The Frugal Fiduciary Blog

The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: Why Can’t Regulators do Simple?

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Jun 17, 2015

Since the DOL released its fiduciary proposal, I’ve been trying to digest it so I can provide any concerns to the DOL during their comment period.  This has not been an easy task.  The DOL’s proposal is complex.  My review got me thinking about DOL regulations in general – why aren’t they less complicated? I think they can be, being more effective in the process. 

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, ERISA, DOL

Jerry Schlichter Interviewed by Frontline; 401k Sponsors Should Take Note

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Mar 11, 2015

Last week, Frontline published an article as a follow-up to its 2013 documentary “The Retirement Gamble.” That documentary painted a picture of a retirement industry mired in hidden fees and conflicts of interests. In the new article, Frontline interviewed Jerome Schlichter, a St. Louis attorney specializing in suing plan sponsors for excessive 401k fees. Over the years, Schlichter has settled six 401k cases, including cases against General Dynamics, International Paper and Caterpillar. The settlements have been huge and influential, generating $125 million in recoveries to 300,000 participants.

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, 401k blog, 401(k)

Evaluating 401k Providers: Separating Commodity from Value-Added Services

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Feb 10, 2015

Selecting competent service providers is one of the most important fiduciary duties of a 401k plan sponsor – and it can appear daunting at first glance. Fortunately, this process can be made much simpler by understanding each service that makes up a 401k plan and applying appropriate benchmarks to those services to measure their value. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to pick 401k providers based on the value of their services.

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, 401(k) Investments, 401k blog, 401k fees

New Year’s Resolution # 1 for Fiduciaries – “I WILL Evaluate My 401k Plan Fees"

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Dec 30, 2014

I have always liked New Year's resolutions. They are a great excuse for ending bad behaviors or starting good ones. Here’s one for all small business 401k sponsors – “I will evaluate my plan fees for reasonableness.” Let me explain why…
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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, fiduciary, ERISA, 401k blog, 401k fees, 401(k), DOL

JP Morgan publishes a piece on choosing target date funds for your plan. Good points made, but even better points are left out.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Dec 23, 2014

I welcome this “Retirement Insights” piece from J. P. Morgan Asset Management – as far as it goes. The piece makes several excellent points that can benefit all plan sponsors, but presents a view biased toward active management. No surprise. JP Morgan actively manages retirement plan investments – they have a point of view that ultimately promotes the company’s business and brand.

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, retirement plans, 401k blog, small business 401k, Target Date Funds

There are no “economies of scale” in 401k plans – unless you are trying to beat the market

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Dec 17, 2014

Any 401k plan sponsor in America – repeat ANY – can buy market returns dirt cheap. There are no economies of scale in the market for indexed investments. No minimum purchase requirements. No high pressure sales pitches. Buy an index mutual fund or ETF and you’ve locked in market returns. As I have written previously, this indexed approach is the new baseline for small business 401k plans.

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, small business retirement plans, low cost 401(k) plan, index funds, 401k blog, ETF, Multiple Employer Plans, small business 401k, 401(k), recordkeeping

MassMutual settled its “functional fiduciary” lawsuit – a cause for hope for greater fee transparency.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Nov 10, 2014

Functional Fiduciary Lawsuit
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Topics: revenue sharing, 401k plan sponsor, retirement plans, ERISA, small business 401k, 401(k), expense ratio

The Power of The “All-In” 401k Fee

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Aug 28, 2014

All-In 401k Fee
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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, small business retirement plans, retirement plans, 401k blog, 401k fees, small business 401k, 401(k)

In Praise of the 401k Employer Match

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Jun 26, 2013

Image courtesy of kibsri at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, 401k blog, 401(k) Plan Consultations, 401(k), 401k participants

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