What Hat Are You Wearing?

In today’s organizations, many employees are asked to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. This is especially true when considering the management of a corporate retirement plan. To better understand what role each person plays in the management of a 401(k) (or any other corporate retirement plan), we have to understand what roles there are to play.

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What Are YOUR Plan Performance Reports Telling You?

If you’ve been following along with our Top-Performing Plan blog series, or you viewed our three-part webinar series, you know that we believe that it’s essential for the retirement planning industry to hold itself to objective performance standards. They’re essential to help you, the fiduciary, understand exactly how your plan is performing.

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Pension Consultants Hosts Annual Pension Focus Conference

 

Every year Pension Consultants, Inc. proudly sponsors Pension Focus Conference, hosted at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. Pension Focus Conference has a long-standing reputation for successfully providing fiduciary and plan sponsor audience members an outstanding educational experience that they can apply in their everyday roles. This year was no exception!

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The Tools Your Retirement Plan May Be Missing: Auto-Enrollment & Auto-Escalation

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What are your goals for your retirement plan? Are you a plan sponsor reviewing your plan and wondering to yourself, “Why is my plan not performing competitively against others,” or even more so, “How do I increase employee participation in my retirement plan?”

The answer could be, as we will outline in this post, something as simple as adding auto features to your plan design.

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Pension Consultants Hosts Annual Pension Focus Conference

home page pic with keynote speaker

Over this past week, Pension Focus hosted another successful year of the Pension Focus Conference (“PFC”).

Hosted at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri, the PFC focuses on providing in-depth, retirement plan management education for both plan fiduciaries and plan administrators.

This year PFC was fortunate to have several speakers from various avenues of retirement plan management ranging from ERISA attorneys, to a consumer behaviorist, to a Department of Labor representative. Among those speakers was our nationally-recognized keynote speaker, Mr. Bradford Campbell, ERISA attorney at Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP. Continue reading

Morin, et al v. Essentia Health:  A New Twist on Fee-based Cases against Plan Sponsors

Excessive Fee LawsuitA case recently filed in Minnesota took a unique approach to accusing a plan sponsor of charging participants excessive fees. Essentia Health and its subsidiary maintained two plans. One retirement plan established in 1965. The second was a 403(b) plan established in 2009. The original plan consisted of approximately 16,848 participants and $982 million in assets and was recordkept by BMO Harris. The 403(b) plan consisted of $103 million in assets and was recordkept by Lincoln Financial.[1] Continue reading

What Impact Will the DOL Fiduciary Rule Have on Your Plan’s Financial Adviser?

DOL Fiduciary Rule Impact on Plan's Financial AdvisersAs the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new, expanded fiduciary rule continues to become clearer (see our recent blog post), it’s important to step back and keep in mind what it means to be a fiduciary to a retirement plan.  The fiduciary standard of conduct is known as the highest standard of conduct under the law.  A fiduciary to a retirement plan, under ERISA, must (1) act solely in the interest of plan participants, and (2) act as a prudent person would act in the same situation. Continue reading

When to Buy and Sell Mutual Funds

The equity markets have been choppy over the last year and a half.  Last year we had one of the worst Septembers to immediately be followed by one of the best Octobers. January 2016 started with a large cap pullback in the 5% range to have the markets rebound close to 6.5% in March. [1]

When these market upturns and downturns occur, clients and participants of retirement plans often ask why their portfolio return is different from the total return reflected on a mutual fund fact sheet.  Before answering the question, a person first needs to understand the difference between total return and investor return within a mutual fund.  Continue reading

Underestimating Retirement

The financial planning industry has overplayed the marketing line ‘what’s your number.” I am referring to how financial literature and commercials primarily focus on having a particular asset value (i.e. one million dollars) and once you reach that mythical dollar amount you can have a successful retirement. Continue reading

Excessive Fee Lawsuits Keep on Coming

We’re now one month into 2016, and on pace to see more excessive fee lawsuits this year than in any previous year.  Schlichter, Bogard & Denton out of St. Louis has filed yet another law suit against a retirement plan sponsor for imprudently selecting and retaining poorly performing mutual funds, allowing participants to be charged excessive record keeping fees, and prohibited transactions between the plan and a party in interest. Continue reading