401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Conflict of Interest Case Studies

In the 401(k) industry, conflicts of interest can come from two sources: employers managing 401(k) plans, and service providers working on behalf of those employers. Conflicts of interest can arise when an employer or service provider has an incentive to put its own interests above the needs of the employees’ retirement plan. The following case studies are an example of what different conflicts of interest can look like in the context of…

401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Expenses - Understanding and Analyzing 401(k) Plan Fees

The E for Expenses essay focuses on 401(k) plans and their costs. Here we will explore the fees you are likely to see in your plan, understand who should be responsible, how best to analyze, and how often you should review. Nathan Fisher developed a mnemonic device called R.E.T.I.R.E. ® an employer's go-to resource for 401(k) plans.

401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Engagement - Helping Employees Make the Most of Your 401(k)

The "E" for Engagement essay focuses on how to help your employees make the most of the company 401(k) plan. For example, you want to not only evaluate how many of your employees are participating, but also how much of their salaries they're contributing, and how diversified their investments are. Nathan Fisher developed a mnemonic device called R.E.T.I.R.E. ® an employer's go-to resource for 401(k) plans.

401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Investment Solutions - Offering 401(k) Fund Options for Different Purposes

The "I" for Investment Solutions essay focuses on choosing the best investment options for your employees. Just because you want to provide your employees with a valuable retirement benefit, doesn’t mean you want to become an expert in investing. This essay offers a list of investment solutions that help each type of employee at your company; from those who want to invest on their own, to those who want a lot of help. Nathan Fisher developed a…

401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Responsibilities – Making Sure Your Employees Come First

The "R" for Responsibilities essay focuses on your responsibility in making decisions on behalf of plan participants and their beneficiaries (current and past employees, and their families). To that end, it's critical that you seek out any potential conflicts of interest in your plan and work to remove them. Nathan Fisher developed a mnemonic device called R.E.T.I.R.E. ® an employer’s go-to resource for 401(k) management.

401k Best Practices
Articles

401(k) Resources – Finding the Right Tools for 401(k) Success

The "R" for Resources essay focuses on resources that can help you, as the 401(k) plan manager, more effectively manage your plan and provide access to resources that will help your employees get and stay on track towards retirement. The resources and support a 401(k) service provider has to offer both you and your employees can mean the difference between success and falling short of their 401(k) goals. This essay offers a list of resources…

401k Basics
Whitepapers & Reports

Understanding Fiduciaries and their Responsibilities

Get answers to commonly asked questions about 401(k) fiduciaries; what is a fiduciary, who is a fiduciary and more. This is a quick two-page guide to familiarize yourself with fiduciary responsibility related to running a 401(k) plan.

401k Basics
Infographics

401(k) Service Provider Infographic

Understanding each 401(k) service provider’s role and responsibility is important to the success of your plan. In this overview, learn what is expected from a Plan Sponsor, Investment Adviser, TPA and Recordkeeper.

Educational Workshop Guides
Worksheets

Sample Individual Gap Analysis, Retirement Income Assessment

A gap analysis is a way for your employees to see how they are tracking toward their retirement savings goals. It measures the gap between their current savings and savings rate and their future dollars needed. Typically, a gap analysis will take into account Social Security, 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts. Check out this sample gap analysis and see what it looks like and the types of recommendations a gap analysis will provide to…

401k Best Practices
Worksheets

Employee Survey Card

Make a difference to your company 401(k) plan. Ask your employees these four simple questions about their plan, and then tally the results. If the majority of employees answered “no” or “unsure” then it may be time to take a closer look at the level of service you’re getting from your 401(k) provider. 

401k Basics
Whitepapers & Reports

Understanding Retirement Plan Fees and Expenses

As an employer offering a retirement plan, you are helping your employees achieve a secure financial future. Your decision making will include selecting plan investments, investment options and service providers. When you make these choices, cost will be a key component. This whitepaper by the DOL will help you better understand and evaluate your plan’s fees and expenses. Understanding Retirement Plan Fees and Expenses is a document of the U.S.…

Educational Workshop Guides
Articles

401(k) Tracking – Measuring 401(k) Performance in Terms of Retirement Readiness

The T for Tracking essay focuses on the answering the question: are your employees retirement ready? For most people, retirement readiness is really what a 401(k) plan is all about; your employees are going to retire someday, and they need to be ready with sufficient monthly income to maintain their standard of living. Your employees’ retirement readiness can be a unifying theme for evaluating your 401(k) plan’s effectiveness. Nathan Fisher…

Educational Workshop Guides
Articles

Investment Highlights and Snapshot Sample Report

Here is a sample investment benchmarking report from a third party. The report reviews the funds in your company 401(k) plan and identifies if they are good (green), at risk (yellow) or bad (red). Once a fund is in the red category, it should be put on a fund watch list and removed if it doesn’t improve. See this sample report to get an idea of what an investment benchmarking report can do for your 401(k) plan.

401k Basics
Whitepapers & Reports

401(k) Plans for Small Business

401(k) plans can be a powerful tool in promoting financial security in retirement. This guide highlights some 401(k) plan advantages, your options and responsibilities as an employer, and the differences between different 401(k) plan options. 401(k) Plans for Small Businesses is a joint project of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA) and the Internal Revenue Service.

Reviewing Your Providers
Whitepapers & Reports

Sample 401(k) Benchmark Report

View a sample 401(k) benchmark report that compares a sample 401(k) plan to similar companies in terms of number of participants and industry. In a third party 401(k) benchmark report like this one, your company can easily compare fees, plan options, employee participation and investment options, therefore allowing you to identify any places in your 401(k) that need to be re-evaluated and updated.

401k Best Practices
Whitepapers & Reports

401(k) Compliance Calendar

There are important dates each year that 401(k) plan managers can prepare for in advance. These key dates vary in how much action is needed—some may be as simple as signing and filing a form while some are deadlines by which your business is required to fund contributions made to your employees, undergo compliance testing, and distribute notices to your employees. Check out this year’s 401(k) compliance calendar.

401k Best Practices
Whitepapers & Reports

Common 401(k) Plan Administrative Mistakes

This quick reference offers some of the most common mistakes than can happen when administering a 401(k) plan and what can be done to fix them. Plus, you’ll learn the top 5 ways to avoid administrative issues all-together. 

401k Best Practices
Whitepapers & Reports

Meeting your Fiduciary Responsibilities

Managing a company 401(k) plan comes with a lot of responsibility, called fiduciary responsibility. Here, you can find a guide explaining the law around that responsibility, what you’re liable for, what you need to do and some tips for a 401(k) plan fiduciary. Meeting your Fiduciary Responsibility is a document of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL/EBSA).

401k Best Practices
Worksheets

Fiduciary Audit File Guide

As an employer who offers a 401(k), you want to maintain a fiduciary audit file in the case of an audit by the IRS or Department of Labor (DOL), and for an annual audit if you have more than 100 employees. But what should be in your 401(k) fiduciary audit file? And how often do you update the 401(k) audit file? Read the guide. 

401k Best Practices
Worksheets

Fiduciary Checklist

Can you check all these boxes as a 401(k) plan fiduciary? This is a great way to make sure you’ve taken all the steps needed to responsibly administer your company 401(k) plan. This checklist is a fiduciary best practice guide for all 401(k) plan managers.

401k Basics
Worksheets

401(k) Glossary of Terms (Extended)

Want a deeper dive into many of the 401(k) terms and their definitions to better help you understand the sometimes confusing world of 401(k) plans? Here is an extended list of common 401(k) terms and their definitions to help 401(k) plan managers understand the more technical terminology used in the 401(k) industry. 

401k Basics
Whitepapers & Reports

Hardship Distribution Guidelines

Your employees may ask for a hardship distribution from their 401(k). This sheet shares the 6 scenarios when a hardship distribution is possible according to the IRS. 

401k Basics
Whitepapers & Reports

Payroll Contribution and Employee Information Checklist for 401(k)'s

There are five methods for managing employee payroll information for a 401(k). Download this payroll checklist outlining the ways to transmit employee data and payroll, for each of the five payroll processing methods. Accurate and up to date 401(k) payroll data for employee contributions is essential regardless of your process so that your service providers can track eligibility, facilitate transactions, and prepare annual administration.

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Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions is dedicated to helping small and mid-size businesses deliver successful ‭retirement plan services. Our success is defined by each business achieving its custom 401(k) plan goals and by ‭empowering employees with the dedicated support and resources necessary to achieve a dignified retirement. Our ‭solutions are built on the core principles of providing employers and employees ready access to dedicated 401(k) ‭specialists, flexible investment options, and fee transparency.

The Fisher Investments Resource Library is designed to support 401(k) Plan Sponsors with insights, tools and ‭answers without obligation.

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