We will assist with the selection of plan service providers including Third Party Administrators, record-keepers and/or custodians. The TPA plays the most important role in having your plan designed and administered properly, and the record-keeper is selected to allow access to low cost index funds.
Customized plan design
An appropriate plan will be selected to allow you to maximize your contributions while minimizing employer contributions. Your plan will be designed with your personal and business needs in mind, and because your personal and business needs can change, we will work with your TPA to make sure that your plan is upgraded or redesigned when necessary.
Minimize plan expenses
We never receive revenue sharing or charge any asset-based fees, and when selecting plan service providers (with everything else being equal) we always look for those that have the lowest asset-based fees. Our compensation is a fixed/flat fee that is never taken out of plan assets, and that alone will save your plan significant money over time.
Low cost index funds and risk-managed model portfolios
We use primarily low cost index funds to design risk-managed model portfolios to help plan participants reach their retirement goals. The investment menu will contain all major asset classes necessary to build a globally diversified and balanced portfolio.
Highest level of plan fiduciary oversight
Our ERISA 3(38) investment management services are designed to limit your fiduciary liability. In addition to model portfolios, we will also create a QDIA portfolio and assist in selecting a vendor to provide individualized advice to plan participants.
Proactive and on demand
We are always accessible throughout the year to address any plan issues. Whenever better and/or lower costing investment choices become available, we will proactively update the investment lineup.
Retirement Plans for Small Practice Owners
We work with small business owners to identify the best plan for their business and we assist them with plan design, Third Party Administrator and record-keeper selection and investment management. If you are a solo practice owner, there are many variables to consider when deciding on the best retirement plan for your practice. As fiduciaries, we don’t sell packaged products and our job is to make sure that the plan you select makes financial sense. Prior to recommending a specific plan we perform comprehensive personal and business financial analysis to ensure that the best plan is selected for your practice. The next step is to do SIMPLE IRA vs. 401k analysis to determine whether a SIMPLE IRA or a 401(k) plan would be a better choice. If a 401(k) plan is selected, it is important to do a 401(k) design study to come up with the optimal plan design to allow you to maximize your contribution while minimizing your employer contribution. In some cases when the owner wants to make a significantly higher tax-deferred contribution than allowed by a 401(k) plan, a Cash Balance plan might make sense. A thorough analysis is done prior to recommending this type of plan, especially if the practice has any non-spouse staff.
If you currently have a 401(k) plan or a 401(k)/Cash Balance plan combination, we will review all aspects of your plan, including plan design, investment options, fees, fiduciary and administrative compliance, and make recommendations to make improvements, including upgrading your plan design, lower administrative and investment management fees, and improve your investment lineup by using low cost index funds. We encourage you to compare fees from different plan service providers by using a calculator specifically designed to compare fees and expenses from service providers side by side.
Retirement Plans for Group Practices
Existing 401(k)/Profit Sharing plans
We perform a full fiduciary review of the plan. Following the review, we provide recommendations on the steps plan sponsor can take to upgrade plan design, decrease fees and expenses, improve plan investment selection and more. Some of the things we look at include:
- Fees and expenses
- Plan level analysis of providers and fees.
- Ways to minimize/eliminate any asset-based fees.
- Investment choices and model portfolios/QDIA
- Adding low cost index/passively managed funds to the fund menu
- Setting up managed model portfolios for participants.
- QDIA selection and management.
- Participant education and individualized participant advice
- Plan participant advice by ERISA 3(21) fiduciary, educational seminars, individualized comprehensive financial planning.
- Vendor selection to provide advice and education to plan participants cost-effectively.
- Plan design
- Adding a 401(k) option to profit sharing only plans.
- Improving existing profit sharing plan design.
- Adding a Cash Balance plan.
- Administrative and fiduciary compliance
- Addressing brokerage-only 401(k) plan issues.
- Voluntary compliance to fix any outstanding problems.
- Developing fiduciary process to mitigate any potential future problems.
Cash Balance plans
If your practice is considering adding a Cash Balance plan to the existing 401k plan, we offer the following:
- Thorough design study to evaluate the possibility of adding a Cash Balance plan cost-effectively.
- Vendor selection/proposal generation for all plan services, including actuary/TPA, record-keeper and investment management/ERISA 3(38) fiduciary
If your practice has an existing Cash Balance plan, we can help reduce your plan’s administrative and investment management expenses, as well as make sure that your plan’s portfolio is managed prudently. Cash Balance plans typically pay AUM fees for investment management and record-keeping, and because of relatively low returns such arrangement is not in the best interest of the plan participants. Also, often the investment manager is not an ERISA 3(38) fiduciary, which incurs significant liability for the plan sponsor.
- Full plan review, including plan provider service quality and cost.
- Decrease administrative/investment management fees by removing asset-based fees in favor of tax-deductible fixed/flat fees and minimize investment fees by using low cost index/passively managed mutual funds.
- Portfolio construction that takes into consideration various risks to the plan (including early plan termination due to unforeseen circumstances).