Your 401k plan should build dreams, not create nightmares
Your organization’s 401K plan can (and should) be the lynch pin to your overall employee benefits package. Changes in the 401K marketplace have resulted in a greater requirement for plan oversight and monitoring on the part of the employer as well as the opportunity for plans, both big and small, to improve the cost-effectiveness and utility of their offering. The advisor working with you on your 401K plan should be expert and current in their knowledge of the 401K marketplace.
At FWM we work with employers and employees to navigate the changing 401K and retirement planning landscape through 3 primary areas of expertise:
Plan Design and Administration
We will review your current plan's features and assess its effectiveness in all areas. For example, is your plan successful at driving participation and increasing deferral rates? Does it offer a sufficient variety of investment options to ensure participants are able to diversify* appropriately? Are there areas you would like to see improved upon, such as technology, reporting, and assistance with fiduciary compliance?
Plan Investment Selection and Monitoring
- Cost Effective
- Diverse, performance-driven lineup
- Ongoing monitoring
As independent advisors we are not limited to a pre-selected or limited list of funds available for inclusion in your plan. Our recommendations regarding which funds to use in your plan are driven by two criteria: Performance and Cost Effectiveness. We will provide an initial recommendation as to which funds are best suited to meet the needs of your plan and provide ongoing monitoring of their success in meeting plan needs. Should a fund fail to live up to expectation, it can be replaced or new funds can be added to the plan over time should circumstances warrant their inclusion.
The expenses associated with the investment funds selected for the plan are a critical component in assessing the overall effectiveness of the plan’s investment lineup. Too often a plan is saddled with high-expense funds that can inhibit fund performance. Reducing the expenses associated with the investment funds within a plan whenever possible is an important first step in creating an effective plan or in improving the effectiveness of an existing plan.
Employee Education and Consulting
- Fiduciary obligation to participants
- Scheduled in-person group meetings
- Individualized consulting as desired
At FWM we provide in-person/on-site employee education meetings on a quarterly basis. These scheduled meetings (often in conjunction with a general staff meeting or other business function) are essential in meeting the plan’s obligations to educate and inform participants. Our meetings are informative and inclusive. We cover topics of general interest to encourage plan participation, retirement planning and long-term investing. We find that group meetings are important and useful in building a momentum supporting participation and team buy-in.
We have also found that not all employees will ask questions about their participation or planning in a group setting. We make a point to meet individually with employees at their discretion to address personal questions and provide individualized consulting appropriate for their unique circumstances. We want your employees to be empowered by the opportunity for saving you are providing, not intimidated or confused.
*Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss.