Increasing 401(k) Plan Participation Bookmark

Cash or deferred retirement plans, more commonly referred to as 401(k) plans, have become the backbone of the private pension system in America. They long ago replaced employer-sponsored pension plans as the most common vehicle for retirement savings.

Participant Fee Disclosure Requirements for Individual Account Plans Bookmark

Last year the Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations requiring broad disclosures of fees, expenses and certain other plan and investment-related information to participants and beneficiaries under individual account plans.

The purpose of the new disclosure requirements is to ensure participants and beneficiaries have access to adequate information to enable them to comparison shop among investment options to make informed investment decisions.

Below is a general overview of the regulations' key disclosure requirements that become effective in 2012.

Should They Stay or Should They Go? Bookmark

Sooner or later, every retirement plan will have to deal with participants who have terminated employment but still have balances in the plan. In most circumstances, the plan document provides guidance on how to proceed; however, there are a number of factors that can make the determination a little more complex than what it seems at first blush.

Fiduciary Liability for Participant-Directed Plans Bookmark

It seems that every month there are new stories in the financial press about participants suing their employers for mismanagement of the company 401(k) plan. While most of these suits have been directed at larger companies, the increasing frequency has employers of all sizes looking for ways to minimize their liability. One way to do that is to comply with a set of "safe-harbor" rules found in section 404(c) of ERISA.

New Proposed QDIA Rules Bookmark

New Proposed QDIA Rules
The opportunity to save in an employer-sponsored retirement plan is certainly an important benefit. Over the years plan sponsors have sometimes encountered issues with employees who begin to participate but who make no affirmative election about investments. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) addressed this by providing employers a fiduciary “safe harbor” by offering a Qualified Default Investment Alternative ("QDIA").  QDIA rules cover investments made on behalf of participants in a plan's default investment option such as life cycle or target date funds, balanced funds, or managed accounts.  

An ICI Review of the Economics of Providing Retirement Plans Bookmark

An ICI Review of the Economics of Providing Retirement Plans
While the Department of Labor has delayed the implementation of new fee disclosure rules about fees charged to plans and participants, it may be useful to refer to the recent report "The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2009" published by the Investment Company Institute (ICI), a national industry group representing companies offering mutual funds, ETFs, and unit investment trusts (UITs). Members of ICI manage assets of $12.74 trillion and serve over 90 million shareholders. As the title suggests, this report offers research insights into the costs associated with 401(k) plans. You may find the information also relevant to similar plan arrangements.

More Households at Risk of Insufficient Retirement Income Bookmark

More Households at Risk of Insufficient Retirement Income
A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports that as a result of the financial market and real estate crisis of 2008 and 2009, the percentage of households that have ended up at risk of falling short of retirement income needs ranges from a low of 3.8% to a high of 14.3%.   At-risk households were defined as those that would not have enough income to pay for "basic" expenses in retirement as well as uninsured health care costs.

Altigro Acquires Global Pension Services Bookmark

FAIRFIELD, NJ, January 29, 2009 -- Altigro Pension Services, Inc. of Fairfield, a family-owned business that has been designing and administering retirement plans for more than 35 years, today announced it has acquired the third-party administration division of Global Pension Services, LLC (GPS) of Cranford.

"Both GPS and Altigro have established reputations for providing experienced third-party administration for qualified retirement plans," said Steven P. Greenbaum, president of Altigro Pension Services. "By joining forces, we will build upon that heritage, delivering an expanded range of innovative and enhanced services to our clients."

Altigro Pension Services Makes TPA Acquisition Bookmark

FAIRFIELD, NJ, January 19, 2009 -- Altigro Pension Services, Inc. of Fairfield today announced it has acquired the third-party pension administration services of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) of Cranford. As part of the acquisition, Bernard McCauley will be joining Altigro as a senior pension administrator to better serve and expand Altigro's base of pension clients. He will be working closely with Vita Amadeo of HRH on the client files that are transferred to Altigro.