About Holly Roussel-Godfrey

  • J. Pierpont Morgan

JP Morgan publishes a piece on choosing target date funds for your plan. Good points made, but even better points are left out.

I welcome this “Retirement Insights” piece from J. P. Morgan Asset Management – as far as it goes.  The piece makes several excellent points that can benefit all plan sponsors, but presents a view biased toward active management.  No surprise.  JP Morgan actively manages retirement plan investments – they have a point of view that […]

  • Economies of scale, 401k plans

There are no “economies of scale” in 401k plans – unless you are trying to beat the market

Any 401k plan sponsor in America – repeat ANY – can buy market returns dirt cheap.  There are no economies of scale in the market for indexed investments.  No minimum purchase requirements.  No high pressure sales pitches.  Buy an index mutual fund or ETF and you’ve locked in market returns.  As I have written previously, […]

  • MEP & Lobbyist

Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) are a marketing play, not a way to cut costs. We don’t need them.

MEPs have been floated as a way for small employers to somehow pool resources and negotiate better 401k deals that are supposedly available only to large employers.  A great deal of lobbying money and Congressional attention has been invested in expanding MEP availability.  Incoming Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch has authored a bill that makes […]

By |December 10th, 2014|401(k), Blog, Small Business 401k Plan|0 Comments

Reforming Roth provisions may be key to improving savings rates for Millennials. My proposal.

The Roth 401k concept is outstanding – it provides an excellent way to build long-term wealth and may provide outstanding tax benefits for those positioned to make the most of its advantages.  The problem is that very few plan participants use it, let alone understand it.

We also have a savings deficit for Millennial employees.  As […]


Let’s put “Income” back in ERISA

Forty years after the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act – ERISA – it seems like we are far removed from the issues it attempted to address.  In 1974 40% of private sector employees were covered by employer-sponsored defined benefit (“DB”) pension plans.  These DB plans provided workers with a lifetime income annuity […]

  • Functional Fiduciary Lawsuit

MassMutual settled its “functional fiduciary” lawsuit – a cause for hope for greater fee transparency.

MassMutual’s actions in the lawsuit Golden Star, Inc. v. MassMutual Life Insurance Company were never in dispute.  The financial giant oversaw variable annuity investments in the plaintiff’s plan and received both direct compensation from plan participants and indirect compensation – in the form of revenue sharing – from other mutual fund companies.  MassMutual claimed that […]

  • 401k plan choices

Small business owners are redefining the market for 401k plans. Result: Mass market “products” are about to go extinct.

Wealth equals choice.  Choice is the ultimate power and the reason people pursue wealth in the first place.  The ability to choose among many good options is the key to building an attractive lifestyle.  Wealthy people are loathe to trade away choice unless very well compensated.  That’s a common observation across all markets and professions.

The […]

  • US Supreme Court

Edison International case highlights a needed reform: Share class restrictions in 401k plans.

The Edison International case involves a plan sponsor who put “retail” class shares in its company 401k plan when identically managed but  lower cost “institutional shares” were available.  The difference in the two share classes was a 12(b)1 fee markup that was deducted from participant assets and used to pay administrative costs of the plan.  […]

  • small business retirement plan

Hiring an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager can be the simplest way to limit 401k investment liability.

In recent years, several high-profile lawsuits have alleged that employers violated their fiduciary duty to prudently select and monitor the investment options offered in their 401k plans.  These lawsuits have targeted larger plans, but the fiduciary standards cited apply equally to both large and small business retirement plans.

Because employers want to avoid 401k litigation, which […]

  • Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is impossible to achieve without plan participation. Here’s how to address the issue with your employees.

The primary reason employees do not participate in 401k plans is their personal budget.  They simply do not believe they can put money away without a significant change in lifestyle.  No matter what other incentives an employer may offer – e.g., matching contributions, financial advisors – budget concerns trump all other considerations.  No matter what, […]