Blog

15 Aug

Wiz Bank Participant Websites Not a Panacea

We couldn’t agree more! Judy Ward’s terrific article in the May/June edition of PLANADVISOR Magazine hits the nail on the head. Entitled “High Tech Meets High Touch,” the article illustrates how thoughtful advisors blend technology and coaching to successfully engage plan participants. Bemoaning the fact that many service providers spend millions on their retirement calculators

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10 Jul

A $375MM Illinois Plan Selects Northwest Plan Services

Northwest Plan Services is thrilled to report the successful sale, conversion and go-live status of the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust 403(b) plan.  NWPS will oversee some $375 million in retirement assets, covering nearly 4,500 participants.  The conversion was particularly demanding as the plan is a Multiple Employer Plan, yet was record kept by

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06 May

BIG DATA Comes to 401k Plans

It’s no secret that the use of proprietary funds has been on a steady decline for years. As a result, the largest providers (mutual fund and insurance companies) are scrambling for new sources of revenue, including demanding shelf space (or the vaguely worded ‘infrastructure’) payments from fund companies and additional fees to plan sponsors and

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09 Oct

Trick or Treat – How does that fund wind up on the platform?

The next time you’re speaking with a 401(k) service provider, ask them how that fund (any of the funds) happened to make it onto their platform.  Is it because that fund has superior investment performance?  Is it because the platform provider or insurance company’s well-heeled cadre of analysts deemed that fund to be investment worthy? 

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23 Jul

Insurance Products Still Have a Long Way to Go.

Many 401(k) plans are moving away from revenue sharing as sponsors and advisors cite the need for transparency and simplicity.  So called ‘clean shares’ have no revenue sharing whatsoever in them and make no payments to recordkeepers or advisors.  This is the wave of the future for both large and small plans using straight mutual funds,

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26 Jun

Actuarial Services Need Not be a Black Box

A defined benefit (DB) or cash balance (CB) plan is more than just an employee benefit.  Properly structured, a DB or CB plan can be an elegant tool to help manage cash flow, maximize profitability, and super charge the retirement accounts of key employees and business owners. For many advisors and indeed even for most

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