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The Top Ten Frugal Fiduciary 401(k) Blogs of 2022

Eric Droblyen

February 16, 2023


Happy Holidays from the Frugal Fiduciary! As 2022 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:

  • Plan testing – including the percentage of plans that fail annual tests, a guide to safe harbor 401(k) plans, and a deep dive on the IRC section 415 limit.
  • Participant distributions – including an FAQ for employers and how a 401(k) to IRA rollover can make retirement more expensive for savers.
  • Fiduciary liability – including how PEPs can increase it, how index funds can decrease it, and insights from attorney Jerry Schlichter.

High 401(k) Fees

So, in case you missed them the first time, or just want a refresher, here are our top 10 most-read blogs of 2022.

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Safe harbor 401(k) plans are popular with small businesses that struggle to pass IRS-mandated nondiscrimination testing. Our guide answers common questions.
  2. The 415(c) Limit For 401(k) Plans – FAQs for Employers - The 415(c) limit caps the “annual additions” a 401(k) plan can allocate to participants each “limitation year.” Our FAQ can help employers avoid violations.
  3. 401(k) Nondiscrimination Testing Study – What % of Plans Fail? - Our 401(k) nondiscrimination testing study shows the percentage of small business plans that fail the ADP/ACP, top-heavy, 402(g), and 415 tests.
  4. Pooled Employer 401(k) Plans (PEPs): Myth vs. Reality - Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) can seem attractive at first blush. Ironically, their purported benefits can, in fact, harm 401(k) plan participants and fiduciaries.
  5. 401(k) Fiduciary Takeaways from a Jerry Schlichter Interview - Understanding the drivers of 401(k) fiduciary liability can help employers avoid it. The top drivers are well defined in a recent interview with Jerry Schlichter.
  6. Don’t Be Fooled by These 401(k) Conflicts of Interest! - The 401(k) industry is rife with conflicts of interest. Employers have a fiduciary responsibility to protect employees from them. Common ones hide in plain sight.
  7. 401(k) Distributions - FAQs for Employers - When employers do not follow their 401(k)'s distribution rules, IRS penalties can result. Our distribution guide can help employers avoid these consequences.
  8. Morningstar's Active/Passive Barometer – Takeaways for 401(k) Fiduciaries - 401(k) fiduciaries can struggle to choose between active or index funds when picking plan investments. The Morningstar Active/Passive Barometer can help.
  9. The Top 401(k) Priorities on the DOL’s Regulatory Agenda - The DOL's latest regulatory agenda includes 401(k) reform. I recommend 401(k) fiduciaries check it out to learn the DOL's priorities.
  10. Pew Finds Rolling a 401(k) to an IRA can be a Costly Mistake - A Pew study found investment expenses in IRAs to be higher than 401(k)s and the difference can cost an investor tens of thousands of dollars in retirement.

Curious to see our top 10 blogs of 2021? Check out our 2021 Top 10 list. Last year, our top topics were:

  • Plan design – including how to determine the controlled group status of companies with common ownership, short plan year considerations, and how to design a 401(k) plan like a pro.
  • Plan administration – including a 2022 plan administration checklist, 401(k) nondiscrimination test basics, and how to calculate the earned income of self-employed participants.
  • Fiduciary responsibility – including a fee study of 104 small business 401(k) plans and the factors that increase the cost of fiduciary liability insurance for employers.

Want additional retirement plan information? Check out our 401(k) Resource Center. It includes retirement plan insights and information by Employee Fiduciary experts.

I hope you find Employee Fiduciary blogs and Resource Center informative. There is no reason for small businesses or their employees to be intimidated by 401(k) plans. Plan sponsorship and participation should be simple, safe, and cost-effective. It can be with some basic, common-sense guidance.

Best wishes for 2023!

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