CEFEX and fi360 sponsored attorney Fred Reish to provide a thorough overview of the proposed advice and 408(b)(2) regulations. If you are a plan fiduciary who has hired a person or firm to provide your employees advice on their 401k, or an advisor/broker that works with 401k participants, this is essentially a must-listen event. The following were a number of interesting points which affect plan sponsors and advisors:Read More
Last week, the IRS released the contribution limits for 401k/403b investors, and the amounts remain unchanged for 2011. Here are the numbers:
Elective Deferral (traditional limits) – $16,500
Catch-up Contribution for Investors 50 yrs and Older – $5,500
The reality is, your contributions to your 401k/403b is the #1 reason for your success as an investor. Here are some strategies for increasing your contributions:
Even though it has been in the works for over four years now, it looks like we might finally receive clarification on the PPA ‘Fiduciary Adviser’ 401(k) advice regulations early next year. Understandably, with the many issues that have garnered more press such as the healthcare debate, 401(k) fee disclosure and target date funds, the regulations have been delayed.Read More
I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Don Davidson of Manarin Investment Counsel for his Talk 401(k) podcast. While Don does an excellent job with this, I cannot say the same for myself. Therefore, if you are willing to overlook my stammerings (I was surprisingly nervous), the information might be helpful to you. Some of the topics included in the conversation include:
What is the difference between advice and guidance?
What is the liability for employers to provide advice to their participants?
The PPA Level Fee requirement
Why advice needs to be ongoing
Advice v. managed accounts
Technology and its impact on participant engagement
When marketing our services to companies sponsoring 401(k) plans, we will often face confusion as to what is truly being offered to participants, guidance or advice. The reason being that the word advice has been used liberally by brokers, advisors, and service providers. Unfortunately, that will sometimes lead to companies assuming their participants are receiving the advice they need, rather than knowing what is actually taking place in those education meetings and any 1on1 interactions that follow. The guidance versus advice being so unclear, that the following is a mock conversation designed to educate plan sponsors and advisors as to what is and isn’t, should and shouldn’t, be taking place with participants so to protect the plan sponsor from fiduciary liability:Read More
The new 408(b)2 disclosure regs have been long awaited, and present a great opportunity for companies to better understand and benchmark the fees associated with their 401(k) provider. Additionally, it will be require 401(k) service providers to better articulate value in light of the fees they charge. ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to review the fee structure of, and I paraphrase, “reasonable fees for reasonable service.”Read More
Our friend Matthew Hutcheson, Independent Fiduciary, recently conducted testimony with the Congressional Ways and Means Committee. The goal of the testimony was to discuss the need for fiduciary best practices to continue to be reinforced with 401(k) plan sponsors as well as avoiding the potential conflicts of interest inherent to the broker dealer model.Read More
For the third straight year, I attended the fi360 National Conference, the premier fiduciary-focused conference in the nation. The sessions were outstanding, focusing on the many changes taking place within the retirement plan industry, including those proposed for 401(k) advice. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak on an esteemed panel regarding the topic to a packed house of concerned advisors and retirement plan providers. Here are some key points that were discussed:Read More
The comment period for the DoL’s new 401(k) advice period ended on March 5th, and the 70 response letters will be under consideration by the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Financial-Planning.com reported that the Department could have the rule on advice finalized as soon as this fall. Though it might end up being four years since the PPA was passed before this rule is finalized, it should be worth the wait for 401(k) investors due to its conflict-free, fiduciary approach.Read More
In this month’s F-A Magazine, BeManaged was featured in the article titled “Better Laid Plans,” which is focused on how companies around the nation are answering the call for 401(k) advice. It was a privilege to be included in the article, but there is a key point we would like to correct about how we operate.
We do NOT control the investor’s contributions. The participant is ALWAYS in complete control, we simply provide encouragement and strategies for how to increase those contributions.Read More