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Jul 11
All Plans Need an Annual Checkup
PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED
An ABG recordkeeper discovered a 7 person law firm retirement plan that had a broker collecting 12b1 fees and churning high priced mutual funds at over 100% annual turnover. The plan’s investment performance had underperformed the S & P by over 500 basis points over the past six years. And the broker was not performing its tasks as a Fiduciary.

ABG SOLUTION
We brought in a 3(38) Advisor who utilized open architecture to select new funds and moved totally away from 12b1 fees and commissions. Our new Advisor signed on as the Plan Fiduciary. The ABG firm moved them to a daily recordkeeping approach. Today, this plan has over $4 million in assets and is saving 50 basis points in fees versus the prior approach, and has beaten the S & P averages the past two years. The law firm is able to focus on practicing law and building their business, while the Plan Fiduciary Advisor is able to manage the plan on behalf of all the participants.

BEST PRACTICE LEARNED
Just because you have a group of professionals, albeit lawyers, who have a retirement plan, it doesn’t mean it’s always been set up properly. ERISA and retirement plan work is very specialized, so plan sponsors are better off finding a bona fide experienced expert Advisor and bona fide experienced expert consultant and recordkeeping firm. You may think you have the best plan possible, but all plans need a checkup periodically to make sure you’re keeping up with industry standards.

To view the original post, click here .

About Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) 
Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) founded in 1992 is a consortium that provides services to over 22,000 Plans, more than 1.2 Million Participants, and administers north of $64 Billion in plan assets. Spectrum is the first west coast ABG affiliate, and the only firm west of Utah to be part of this consortium. Learn more here: www.abgnational.com. 

About Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc. 
Spectrum is a leading service provider to employers sponsoring various retirement, deferred compensation and other employee benefit programs in the United States. Spectrum's services are tailored to the specific needs of each individual client and include: consulting and advice; plan management and administration; and employee communication and education services. Additional information about Spectrum is available at the company's website: www.spectrumpension.com.   
Jul 07
Prime Rate Increase to 4.25% and How The Prime Rate Affects 401k Loans

Today many 401k plans include provisions for a participant 401k loan. That means an employee can borrow money from his or her account and repay it through payroll deduction without incurring taxes or penalties.

This announcement provides the details of the changes to the Prime Rate and its effect on 401k loans.

What is the Prime Rate?

The interest rate that commercial banks charge their most credit-worthy customers. Generally, a bank's best customers consist of large corporations. The prime interest rate, or prime lending rate, is largely determined by the federal funds rate, which is the overnight rate which banks lend to one another. The prime rate is also important for retail customers, as the prime rate directly affects the lending rates which are available for mortgages, small business, and personal loans.

The Prime Rate went from 4% to 4.25% on 6/159/2017

How does this affect 401k loans?

Plan sponsors are tasked with setting the loan interest rate for the plan. For most participants, the interest rate is the Prime Rate plus one or two percent. However, this can be different for each plan. Spectrum tracks the Prime Rate in our recordkeeping system and will adjust the rate based on the current prime rate.

Participants who request a loan after 3/16/2017 will see an increase in the loan interest rate over the term of the loan.

As you consider the options in your 401k plan Spectrum Participant Services Specialists are here to help. Contact them today about your retirement plan.

Phone: (888) 565-401k (4015)

Email: participant.services@spectrumpension.com 

Jul 01
Watch Your Matching Contributions!
Problem encountered – we were brought into a plan situation by a new CFO who had discovered issues with their prior plan provider. There was an Advisor who was not a fiduciary, an insurance company recordkeeper, and a Third Party Administrator. The plan was set up as a safe harbor plan, with auto-enrollment. For four years, the recordkeeper mixed up the safe harbor matching contributions with discretionary matching contributions – and each had separate vesting schedules. And the employer had a seasonal workforce, further complicated by the auto-enrollment feature. The plan was in need of an audit and could have been disqualified by the IRS.

ABG Solution - We got brought in by a new Advisor once the new CFO discovered the problems. The insurance company recordkeeper wanted $10,000 to fix the problems. We self-reported the problems under the IRS Self Corrections program. All the matching contributions got moved into the proper accounts and the plan was audited and reported as clean once we were caught up.

Best Practice Learned – Sponsors need their service providers to be accountable. In this case with three separate service providers and no fiduciary, no one was accountable. It’s best if the Advisor steps up and accepts a formal fiduciary role and takes ownership over potential issues ahead of time, and works up front with the recordkeeper to build a proper framework for plan success.

To view the original post, click here .

About Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) 
Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) founded in 1992 is a consortium that provides services to over 22,000 Plans, more than 1.2 Million Participants, and administers north of $64 Billion in plan assets. Spectrum is the first west coast ABG affiliate, and the only firm west of Utah to be part of this consortium. Learn more here: www.abgnational.com. 

About Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc. 
Spectrum is a leading service provider to employers sponsoring various retirement, deferred compensation and other employee benefit programs in the United States. Spectrum's services are tailored to the specific needs of each individual client and include: consulting and advice; plan management and administration; and employee communication and education services. Additional information about Spectrum is available at the company's website: www.spectrumpension.com.   
Jun 14
Spectrum Attends Pershing Insite Conference in San Diego, CA
Networking
INSITE is invested in your success and gives you access to over 2,000 success-minded advisors and 500 strategic providers to grow your network.

Knowledge
Discover new industry trends and hear from over 100 inspiring speakers throughout your three days in San Diego.

Education
Fulfill your continuing education (CE) requirements for CFA, CFP, CWS or IMCA by attending qualifying sessions at INSITE 2017.


May 18
Spectrum Gold Sponsor of Retirement Plans for Governmental and Tax-Exempt Entities: 403(b), 457 (b), and 457(f) Plans in Portland, OR

Governmental and tax-exempt employers have different retirement plan options available to them. How do these organizations know which option to choose? How are 403(b), 457(b) and 457(f) plans designed, administered and communicated to employees?  Determine which combination of plans works best for your organization or your clients, and learn the new rules affecting these plans.

 

This one-hour seminar runs from 4:00 to 5:00 and includes hors d'oeuvres plus one drink ticket.  All are encouraged to stay for happy hour from 5:00 to 5:45.


 

Seattle Speakers: Rich Birmingham, Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine and Javon Thurman, Director of Retirement for Providence Health and Services

 

Portland Speaker: Walter W. Miller, Shareholder at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

May 17
Spectrum Gold Sponsor of Retirement Plans for Governmental and Tax-Exempt Entities: 403(b), 457 (b), and 457(f) Plans in Seattle, WA

Governmental and tax-exempt employers have different retirement plan options available to them. How do these organizations know which option to choose? How are 403(b), 457(b) and 457(f) plans designed, administered and communicated to employees?  Determine which combination of plans works best for your organization or your clients, and learn the new rules affecting these plans.

 

This one-hour seminar runs from 4:00 to 5:00 and includes hors d'oeuvres plus one drink ticket.  All are encouraged to stay for happy hour from 5:00 to 5:45.

 

Seattle Speakers: Rich Birmingham, Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine and Javon Thurman, Director of Retirement for Providence Health and Services

 

Portland Speaker: Walter W. Miller, Shareholder at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

May 17
Spectrum Attends the Pershing Advisor Symposium in Newport, CA
Pershing’s Retirement Plan Network was designed with advisors in mind. The network is an unbundled, open architecture platform that allows broker-dealers, RIA firms and their advisors to connect to independent retirement plan recordkeepers, hold assets in custody and leverage a suite of investment products, retirement plan tools and practice management solutions. 
Apr 13
How The Prime Rate Affects 401k Loans

Today many 401k plans include provisions for a participant 401k loan. That means an employee can borrow money from his or her account and repay it through payroll deduction without incurring taxes or penalties.

This announcement provides the details of the changes to the Prime Rate and its effect on 401k loans.

What is the Prime Rate?

The interest rate that commercial banks charge their most credit-worthy customers. Generally, a bank's best customers consist of large corporations. The prime interest rate, or prime lending rate, is largely determined by the federal funds rate, which is the overnight rate which banks lend to one another. The prime rate is also important for retail customers, as the prime rate directly affects the lending rates which are available for mortgages, small business, and personal loans.

The Prime Rate went from 3.75% to 4% on 3/16/2017

How does this affect 401k loans?

Plan sponsors are tasked with setting the loan interest rate for the plan. For most participants, the interest rate is the Prime Rate plus one or two percent. However, this can be different for each plan. Spectrum tracks the Prime Rate in our recordkeeping system and will adjust the rate based on the current prime rate.

Participants who request a loan after 3/16/2017 will see an increase in the loan interest rate over the term of the loan.

As you consider the options in your 401k plan Spectrum Participant Services Specialists are here to help. Contact them today about your retirement plan.

Phone: (888) 565-401k (4015)

Email: participant.services@spectrumpension.com

Apr 07
Spectrum Attends 2017 Chales Schwab National Summit

​The landscape of retirement is changing, and this year's conference will focus on how those changes are transforming today's client experience. Together, we'll explore how to capitalize on those changes to drive growth in this new era. You'll leave with fresh ideas on how to scale your firm, drive business, and strengthen relationships. ​

Mar 30
Fidelity Retirement Roundtable

​​Fidelity Learning Exchange​

According to the most recent Fidelity Plan Sponsor Attitudes survey, 87% of plan sponsors use an advisor on their plan and for the first time, fiduciary responsibilities are the top reason for hiring an advisor.​

Please join Fidelity Institutional Asset Management and Spectrum Pension Consultants for a roundtable discussion covering the topics below: 
Fidelity's retirement plan offering 
Retirement plan market landscape and trends 
Partnering with a Recordkeeper on your retirement plan business

Featured Speakers:
Yannis Koumantaros, Managing Director, CFO, Spectrum Pension Consultants 
Benjamin Leger, SVP, Fidelity Institutional Asset Management

Hosted by:
Stan Smith, VP, Senior Relationship Manager, Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsSM
Nicole Kautz, Director, Retirement Connection Program, Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsSM

Who Should Attend:
Principals, advisors and firm decision-makers interested in the retirement plan business. 

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