Archive for ‘December, 2009’

2010- Innovate!

datePosted on 09:55, December 31st, 2009 by lee

The world has changed. There is nothing like the threat of losing market share, profits, and credit to spark innovation. If success breeds complacency, crisis breeds innovation.

In the January issue of Harvard Business Review they list the “Ten Breakthrough Ideas for 2010.” Number one on the list is “What really motivates workers.” It’s not “recognition, incentives, or clear goals” as the majority of managers thought, it’s “Progress.” People take pride in getting better; “meaningful accomplishment.”

What does this have to do with your employer clients that offer 401(k) plans? Unless your client is providing 401(k) services to their clients it’s not “progress” it’s administration.

Management teams have a renewed since of focus on driving innovations that lead to better products and services at lower costs. Partnering with other firms to increase time spent focusing on innovations that increase production efficiencies and service is a strategy that all successful companies will aggressively execute.

We hope you will join us in 2010 in offering employers a 401(k) solution that not only keeps your clients Safe, but also increases the most valuable resource a company has, TIME to focus on innovation!

Call us at 1-888-401k-SAFE or register at our partner portal.

Lee Lichtenstein

Employers with over 100 employees have CFO’s and we have found majority of them read articles in CFO magazine. In December publication they list “four 401 (k) trends to watch.” The last trend listed is “Fiduciary Liability.”

Interesting Conversation

datePosted on 12:19, December 18th, 2009 by lee

Reminds us that CFO/CEO is in loop on signing routine documents. Easy to see how litigation can arise from administration.

Our latest Observations from the Field

datePosted on 13:52, December 11th, 2009 by jsharp

Alan and I have spent the last couple of weeks meeting with advisors in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Birmingham talking about 401k SAFE. We’ve covered a lot of ground, seen a lot of Starbucks, and made a few observations that I would like to share with you:

1) 401k SAFE is an incredible opportunity for you to grow your business. Alan and I both came away with an even stronger conviction that 401k SAFE is a significant differentiator in the retirement plan market, and an incredible opportunity for you to bring value to both existing and prospective clients. You can further instill your position as a trusted advisors by 1) educating plans sponsors who are uninformed about their fiduciary liability, or 2) providing plan sponsors who are looking for answers, a comprehensive solution they have not seen from anyone else. You don’t have to know all of the details of ERISA to be effective selling this solution. Let us help you! We can educate your prospect about their fiduciary responsibilities and what is happening that would impact them as a fiduciary today.

2) Many of you haven’t called on companies with a 100 or more employees. There aren’t many advisors who have targeted the 100+ market, and if this is you, don’t let that be an intimidation to keep you from starting in 2010. This market is not simply our sweet spot because of our services, it is our sweet spot because it truly is where the greatest need, and the greatest opportunity is for you as an advisor to help mitigate fiduciary liability.

These employers “get it”. They are in some cases drowning in servicing plan provisions, attempting to address their fiduciary responsibilities, and dealing with the hard dollar costs of a plan audit and recordkeeping. Many have gone direct to a “1-800 401(k) shop” believing they will get similar service at a reduced cost, only to discover they were wrong on both counts. As their advisor, you can bring them something they have sorely missed; a personal contact, a financial planning resource for owners and participants, and a value-driven, not a price-driven solution. Needless to say for you as an advisor, the extended value of a client with 100 or more employees for rollovers, and financial planning is substantial.

3) You view large employer retirement plans as complicated to setup and demanding to maintain. In a traditional sense this may be true, but with 401k SAFE you won’t have that burden. As a multiple employer plan (MEP), 401k SAFE substantially reduces the paperwork on the front-end (adoption), and keeps you out of the ongoing administration and servicing.

You can scale your business without adding demands on your schedule, or adding resources to support. You will have to work with the client on the front-end to obtain the plan documents we need to conduct our due diligence. This can take time, and may require several calls on your part to the client to complete, but the trade-off is minimal paperwork and involvement from you to adopt and start the plan.

You will be responsible for scheduling and conducting the enrollment meetings. If you are new to retirement plans, and specifically 401(k)’s, let us know, we can help coordinate some support.

I’m sure I could add a couple of more “take-aways,” but I will save those until later. As we all reflect on the year that was 2009 and look towards 2010, hopefully 401k SAFE will be a catalyst for making 2010 your best year ever in the financial services business!

All the best!