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 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.



We brought in a 3(38) Advisor who utilized open architecture to select new funds and moved totally away from 12b1 fees and commissions. Our new Advisor signed on as the Plan Fiduciary. The ABG firm moved them to a daily recordkeeping approach. Today, this plan has over $4 million in assets and is saving 50 basis points in fees versus the prior approach, and has beaten the S & P averages the past two years. The law firm is able to focus on practicing law and building their business, while the Plan Fiduciary Advisor is able to manage the plan on behalf of all the participants.



Just because you have a group of professionals, albeit lawyers, who have a retirement plan, it doesn’t mean it’s always been set up properly. ERISA and retirement plan work is very specialized, so plan sponsors are better off finding a bona fide experienced expert Advisor and bona fide experienced expert consultant and recordkeeping firm. You may think you have the best plan possible, but all plans need a checkup periodically to make sure you’re keeping up with industry standards.

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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 Plan Designs Are Not Perfect…

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 SolutionBy 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.