Small Business 401(k) Blog

The Frugal Fiduciary Small Business 401(k) Blog

Get the latest industry news, deadlines and tips you need to know to help tackle your fiduciary responsibility needs.

Eric Droblyen

Eric Droblyen began his career as an ERISA compliance specialist with Charles Schwab in the mid-1990s. His keen grasp on 401k plan administration and compliance matters has made Eric a sought after speaker. He has delivered presentations at a number of events, including the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) Annual Conference. As President and CEO of Employee Fiduciary, Eric is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and service delivery.

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Retirement Plan Types | Plan Design | 401(k) Administration

401(k) vs SIMPLE IRA: Which is Right for Your Business?

By: Eric Droblyen
May 27th, 2020

401(k) or SIMPLE IRA?  Whether you’re just looking to confirm a choice or haven’t even begun to make one, you know this is an important decision. The kind of plan you pick could have an enormous impact on the finances of everyone involved in your business. 

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401(k) Fees | Provider Shopping | Fiduciary Responsibility

How to “Value” 401(k) Administration Services and Investments

By: Eric Droblyen
May 13th, 2020

Employers have a fiduciary responsibility to pay only “reasonable" fees from the assets of their 401(k) plan so excess fees do not reduce participant investment returns needlessly. To confirm 401(k) fees are “reasonable," employers must benchmark them – basically, compare the administration and investment fees charged by their 401(k) provider to the fees charged by competing providers or industry averages. If you're responsible for keeping your company's 401(k) fees in check, I recommend you benchmark them on an “all-in” basis.

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401(k) Plan Design Checklist

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Subscribe to the The Frugal Financial Small Business 401(k) Blog and receive this free checklist for help in determing the best 401(k) plan design options and fit for your company.

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401(k) Fees | Provider Shopping | Fiduciary Responsibility

A “Rosetta Stone” for Finding 401(k) Provider Fees

By: Eric Droblyen
April 29th, 2020

401(k) fees paid from plan assets reduce participant returns dollar-for-dollar. These lost earnings can dramatically erode a 401(k) account account balance over time, so employers have a fiduciary responsibility to pay only “reasonable” fees – so excess fees do not reduce participant returns needlessly. To evaluate the reasonableness of their 401(k) fees, employers must benchmark them – basically, compare the administration and investment fees charged by their 401(k) provider to the fees charged by competing 401(k) providers. I recommend employers do so on an “all-in” basis.

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Retirement Planning | Plan Design

The CARES Act - 401(k) Participant Distribution and Loan Options

By: Eric Droblyen
April 15th, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Act allows – but does not require - employers to loosen the participant distribution and loan provisions of their 401(k) plan and any Coronavirus-affected individual to reduce the tax burden of most 401(k) distributions. 401(k) participants should understand their options under the CARES Act as soon as possible – this economic relief is temporary.

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Safe Harbor 401(k) | Thought Leadership | Fiduciary Responsibility

COVID-19 – 401(k) FAQs for Business Owners and Plan Participants

By: Eric Droblyen
March 31st, 2020

Without question, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a great deal of economic uncertainty. In response, we have received numerous crisis-related 401(k) questions from small business owners. In general, they want to know their options for cutting (or delaying) plan expenses and participant options for taking a 401(k) distribution and loan. This FAQ includes answers to many of the most common questions we have received.

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Retirement Plan Types | Safe Harbor 401(k) | Plan Design

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans: Answers To Common Questions

By: Eric Droblyen
March 18th, 2020

Safe harbor 401(k) plans are the most popular form of 401(k) sponsored by small businesses today. They can help business owners maximize the contributions made to their personal account by automatically passing the ADP/ACP and top heavy nondiscrimination tests. However, to achieve safe harbor status, a business must meet certain contribution and participant disclosure requirements. For many owners, this trade-off is worth the cost. Here’s why:

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