Politics, Punditry and Superior Practice Management: Excel 401(k) 2020 Digital Series

An experiment in live and on-demand digital content came to a successful conclusion with the last session of the Excel 401(k) 2020 Digital Series.

Diverging from the “virtual conference” format popular during the COVID-19 crisis, the series featured one session daily at 3:30 pm eastern and ran from September 14th through November 20, 2020.

It featured financial pundits and professionals from across the 401k industry, with a heavy emphasis on practice management and improving firm performance to benefit plan participants.


What You Need to Know About a Safe Harbor 401(k)

This 401(k) retirement plan offers generous perks for small business owners and employees alike.

FOR WORKERS, A STANDARD 401(k) plan offers a straightforward and tax-advantaged way to save for retirement, but for employers, setting up a 401(k) plan is anything but simple. Companies who want to offer 401(k) savings plans to their employees must ensure they don’t run afoul of complicated government rules.

A key regulation for most 401(k) plans is the requirement for annual nondiscrimination tests that are designed to prove a plan doesn’t unfairly favor certain employees. “The purpose of a safe harbor plan is to exempt the (business) from those tests,” says Allison Brecher, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Vestwell, a digital retirement platform. By setting up a safe harbor 401(k), a business can provide its employees with the same tax benefits as a regular 401(k) plan but skip the onerous annual testing requirements.


Retirement Plan Success: Practical sponsors see it one way, advisors another

A Vestwell report suggests the disconnect between SMB plan sponsors and advisors could lead to a missed opportunity to increase retirement plan participation.

The majority of plan sponsors (87 percent) in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) space said they spend less than 10 percent of their time managing their company’s retirement plan, and nearly 60 percent said plan success can be measured by the time it takes to manage the plan — the less time the better. A similar percentage said having no administration errors was a sign of a successful plan. Both markers fall under the category of saving time and work for the sponsor, according to a new report by digital recordkeeping platform Vestwell.


How Plan Advisor and Plan Sponsor Priorities Differ

A new report based on the results of two separate surveys among plan advisors and plan sponsors looks at their perception of the industry as it relates to selling, adopting and maintaining plans.

Vestwell’s 2020 Retirement Trends Report analyzed these two profiles independently and comparatively to see where the groups align, where they differ and how they dictate current retirement trends. Conducted in August 2020, only advisors who sell retirement plans were allowed to respond to the advisor component of the survey, resulting in 434 responses. The sponsor survey included 164 plan sponsors that use Vestwell’s platform.


Advisors Say Retirement Plan Recordkeeping Needs an Overhaul

Vestwell, a digital retirement platform, surveyed 434 financial advisors and 164 plan sponsors in August to find out how they align, where they diverge and how they determine current trends in retirement.

Three out of four advisors in the survey said recordkeeping technology should be overhauled. Vestwell noted that their beliefs, versus those who believe that recordkeeping tech is fine as is, affected additional responses across the survey.


Recordkeeping Tech Needs an Overhaul: Study

Three-quarters of retirement advisors believe recordkeeping technology is outdated and needs an overhaul, according to a survey released Monday by Vestwell. Over half said user experience was their biggest challenge using recordkeeper technology. Forty-eight percent cited lack of integrations and 45% said high fees were the biggest tech challenges they faced with their current providers.

Vestwell conducted the survey in August among 434 advisors who sell retirement plans and 164 plan sponsors on the company’s platform.


2020 is Just Like Every Other Year, Said No One Ever: How advisors can help plan sponsors think about year-end preparations for their 401k retirement plans

While saying goodbye to 2020 might be a welcomed event for many, year-end brings with it a number of responsibilities, especially for corporate retirement plan sponsors.

This year is particularly noteworthy, as the 2020 year-end cycle will require additional scrutiny and there are a number of changes coming in 2021 that will require added preparation. The best thing a plansponsor can always be is prepared, so in order for 401k advisors to help them usher in a Happy New Year, consider these three important factors…


2020 Retirement Trends Report

Check out our annual survey report, 2020 Retirement Trends Report: How Perceptions of Recordkeeping Affect the Way Advisors and Plan Sponsors Run Corporate Retirement Plans.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see:

  • Why the majority of advisors believe recordkeeping is broken
  • How advisors and plan sponsors measure the success of a plan (hint: it’s not the same!)
  • What advisors are doing to evolve their businesses in the coming years