Best Practices In Retirement Services

This blog is designed to showcase the expertise of Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) through its recordkeeping, consulting and compliance services. Delivered locally to retirement advisors and plan sponsors. All blogposts are derived from actual client situations. Enjoy!

All Plan Designs Are Not Perfect…


Problem Encountered

We ran into a 401k plan sponsor who had been routinely refunding over $30,000 in plan contributions made by their highly paid group. We met with the Advisor and sponsor to obtain their objectives in sponsoring the plan, and what they hoped the outcome could be.


ABG Solution

By focusing on the top 20% of highly paids as opposed to just the defined term “Highly Compensated Employees”, we were able to reconstruct the plans formulae and eliminate the refunds. Our consultative approach rather than a one size fits all plan design is now making the plan far more effective for the sponsor, and for the executive group. 


BEST Practice Learned

Many, many plans you run into out there contain minor or major design flaws. Advisors and sponsors need to find qualified consulting firms who have experience with many types of plans, sponsors and are solution providers. There is often times a nice solution for most plan issues.

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Financial Wellness, A Fad or Indispensable?

Every two to three years, a new buzz word is embraced by the retirement plan industry. For the last two years that term has been “Financial Wellness” and it is most likely here to stay.Financial Wellness is an all-encompassing term to mean a comprehensive collection of tools and education provided to the employees in the workplace. The tools can be varied, but include at a minimum: an assessment tool, education, calculators, videos and articles.

Trash Hauler Replaces Some Wasteful Funds

One of the nation’s ten largest waste haulers had a $70 mm dollar 401k plan and a $45 mm Defined Benefit Plan. After an outside advisor warned the sponsor they might be paying too much in their overall fees, they decided to put the plan out for bid and ABG was asked to respond. The plan had an advisor and was using a top 10 institutional recordkeeper. We received the RFP as an independent recordkeeper.

All Plans Need an Annual Checkup

An ABG recordkeeper discovered a 7 person law firm retirement plan that had a broker collecting 12b1 fees and churning high priced mutual funds at over 100% annual turnover. The plan’s investment performance had underperformed the S & P by over 500 basis points over the past six years. And the broker was not performing its tasks as a Fiduciary.