The Frugal Fiduciary Blog

Eric Droblyen

Eric Droblyen began his career as an ERISA compliance specialist with Charles Schwab in the mid-1990s. His keen grasp on 401k plan administration and compliance matters has made Eric a sought after speaker. He has delivered presentations at a number of events, including the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) Annual Conference. As President and CEO of Employee Fiduciary, Eric is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and service delivery.
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Recent Posts

4 Traits of the Best Small Business 401k Providers

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Jan 11, 2017

There are thousands of 401k providers in the U.S. – many with very different fees, services and expertise. This abundance of choice can make choosing a competent 401k provider with reasonable fees seem overwhelming for small business 401k fiduciaries.

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Topics: small business retirement plans, small business 401k, 401k service providers

Our Top 10 401k Blogs of 2016: What Topics Were the Most Popular?

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Dec 28, 2016

Happy Holidays from the Frugal Fiduciary! As 2016 comes to a close, we looked back through this year’s blogs to find the most read.  It turns out our most popular blogs related to the following topics:

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401k Eligibility: When to Let Employees Join Your 401k Plan

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Dec 14, 2016

During the 401k plan design process, we get a lot of questions from small business 401k fiduciaries about employee eligibility.  They want to know when they should let new employees into their 401k plan and their options for keeping certain employees – generally the ones that won’t participate – out.

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Topics: 401k plan participation, small business 401k, 401k plan design

401k Plan Design Study: What 2,767 Small Business 401k Plans Are Doing

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Nov 30, 2016

Small businesses can have dramatically different goals for their 401k plan. While some want to maximize key employee contributions, others want to incentivize rank-and-file contributions.  401k fiduciaries have nearly endless options for meeting these goals – many with very different expenses. The process of matching 401k goals to available options is called 401k plan design.

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401k Fees: Are Traditional 401k Services Worth a Smaller Retirement Nest Egg?

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Nov 16, 2016

I have a confession – my company’s participant benefit statements are nothing special.  While they disclose all the requisite information, they are matter-of-fact and lack color graphics.  They’re also delivered electronically, not mailed.

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Topics: low cost 401(k) plan, 401k fees, small business 401k

You Want to Terminate Your Multiple Employer 401k Plan? Good Luck with That

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Nov 2, 2016

Small business 401k plan terminations can happen for reasons other than going-out-of-business or a business sale.  Sometimes, even successful businesses decide to terminate their plan due to a cash crunch or poor employee participation.

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Topics: 401k enrollment, Multiple Employer Plans, small business 401k

Asset-Based 401k Admin Fees Are Unreasonable; Fiduciaries Should Avoid Them

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Oct 19, 2016

20 years ago, 401k plans were free. OK not really, but 401k providers used this lie a lot to sell 401k plans to small businesses that didn’t want to pay any out-of-pocket 401k fees. In truth, these plans paid “indirect” fees - like revenue sharing paid by mutual funds and/or wrap fees paid by insurance company variable annuities – to 401k providers based on a percentage of plan assets.   

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Topics: fiduciary, asset-based fees, 401k fees

3 Questions for Calculating Small Business 401k Provider Fees

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Oct 5, 2016

Small businesses have a fiduciary responsibility to pay only reasonable 401k plan fees. The problem? Too many 401k providers bury their fees in complex disclosure documents. When 401k fees are hard to find, it can be easy for 401k fiduciaries to pay too much for 401k services. When this happens, participant returns are handicapped unnecessarily and fiduciary liability is increased.

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Government Shocker! The 401k Form 5500 May Become Useful Soon

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Sep 21, 2016

 

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Topics: 401k blog, Form 5500

Is Human 401k Advice More Expensive Than Robo Advice? You Might Be Surprised

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Sep 7, 2016

A new development in the small business 401k industry is the “robo” 401k provider. These providers use a computer algorithm, instead of a flesh and blood financial advisor, to construct investment portfolios for 401k participants. They claim technology is a less expensive alternative to human advice.

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Topics: Investment costs, 401(k)

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