrective actions; and 161 cases referred for litigation. Violations often result from plain oversight (i.e., errors or omissions on the employer’s part) resulting in an audit headache and financial pain. This is why employers must be proactive and vigilant in avoiding [ read more ]

Spread Some Lovin’

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to spread some lovin’ to your employees by adding to, or improving upon, a matching contribution formula for your retirement savings plan. Just as with other forms of compensation, an employer match keeps you competitive within your industry, while also helping your employees save more for retirement. Retirement industry experts agree the average worker should save 15 percent of their current annual salary to support future retirement. An employer matching program helps meet this need by: Driving Participation – Employees are more likely to enroll in a retirement savings plan when it includes a [ read more ]


Blue Prairie Group’s Chief Investment Officer, Gary Silverman, CFA, discusses mortgages and the current state of the housing market.  

Tax Preparation

Blue Prairie Group’s Chief Investment Officer, Gary Silverman, CFA, discusses how to best prepare for tax season, and looks at the differences between a tax preparation service and a tax advisor.