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.

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Provider Shopping | Thought Leadership

SECURE Act 2.0 – Not the 401(k) Reform Americans Deserve

By: Eric Droblyen
April 27th, 2022

On March 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act – better known as SECURE Act 2.0 because it builds upon the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. I support SECURE Act 2.0 generally but am disappointed the bill doesn’t offer any 401(k) transparency reform. Today, 401(k) plans can be a black box of hidden fees and conflicts of interests. This lack of transparency can make it impossible for employers to offer their employees a cost-efficient 401(k) plan.

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Provider Shopping | Thought Leadership | Fiduciary Responsibility

Don’t Be Fooled by These 401(k) Conflicts of Interest!

By: Eric Droblyen
April 13th, 2022

401(k) conflicts of interest misalign the interests of employers and 401(k) providers. While employers have a fiduciary responsibility to choose a 401(k) provider with “reasonable” administration fees and cost-efficient investments to make retirement as affordable as possible for plan participants, conflicted 401(k) providers have a financial incentive to push overpriced administration services and investments when lower-priced - but otherwise comparable - alternatives are available. How do conflicted 401(k) providers get away with it? Often by spinning a conflict as a benefit.

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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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Thought Leadership | Fiduciary Responsibility

401(k) Fiduciary Takeaways from a Jerry Schlichter Interview

By: Eric Droblyen
March 2nd, 2022

Recently, I listened to an insightful interview of Jerry Schlichter by Rick Unser of the 401(k) Fridays Podcast. In 2006, Jerry was the first private attorney to file lawsuits alleging excessive fees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Since then, his firm - Schlichter Bogard & Denton - has won more than $600 million in settlements on behalf of plan participants. He’s also won the only two 401(k) fee cases ever heard by the U.S. Supreme Court - Tibble v. Edison and Hughes v. Northwestern University. I consider the Jerry Schlichter interview a must-listen for 401(k) plan fiduciaries.

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Investments | Thought Leadership | Fiduciary Responsibility

Hughes v Northwestern: What is a "Prudent" 401(k) Investment?

By: Eric Droblyen
February 2nd, 2022

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued their highly-anticipated Hughes v. Northwestern University decision. In a unanimous opinion, the court reaffirmed – as articulated in Tibble v. Edison International – that 401(k) fiduciaries have an obligation under ERISA to continuously “monitor” their plan’s investment menu and to remove any imprudent investments timely. A lower court - the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - had dismissed case in 2020, suggesting that 401(k) fiduciaries could shield themselves from claims of imprudent investment selection by offering a diverse investment menu. SCOTUS returned the case to the 7th Circuit for reconsideration.

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Thought Leadership

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

By: Eric Droblyen
December 22nd, 2021

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. 

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Retirement Planning | Provider Shopping | Thought Leadership

Small Business 401k Plans – How the Best Can Help You Retire Faster

By: Eric Droblyen
November 24th, 2021

To retire as soon as possible, you must avoid three 401(k) pitfalls throughout your working years - high account fees, underperforming investments, and improper asset allocation. These pitfalls can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you retire. The best small business 401(k) plans make these pitfalls easy to avoid – which can help you retire years sooner. Given the stakes, you should settle for no less.

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