Headline Image - Should You Include ESG Funds in Your Retirement Plan

Should You Include ESG Funds in Your Retirement Plan? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Environmental, Social and Governance funds (ESGs), can be appealing to many investors, particularly millennials. These funds may be viewed as a proactive way to encourage this often reluctant and under-prepared constituency to save for retirement. But is it a good idea to include ESG funds in your plan’s investment menu, at least in part, to entice investment “do-gooders” to boost their retirement savings? The short answer: It depends. Read the rest of this entry »

New Study on Employer Contribution Trends from Fidelity

March 28th, 2019 by Jonathan Leidy

The 2019 Facts and Insights piece from Fidelity highlights common trends in Employer Contributions to 401(k) and other defined contribution plans.

Three primary takeaways:

  1. The overwhelming majority of employers is making an employer contribution of some sort to their plan.
  2. The most common match formula is the Standard Safe Harbor Formula, or “5% gets you 4%.”
  3. Employers are now taking a hard look at their contribution rates and how to best marry them with recommended long-term savings rates as well as programs like auto-enrollment.

Read the full report by clicking the link below.

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Retirement Plan Share Classes: Understanding the Basics

February 27th, 2019 by Jonathan Leidy

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Share Class ABCs: Choose Wisely

Choosing mutual funds for your retirement plan’s investment lineup can feel like wading through a sea of alphabet soup. Fund companies typically offer multiple share classes, each sporting its own unique letter: A-shares, C-shares, I-shares, R-shares — what does it all mean? Here’s a brief primer to help you to better understand the basics.

ABCs of Fees

Before diving into this topic headlong, first, a brief word about fees. Each share class of a particular mutual fund owns the same exact underlying securities (stocks, bonds, etc.); they are identical. The only difference is the cost associated with each class. These costs come in two basic varieties: expense ratios and sales “loads.”

Expense ratios are the percentage of a fund’s assets used to cover administration, marketing and distribution (or 12b-1 fees), and all other costs. Typically paid by participants, these fees are calculated annually as a percentage of an investor’s assets. For example, a participant would pay $150 for a $10,000 balance invested in a share class with a 1.5% expense ratio.

Additionally, certain share classes charge significant sales loads. These fees are typically waived for mutual funds purchased through 401k plans.[1] If this is the case, neither the plan nor its participants pay these fees. Read the rest of this entry »

Hacked! Is Your Retirement Plan at Risk for a Cyber Attack

November 4th, 2018 by Jonathan Leidy

RPM Q4 2018_Pulse Image_Blog Article 3_ Hacked! Is your plan at risk for a Cyber Attack

Is cyber-crime on the rise?

You bet. In 2015, IBM’s chair, president and CEO Ginni Rometty said, “Cyber-crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.”[1] Last year, billionaire investor and businessman Warren Buffett echoed that sentiment, claiming that “cyber-attacks are a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear weapons.”[2] In short, cyber-crime is extremely dangerous, and many businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks — some without even knowing it.

As a result, growing numbers of organizations are taking critical steps to protect their valuable data and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) from hackers and other cyber criminals. Cybersecurity is serious business, and retirement plan sponsors and committees should be aware of the trends and best practices surrounding it. Read the rest of this entry »

Retirement Readiness: A Marathon, Not a Sprint

August 29th, 2018 by Jonathan Leidy

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Training for the Financial Marathon

For many people, their ultimate financial goal is to reach a comfortable retirement with enough reserves to enjoy it. In many ways, achieving Retirement Readiness is just like running a marathon; it’s a long-term undertaking that takes loads of preparation and persistence.

As the sponsor of your company’s retirement plan, you play a crucial role in helping your employees reach these long-term financial goals. Imagine yourself as a trainer; you are there to build a training regimen that enhances your employees’ ability to achieve their goals and keeps them motivated along the way. Read the rest of this entry »

RPM Q3 2018_Pulse Image_Blog Article 1_ A Guide for Employers Dealing with Missing Participants

Locating missing plan participants can be a headache for any employer, but simply ignoring them is not an effective solution either. With the increase in the number of “pre-retired” missing plan participants, governmental bodies are now taking additional measures to provide solid guidance and solutions to help streamline this arduous process for plan sponsors.

The Background

Plan sponsors must understand why locating missing plan participants is important.  First, ERISA requires that plan fiduciaries (e.g., plan sponsors, employers) have a duty of prudence and loyalty to all plan participants and beneficiaries—whether or not the participant is actively contributing to the plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Should We Have a Retirement Plan Committee?

May 21st, 2018 by Jonathan Leidy

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For the vast majority of plans, the short answer is most emphatically “yes.”

If you are an employer, or employee who has decision-making authority over your company’s retirement plan, there is a strong chance that you are a 401(k) plan fiduciary.  You have a legal obligation to operate the plan solely in the interests of the plan participants (people with retirement account balances) and their beneficiaries (people who may inherit those retirement account balances).  Two additional primary responsibilities are to manage the plan for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits, and paying reasonable plan expenses.[1]

Many HR professionals, Controllers, CEOs, CFOs, and Presidents are unfamiliar with the significant amount of liability to which they are exposed with their duties as a 401(k) plan fiduciary. Establishing a retirement plan committee might be a useful component when it comes to effective oversight of your company’s retirement plan. Read the rest of this entry »

RPM Q1 2018_Pulse Image_Blog Article 2_Motivating Savings with Financial Wellness and Plan Design

On average, 42% of Americans make money-related resolutions at the beginning of each year.  However, in less than 6 months, half of the “once dedicated” abandon their goals.[1] But, as we all know, it takes longer than 6 months to reach a meaningful retirement savings objective.

So, how can you, as a plan sponsor, sustain that resolution momentum so that your employees continue to save for retirement? In this article we will discuss holistic ways to promote financial wellness among your employees as well as plan design tips aimed at increasing participation and savings rates. Read the rest of this entry »

Items Your Annual Retirement Plan Review May Be Missing

February 20th, 2018 by Jonathan Leidy

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As a plan sponsor, you are probably no stranger to the annual retirement plan review. And believe it or not, it is that time of year again! Although you may meet quarterly or semi-annually with your advisor, a yearly plan assessment is an opportunity to evaluate the entire health of your plan.

Many times, the focus of an annual review has to do with investments and fund line-ups; and while this is important and should absolutely be addressed, your review should go further.

Your review should assess five major areas: plan design, retirement readiness, fiduciary oversight, service provider due diligence, and investment due diligence. Read the rest of this entry »

RPM Q1 2018_Pulse Image_Blog Article 1_What is Benchmarking and Why Should You Do It


Simply stated, benchmarking is the process of reviewing and evaluating your company retirement plan. It involves taking a look at what you are offering your employees today and deciding if it’s appropriate or needs some updating.

There are four main areas to focus on when assessing your retirement plan:

  1. Plan Design
  2. Service Providers
  3. Funds
  4. Fees

Each aspect of your plan requires a slightly different set of questions. In order to be able to go into the appropriate level of detail about each section, we will break this into a two-part series, beginning with Plan Design and Service Providers; but don’t worry, we will discuss Funds and Fees in a separate article. Below we are going to share some best practice questions to help you get started on your benchmarking analysis. Read the rest of this entry »