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Managing Your Firm's 401(k) Plan : A Complete Roadmap to Managing Today's Retirement Plans

Managing Your Firm's 401(k) Plan : A Complete Roadmap to Managing Today's Retirement Plans

Matthew X. Smith

ISBN: 978-0-470-55300-8 September 2010 256 Pages


In Stock



An objective resource for managing your firm's 401(k) plan

With the recent uncertainty in the economy and financial markets, 401(k) plans are now under more scrutiny than ever. Written for finance and benefit professionals who are responsible for the management, operations, or oversight of their company's 401(k) plan, Managing Your Firm's 401(k) Plan offers a guide to designing and managing a 401(k) with a focus on financial, fiduciary, and regulatory standards.

While there are plenty of books on 401(k) plans written for the individual investor, there are very few resources for professionals involved in 401(k) management. This book effectively fills that void

  • It was specifically written for professionals involved in 401(k) management
  • It includes regulatory and fiduciary information needed for compliance purposes
  • It was created by experienced experts in the defined contribution plan arena

Topics covered throughout this insightful guide include measuring retirement readiness, establishing plan governance, managing the plan's investment menu, monitoring record keeper performance, communicating effectively with employees, helping participants manage their retirement income, and much more.



Chapter 1: The Importance of the 401(k) Plan.

Baby Boomers Have Reached Retirement Age.

People are Spending More Years in Retirement.

Expenses in Retirement Are Increasing.

The Shift from DB to DC.

Sharing Responsibility.


Chapter 2: The Role of the Employer.

Why Do Employers Sponsor 401(k) Plans?

What Roles Do Employers Play?


Chapter 3: Measuring Retirement Readiness.

Replacement Ratios.

Improving Retirement Readiness.


Chapter 4: Establishing a 401(k) Plan.

How a 401k) Plan Works.

Establishing Plan Objectives.

Benchmarking Plan Design Features.

Plan Setup.

Segregation of Plan Assets.

Using Plan Assets to Pay Expenses.


Chapter 5: Plan Governance and Fiduciary Issues.

Who Is a Plan Fiduciary?

Basic Fiduciary Duties.

Allocating or Delegating Fiduciary Responsibility.

The Prohibited Transactions Rule.

Exemptions from Prohibited Transaction Rules.

Establishing Roles and Responsibilities.


Chapter 6: Protecting Yourself as a Fiduciary.

The Impact of Enron Litigation.

Consequences of a Breach of Fiduciary Duty.

The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).

Fidelity Bonds vs. Fiduciary Liability Insurance.


Chapter 7: Establishing and Managing Plan Investments.

The Investment Policy Statement for a Participant-Directed Plan.

The Investment Menu.

Pre-Diversified Portfolios.

Portfolio Construction.

Selection of Investments and Managers.

Monitoring Investments.

Complying with Section 404(c).

Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans.

Default Investment Option and Mapping.

Advice and Education for Plan Participants.

Brokerage Accounts and Mutual Fund Windows.

Socially Responsible Investing.


Chapter 8: Managing Your Plan's Operations.

Monitoring Your Service Provider.

Vendor Services.

Collecting and Using Vendor Metrics.

Service Agreements and Standards.

Operational Compliance.

Regulatory Compliance.

Changing Recordkeepers.


Chapter 9: Design and Management of Distribution Options.

Vesting Rules.

Distributable Events.

Nondiscrimination Testing Failures and Regulatory Limitations.

Forms of Distributions.

Optional Design Features.

Taxation Considerations.



Chapter 10: How Business Transactions Affect 401(k) Plans.

Why It Matters.

Business Mergers and Acquisitions.

Divestitures and Downsizing.

Options for Distressed Organizations.


Chapter 11: Financial Communication and Education for Participants.

Why Do You Offer a 401(K) Plan?

Communication Strategy.

The Implementation Plan.

Branding your Program.

Managing Vendor Communications.

Three Times…Three Ways.


Chapter 12: Helping Participants Manage Their Retirement Income.

In Plan or Out?

Risks of Managing Retirement Income.

Retirement Income Product Types.

Additional Product Features.