12.27.2011: The US Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it is requiring all employer-sponsored 401K plans to disclose the various and sundry fees associated with the retirement plan.

The original due date for compliance was April 1, 2012. However, so few plan sponsors and investment companies were ready to do so, that the implementation timeline was pushed back to July 1, 2012. That deadline will not be changed. What does this mean?

The new rules mean that when you get your quarterly statement it will be even more confusing than before! There will be a whole new layer of fees and costs that will be difficult to sift through and understand, that’s where we come in.

Our program can be tailored for employers to more clearly show employees what the fees are, how they are paid, and by whom. These plans are a wonderful benefit, but if employees are confused and frustrated they will not see the benefit.

Stuck on the 401K Treadmill?

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Stuck on the 401K Treadmill?

If you work for a Fortune 500 company you likely get a host of employee benefits.  If you work at the corporate headquarters you likely get even better perks.  After all that is where executive management are and they can’t have their perks appear exclusively for them.  Many large companies have free gyms for employees.  These are often the same companies that “self-insure” their employees medical benefits.  Yes they may use an outside administrator to look-like they are really using an health insurance company, but that’s just an illusion.

Using a third party administrator like Aetna enables big companies to blame the insurer for claims rules, denied payments and restrictions on co-pays and prescriptions.  However, when the outer layer is peeled back, it’s really just corporate greed that governs these rules.

A major food conglomerate located outside of Philadelphia has a beautiful new corporate gym.  They hire an outside firm to manage it and charge the employees a modest fee per payroll deduction to pay for it.  Fees run around $10/pay to join.  That is a common and wonderful benefit.  It helps employees stay healthy, educing sick time off and lowering benefit expenses if you believe the financial models.  But what about something nearly as  important as physical health – your financial health.

Some large (really large) corporations provide as a component of the executive benefit package free personal financial consulting for the top executives.  This is to help them plan their finances, understand how stock options work, tax consequences, the nitty-gritty about the pension plan, etc.  These executives may make a ton of money and the company recognizes that not every senior manager is a financial expert, too.  So they hire experts to assist.

What about the rest of us?  Why won’t companies offer free financial planning to the employees, the regular workers who could really benefit form this assistance?  What is more critical for employees, a top executive shaving a point or two from his tax rate, or a line employee adding a point or two to their 401K investment yield?  I think the latter is vitally more important.  According to reports, there are roughly $72 million employees with over $3 trillion in 401K plan assets that are under-invested.  Meaning the asset mix is misaligned given the employee’s risk appetite and time horizon to retirement.

Wouldn’t this type of help be far more beneficial to the average employee than a top executive’s tax rate?  I think so, but what about you?  What’s your view?  If your employer offered free 401K financial planning would you use it?  Are you aware that you may already have this benefit and just did not know it?

You may be on the 401K treadmill, saving diligently every pay period, but going nowhere when it comes to retirement readiness.

Financial health is nearly as important as physical health in a culture where we live longer and can count on social security retirement benefits less.  When was the last time your 401K plan had a “tune-up”?

Get a 401K Tune-up of your own by purchasing the book at Amazon, or visiting the website at