Expert's Corner

Why You Need To Consider Retirement Plan Advisor Due Diligence

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By Trisha Brambley

Today, 75% of Plan Sponsors use the services of an Investment Advisor for their retirement plan[1]. Many of these plans (up to 75%) do not have a specialized Retirement Advisor while others may have outgrown the Advisor they do have. The providers too are seeing an increase in companies looking for that “best fit” Advisory Firm. A high quality firm can offer outstanding investment and retirement plan expertise. Plan Sponsors are looking for more from their advisors than ever before. Many want a more knowledgeable and specialized retirement advisor, or are looking for help supporting their employee education program or want help minimizing costs[2]. Committee members think about changing advisors as their plan, or need for help, grows. For these reasons, many Plans Sponsors embark on a due diligence process to find the best advisory firm for their plan and their employees.
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The Value of a Good ERISA Attorney

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By Ary Rosenbaum, Esq.

The value of a good ERISA attorney is rooted in the fact that an independent ERISA attorney can serve as a check and balance on the other retirement plan providers. An independent ERISA attorney would keep an eye on the administrative practices of the TPA and whether the financial advisor is complying with the processes that they agreed to with the plan sponsor and trustees. Continue reading

Evaluating Participant Elective Deferral Deposit Timeliness

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by David R. Dacey, CPA,

Company A’s employee benefit plan is undergoing an independent  audit of its financial statements. As part of that audit, the auditor reviewed a series of deposit transactions of employee withholdings of retirement 401(k) monies. The auditor selected eight transactions for review of a total of 24 transactions during the year.  For those transactions selected, the auditor noticed that the number of days to deposit the retirement plan withholdings ranged from a low of two business days to a high of fifteen business days. Does Company. A have a fiduciary issue related to its processes for depositing employee withholdings for 401(k) retirement plan?  If so, what is the issue? Continue reading

There is a widely held perception that we once had a wonderful retirement system that is now all messed up. Do you agree with this perception?

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Ted Benna responds,

No I don’t agree. The private retirement system was far from perfect years ago even for employees who had traditional pension plans. My first job was in the home office of an insurance company. They had a traditional pension plan. You had to be age 30 to become a participant if you were a male and age 35 if you were a female. You did not earn a vested pension unless you stayed with the company until age 60!!

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