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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: March, 2016
Mar 30, 2016

Episode Description

If you are an employer and are at all curious about what’s happening in Washington D.C. that might impact your 401(k) plan, I am happy to report that my guest Joan McDonagh likely covers it in today’s episode!  Our conversation includes:

  • Developments with state run retirement programs

  • The DOL’s proposed Fiduciary Rule 

  • Initiatives to help participants generate lifetime income in retirement plans

  • Tax reform and how it could impact retirement plans

  • Potential impact of the upcoming presidential election on retirement plans

Guest Bio

Joan is an ERISA attorney with Empower Retirement and has been working with retirement plans for over 30 years.  She is on the Government Relations Committee of the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK) and Chairs the Public Policy Committee of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA).  She has written numerous articles and presented a variety of seminars on retirement plan issues.  And, if all that wan’t enough she is also a co-author of the 401(k) Answer Book.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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 to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Mar 25, 2016

Episode Summary

Conflicts, compensation and reasonableness, what do these three words have in common?  Ok, I ‘ll let you off the hook, these are the key issues at the heart of roughly 90% of the recent 401(k) litigation according to my guest, Jason Roberts ERISA Attorney and Founder of the Pension Resource Institute and the Retirement Law Group.  Jason has been repeatedly recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine.  To help employers with those three issues, this episode drills into selecting and monitoring 401(k) service providers, a key fiduciary responsibility and one that is often misunderstood by plan sponsors.  Jason shares strategies to determine fee reasonableness in light of the value, six open ended questions to evaluate service providers and unique insights such as low cost at all cost might not be the best fiduciary protection strategy.  Finally, be sure to stick around for when he alludes to a criminal lawyer performing an ERISA plan document review.  Sorry, 401(k) humor, I hope you enjoy!

Guest Bio

Jason C. Roberts is the Founder and CEO of the Pension Resource Institute (PRI) providing strategic consulting and training to retirement plan service providers and fiduciary education to plan sponsors. 

Prior to founding PRI, Jason was a partner and co-chair of the Financial Services Group at a leading, national ERISA law firm where his practice focused on employee benefits and securities regulation. Jason continues to provide counsel on ERISA and investment-related matters at Retirement Law Group, PC and is frequently retained as an expert on fiduciary responsibilities, Department of Labor (DOL) investigations and retirement plan product development, design and implementation.

Jason was named as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine. He is an active member of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) and American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). In 2014, Jason was appointed, for a two-year term, as an advisor for the Beach Cities Health District's finance committee.

Jason is a nationally-recognized speaker and has published numerous articles on fiduciary best practices, ERISA compliance and securities regulation. He is frequently quoted and interviewed by both professional and public publications.

Jason received his B.S.B.A. in Finance & Banking from the University of Missouri and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. He is a graduate of FINRA’s Compliance Boot Camp and has obtained the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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 to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Mar 24, 2016

Episode Description

Let’s say you were running your 401(k) fiduciary committee meetings wrong, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you?  Luckily, I was able to track down Jason Roberts, ERISA attorney and founder of the Pension Resource Institute to help set the record. straight.  Jason has been repeatedly recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine.  In this episode you will hear tremendous insights on why you should develop a well balanced and prudent fiduciary process, how current 401(k) litigation is shedding new light on employer fiduciary best practices and finally, why all the time you spend discussing plan investments might not be providing you the protection you have been lead to believe it does.  If you don’t have a pen and paper handy, don’t worry, i have bios, notes, links and a full episode breakdown on the website at www.401kfridays.com.  Without further ado, here we go! 

Guest Bio

Jason C. Roberts is the Founder and CEO of the Pension Resource Institute (PRI) providing strategic consulting and training to retirement plan service providers and fiduciary education to plan sponsors. 

Prior to founding PRI, Jason was a partner and co-chair of the Financial Services Group at a leading, national ERISA law firm where his practice focused on employee benefits and securities regulation. Jason continues to provide counsel on ERISA and investment-related matters at Retirement Law Group, PC and is frequently retained as an expert on fiduciary responsibilities, Department of Labor (DOL) investigations and retirement plan product development, design and implementation.

Jason was named as one of the “100 Most Influential in Defined Contribution” by the 401(k) Wire and a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers Magazine. He is an active member of the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) and American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). In 2014, Jason was appointed, for a two-year term, as an advisor for the Beach Cities Health District's finance committee.

Jason is a nationally-recognized speaker and has published numerous articles on fiduciary best practices, ERISA compliance and securities regulation. He is frequently quoted and interviewed by both professional and public publications.

Jason received his B.S.B.A. in Finance & Banking from the University of Missouri and his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. He is a graduate of FINRA’s Compliance Boot Camp and has obtained the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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 to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

 

Mar 17, 2016

Episode Description

I am excited to share the first episode in our Sponsor Spotlight segment of the podcast!  I had the pleasure to sit down with Brad Champagne, Senior Director of Human Resources at Mission Linen Supply in Santa Barbara, CA  We’ve worked together for a long time and I’ve always been impressed by his thoughtfulness and ability to focus on the bigger picture.  Brad shares candid details about his company, their culture, their 401(k) plan and most importantly the circumstances surrounding some significant plan changes they made to put their employees on a better path to retirement.  As you will hear, the retirement committee really struggled with the impact and disruption to both their employees and the company the potential changes could have.  Hopefully this isn’t too much of a spoiler but both the short and long term results have been beyond their expectations.  Finally, there are some great takeaways for employers who are contemplating changes in their retirement plans.  Thank you for listening, and I hope you enjoy!

Guest Bio

Brad Champage in the Senior Director of Human Resources at Mission Linen Supply in Santa Barbara, CA.  

Over the past 23 years, Mr. Champagne has held positions of increasing responsibility within Human Resources at Mission Linen after initially joining the company as a Management Trainee in Operations. He has played a key role in many important initiatives at the company, including the implementation of an Enterprise HR operating system, the development of improved performance management systems and the execution of a new compensation program for Sales and Operations.

As Director of Compensation and Benefits since 2011, Champagne has guided the company’s benefit plans through changes required by the ACA and overseen administration of the company’s 401k plan, which won an Eddy Award in 2014 for outstanding education campaign.

Mr. Champagne received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and has earned both the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations. When he’s not working, Mr. Champagne enjoys running and watching his three children participate in their various activities. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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 to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Mar 16, 2016

Episode Description

Should there be a balance between employee and employer goals in a 401(k) retirement plan? This was a different statement and one that I felt employers could benefit from learning more about. This episode provides data and specific strategies on how and why everyone can benefit when their goals are aligned. My guest is Hugh O’Toole, President and founder of the Viability Advisory Group. During our conversation you will hear several unique insights and examples of the interplay between healthcare, wages, risk management and employee engagement as the main drivers of both employer and employee financial wellness. I hope you take as much away for this conversation as I did! 

Guest Bio

Hugh O’Toole is Senior Vice President of the Viability Advisory Group, responsible for directing and promoting the firm’s efforts to quantify the value of helping employers and employees make the most of their retirement and other employee benefits. 

O’Toole has an established track record as a disruptor in the retirement plans and benefits marketplaces. After founding Viability in 2014, O’Toole then joined MassMutual in 2015 when the insurer acquired the assets of his firm. 

Previously, O’Toole headed distribution and relationship management for MassMutual for seven years, when the insurer more than doubled its retirement plan assets under management. MassMutual then doubled its assets again when O’Toole helped lead the acquisition of The Hartford’s Retirement Plans unit in 2013. 

Before joining MassMutual, O’Toole led Principal Financial Group’s growth in the nonprofit and worksite insurance markets. He joined Principal after the insurer purchased his firm, Professional Pensions, Inc., which disrupted the nonprofit retirement plans market by making available lower-cost investment offerings previously available only to corporate retirement plans. O’Toole graduated from the State University of New York in Oneonta with a BS in psychology. He is a Registered Principal.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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 to enhance Fiduciary Protection, streamline Plan Operations and improve employee Retirement Readiness.  

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

Mar 8, 2016

Episode Description

If you ever wondered how you can strategically and cost effectively partner with an ERISA Attorney to improve and protect your retirement plan, this episode with Sherrie Boutwell, ERISA Attorney and partner at Boutwell Fay, a boutique ERISA law firm should be very helpful to you.  Our discussion covered:

  • Overview of common plan errors in retirement plan documents
  • Points to negotiate in service provider contracts
  • Need to properly delegate fiduciary authority
  • Attorney-client privilege in ERISA plans
  • Value of properly structured fiduciary liability insurance  
  • Options to fix 401(k) plan errors
  • Other helpful thoughts and ideas!

Guest Bio

Sherrie Boutwell has focused for thirty years in the areas of employee benefits law and ERISA, with an emphasis on retirement and deferred compensation plans. She advises and counsels a broad range of clients, including employers, employees, plan fiduciaries, financial institutions and government agencies and trade associations, on a wide range of employee.   Sherrie has extensive experience and is a highly sought after speaker and writer on employee benefits topics.

Sherrie has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association and the United States District Court with respect to employee benefits issues.  Sherrie has experience working with the unique deferred compensation issues that arise in the non-profit and governmental employer arena and also has many years of experience in the design and operation of non-qualified executive deferred compensation plans including the requirements under Section 409A of the Code.

Sherrie takes pride in bringing a practical and down to earth approach to resolving complex benefits issues involving qualified plans, non-qualified plans and health and welfare plans.

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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.

For more information please visit www.401kfridays.com

 

Mar 4, 2016

Episode Overview

If you are in the Not-for-Profit Healthcare sector and sponsor a retirement plan, I have some great information for you!  This is the first in a series of industry profile episodes that I will be making over the next several months.  This episodes features a broad and interesting conversation with Brodie Wood, Senior Vice President, Not-for-Profit Markets at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.  He shared several great pearls of wisdom for employers who sponsor a 403(b) or 401(k) plans in this sector such as:

  • Business trends in the sector that may impact retirement plans
  • Impact of physicians integrating back into hospital systems
  • Updates on employer contribution levels 
  • Strategies to encourage higher participation and contribution rates
  • Emergence of Retirement Readiness as a measure of plan success
  • How introducing Financial Wellness can improve participant outcomes

For more information on this episode, please go to www.401kfridays.com.  

If you like what you hear, please share with a colleague, friend or peer.  Also, please leave feedback on iTunes or Google Play. 

Guest Bio

Brodie Wood, is a Senior Vice President, and head of Not-for-Profit Markets at Transamerica Retirement Solutions.  In his role, Mr. Wood leads and is responsible for the company’s not-for-profit business and product development efforts. He was previously Vice President of Transamerica’s Participant Counseling Organization, a group dedicated to delivering employee education and retirement planning for plan participants. 

He has also served on the board of the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Health Management since 2010. He has been involved in the retirement plan field for the past fifteen years helping participants become retirement ready. 

Mr. Wood earned his B.A. with a dual major in Spanish and Business from Utah State University. He has also completed his M.B.A. from Brigham Young University in 2002. He is a Six Sigma Green Belt and holds FINRA Series 26, 7, 63, and CRPC designations. 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

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.

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