What Your 401k Investment Committee Should Discuss

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

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

If you are like most 401k plan sponsors, you worry about whether your 401k plan investment committee is focused on the right stuff. Is the investment committee using its time wisely talking about what is important? Or do you spend way too much time agonizing about investment performance? I believe that your 401k plan investment committee should focus on reviewing the following at their meetings: [Read more…]

Fiduciary Confusion: What’s A 401k Plan Sponsor To Do?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

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

On February 3, President Trump signed a memorandum asking the Department of Labor to review the new fiduciary rules that apply to retirement accounts. The next week, on February 9, the Department of Labor (DoL) filed documents that will likely result in a six-month delay of the scheduled April implementation of the rules. There have been a lot of comments circulated on the impact of a delay or any changes. And of course, debate has once again been revived on the value of these new rules. Most important, though, is what this means for your 401k plan and participants and what your 401k fiduciary responsibility is. [Read more…]

Employers, You Should Be Appalled!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 
PSI Newsletter and Website Header 10.2.15

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

On June 1, 2016 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Financial Services Institute and a number of other organizations filed suit against the Department of Labor (DoL) to stop the implementation of the new fiduciary rules.

Why you should be appalled

[Read more…]

New Fiduciary Regs: A Win For Plan Sponsors

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 the Department of Labor (DoL) issued its final fiduciary regs for investment advisors working with retirement accounts. The rules were aimed specifically at brokers who provide investment advice to clients under the “suitability” requirement (which exempted brokers from being fiduciaries). The issuance of these final fiduciary regs ends a long war that the brokerage industry waged against regulators, employing all manner of threats to avoid fiduciary responsibility (e.g.; small clients will not be able to receive investment advice — absolutely ridiculous) and spending millions on intense political lobbying. Who won? Remarkably, plan sponsors!

What is a fiduciary?

[Read more…]

Plan Sponsors Should Support Harmonization Of Fiduciary Regulations

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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

When the recently proposed fiduciary rules are finalized there will likely continue to be significant differences between how Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and brokers interact with their retirement plan clients from a fiduciary standpoint.

Currently, RIAs are required to act as fiduciaries to their clients while brokers, essentially, are not. This is confusing to plan sponsors because most assume that any investment advisor they work with takes on fiduciary responsibility when they share advice. However, since brokers are acting as agents for their employers, they are allowed to offer advice and products based upon a “suitability” standard. This standard permits brokers to share advice that may put their interests or their firm’s interests ahead of their client’s. RIAs are always required to keep their client’s best interests first. [Read more…]

Which Fiduciary Should 401k Plan Sponsors Hire: 3(16), 3(21) Or 3(38)?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about whether plan sponsors should contract with their administrative providers for section 3(16) fiduciary services. Outlined below are the different types of fiduciary services available to 401k plan sponsors. [Read more…]

Why All 401k Plan Sponsors Should Use BrokerCheck

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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

The Department of Labor (DoL) feel it is important that you, as a 401k plan sponsor, review your providers at least every 3 to 5 years. One way to check on the status of the financial advisor working with your 401k plan is by using BrokerCheck — a free service provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). FINRA is the regulator for all securities firms doing business in the U.S. Their primary objective is to protect investors.

BrokerCheck lists any financial advisor violations of investment-related regulations or statues and will also tell you whether your financial advisor is licensed to do business in your state. Don’t worry, your financial advisor will not be informed about whether you used the service to check his/her background.

BrokerCheck will tell you: [Read more…]

401k Decision-Making And Documentation Best Practices

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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…]

Services To Expect From Your 401k Investment Adviser

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail


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

It’s annual review time. That part of the year when your 401k plan investment adviser visits to discuss what has happened in the markets and your plan during the prior year. As you consider the success of your annual review meeting, you may wish to evaluate the following investment adviser services you should be receiving. [Read more…]