White Papers

Hughes v. Northwestern University: A Message to Fiduciaries from the Supreme Court

“That reasoning was flawed.” With those four words, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed that retirement plan fiduciaries’ responsibilities apply independently to each investment option. Offering a lot of investment options does not eliminate the responsibility related to each of them. Offering some cheap investment options does not excuse expensive ones. Offering some stronger performers does not excuse poor performers. The bad stuff is not okay simply because there’s also some good stuff.

This paper, written by Matthew Eickman, J.D., AIF®, national retirement practice leader, underscores why plan fiduciaries must take notice of this ruling. It will help plan sponsors and their responsible plan fiduciaries to assess whether the ruling is a really big deal or no big deal at all. In either scenario, this White Paper provides a set of best practices for identifying, understanding, and mitigating related risks.

White Papers

The Advantages of Roth 401(k) Contributions

A qualified plan sponsor’s decision to make the Roth contribution feature available to its employees is no longer an emerging trend. The Roth contribution availability has emerged, solidified its presence, and appears to be here to stay. Many would include it among plan sponsor best practices. Some consider it a competitive arrow within the talent acquisition quiver. Yet, despite its wide acceptance and significant appeal, not all sponsors have embraced Roth contributions.

This paper, written by Matthew Eickman, J.D., AIF®, national retirement practice leader, will review Congress’s steps to permit Roth contributions and explore the various reasons plan sponsors and participants are well-served to take advantage of the Roth opportunity.

White Papers

Investment Refresh: Improving Participant Outcomes Through Re-Enrollment

A defined contribution plan “re-enrollment” has become a retirement plan industry best practice. The mechanism illustrates that the most prudent – and therefore safest – fiduciaries are not those who defensively opt for inaction, but instead are those fiduciaries who assess and understand what is in their
participants’ best interests and proactively take steps to further those interests.

Yet re-enrollment presents two broad categories of challenges. First, as a threshold manner, the terminology is confusing and misleading. Second, even upon overcoming the terminology, plan sponsors become paralyzed by preconceived notions of participants’ reactions and fiduciaries’ risk.

Download our paper by Matthew Eickman, J.D., AIF®, national retirement practice leader, for a fresh take on how a re-enrollment helps participants and fiduciaries alike to experience improved outcomes.