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401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators
The latest news, regulations, and insights surrounding 401(k) Plans for plan sponsors and administrators
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DOL Challenges Decision on Excessive Fees

DOL Challenges Decision on Excessive Fees | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it

Via Bryan Berry, CMFC®, CRPC®, AIF®
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How Far Along Are Sponsors with Knowing Plan Fees

In this new age of fee disclosure, it may be surprising to some that more than one-quarter (26.6%) of respondents to PLANSPONSOR’s 2013 Defined Contribution (DC) Survey do not know the approximate average expense ratio of all investment options in their plans.

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Retirement Income Projections Not a Panacea

On the Department of Labor’s radar screen: requiring DC plan administrators to adjust the benefit statements they distribute to providelifetime income illustrations based on current and projected account balances. So a recent study by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute is particularly well-timed. The study shows that not all information is equal — or even useful. LIMRA found that while most employees find retirement income projections helpful, others found it wanting.

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Plan Sponsor Activity Changed Directions

Plan Sponsor Activity Changed Directions | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it

Defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors were less active in certain areas in 2013 than in 2012, according to Callan’s 2014 DC Trends Survey.

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Washington to keep things hopping for DC plans in 2014

After a year of relative calm, the defined contribution industry faces a series of potentially sweeping regulations expected from the Labor Department and, to a lesser extent, the SEC in 2014.
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Improve Plan Design by Knowing Participants Better

Researching participant demographics can provide plan sponsors with information needed to improve their retirement plans.

 

“This kind of data helps to tell a story about a plan’s participants,” Mike Volo, practice leader for Cammack LaRhette Consulting, based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, tells PLANSPONSOR. “There is a big interest by plan sponsors to find out more about their participants, whether it is their investment habits or other behaviors.

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Employers to Focus on Employees Overall Financial Wellness

Three-fourths (76%) of companies surveyed are somewhat or very likely to expand their focus on the financial well-being of their employees in 2014.

 

Aon Hewitt surveyed more than 400 U.S. companies, representing nearly 10 million workers, and found more companies plan to offer access to advice, tools and resources that help employees examine their overall financial picture.

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10 Steps DC Plan Sponsors should take in 2014

Governance of DC plans has taken on greater significance as plan sponsors work toward securing appropriate retirement outcomes for participants. In 2014, defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors must focus on securing retirement outcomes from these programs in ways that effectively manage both participant and organizational objectives and risk exposures.

Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors's insight:

Target date funds are under heightened DOL scrutiny.  As a plan sponsor, be sure you understand your fiduciary resopnsibility regarding these funds.

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The DOL Retirement Plan Pipeline in 2014

The retirement industry is anticipating a fiduciary re-definition and rules about lifetime income illustrations for plan participants, but there is much more in the pipeline.

Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors's insight:

Plan sponsors can also expect to see a review of brokerage windows in participant-directed individual account retirement plans under ERISA, an amendment of 408(b)(2) disclosure provisions, and proposed amendments to the annuity selection safe harbor, among other potential changes.

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Plan Design Is Key to Fixing Retirement Crisis

Witnesses during a U.S. Senate committee hearing argued that defined contribution (DC) plan design is key to solving the retirement crisis in America.

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Workers pay little attention to 401(k) fee disclosures

Workers pay little attention to 401(k) fee disclosures | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it
According to advisers and recent data from Limra, workers seem to be doing precisely what they would be expected to do with 20-page disclosure documents: Tossing them in the circular file.
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Multiple Factors Affect 401k Plan Terminations

Research indicates that an annual average of 21,000 retirement plans were terminated during 2012 and 2011. Survey findings also reveal that fewer companies surveyed are offering employer matching contributions within their 401(k) plan. In fact, the number offering such a match decreased 4.7% between 2011 and 2012.

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401(k)s: Time For a Checkup

401(k)s: Time For a Checkup | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it

The end of the year is open-enrollment time for many 401(k) plans, with employees carefully weighing their investment choices and deferral rates. These are no small decisions; poor choices made today can result in a less prosperous future, as 401(k)s have become the primary retirement vehicle for millions of workers. By recent estimate, investors have nearly $4 trillion in 401(k) plans.

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Considerations for Outsourcing Fiduciary Duties

With fiduciary decisions undergoing increased scrutiny, many plan sponsors are considering the possibility of outsourcing certain fiduciary duties, says a new paper.

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Regs. permit midyear cuts in employer contributions to 401(k) plans

The IRS issued final regulations that permit employers to make midyear reductions or suspensions of safe-harbor matching or nonelective contributions to retirement plans in certain situations 

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Final Comprehensive Repair/Capitalization Regulations Take Effect: Theory Becomes Practice

Final Comprehensive Repair/Capitalization Regulations Take Effect: Theory Becomes Practice | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it

Much was written about these changes when they first came out, however, since these regulations will affect virtually everyone who has a business (as most businesses have tangible property) and just took effect at the beginning of 2014, we wanted to remind you of some of the regulation’s highlights.

Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors's insight:

Taxpayers are required to capitalize amounts paid to acquire or produce tangible property. However, the new regulations provide a de minimis exception, allowing the taxpayer to deduct certain amounts that would otherwise require capitalization. In order for this exception to apply, taxpayers MUST have a written capitalization policy. 

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Financial Wellness Can Save Employers Money

Employers can save money over the long term by using financial wellness programs to improve the retirement readiness of their employees.

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401(k) balances grew across the board in past two years

For workers in the 45 to 54 age group, those with the longest tenure saw gains of 44 percent, while those with 10 to 19 years of service, saw growth of 51.5 percent.
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Compliance Headaches Coming for 401k Plan Sponsors Due to New Fiduciary Regs in 2014?

Compliance Headaches Coming for 401k Plan Sponsors Due to New Fiduciary Regs in 2014? | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it

Perhaps it’s best to leave this subject of 2014 predictions with the following comment from Richter: “It’s too unpredictable to even speculate on what will happen due to the divisiveness on Capitol Hill and regulators being consumed with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). What might be positive is a year of no surprises or major legislative or regulatory changes. Fee disclosure consumed so many resources over the past several years that the most positive event would be no event.”

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Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental...

Via Chuck Hammond, PPC, CMFC
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More 401k Participants Choosing Target Date Funds

More 401(k) participants are investing in target-date funds over the long term, says a new report.

 

At year-end 2012, 41% of 401(k) participants held target-date funds, according to “401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances and Loan Activity in 2012,” a report jointly released by the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

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Bridging the gap between 401(k) plan sponsors and participants

As defined contribution plans, particularly 401(k)s, become the primary retirement savings vehicle for more and more American workers, there is no shortage of challenges facing participants. They aren't saving enough (despite new highs in average 401(k) account balances), they aren’t making good investment choices, and they aren’t committed to preparing for their retirement, as evidenced by the borrowing that is occurring to fulfill short-term needs.

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Supreme Court Will Hear 401(k) Case

Supreme Court Will Hear 401(k) Case | 401k News for Plan Sponsors and Administrators | Scoop.it
Supreme Court Will Hear 401(k) Case
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Supreme Court Friday agreed to rule on when workers can sue their employer over losses to 401(k) funds containing shares of a company's own stock.

Via Bryan Berry, CMFC®, CRPC®, AIF®
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6 things every employer should know about fiduciary liability

Until regulators do whatever they're going to do, here are six things every employer should know about fiduciary liability at this moment.
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DOL Releases Updated Form 5500

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), released informational copies of the 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. 

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