Headline Image - Why it's important to review refresh and revise

The Importance of Regular Reviews and Revisions

You likely recognize the importance of seeing your doctor for an annual physical to keep your health in tip-top shape, or taking your car in for routine maintenance to keep it running like new.

But what about checking the health of your retirement plan? When is the last time you reviewed your retirement committee charter, investment policy statement (IPS) and other key retirement plan documents to monitor your plan’s compliance with specific standards of conduct and fiduciary responsibilities under the law? Read the rest of this entry »

Headline Image - 4 Qualified Plan Tax Advantages for Employers

By choosing to offer your employees a 401(k) plan, you’re sending a powerful message — that you’re invested in their future and committed to helping them work towards financial security in their retirement.

As a business owner, you can also benefit from setting up a retirement savings plan. Not only does it provide you with the opportunity to save money for your own retirement, it also enables you to take advantage of tax savings thanks to special deductions and tax credits.

Here are four ways that a 401(k) can help you reduce taxes:

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As COVID-19 wears on, employers and employees alike continue to face a multitude of updates, changes, and challenges… and we know that uncertainty can lead to stress. While things are constantly changing, one thing remains the same – your status as a fiduciary. Your responsibility to act in the best interest of your employees can not take a sick day.

There are three fiduciary actions you can take during these turbulent times featured in our video above.

Remember, there is still time to adopt one or more features of the CARES Act to help your employees cope with unforeseen financial difficulties.

And, if you’re interested in implementing a comprehensive Financial Wellness program for your employees, we’ve got your solution. With all of the stresses out there, the last thing you want your employees worrying about is their finances.  Now, more than ever, providing them with access to their own personal Financial Coach can go a long way to stabilizing their footing and getting them on the right path forward.

To learn more, give us a call:  415.925.8700.

Headline Image - Dos and Donts for Your Retirement Plan Committee

Scan the business news and you will likely find an article detailing the latest 401(k) litigation against a company accused of a fiduciary breach. The litigious trend started with corporate behemoths but has been trickling down to small and mid-size plans.

Adding to this, a survey found that 43% of company fiduciaries don’t actually think they are fiduciaries.[1]

“We see this regularly and stress that plan sponsors need to understand their fiduciary responsibility and all that it entails,” said Roger Levy, AIFA, an Analyst for the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX). CEFEX is an independent certification organization that works closely with industry experts to provide comprehensive assessment programs to improve the fiduciary practices of investment stewards, advisors, recordkeepers, administrators and support services firms.

“Even if a company outsources their fiduciary oversight for some aspects of their retirement plan, they still have certain obligations under the law,” says Levy. As a plan sponsor, you are still responsible for adhering to the Department of Labor’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) guidelines, which govern and enforce the administration of 401(k) plans and their assets.

Here are five ways that plan sponsors can aim to lower fiduciary risk and stay in accordance with ERISA. If you have questions about the complexities of plan management, contact us for support.

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Headline Image_5 steps to create a financial wellness program

Americans are worried about their finances, and it spills over into every aspect of their lives, including their work.  Compounding matters is the financial stress resulting from COVID-19.  Having a comprehensive financial wellness program for your employees is more important than ever.

Why Have a Financial Wellness Program for Your Employees?

A recent survey has found that 78% of American workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck.[1] It’s no wonder so many workers say they’re stressed about finances.

But what does this mean for you, their employer?

Employees stressed about their finances are far more likely to be late to work, absent, sick or distracted and unable to work effectively. According to the Chicago Business Journal, 43% of employees who are distracted by finances spend three or more hours a week at work thinking about financial matters or dealing with them. This equates to 150 hours per employee per year in lost productivity.[2] That’s a bundle of lost money that employers will never recover.

These numbers are causing employers to take notice, and many are establishing financial wellness programs to help.

Read the rest of this entry »

Headline Image - Thinking About Changing 401(k) Providers; Five Things You Should Know

Offering a competitive benefits package, including a top-notch 401(k) plan, is essential for your company to recruit and retain premier talent.

Today’s workers highly value employer-sponsored retirement plans: 88% of them say that an employee-funded retirement plan is important to them.[1] In addition, eight out of ten new hire candidates consider retirement savings programs offered by prospective employers a major factor in their job search decisions.[2]

As a result, you should evaluate your 401(k) plan regularly — at least once a year — to ensure that it continues to be the right fit for your business and employees. For example, if you find during your review that you’re plan has any combination of high fees, poor investment performance or a lack of service and support, it may be time to consider changing providers. In addition, with many 401(k) providers offering new technology and features, now may be a good time to see if you’re offering everything that you can to your participants.

If you’re considering making a change, here are five tips to help you evaluate your current provider. If you decide to switch, we can help make the transition to your new one as smooth as possible:

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Headline Image - 5 Ways Total Rewards Can Help Recruit Talent

A good total rewards program helps you attract and retain the best possible talent for your organization. Add a great workplace culture and environment and you could be on your way to becoming an employer of choice among job-seekers.

What is a total rewards program?

A total rewards program is adopted by a company that provides benefits for its employees including:

  1. Compensation—base pay, overtime, bonuses
  2. Work/life balance—flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities
  3. Benefits—health, life, dental and vision insurance, retirement plan, and voluntary benefits such as wellness
  4. Recognition—feedback regarding performance and areas needing improvement, employee recognition programs
  5. Growth and development—performance development planning, career paths, internal and external training, tuition reimbursement

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20200723 Retirement Plan Photo

You shouldn’t have to face these unprecedented times alone.

Retirement plan sponsors are dealing with tremendous complexity, confusion and uncertainty. COVID-19 has changed every facet of society as we know it— including how you manage your 401(k) plan. If you’re having difficulty wrapping your head around all of the changes and to-dos, you’re not alone.

To determine if now is a right time to hire an advisor or contemplate replacing your existing one, please download the checklist below, and feel free to contact us for a more detailed review of your retirement plan.

Download HerePandemic Checklist



Signed into effect earlier this year, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a robust economic stimulus package designed to help small business owners and hardworking American families during these unprecedented times.

As part of the act, retirement plan participants have been authorized to use their retirement plan savings for emergency financial relief. Specifically, CARES introduces two new distribution options:  Coronavirus Related Distributions (CRDs) and enhanced loan provisions.

As the pandemic wears on, it’s worthwhile for plan sponsors to remain familiar with these newfangled distribution types and the associated employee questions that might arise.

For a quick CARES Act refresher, please watch the video above, and feel free to contact us for a more detailed review of the act’s provisions.

Headline Image_Four ways to help reduce financial stress for your employees

Employee financial stress is a hot topic. So much so, that nearly 60% of employees cite finances as their primary stressor. [1] Their financial worries surpass other top stressors, and it’s impacting their job performance.

Research shows financially stressed employees are less productive and more distracted at work. They also have higher rates of absenteeism and presenteeism (at work but not fully functioning). Employees typically spend more than three hours a week dealing with their personal finances at work and they lose nearly a month of productive work time (21-31 days a year) due to financial worries.[2]

Employers simply can’t afford to ignore employees’ financial stress. Lost productivity due to financial stress costs American businesses $500 billion annually — around 2.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).[3]

The good news is that many employees want help dealing with their financial strain — and they appreciate their employer’s help. Read the rest of this entry »