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401(k) Fridays Podcast

The 401(k) Fridays Podcast features a weekly conversation with an expert guest to help employers and their service partners keep up with workplace retirement plan topics and trends. Listen today, improve your retirement plan tomorrow!
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Now displaying: February, 2016
Feb 23, 2016

Introduction

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Episode Summary

The main focus of our conversation is determining if some common employer beliefs about retirement plan audits are truth or myth. John also pulls from his experience to offer some tips to employers who are preparing for their first audit and best practices for some grizzled veterans to help their audit run smoothly.

Guest Bio

My guest today is John Russon, a retirement plan auditor and founder of Pension Assurance, a single purpose audit firm that specializes in auditing qualified retirement plans.  In 2005, after spending several years working at both “Big Four” and local CPA firms, John launched a small, independent practice dedicated to the audit of retirement plans. This fledgling practice was merged with a local CPA firm in 2006. Over the next seven years, the practice grew substantially. In 2007, the practice performed he formed Pension Assurance.  As of early 2016, John and his firm audit over 170 retirement plans.  According to the recent Department of Labor study, this puts them in the top 2% of firms that audit retirement plans.  This also gives them great perspective on what is happening in the marketplace.

Show Links

Retirement Plan Auditor Sample RFP Questions

DOL Study on Retirement Plan Auditors

For my information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Feb 13, 2016

Introduction

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Episode Description

We have a great episode to share with you today and it is a must listen if you are concerned about a DOL investigation of your 401(k) plan.  Our conversation is full of great information about how the DOL operates and how DOL investigations are triggered.  Be sure to listen for important steps you should take if you receive a  letter notifying you of a DOL investigation.  Finally, we close out the conversation with some recommendations and best practices to help avoid DOL investigations and minimize the severity of potential findings.  

Guest Bio

My guest is Sam Henson, VP – Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for Lockton Retirement Services.  Sam also brings a unique perspective to our discussion today as prior to joining Lockton, he spent almost 10 years with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), where he conducted more than 150 civil and criminal investigations of employee retirement and benefits plans, service providers, and fiduciaries.  He capped off his career at the DOL as the 2011 recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award.  Needless to say, we are glad we have Sam on our side now and he is not out there banging down the doors of employers any more!

For more information, please visit www.401kfridays.com

 

Feb 6, 2016

Introduction

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Guest Bio

Jeff Judd is an Investment Analyst for Lockton Retirement Services. He graduated from the University of Kansas, go Jayhawks!, with a major in economics. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Jeff attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he obtained his master’s degree in economics. He is also a CFA Level II Candidate.  So he is basically an investment nerd.  But, even with all of his technical knowledge, Jeff provided a very easy to follow commentary!  

Episode Summary

Our conversation starts with a review of the market volatility we experienced in 2015 and thus far in early 2016.  Jeff also shares valuable perspective for employers on how to evaluate your 401(k) plan investments during volatile markets.  As you will hear, volatility can either highlight strengths or expose weakness in your mutual fund managers.  Be sure to listen for important questions to help you evaluate the risk profile of your plan investments and tie that to how it could impact the performance of both your core mutual funds and target date strategy. 

More Information

Please visit www.401kfridays.com

 

Feb 3, 2016

Introduction

The 401(k) Fridays podcast offers companies of all sizes free strategic, educational and actionable content to improve  their retirement plans.  My name is Rick Unser and I am your host.  All episodes leverage my nearly two decades of experience working with employers to bring you candid interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.

Guest Bio

Donn Hess has almost 25 years of experience in the retirement services industry, the majority of that spent working for two of the largest recordkeepers in the country.  He has played a part in every aspect of the retirement plan participant experience, ranging from overseeing call centers to building on-line tools to sitting side by side with some of the nation’s largest employers, developing custom communication strategies.

Episode Summary

The big takeaway from today’s conversation are that retirement education, or participant engagement as you will hear us refer to it, isn’t about education, or really even retirement, anymore.  Plan design enhancements, technological advances and changing demographics have altered the way employers think about engaging employees with their retirement benefits.  The menu of items to speak to participants about has broadened and is trending toward financial wellness.  Communication is much more targeted and tailored to the individual.  And the goals of these programs may be more aligned with corporate strategies that go beyond just the traditional savings programs.

More Information

Please visit www.401kfridays.com

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