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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, 2017
Feb 24, 2017

Whether you are aware of it or not, several individual states are getting ready to launch state sponsored retirement plans.  Their intent is to help workers who are not eligible for or not offered a retirement plan through their employer.  What you also might not know is that in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, the Beaver State, is likely going to be the first state with a live program with a scheduled launch on July 1st, 2017.  For most employers, the reactions and questions have been pretty consistent, why are the states going down this path, how will the programs work, if we already offer a retirement plan what does this mean to us?  Well, it wouldn’t be like me to leave you guessing on what all this means so I was excited to have Joel Metlen, the Public Engagement Manager from the Oregon State Treasury Department and the OregonSaves retirement plan join me to address these questions and much more.  Even if you don’t have an office or employees in Oregon, much of what we talk about is broadly applicable to what’s going on in other states around the country.  As you might imagine, not everyone thinks these programs are a great idea, so I do take time to address some of the bigger concerns and objections we have heard from other employers, the retirement industry and now the federal government.  There are a lot of opinions, information and misperceptions circulating right now about state run plans.  My hope is that after you listen to our conversation you will be more informed, understand how this may or may not impact your company and will have the framework to process future developments rationally. 

 

Guest Bio

Joel Metlen, Public Engagement Manager, manages outreach and stakeholder engagement for Oregon State Treasury’s OregonSaves program. He has 13 years of public service experience. He worked in New York City as the Deputy Director of the Revenue Division of the NYC Parks Department, and he was the Business Operations Manager for foodservice at DC Public Schools. Prior to joining Treasury, Joel was the Communications and Legislative Manager for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. He has a B.F.A. from New York University and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

Feb 17, 2017

Whether you are passing or failing your discrimination testing, well, this is maybe a bit more timely if you are failing testing, this is a great episode to help get your arms around some of the key concepts and fundamentals behind coverage and discrimination testing.  My guest is Doug Van Galder, a Compliance Analyst with the ERISA Law Firm Boutwell Fay, who has worked with countless employers over his 35 year career to help them navigate the sometimes challenging testing waters.  We start with the basics, discuss strategies to improve testing results and believe it or not, we don’t even mention the concept of safe harbor until the very end!  As you’ll hear, its all about getting the  math to work in your favor!

 

Just a quick reminder to provide your input on the one question you have always wanted to ask your employees but have been afraid to.  We have received some great questions already, but definitely want to hear from some more employers.  Go to 401kfridays.com/question to learn more and for the link to the survey.  

 

We did have a couple gremlins who disrupted the clarity of our connection in a few spots early on, while everything is a understandable, we will do our best to keep them contained in the future.

Guest Bio

Douglas Van Galder is a Compliance Analyst who is committed to the favorable tax-qualified status and success of the private and public pension systems in America. Therefore, Doug assists Boutwell Fay LLP Clients and their service providers in properly administering retirement plans that remain compliant and deliver the intended benefits.

Boutwell Fay LLP is a highly rated, women-owned law Firm specializing in employee benefits and ERISA. We have seven Attorneys with Offices in Newport Beach, CA and New York City, NY. Boutwell Fay LLP is the only boutique law firm in Orange County, CA that focuses exclusively on employee benefits and ERISA. The Firm provides high quality legal services normally associated with large law firms, while its smaller size allows us to be more accessible to our Clients and more responsive to their needs. The Firm helps Clients with legal issues that arise in the context of: Qualified and Non-Qualified Plans, Health and Welfare Plans, Plan Corrections and Government Audits, ERISA and Fiduciary Consulting and ERISA Claims and Disputes.

In his capacities as a Compliance Analyst, Third Party Administrator (TPA), Record Keeper, Executive, Plan Sponsor/Trustee and Fiduciary Administrator, Doug has amassed 34 years of experience in the intricate business development, compliance and consulting aspects of retirement plans. Most recently, Doug was an Executive Vice President with both QBI, LLC and Fiduciary Administration, LLC serving as Defined Contribution Practice Leader and a Fiduciary Administrator, respectively. He previously founded and was the President of Strategic Pension Services, Inc. (SPS), where he led expert teams of Consultants and Administrators. SPS was acquired by QBI, LLC in January of 2015.

Doug is an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent and earned the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries' designation of Qualified Pension Administrator. He is also the President for the Orange County Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Council.

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

Feb 10, 2017

Scott Knowles, the internal architect of the Financial Wellness program at Cisco Systems stopped by the podcast to share his experience to help other employers who are considering going down a similar path. He provides candid perspectives on the why behind their program, how they rolled it out and what they plan to do in the future to keep improving upon their early successes!

 

Before we get started, just a quick reminder to provide your input on the one question you have always wanted to ask your employees but have been afraid to.  Go to 401kfridays.com/question to learn more and for the link to the survey.  

 

Also, we plan is to conduct at least another three or four employer interviews on the podcast this year.  If you have done something interesting in your retirement plan that you feel other employers or for that matter the retirement industry could benefit from knowing about, shoot me an email at info@401kfridays.com, we would love to hear more about it and potentially have your or someone from your team join me on the podcast!  

 

Guest Bio

Scott is the Senior Manager of Global Benefits, Financial Wellness and Long-Term Savings at Cisco Systems.  Over the last 11 years he has worked to:

  • Design and execute Cisco's Financial Wellness strategy providing our employee's with a productive, personalized experience that enables them to create their own journey to optimal financial health that's most relevant to them and their family. 

  • Execute program strategy and design, administration, compliance, communications, participant experience, vendor management and benchmarking of the Cisco 401k, non-qualified deferred compensation and acquired defined benefit programs. Identify marketplace trends and best practices to maintain a best in class program that meets Cisco’s benefits philosophy. 

  • Facilitate quarterly fiduciary Cisco 401k Administration Committee meetings consisting of senior level executives from across the business functions. 

  • Serve in a consultative role supporting country HR managers related to compliance, administration, and communications of the Canadian and Puerto Rico retirement savings programs. 

  • Participate in the development and rollout of a global retirement governance structure across Tier 1 countries in several theatres including AsiaPac, LatAm and EMEA. Utilized an external global consultant to assist with gathering marketplace intelligence and best practices. 

  • Strategically align and influence program needs and requirements with various business partners including Treasury, Payroll, Finance, Accounting, Strategic Spend Management and Human Resources IT departments. 

  • Manage complex implementation timelines involving multiple work streams resulting from the selection of new vendors for key benefit programs. Led the vendor search project which included cross-functional team participation.

  • Responsible for the post integration of target organization retirement program resulting from an acquisition. Requires ability to manage multiple projects, technical and compliance knowledge of plan terminations or mergers, ability to manage external vendors, and employee communications. 

Prior to Cisco he was provided HR consulting at Deloitte, was a consultant with PwC and a 401(k) Plan Administrator with Watson Wyatt.  

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

 

 

Feb 3, 2017

Regardless of how you feel about visiting the doctor, after you listen to my conversation with Dr. Greg Kasten, the Founder and CEO of Unified Trust Company and if you follow a few of his prescriptions or strategies they could help you make a lasting impact on the future of your retirement plan and workforce!  There are a lot of memorable takeaways for anyone looking to explore some new concepts to get different results.  Personally I liked when Dr. Kasten:

  • Compared how selecting a retirement plan service provider because of their great technology is like picking a hospital because it has a really nice parking lot! 

  • Observed how unfortunately most employers think a retirement plan must be a good investment plan and why that thinking needs to be changed

  • Described key employee savings behaviors and tendencies and how you can use that knowledge to help them get better results without making them lift a finger! 

  • Suggested it might help plan sponsors better fulfill their fiduciary responsibility by analyzing value by calculating outcomes divided by cost

Before we get started, a quick update that our research project is officially underway! The first step is where I am personally asking our listeners to get involved.  It’s pretty simple, what’s the one question you have always wanted to ask your employees about your retirement plan but you have been afraid to.  Don’t send us easy questions, we want to hear about a fork in the road you have come upon, a plan design change you are struggling with or a big project you are considering and you don’t know how it might be received by your workforce and what the potential human capital impact of your business could be.  As we are expecting some juicy questions, we will keep your name and company private.  After we compile the responses, sort to the most popular and interesting questions we will ask them to real participants and record their raw reactions.  In April we will share the results with you in a podcast episode and a white paper.  To participate, go to www.401kfridays.com/question where you can explore more information and privately submit your question!

 

Guest Bio

Dr. Gregory W. Kasten serves as founder and CEO of Unified Trust Company. Following graduation from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 1980, he completed an internal medicine internship and anesthesiology residency at the university of Kentucky Medical Center and is a board certified anesthesiologist. He received a master of business administration degree with an emphasis on finance and investment management from the University of Kentucky College of Business Graduate School. Dr. Kasten was awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst designation by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the Certified Financial Planner designation by the Denver College of Financial Planning, and the Certified Pension Consultant designation by the American Society of Pension Actuaries.

He has published more than 100 papers on financial planning and investment-related topics in various financial and business journals; written two editions of the book Retirement Success; and in 2005 he co- authored the first place winning paper entitled: “Post Modern Portfolio Theory” and presented the paper at the Financial Planning Association National Meeting. Dr. Kasten has given dozens of lectures on fiduciary best practices to pension professionals and Federal banking regulators.


In 2007-2009, Medical economics listed Dr. Kasten as one of “the 150 Best financial advisers for doctors” in the country. Dr. Kasten was inducted into the advisor Hall of fame by research Magazine in 2011 and in 2013 was named Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year by Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine. He has more than thirty years of investment experience and has been with the company since he founded it in 1985.

Dr. Kasten developed the Unified Fiduciary Monitoring Index® as a method of measuring mutual fund and predictive performance factors when observed from a fiduciary standpoint. In 2007-2010, Dr. Kasten oversaw development of the revolutionary UnifiedPlan®. The UnifiedPlan creates a “pension-like” experience for each 401(k) plan participant, and greatly improves their retirement success. Beginning in 2006, CEFEX, the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC, has annually certified Unified Trust to the Fiduciary Practices for Investment Advisors. Unified Trust was among the first Investment advisors globally to successfully complete the independent certification process, and was the first trustee certified in the United States.  Unified Trust was certified for its discretionary investment services provided in a trust environment for trustee-directed and participant-directed DC plans and individual investors. Created as a discretionary trustee fiduciary service, Unified Trust Company’s goal is to always provide loyalty and expert standard of care to all clients. 

 

 

401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview

Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over fifty prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!

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