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The Top Ten Frugal Fiduciary 401(k) Blogs of 2021

Eric Droblyen

February 13, 2023


Happy Holidays from the Frugal Fiduciary! As 2021 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 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.

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 2021.

  1. Is Your Company Part of a Controlled Group?  You Need to Know or Risk 401(k) Plan Disqualification - IRS controlled group rules often obligate 2 or more employers with common ownership to cover their employees with the same 401k plan in order to pass annual nondiscrimination testing.
  2. 401(k) Nondiscrimination Testing - Basics and Deadlines - 401(k) plans must pass nondiscrimination tests each year to confirm HCEs do not disproportionately benefit and that no IRS contribution limits are exceeded.
  3. 401(k) Plan Restatements - Save Fees with These Amendments - Most 401(k) plans must be 'restated' to reflect IRS Cycle 3 (or 'post-PPA') changes from August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022. Here are some amendments to include.
  4. 401(k) fee study: 75% of small business plans pay hidden fees - “Are my 401(k) fees too high?” is a common question asked by both plan sponsors and participants. Our small business fee study can give some perspective.
  5. Starting a 401k? A Short Initial Plan Year is Probably a Bad Idea - 401(k) plans must define a plan year cycle for annual administration. Most new plans should avoid a short plan year for first-year administration.
  6. The Benefits of a 401(k) Plan for Employers and Employees - When a small business offers a 401(k) plan, it’s often a win-win for business owners and employees. Here are some of the top benefits of these plans.
  7. Design a 401(k) Plan Like a Pro in 6 Steps - Expert 401(k) plan design can help small business owners meet their plan goals for thousands less. The process can be completed in 30 minutes or less.
  8. 401(k) Earned Income – What Employers Need to Know - 401(k) plans must allocate and test the contributions made to self-employed individuals using a special definition of plan compensation called earned income.
  9. 401(k) Annual Administration - A Checklist for Business Owners - An important 401(k) fiduciary responsibility is ensuring plan administration tasks are completed timely each year. Our checklist makes this job easy.
  10. 401k Fiduciary Liability Insurance – Factors that Raise Premiums - Understanding the factors that increase the price of 401(k) fiduciary liability insurance coverage can help plan fiduciaries more easily avoid liability.

Curious to see our top 10 blogs of 2020? Check out our 2020 Top 10 list. Last year, our top topics were:

  • Plan design – Basics about popular 401(k) features, including the factors business owners should consider when evaluating them for their plan.
  • Plan establishment – The differences between popular retirement plan types, including the tax credits and deadlines for establishing either plan.
  • Plan administration – The major 401(k) plan administration tasks, including their deadlines for completion.
  • Plan legislation – Summaries of major retirement plan legislation that took effect in 2021, including the SECURE and CARES Acts.

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 Help Center informative. There is no reason for small business 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 2022!

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