Target-date or lifecycle funds first came to market in 1994. Since then, they have experienced much growth with nearly every large financial institution today offering their own version of these funds. Along with target-date funds becoming a fundamental option of 401(k) plans, comes a fiduciary responsibility to monitor and evaluate them, much like other plan investments. This article examines key characteristics plan sponsors and investment committees should know about target-date funds.
It is not uncommon for previously active employed plan participants to fall off the radar screen. They include retirees and former employees that move away without informing the plan administrator. Before anyone realizes it, they become “lost” participants. This article details the steps to take when dealing with these participants.
Auto-enrolling 401(k) plan participants without also incorporating an auto-escalation feature might be a counterproductive exercise. Survey data suggests that average 401(k) plan deferral rates have been trending downward even though more employers are adopting auto-enrollment. The apparent culprit: low auto-deferral rates. This brief article highlights how to use both auto-enrollment and auto-escalation clauses to help benefit employees.
Are you a fiduciary for your company or organization’s retirement plan? If yes, you may find it challenging to “cover all the bases” in understanding your fiduciary duties. Some common duties that get overlooked include failing to identify the plan’s fiduciaries and insufficiently training fiduciaries on their responsibilities.
We all know that nobody is perfect. The good news is, so does the IRS. The IRS acknowledges that retirement plan administrators are not infallible, and provides correction for certain administrative errors. While corrective actions can still be arduous and time consuming, the IRS has relaxed some of its rules. This article provides an in-depth look at the recent updates as to how the IRS will handle certain plan administration errors.
Nonqualified deferred compensation plans enable key employees to defer a higher proportion of their current income to later years when they retire. While nonqualified plans often are perceived as only for top executives, they may also be right for upper-level staff. This article discusses what plan sponsors need to know about nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
Maintaining data security is a significant part of running any business. Breaches are inevitable — although not at every organization. This article reviews questions to ask when reviewing data security with service providers.
As far as the IRS is concerned, you cannot be overly cautious with saving too many retirement plan documents. Plan sponsors, on the other hand, might reasonably feel the need to free up file storage space every now and again by purging documents that are no longer needed. This article examines where to draw the line and also looks at IRS rules for documentation of hardship withdrawals and participant loans.
Give Employees More Bang for Their Buck: How to More Effectively Use Default Deferral Rates and Auto-Escalation Clauses
According to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey, only 46% of defined contribution plans automatically enroll participants. The most common default deferral rate for those that do is 3%. Are plan sponsors telling employees that they can afford to retire by saving just 3% of their salary each year? Some participants may think so. This article discusses how to use default deferral rates and auto-escalation clauses to boost participants’ retirement savings.