THE PROBLEM WITH TODAY’S 401(K)
The U.S. Supreme Court passed a ruling in February 2008 stating 401(k) plan sponsors are obligated to act at all times in the best interest of 401(k) plan participants. As the plan sponsor of a 401(k) retirement plan, can be sued by your employees if you violate your fiduciary responsibilities. The Supreme Court provision further authorizes recovery for fiduciary breaches that impair the value of plan assets.
With more than 80 percent of 401(k) plan participants unsure of how much they pay in fees and one-third who do not feel knowledgeable about the impact that fees may have on their retirement savings*, it is your responsibility to look at your current retirement plan to ensure your employees and their retirement accounts are in good hands. With major companies like Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar Inc. and others in employee lawsuits, you may be sued if your employees have experienced losses due to your administrative error, mismanagement of funds or excessive fees. The 401(k) landscape has changed for employers; you need to take action.
- Become transparent (fees and expenses)
- Reduce fees (plan administration)
- Modernize your investments (load, fees, etc.)
- Find an outside investment advisor (fiduciary guidance)
Together,Fidelity Atlantic Investments, Inc. and GradientInvestments, LLC offer an open architecture 401(k) retirement plan platform that adheres to today’s regulations.
BEWARE OF FEES
Transparency within your 401(k) retirement plan is essential. Many 401(k) plans, particularly those sold by insurance companies, are loaded with often overlooked fees. A study by the Investment Company Institute found the average 401(k) had annual fees to participants of .93 percent.* Furthermore, fees for plans sold by insurance companies were 63% higher!
The list of potential extra charges can be overwhelming: 12b-1 fees, sales loads and wrap fees, transaction fees, rebalancing fees, sub-transfer agent (sub-TA) fees, soft dollars, and fund turnover expenses, just to name a few. Don’t let the names confuse you — the total cost applied against your contributions is all that matters!
Transparency is critical within your sponsored plan. Gradient Advisors’ Open Architecture 401(k) Platform is your solution for transparency. Our plan offers NO HIDDEN FEES!
OPEN ARCHITECTURE 401(K) PLATFORM
With Gradient Investments, your plan participants will have world-class investment opportunities packaged in an easy to implement format. Our Open Architecture 401(k) Platform allows us to select the top exchange traded funds and mutual funds managed by the best fund managers at T. Rowe Price, Vanguard, Fidelity and many others. Participants will not be captive to any fund family and will not be forced to choose from loaded, high-expense funds.
For the one-stop shopper, there is a series of balanced retirement funds that allocate assets for a targeted retirement date. The individual wanting to control their asset allocation decision with limited investment options has access to a core investment list. The sophisticated investor will receive a comprehensive offering of quality funds enabling the participant to build a broadly diversified portfolio among and within various asset classes. For those needing a customized plan, we will build a portfolio tailored to your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon.
*AARP Survey Finds More Than 80 Percent of 401(k) Participants Are Unaware of Fees Associated With Their Plans, August 1, 2007 http://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/press-center/info-2007/401k_study.html **December 2006