Top of Mind

Showing entries with the topic “Plan Design”.

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Sep 2020

Why "Six is the New Three" When It Comes to Automatic Enrollment

At last month’s Retirement Advisor Council annual meeting, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a session about participant retirement readiness, where Joe Smith made the statement: “six is the new three” when it comes to automatic enrollment. While I tend to be a sucker for snappy catch phrases, her…

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Aug 2020

More Questionable Retirement Plan Features

In a recent Top of Mind, and in our latest webinar, we shared some questionable plan features that came back to haunt retirement plan sponsors during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are plenty of other questionable plan features that all too many plan sponsors adopt that can greatly increase plan a…

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Jul 2020

The CARES Act “Run on the Bank” That Wasn’t

Remember back in March when retirement plan recordkeepers were panicking about the COVID-19 pandemic and the related stock market plunge, allegedly fielding record volumes of calls from frantic participants who not only wanted to flee equity investments, but also wanted to take out their money entir…

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Jun 2020

Replacing Mandatory Employee Contributions with Automatic Enrollment

While mandatory contributions are a necessity in defined benefit plans to ensure proper funding, I have never been a proponent of them in defined contribution plans, except when they serve as the only way to make pre-tax contributions to a qualified retirement plan (such as 414(h) pickup contributio…

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May 2020

Reader Mail: More on Roth Conversions

We love reader feedback – and to our excitement, we have been receiving a lot lately! After our recent blog post on Roth Conversions, Jack Towarnicky of the American Retirement Association (check out his blog here), sent us some interesting insights and graciously allowed us to share them with you: …

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May 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic Sheds Light on Questionable Retirement Plan Features

With many optional plan features, plan sponsors have a great deal of choice when it comes to designing their retirement plan: make the right choice and the plan is attractive to participants without being too difficult to administer; make the wrong choice and it may lead to the opposite situation. …

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Apr 2020

CARES Act Myths

More than one month has passed since the enactment of the CARES Act, yet there are still many widely held misconceptions about the retirement plan-related provisions. In this week’s Top of Mind, we attempt to dispel some of those myths. Myth # 1: Anyone can take advantage of the new CARES Act loan …

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Apr 2020

CARES Act Loan Provision: The "Fly in the Ointment"

In a recent Top of Mind post, we discussed why plan sponsors should be wary of blindly adopting all of the CARES Act loan and distributions provisions. Well, it turns out that there is quirk in the CARES Act provisions regarding COVID-19 loans that is giving plan sponsors a reason to pause. This is…

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Apr 2020


Having just finished reading an epic piece (30 pages!) from S. Derrin Watson on the CARES Act retirement plan and related provisions, I thought a CARES Act Q&A on the top the five questions that appear to be tripping people up the most might be in order. The answers are based on the collective wisdo…

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