Free Support and Training To Get Your 401k Plan Off the Ground
Your 401k Easy Online system comes with user-friendly step-by-step instructions for launching your company plan, introducing it to your employees, and completing its management tasks. We also provide a free-access online support center dedicated to 401k plan operation via 401k Easy Online.
In addition, we offer our plan sponsors FREE one-on-one support and training via telephone during each plan's launch period. Common topics such as Marketing Your 401k Plan to Your Employees, and Signing Up Plan Participants are also covered in our online downloadable literature, however we're here to help if you have any questions or just prefer hearing the information from a friendly, experienced 401k Easy Online representative (please note...).
- Telephone support lines are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific Time. (The phone number is provided with your access code information after you purchase your system and we have it all customized to your desired specifications.)
- E-mail support is available directly from your online Plan Sponsor and Plan Participant Gateways.
Continuing Support: The Easy Support Program (ESP)
As mentioned above, our clients receive FREE technical support and training in setting up and launching their 401k Easy Online retirement plans. They also have ongoing FREE access to the context-sensitive help screens embedded within the 401k Easy Online Gateways as well as to our 401k Management -- A Sponsor's Guide website, which is dedicated to 401k plan management via 401k Easy Online. These items are part of what we call the Easy Support Program (ESP).
ESP offers a variety of customer support options for both plan sponsors and individual participants.
- ESP Web - ESP's web-based self-service help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Clients can access ESP Web via 401k Easy Online's context-sensitive help screens and/or use the site's powerful search feature to locate needed information. ESP Web covers topics related to 401k plan management and participation. We have been operating 401k plans almost as long as there has been such; ESP Web is extremely well researched yet presented in easy-to-read layman's language. It includes both 401k Easy Online-specific information as well as general 401k operations and participation information.
- ESP E-mail - E-mail support is always free for simple questions that we can answer briefly. E-mailed questions that require a more comprehensive and detailed written response and/or explanation are subject to fees specified below. Turnaround is 24 to 48 hours (depending on the complexity of the issue) from the time we receive the technical support inquiry.
- ESP Live - Telephone support is available on a per-incident basis. There's no sitting on hold with ESP Live: You leave your inquiry in our voicemail box, then we call you back at your convenience with the answer and field any subsequent questions. Two levels of response times are available (see chart below).
See below for a chart listing these services and their fees, as applicable. All fees are billed via credit card at the time service is rendered.
ESP Fees + Free Services Chart
|Fee to Plan Sponsor||Fee to Plan Participant|
|I. Online Context-Sensitive Help
Available from all Plan Sponsor and Plan Participant Gateway user interfaces
(no extra charge)
(no extra charge)
|II. Online FAQ + Search Help
Accesses three databases of plan sponsorship and plan participation information
(no extra charge
(no extra charge)
|III. E-mail Technical Support
24 hour to 48 hour turnaround
|$25 per incident*||(not available)|
|IV. Telephone Support
24-hour response time
|$50 per incident*||(not available)|
|V. Priority Telephone Support
2-hour response time
|$75 per incident*||(not available)|
|VI. Telephone Training by 401k Easy Online Specialist
One-on-one training via telephone regarding using 401k Easy Online
subsequent to the free set-up training
|$100 per hour*||(not available)|
|*FEES DUE VIA CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD AT TIME SERVICE IS RENDERED|
Our ESP support team fields questions regarding technical aspects of using 401k Easy Online as well as regarding general plan management and participation.
- Our people are not pension law attorneys, accountants, actuaries or tax preparers, who are the only qualified people to answer certain questions.
- It is always advisable to consult with your tax and/or legal advisors in matters that concern your company's 401k plan.
- Items and problems not covered by our free technical support include problems or errors caused by mutual fund companies and/or brokerages. At our discretion, we may assist in helping solve such problems or other problems not directly related to 401k Easy Online, but we reserve the right to refer you elsewhere.
Providing Information Helps Your Company Meet Its ERISA 404c Compliance Responsibilities
ERISA Section 404c says companies that sponsor a 401k plan need to, among other things, provide their employees with adequate information about 401k investing, their plans' particular 401k investments, as well as related matters.
401k Easy Online includes substantial investment and investing information as well as links to external sources that your employees can choose to access as they see fit:
- Our Plan Participant Gateway houses, among other things, general and plan-specific disclosure and investment education information. Your employees have free access to your company plan's customized Plan Participant Gateway from any location connected to the Internet.
- In addition, 401k Easy Online provides your employees with Internet links to personal investment advice services that are available online and/or from SEC-registered Investment Advisors (see below for a partial listing of such services).
Please note that the auxiliary investment advice services are NOT included with 401k Easy Online. They can, however, be paid for by the plan participants who choose to use them (see topic 3, below), and they offer benefit to your 401k plan simply in being mentioned.
- The investment advice services linked to 401k Easy Online are INDEPENDENT investment advisors; none sell mutual funds, stocks, insurance systems or any other investments nor receive commissions of any kind on investments they recommend. In addition, none have paid any fee or otherwise compensated 401k Easy Online for being mentioned within our 401k websites.
- Informing plan participants about such 401k investment guidance services, coupled with providing the basic investing information included in your customized 401k Easy Online site and provided by the investment companies, helps you fulfill your ERISA 404c responsibility to provide adequate investment information and guidance to 401k participants, yet the process requires minimal effort and expense.
- See below for a listing of personal investment advice services that are available online.
Investing Guidance Services Can Boost Plan Participation + Allocation Rates
Individual retirement investment guidance services help your plan participants decide how much to defer into your company 401k plan and how to invest those deferrals. The services are geared toward people who are at least a few years or more away from retirement (versus the ready-to-retire or already retired).
Advice received from investing guidance services often boosts participation in 401k plans:
- Statistically speaking, 401k participants left on their own rarely defer into their 401k account as much as experts would recommend, especially down the road, years after initially joining the plan, when income has generally increased (often substantially) yet participants have not accordingly adjusted their contribution rates.
- Most non-salaried employees generally do not join 401ks, even though they, too, could benefit greatly from the tax-deferred savings potential the plans offer. Having them consult with an independent professional retirement planner can motivate them to join their company 401k.
- Because uncounselled 401k participants often don't invest their deferrals optimally nor adjust their investment allocations as they move through their employment years, most 401k participants don't maximize their account growth potential.
- Helping your employees find professional, unbiased retirement planning advice that they can afford can help boost your plan's participation and deferral rates.
Investing Guidance Services Can Boost Plan Participation + Allocation Rates
Investment guidance information and services help individuals answer three important questions:
- Will I have enough to retire?
- How should I invest for retirement?
- What do I do when markets change?
Paying for Investing Guidance Services
Most personal retirement investing services allow for either the employer to pay for the service or for the individual employees using the service to pay.
- All of the online 401k investment guidance services described in this website permit individual employees using the services to pay for the advice themselves. None obligate the employer to pay any fees for employees' use of the 401k investment guidance services.
- Some investment guidance services are techier and more Internet-savvy while others place emphasis on human resources. Having your employees pay for investment advice services on an individual basis grants each employee the freedom to hire the professional and the approach he or she favors -- or not hire anyone at all.
Online Individualized Retirement Planning + 401k Investing Advice Services
Below, listed in alphabetical order, are the industry leaders in online retirement advice. Informing 401k participants and prospective participants about more than one service gives the participants the freedom to choose the service best-suited to individual needs.
- All of the below are INDEPENDENT investment advisors. None sell mutual funds, stocks, insurance systems or any other investments nor receive commissions of any kind on investments they recommend. In addition, none have paid any fee for their listing herein nor otherwise compensated 401k Easy Online for inclusion in our 401k websites.
- All of the below offer personalized, specific information about how much to invest in which plan investments.
- The below are listed in alphabetical order.
- The below is also accessible within each of our client's customized 401k Easy Online Plan Participant Gateway
Services Offered Notes ClearFuture
Bases recommendations on retirement income goals, not risk toleration
Derives several potential investment strategies based on investments available and retirement income goals
Ongoing projections include showing potential effects of holding or selling during turbulent market times
Integrated with Morningstar reports and information (quick access to "view Morningstar report" on investments being considered)
By Morningstar, the industry leader in providing mutual fund, stock and variable-annuity investment information FinancialEngines
FOR FREE: Extensive "Monte Carlo" style of modeling that, rather than assuming static investment returns and inflation rates over time, takes into account numerous possible economic cycle scenarios based on varying combinations of future investment returns and inflation rates in determining the probability that the client will reach his/her retirement goals
FOR PAYING CLIENTS: Advice on exactly how much to invest in which of your plan's specific 401k investments to improve your chances of reaching your retirement goals; daily tracking of the clients 401k investments' performances and their effect on his/her account; ongoing advice about needed changes in the account due to current and projected investment performance and economic cycles
Does not counsel on investments outside the 401k but does take client's outside holdings into account in making 401k recommendations
Computerized modeling system by Nobel Prize-winning economist Bill Sharpe and others
Highly touted by The Los Angeles Times (8/5/99), San Francisco Chronicle (11/23/99), and The Wall Street Journal (8/12/99), among others
$28.95 per 3 months (April, 2000)
Accepts fiduciary responsibility for advice it gives, relieving employers from such responsibility
The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool (TMF), founded in 1993 by brothers David and Tom Gardner, is a multi-media financial advice and information service distributed by website, syndicated radio programs, publications and seminars.
All TMF programs are geared to the non-professional novice investor. One of the key benefits of TMF educational materials and services is that complex investments and financial strategies are described in simple layman's terms suitable for mass market appeal.
Web site contains interactive financial planning tools, unbiased monetary advice and educational services to help investors manage their retirement savings.
TMF also maintains a financial help line and a number of other fee-based services, and provides advice about taxes, employee benefits, budgeting, retirement, college funds, insurance, estate issues, investments, etc.
formerly Emergent Advisors www.mpower.com
Investment guidance for either only 401k assets or all retirement assets
Customized risk profiling
Portfolio tracking and analysis, including a comparison between current and recommended allocation levels
Advice on employee stock plans
One-year, five-year, at-retirement portfolio simulation
By Morningstar, the industry leader in providing mutual fund, stock and variable-annuity investment information
Other services include Directadvice.com. The Wall Street Journal favors FinancialEngines services to Directadvice's for being simpler and easier to understand, and for more useful projections about investments actually meeting your retirement goals (Thursday, August 12, 1999) -- however, your 401k plan participants might find it valuable to know that Directadvice.com is out there, too.
GuidedChoice (www.guidedchoice.com) offers Internet-based financial analysis of 401k participant accounts in a format that is easy to use for even the most novice investor. GuidedChoice solutions offer participants unbiased, personalized, expert investment advice based upon mathematical formulas and algorithms.
Professional Help With Educating Plan Participants
Beyond the enrollment materials, video, and online resources included with 401(k) Easy, additional professional help in educating plan participants is available from various consultancies.
Education consultants render unbiased, factual information and guidance in all aspects of 401k participation. Plan participants appreciate the self-serve functions of 401k Easy Online and will also benefit from a customized enrollment meeting conducted on-site by a knowledgeable 401k Education Specialist. The Education Specialist explains the mechanics of 401k participation and the advantages of enrolling. Key components include:
- How 401k plans work
- The inherent tax advantages of participating in a 401k plan
- Proven, time-tested, unbiased information and techniques for participants to use in selecting 401k investments that fit their needs and objectives.
Group presentations usually run about one hour and include time for questions and answers. These presentations are performed throughout the day to accommodate varying employee schedules. 401k Education Specialists are retained by the plan sponsor on a per diem basis, and fees are negotiated directly between the two parties. One such 401(k) Education Specialist who offers expert education and unbiased guidance through on-site enrollments is www.presentmy401k.com.
There is a common misperception that investment education is required under Internal Revenue Code Section 404c, the idea being to transfer investment responsibility and liability to the employees. There is no such requirement, however. In fact, footnote 1 to the Department of Labor Interpretive Bulletin states:
- "The section 404(c) regulation conditions relief from fiduciary liability on, among other things, the participant or beneficiary being provided or having the opportunity to obtain sufficient investment information regarding the investment alternatives available under the plan [such as prospectuses] in order to make informed investment decisions. Compliance with this condition, however, does not require that participants and beneficiaries be offered or provided either investment advice or investment education, e.g., regarding general investment principles and strategies to assist them in making investment decisions." 29 CFR Sec 2550.404c-1(c)(4).
401k Easy Online Helps Your Company Meet Its 401k Plan's 404c Requirements on Many Fronts
With 401k Easy Online, meeting ERISA 404c requirements regarding investment diversity and availability of pertinent information is easy:
- The 401k Easy Online software permanently logs all employees' requests for information regarding 401k enrollment, investing, loans, hardship withdrawals and more.
- Your plan has can choose from a nearly limitless array of 401k investment opportunities — including no-load mutual funds (including no-load institutional mutual funds) and self-directed brokerage accounts.
- Your 401k plan participants' can change their investment choices and/or contribution levels as often as you choose to allow.
- Participants' accounts receive daily asset valuation.
- Participants receive MONTHLY statements showing their 401k account activity (deposits, distributions, rollovers, etc.).
- Participants have 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week access to their personal account information and easy access to prospectuses for all 401k investments offered within your plan.
- 401k Easy Online includes links to the online retirement guidance and education services described above. Participants can individually choose to sign up for services from such industry leaders as FinancialEngines. Individuals pay for the services themselves, yet your company benefits in meeting its 404c compliance by providing the introduction.
- 401k Easy Online includes plan-specific disclosure materials for your employees.
- 401k Easy Online includes general 401k plan and investment education materials for your employees.
ERISA 404c Protection for Plans That Use Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts
Because self-directed brokerage accounts do not fall under the definition of "designated investments" for 401k plans, companies have no specific sets of information, such as investment prospectuses and performance information, that they must provide to plan participants regarding self-directed brokerage account investments. What does need to be provided is:
- A statement that the plan intends to be a 404c plan and that the fiduciaries will be relieved of liability.
- The identity of a 404c fiduciary.
- A description of available investment alternatives, with specific information about designated alternatives (i.e., specific mutual funds being offered within the plan in addition to the self-directed brokerage accounts).
- General disclosure regarding investment through a self-directed brokerage account.
With the exception of disclosure regarding investment through self-directed brokerage accounts, the above must also be supplied for plans using "designated" investments, such as mutual funds.
- With 401k Easy Online, you're covered — Your plan's customized Summary Plan Description, Plan Enrollment Form and related documents provide the above 404c-related information to your employees, and all 401k Easy Online documents are easy for lay people to read and understand.
For more information about designated and nondesignated investments and their 404c compliance ramifications, please read Panel Publishers 401(k) Advisor article, "Personal Brokerage Accounts: Is 404c Protection Available?" September, 1999.
About the Required Fidelity Bond (ERISA Bond/Fiduciary Bond)
ERISA regulations require that all pension plans, including 401k plans, be insured by an ERISA bond that has a payout equal to 10% of plan assets or $500,000, whichever is less. The annual premiums for these special ERISA bonds (also called fiduciary bonds) are very low, averaging approximately $200 per year or less.
- An ERISA bond that covers a 401k plan with $100,000 in assets can cost as little as $100 per year; an ERISA bond covering plan assets of $1 million costs approximately $275 per year.
ERISA bonds are not only inexpensive, but they are readily available and easy to purchase. Your business insurance agent is the best person to contact for ERISA bond coverage. Insurance companies that provide inexpensive ERISA bond coverage include:
- CHUBB Insurance (contact local agent)
- Hartford Insurance, call (888) 656-0817
- Travelers Insurance, call (860) 954-2650
- Maloney & Associates, call (760) 738-2610
Below are answers to a few frequently asked questions about ERISA bonds:
What i the difference between an ERISA bond, a fidelity bond, and a fiduciary bond?
ERISA bonds and fiduciary bonds are essentially amended fidelity bonds. All three respond to claims involving dishonest acts on the part of asset investment advisors or the employer. The ERISA bond, sometimes referred to as a fiduciary bond, pays claims directly to the plan participants. The fidelity bond pays the claims of the investment advisor that resulted from the dishonest acts of the investment advisor's employees.
How do fidelity bonds and ERISA or fiduciary bonds differ from errors omissions insurance?
The fidelity, ERISA and fiduciary bonds cover against losses due to a criminal act. Errors and omissions insurance provides employers and advisors with coverage against losses due to any actual or alleged negligent act or error committed while engaged in performing professional services.
What's the difference between errors and omissions insurance and fiduciary liability insurance?
Errors and omissions policies protect the investment advisor and employer from losses due to an actual or alleged negligent act. In comparison, fiduciary liability insurance is a sub-category of errors and omissions insurance, and provides additional coverage against a breach by any plan fiduciary. This coverage is not the same as provided by an ERISA bond because it does not insure against criminal acts on the part of a plan fiduciary.
Ensure Your Plan's Appeal With Great Investments: The 3 Steps to Successful Investing
One reason to strongly consider 401k Easy Online for your company 401k plan is the tremendous array of investments to which your plan will be privy.
It's no secret that appealing investments inspire initial as well as ongoing 401k participation. They are arguably THE key determinant to your 401k plan's health and success. (You'll already have nailed down convenience, accessibility, etc., with 401k Easy Online's user-friendly, 24-hour-a-day-accessible architecture.)
Of course, investments one employee finds appealing may not interest another; they may not even interest the first employee five or ten years from now.
So how do you select investments for your company 401k plan? 401k Easy Online gives you access to more than 600 mutual fund families representing more than 10,000 different mutual fund portfolios. Too, 401k Easy Online allows for self-directed brokerage accounts. Do you offer all those options? Not unless your employees have a tremendous amount of time on their hands to read through 10,000-plus investment prospectuses. So how then does a company sufficiently narrow the field without over-restricting it?
The below explains three fundamental principles to effectively choosing the investment options for a company 401k plan — not only in terms of the investments' appeal to your employees, but also in helping you meet relevant government regulations requirements for diversity, etc. The content has been written in terms of mutual funds but can easily be extrapolated to choosing self-directed brokerage accounts. And remember…
- Your goal is to derive an investment lineup that will fit the needs and financial objectives of your company's potential 401k plan participants.
- There is no single "best" lineup of investments.
- Your choices are not set in concrete. 401k Easy Online allows you to add and/or remove investments from your plan if and when the need arises.
- We derive no financial benefit or incentive from any mutual fund or brokerage company. If you contact us for help with choosing your plan's investments, you can be assured that our input has only your plan's health and appeal in mind.
- We follow our own advice. Our investment recommendations will always focus on quality fund providers offering a wide spectrum of suitable investments, ones that span the range from the ultra-safe, low-risk, conservative investments to the highly volatile, high-risk, high-potential-return investments; such can satisfy a wide range of investors, ones with varying personal needs, investment objectives and investing experience.
- 401k Easy Online contains an extensive catalogue of easy to understand literature to help your employees make educated investment decisions. We recommend that you, as an employer, refrain from dispensing investment advice. Instead, simply direct your employees to the quality materials contained within 401k Easy Online.
Principle 1: Diversification
The most common — and detrimental — mistake made in choosing plan (and personal) investments is to base a decision on an investment's performance history, particularly its recent performance history. Investment performance is cyclical: a mutual fund that's blazing hot today may be as cold as ice tomorrow, and vice versa. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. It should be considered as only one indicator of an investment's suitability.
A better approach is to let your investment objective be your primary guiding light. For choosing your company's 401k plan investments, your objective is to select a spectrum of investments that will prove appealing and satisfying to your employees' diverse investment needs. The spectrum, not fund-by-fund performance, is your quarry.
To achieve a suitable spectrum of investment options, select one, two or three mutual fund families, then choose a cross-section of funds from within each family. Mutual fund companies compete for investment dollars by trying to out-perform each other. Your employees can benefit from this competition with access to even a single reputable fund family; access to a second or third family grants added choice and flexibility. By listing a cross-section of investments within each family group, your employees will be able to find investments that suit their investing temperaments and needs, now and down the road.
At minimum, your plan needs to offer investments geared toward the following:
- Preservation of Principal - Money market funds are the default choice for "safe" investments. Remember, though, that they are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
- Income - For a steady stream of income, your plan will need funds that invest in bonds. Like stocks, bonds experience fluctuating share prices, though generally to a lesser degree.
- Income and Growth - Balanced funds, also known as"lifestyle funds," invest in combinations of stocks and bonds. Balanced funds that hold a greater percentage of stocks over bonds are more volatile and potentially more profitable. Those that hold a greater percentage of bonds over stocks, on the other hand, are more stable but less likely to return big investment gains.
- Growth - Stock funds (domestic or foreign) offer the greatest potential for long-term gain, but they also come with the highest risk: they're more volatile and have the greatest potential for posting investment losses.
Principle 2: Choose Investments That Fit Your Goals and
Temperament -- and Those of Your Plan's Potential Participants
Stock and bond net asset values (share prices) fluctuate. Some fluctuate more frequently and more diversely than others. While this doesn't bother certain investors — ones, perhaps, with plenty of time before retirement, ones used to the ups and downs of investing, ones with other sources of emergency money — many investors prefer to avoid extreme volatility. As mentioned above, "growth" funds tend to be more volatile than "income and growth" funds, which tend to be more volatile than "income" funds, which tend to be more volatile than money market funds.
Investment returns should also factor into your decision. Compare investment returns to those of direct competitors' — not to those from a different class of funds. You can compare returns of competing investments using any of several online services, including Standard & Poor (www.ratings.standardpoor.com), Morningstar (www.morningstar.com), Personal Fund's Online Fee Calculator (www.personalfund.com), Mutual Fund Investor's Center (www.www.mfea.com), SmartMoney Mutual Funds Research (www.smartmoney.com).
Don't be fooled by "cumulative total returns" showing how much an investment has grown or shrunk over several years. A large cumulative return when translated into average annual returns may not be large at all. For instance, a stock fund with a cumulative return of 101% over 12 years equates to an average annual return of only 6% compounded; such may or may not be competitive with competitors' funds or with the benchmark index.
Mutual funds, even no-load funds, are not free, nor, in general, are fees they charge closely regulated. The fees can vary widely from fund to fund (though competition, of course, does keep things in check to a degree). Each fund family sets its fees. The fees are spelled out within the investment prospectuses.
Mutual fund fees to look for include…
- Expense Ratio - This is money deducted from a fund's earnings and assets to pay for annual operating expenses, including investment advisory fees, legal and accounting services, postage, printing, etc.
- 12b-1 Fees and Sales Charges - These pay the fund's marketing and distribution expenses and are incorporated into the expense ratio. Some include a sales charge to compensate sales personnel.
- Trading Costs - The cost of trading securities, including charges such as brokerage commissions, are not included in the fund's expense ratio but do reduce the returns investors receive.
Most entities that provide and support 401k plan investments — mutual fund managers, fund distributors, asset custodians, asset trustees, investment brokers and advisors, plan administrators and record-keepers — earn at least a portion of their compensation from asset-based fees deducted from plan assets.
We at Pension Systems Corporation, however, are the exception to the norm: We do not earn any compensation -- directly or indirectly -- from our clients' 401k plan assets. In cases where rebates are offered on investments, we have the rebates returned to our clients or directly applied to reducing our clients' costs. Our published prices, available online for all to see, are the only net compensation we collect.
We do not accept any rebates or revenue sharing of fees deducted from our clients' plan assets unless those fees can be returned to the clients' plans or used by Pension Systems Corporation to offset plan expenses.
Asset-based fees are an unavoidable fact of life if your company uses mutual funds or self-directed brokerage accounts for its 401k. The cost of these asset-based fees should be factored in when determining the true, overall cost of your 401k — and the cost savings of 401k Easy Online returning such fees to clients when possible should be factored into our systems' affordability.
For more information on asset-based fees, we recommend reading "Study of 401(k) Plan Fees and Expenses" by the US Department of Pension Welfare and Benefits.
Principle 3: Use a Long-Term Horizon When Selecting Your Investment Provider(s)
401k investments are long-term investment vehicles. They are neither designed nor intended for short-term results. Look towards fund companies that will stand up to the test of time.
The public image of the fund families you select for your company 401k plan will affect its popularity among your employees. As with other consumer systems, mutual funds (and the companies that produce them) come in various shapes and sizes, with reputations and brand-name recognition to match.
Remember to consider…
- Is the mutual fund company forthright? - If the company doesn't frankly discuss the potential drawbacks of an investment along with its attributes, go elsewhere.
- Does the company follow a disciplined approach to investing? - Some companies do not ensure that their fund managers stick to the investment strategy described in the prospectus. Even the fund's portfolio name may be misleading; it may not reasonably represent the interlaying of stocks and bonds in the portfolio.
- Does the company promote the recent fund performances? - You need to know how a fund has performed over the past three, five, ten years. Its performance during the last 24 months is inconsequential.
- Does the company put experienced managers in charge? - How many years of experience does the manager have? What's his/her track record? Some companies allow relatively new managers to gain experience with their smaller funds.
We're Here To Help
The above are guidelines to help you select investments for your 401k plan that will encourage participation and effective retirement saving while ensuring that your company meets the federal mandates regarding 401k plan investment diversity.
We're here to help if you are still unsure of how to proceed with choosing investments for your 401k plan. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 752-4015.
401k FedForms Is Free to 401k Easy Online Clients
401k Easy Online's plan administration functions collect most of the information needed to complete 401k-related federal reporting forms and schedules.
- As part of your 401k Easy Online subscription you receive access to 401k FedForms (www.401kfedforms.com), a website designed to simplify year-end 401k federal reporting.
- 401k FedForms shows you which IRS Forms and Schedules are relevant to your particular 401k plan.
- 401k FedForms' annotated versions of each Form and Schedule tell you where within your customized 401k Easy Online Plan Sponsor Gateway to find needed information.
- There is no extra charge for 401k FedForms. The service is included in your 401k Easy Online subscription.
- With 401k FedForms, even first time filings are easy.
Topics Covered Within 401k FedForms
401k FedForms topics include:
- Gathering the Information You Need (from your customized 401k plan administration software)
- Determining the IRS Forms and Schedules You Need to Complete
- Help with completing Form 1096
- Help with completing Form 1099-R
- Help with completing Form 5500-EZ
- Help with completing Form 5500
- Help with completing Form 5558
- Help with completing Form 945
- Help with completing Schedule H (limited instruction only; not applicable to most 401k Easy Online plans because only relevant to plans with more than 100 eligible employees)
- Help with completing Schedule I
- Help with completing Schedule P
- Help with completing Schedule T
- Help with completing your plan's Summary Annual Report (ready-to-complete PDFs are available for download)
- Calculation worksheets
Visit www.401kfedforms.com for a preview.
We update 401k FedForms at least annually to match any changes to applicable IRS Forms, Schedules and Summary Annual Report requirements.
401k FedForms Is Not Tax Advice
401k FedForms is a complement to, not a replacement for, published IRS instructions.
- 401k FedForms is meant to simplify our 401k clients' federal reporting by helping them quickly locate pertinent information.
- 401k FedForms is not meant to offer tax or financial advice.
We Can Prepare Signature-Ready Forms For Your Company, If You Like
Following the 401kfedforms.com step-by-step instructions to complete your 401k plan's year-end federal reporting forms is rudimentary. If you prefer, though, you can hire us to prepare your signature-ready IRS Form 5500 for you:
- Call 818-501-4021 for pricing and scheduling information