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Finding Hidden 401(k) Fees in Participant Disclosure Notices
Posted Eric Droblyen on Feb 8, 2017
In a 2015 study of 4,368 retirement plan participants, the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) found that 89% could not correctly calculate their account fees. Even more disturbing, only 42% knew they were paying fees at all. Most plan participants – 58% - were unaware that fees were being “automatically” deducted from their account.
Roth 401k Deferrals — Answers to Common Questions
Posted Eric Droblyen on Jan 25, 2017
In a 2016 401k plan design study of 2,767 small businesses, we found 66% permit participants to make after-tax Roth deferrals to their personal account. I think it’s safe to assume the high adoption rate of this 401k plan feature is due to participant demand.
4 Traits of the Best Small Business 401k Providers
Posted Eric Droblyen on Jan 11, 2017
There are thousands of 401k providers in the U.S. – many with very different fees, services and expertise. This abundance of choice can make choosing a competent 401k provider with reasonable fees seem overwhelming for small business 401k fiduciaries.
Our Top 10 401k Blogs of 2016: What Topics Were the Most Popular?
Posted Eric Droblyen on Dec 28, 2016
Happy Holidays from the Frugal Fiduciary! As 2016 comes to a close, we looked back through this year’s blogs to find the most read. It turns out our most popular blogs related to the following topics:
401k Eligibility: When to Let Employees Join Your 401k Plan
Posted Eric Droblyen on Dec 14, 2016
During the 401k plan design process, we get a lot of questions from small business 401k fiduciaries about employee eligibility. They want to know when they should let new employees into their 401k plan and their options for keeping certain employees – generally the ones that won’t participate – out.
401k Plan Design Study: What 2,767 Small Business 401k Plans Are Doing
Posted Eric Droblyen on Nov 30, 2016
Small businesses can have dramatically different goals for their 401k plan. While some want to maximize key employee contributions, others want to incentivize rank-and-file contributions. 401k fiduciaries have nearly endless options for meeting these goals – many with very different expenses. The process of matching 401k goals to available options is called 401k plan design.
401k Fees: Are Traditional 401k Services Worth a Smaller Retirement Nest Egg?
Posted Eric Droblyen on Nov 16, 2016
I have a confession – my company’s participant benefit statements are nothing special. While they disclose all the requisite information, they are matter-of-fact and lack color graphics. They’re also delivered electronically, not mailed.
You Want to Terminate Your Multiple Employer 401k Plan? Good Luck with That
Posted Eric Droblyen on Nov 2, 2016
Small business 401k plan terminations can happen for reasons other than going-out-of-business or a business sale. Sometimes, even successful businesses decide to terminate their plan due to a cash crunch or poor employee participation.
Asset-Based 401k Admin Fees Are Unreasonable; Fiduciaries Should Avoid Them
Posted Eric Droblyen on Oct 19, 2016
20 years ago, 401k plans were free. OK not really, but 401k providers used this lie a lot to sell 401k plans to small businesses that didn’t want to pay any out-of-pocket 401k fees. In truth, these plans paid “indirect” fees - like revenue sharing paid by mutual funds and/or wrap fees paid by insurance company variable annuities – to 401k providers based on a percentage of plan assets.
3 Questions for Calculating Small Business 401k Provider Fees
Posted Eric Droblyen on Oct 5, 2016
Small businesses have a fiduciary responsibility to pay only reasonable 401k plan fees. The problem? Too many 401k providers bury their fees in complex disclosure documents. When 401k fees are hard to find, it can be easy for 401k fiduciaries to pay too much for 401k services. When this happens, participant returns are handicapped unnecessarily and fiduciary liability is increased.
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