What’s The Right 401k Contribution Rate?

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

The most frequent question I receive from 401k participants is, “How much should I contribute?” My answer is always the same, “As much as you possibly can.” That never seems to satisfy anyone, so I typically go on to explain the following.

The correct 401k contribution rate

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401k Plan/Financial Wellness Education Best Practices

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Have you started planning your 2017 401k employee education sessions? Generally, most plan sponsors conduct employee education sessions during the early part of the new year to explain changes that went into effect on January 1. As you think about your 2017 education sessions, keep the following 401k education best practices in mind: [Read more…]

How Your 401k Participants Can Use Active Management

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

A passive portfolio management approach is appropriate for many 401k plan participants. But indexing isn’t right for everyone. Many 401k plan investors are not satisfied with market average returns. Nor do they feel it makes sense to lock-in 100% of every market decline. Many 401k plan participants believe they can consistently outperform market averages by applying a little of the right knowledge. Think there is no point to active management? Consider the following to make active management work in your 401k plan account: [Read more…]

What Retirees Wish They Would Have Known

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Your employees have hopes and dreams about what their retirements will look like. Right now they are following a retirement planning path they hope will lead to a better way of life when they are no longer working. Unfortunately, there are many stumbling blocks and wrong turns they can experience on their journey. Recent studies have uncovered some important retiree regrets that you can share with your employees in your 401k education sessions to help make their paths to retirement more successful. [Read more…]

Help Your 401k Participants Make Better Investment Decisions

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Every time we experience volatility in the markets, some of your 401k plan participants decide to sell out of equities (locking in losses) because they get scared. Others know they need to increase their contribution rate to capture your maximum company match, but they never act. Why do participants do these things? Justin Goldstein recently wrote about the behavioral finance concepts which underpin these actions. I have taken these concepts and added my thoughts on how you can help your 401k participants overcome these destructive behaviors. Consider adding the following to your next 401k education session: [Read more…]

Should 401k Plan Sponsors Worry About The Roth Promise?

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Whenever I talk with 401k plan sponsors or participants about making Roth 401k contributions, at least half of them tell me they would never do it. They all cite the same reason. They don’t trust the federal government to keep its Roth 401k promise to allow tax-free distribution of Roth balances. I think they are wrong — not about trusting Uncle Sam, but about whether the government will keep its Roth 401k promise. [Read more…]

Hottest Executive Benefit

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By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Looking for an important, new executive benefit to share with your leadership group? Something that can really make a difference? If you offer a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to your employees, all of your executives should be maxing out their contributions to their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Read on below to learn why. [Read more…]

Using HSAs In Retirement Planning

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

If you offer a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to your employees, they probably have the ability to contribute to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). I believe that nearly everyone eligible to contribute to an HSA should max out their HSA contributions before making any 401k retirement plan contributions. Here’s why. [Read more…]

Bad Idea: Rolling A 401k Into An IRA, Part III

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

I believe that most of the time it does not make sense for your 401k plan participants to elect a 401k rollover into an IRA when they leave your employment. The reasons are many, as I have outlined previously here and here. Suzanne Woolley, in a recent Bloomberg Business piece, shared some new research and a number of additional reasons why a 401k rollover is a bad idea. Her thoughts and my comments follow. [Read more…]

Top Ten 401k Plan Trends

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15
By Robert C. Lawton, AIF, CRPS, President, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

What will those progressive plan sponsors who wish to maintain leading edge 401k plans be doing in 2016? Read on below to learn the top ten 401k trends for 2016. [Read more…]