Plan Sponsor Resources

Plan Sponsors are expected to operate in a highly regulated and complex fiduciary environment. To aid our plan sponsors to stay informed, we provide the following “on demand” video resources on a variety of important topics as it relates to a corporate retirement plan.


Regulation 404(a) Requires Plan Sponsors to Disclose Fee Information to Participants and Their Beneficiaries

The Department of Labor released a final rule - 404(a), designed for employees to more fully understand the fees charged to manage and invest the money they contribute to their retirement plans. However, many employees are not ready or equipped to manage their retirement funds.

Understanding Why You Are Being Audited Is Your First Defense

There are four main reasons you can be targeted for an audit of your plan: complaints, referrals, form 5500 and the National Enforcement Project.  An audit can be intimidating, but can go smoothly if you and your team have prepared for it.

Compliance Issues Caused By 401(k) Providers

If your 401(k) plan has certain investment requirements mandated by or uses investments managed by your retirement plan service provider, it might be an indication of potential conflicts of interest.

Higher DC Plan Engagement May Mean Lower Personnel Costs

As a business leader you know you must constantly invest in your employees.  Training, coaching and promoting go a long way to improving employee retention and reducing the costs associated with turnover.  You may also benefit when employees can retire on time.

Improve Your Plan's Success Potential By Helping Employees Envision and Pursue a Financially Stable Retirement

There are several steps you can take to help ensure that your qualified retirement plan is helping your employees prepare for a financially stable retirement.

Regulation 404(a) Requires Fee Transparency and Comprehensible Disclosures to Plan Participants

The U.S. Department of Labor released a final rule intended to assist employees to manage and invest the money they contribute to their retirement plans. Did you know? 404(a), requires plan administrators to furnish accurate information to all plan employees and their beneficiaries.

The Impact of Regulation 408(b)(2) on Plan Fiduciaries is Significant

The 408(b)(2) regulation requires plan service providers to make written disclosures about their services, compensation and fiduciary status to the plan fiduciaries.  It is now the Plan Sponsor’s explicit responsibility to ensure each service provider submits a written disclosure and that the written disclosure contains enough detail to evaluate the provider's fees to determine reasonableness.

Regulation 408(b)(2) Requires Plan Sponsors to Evaluate for Conflicts of Interest

If your provider's product is in the investment line-up, be advised that the Plan Sponsor - not the provider - is responsible for ensuring the participants are getting the most cost effective investments possible.  Since this evaluation might require specialization and processes beyond the reach of many Plan Sponsors, many courts have said that the use of knowledgeable advisors may help evidence a prudent process.

Higher Engagement May Reduce Employee Financial Stress

Happy and healthy employees are more likely to be productive, loyal employees.  Your bottom line potentially benefits, and they do too.

Helping Employees Understand Retirement Readiness is a Fundamental Part of Retirement Plan Success

How well is your retirement plan helping your employees prepare for a financially independent retirement?

Is Employee Financial Stress Affecting Your Bottom Line?

The answer is typically yes. Your employee’s financial struggles are often brought into the workplace. Daily your company may encounter:  • Reduction in productivity • Increased Absenteeism • Decline in morale.

The What, When, Why, and How for Plan Participants

Employer to employee notices include, but not limited to: • General plan materials  • Individual expenses outline  • Fees and expenses disclosure  • Performance data summary • Benchmark information  • Internet website address  • Administrative costs overview  • Glossary of general terms.

DOL Regulation Makes Plan Sponsors Responsible for Service Provider Disclosures

Regulation 408(b)(2) mandates that the Plan Sponsor is responsible to ensure that the written disclosures from plan service providers are both received and evaluated for reasonableness and conflicts of interest. Without these disclosures, the arrangement makes the Plan Sponsor party to a "prohibited transaction."

A Properly Applied Investment Policy Statement Can Help Reduce Risk From Your Plan's Performance

The courts have determined that the Plan Sponsor - not the service provider - has a responsibility to use an Investment Policy Statement, or IPS, to ensure proper management of your plan's portfolio.

Are You Getting What You Need From Your Retirement Plan?

There are many areas that can go wrong with a plan over time. You might be paying too much, have increased exposure to litigation issues, or simply be paying for services you just aren’t using and don’t need.

Use Benchmarking to Lower Expenses and Satisfy 408(b)(2)

Regulation 408(b)(2) requires your plan expenses to be documented, reasonable and conflict free.  Many times your 401(k) plan-related expenses can be reduced without changing your retirement plan provider.

How to Pursue a Successful Financial Wellness Program

To help ensure this program tracks toward its goals, you must be able to measure the success of your financial wellness program.  In order to measure the success of your program you will need to establish a baseline and implement a way to track milestones.  While there are several different factors that need to be tracked, the most important may be the plan’s relevancy to your employee base. They must be able to answer the question: “What’s in it for me?”

Are Fees Eroding the Returns of Your Participants?

New regulations look at whether plan advisor fees are eroding the returns received by your participants and if so, may hold you, the Plan Sponsor, responsible - not the investment company or the advisor!

There are Appropriate Ways to Select Your 401(k) Advisor and Being a "Friend of the Family" is Not One of Them

Selecting a plan advisor who is a retirement specialist is one of the most important decisions a Plan Sponsor can make.  Plan Sponsors can get into trouble when they fail to apply the processes and safeguards dictated by ERISA requirements; including rules governing the plan advisor selection process.

Don't Let Unexpected Compliance Issues Catch You Off Guard

ERISA plans are complicated, and your fiduciary responsibility is significant. Many Plan Sponsors may not know that the processes used to manage their fiduciary responsibilities are important, especially concerning the investment portfolio.