RETIREMENT PLAN CONSULTING SERVICES
The 401 Group provides specialized advice and services to retirement plan sponsors (employers) and their participants (employees). Our experience helping employers with retirement plan selection, design, administration & investment advisory services has consistently demonstrated our ability to ensure employers expectations are exceeded and their participants needs are met in all facets of plan management and maintenance. The 401 Group's Retirement Plan services are built around the following tenets, to ensure plan sponsors and participants retirement plan objectives are met as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The 401 Group
Our independent Advisors can devote themselves to objectively serving your best interests, while providing absolutely unbiased advice. Working together with independent plan providers and record-keepers we can offer a full suite of services to employers and employees, allowing each retirement service provider to focus on their specific expertise for the plan. This effective collaboration ensures you get focused advice, administration, and recordkeeping of your plan. This ongoing relationship works to achieve the right balance between efficient plan administration and a positive participant experience for your employees.
Our independence allows you the flexibility to design the right plan for your needs. An open architecture means we can help you build a plan around the investment choices that make the most sense for your employees, and the providers and recordkeepers that make the most sense for you as an employer.
Our Firm has over 25 years of experience providing retirement plan advisory services, and has worked with both large and small retirement plans of all types in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Plan Sponsors (Employers)
pLAN dESIGN & sUPPORT
We utilize a plan design optimization process that is unique to each client. The key theme of this process is that better plan design leads to better participant behavior and better outcomes. This process helps plan decision makers find the right plan provisions that will give their employees the best chance of retiring comfortably for an amount the employer can afford.
The 401 Group will review the design and operational features of your company's plan, from an unbiased perspective, focusing on:
- Increased employee deferral limits and employee tax credit incentives
- Increased employer plan contribution deduction limits
- The relationship between loan incidence and plan participation
- Tiered and Age-Weighted discretionary contribution formulas
- Online participant access for account balance inquiry and changes
- Key personnel Internet access to plan and participant data
- Paperless enrollment
- Electronic transmittal of payroll, loan and distribution transactions
- Automatic enrollment/negative election
- Controlled Group plan set-up and design alternatives
- Optimum frequency and educational content of employee communications
- Complying with 404(c) investment guidelines and requirements
- Management of the conversion/transition process
Fiduciary oVERSIGHT & Compliance
The 401 Group is committed to providing employers with solutions and education to assist them in mitigating their liability. We assist plan sponsor fiduciaries with fiduciary risk management strategies. Our Investment Fiduciary status enables us to help plan sponsors maintain high fiduciary standards. We offer solutions to help plan sponsors address their fiduciary responsibilities through the effective use of investment committee training, plan governance, provider monitoring, and electronic document storage.
pLAN lEVEL bENCHMARKING
Employing multiple benchmarking solutions, we provide employers comprehensive reporting to cut through the confusion and frustration of selecting and monitoring retirement plan providers.
The 401 Group is the Plan Sponsor’s outsource partner in the plan provider review process. We have access to the independent third party research, which helps Plan Sponsors to eliminate the confusion and frustration of selecting a 401(k) provider, and dramatically reduces the amount of time plan sponsors must allocate to the evaluation of new plan providers.
The 401 Group has access to a proprietary plan provider analysis and benchmarking tool. It conducts comprehensive research on retirement plan providers and asset managers. Employers who choose to evaluate their plan providers on fundamental product, service, and cost components will find this program to be an integral part of their due diligence process. The powerful research and analysis tools are aimed at providing transparency to best identify pricing options and service enhancements from each provider.
iNVESTMENT dUE dILIGENCE
The selection and monitoring of your retirement plan assets is a fiduciary process that requires a well-designed and well-documented process. The 401 Group will work with the retirement plan committee to develop and maintain the plan's investment strategy, which is codified in an investment policy statement. This investment policy statement is used as a guide to evaluate your current investment offerings, measuring them against applicable indices, your existing provider's complete menu and the broader universe of investment options. The result is confidence that your plan's investments are diversified, well managed, and meet the stated objectives of your investment policy statement.
Plan Participants (Employees)
PLAN EDUCATION & ENROLLMENT
A successful communication program is critical to the success of a company's retirement plan. Enrollment and education specialists at The 401 Group understand that the development of an effective communication program varies greatly from business to business and across industries. We review the wide variety of options available with the retirement plan committee and create the most appropriate program for their particular employee population. Consistent implementation of the plan increases employee understanding and participation while raising the profile and appreciation of the benefit.
Key components of The 401 Group communication strategy include:
- Pre-enrollment memos & announcements
- All on-site meetings conducted by CFP® Professionals
- On-site group enrollment meetings
- On site “one on one” meetings
- On-site group investment education meetings
- Video teleconferencing meetings for remote locations
- Direct access to CFP® & CFA Professionals for individual financial planning and investment advisory needs
- Customer service representatives and e-mail contacts for plan participants
- Participant access to our "eMoney WealthView" Personal Financial Management web portal
Financial Planning Services
The 401 Group makes our holistic financial planning service available to plan participants wishing to receive more personalized and comprehensive advice relating to their overall financial situation.
The 401 Group believes wise financial decisions can only be made when one understands the comprehensive financial circumstances and objectives of a an individual, family or organization; because each financial decision is interrelated and requires balancing competing priorities, objectives, and risks across each of the key areas of financial planning. Comprehensive Financial Planning is the framework from which all educated financial decisions can be made from a holistic perspective. In the financial planning process, we will provide analysis and recommendations within each of the following key areas of financial planning (as defined by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Board of Standards):
- Current Financial Management
- Risk Management & Protection Planning
- Income Tax Planning
- Investment Planning
- Retirement Planning
- Legacy & Estate Planning