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…]

401k RFP Tips For Employers

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15

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

Recently my Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm has been fortunate to receive a number of Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for investment advisory services. While I am grateful to receive these RFPs, I continue to be puzzled by how some plan sponsors choose to manage their RFP process. So, outlined below, I have provided some tips on how plan sponsors can optimize their 401k RFP process to ensure it produces the best possible result. [Read more…]

401k Plan Design Best Practices

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PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15

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

The 401k world is changing — fast. Has your plan kept pace? Is the design of your plan still market competitive? Leading-edge plans adhere to the following 401k plan design best practices: [Read more…]

401k Investment Menu Best Practices

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

How does your 401k investment menu compare to the marketplace? Do you have too many investment options or too few? Are you taking advantage of all the safe harbor options available to you? In this low return, low-interest rate environment there is a new set of best practices to use for 401k investment menu construction that includes: [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…]

Why You Shouldn’t Use Custom TDFs In Your 401k

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

Recently, it has become popular for large corporations to adopt customized target date fund approaches for their 401k plans. Before jumping into why this approach has never made much sense to me, it might be good to start out with a couple definitions.

What are Target Date Funds (TDFs)?

Many mutual fund families have created an integrated series of investment funds with dates in their names. The dates approximate the time period that a participant will turn age 65 and retire. These professionally managed investment funds vary their bond/stock allocation percentages as time goes by so that as a participant gets closer to age 65 his/her allocation becomes more conservative. Target date funds are generally considered to be the most appropriate investment for the vast majority of your 401k plan participants.

What are custom TDFs?

Custom TDFs use a unique set of underlying investments and/or alter the bond/stock percentages significantly for the different funds in the series. These different bond/stock allocations are based upon demographic assumptions unique to the client. The intent is to create a non-standard glide path for the target date series.

Why I don’t like custom TDFs

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Seven Signs Of A Successful 401k

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

For more than 30 years I have helped plan sponsors create successful 401k plans. During that time I have noticed that a successful 401k plan appears to possess the following seven attributes: [Read more…]

401k Employee Education Best Practices

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

Have you started planning for this year’s employee education sessions? Make sure you implement the employee education best practices shown below.

Employee education best practices:

[Read more…]

401k Decision-Making And Documentation Best Practices

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

Are you making retirement plan decisions using a prudent process? Do you always put the interests of plan participants ahead of the company’s when considering plan issues? Following are some decision-making best practices and documentation best practices. [Read more…]

401k Fees Best Practices

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

Are your 401k plan fees market competitive? Do you meet your fiduciary obligations regarding provider fee reviews and follow fees best practices?

Consider these fees best practices:

[Read more…]