A Better Way To Do Your 401(k)Protect yourself from fiduciary risks, lessen your administrative burden and position your plan to function more effectively to meet your company's needs and objectives. Separate yourself. This is not your same old, commoditized plan offering. Seeing the effects of this recent pandemic on the markets, these uncertain times have brought concerns reminiscent of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. Like the financial crisis, this pandemic, referred to as a Black Swan event (an unpredictable event that brings potentially severe consequences), has caused many to look for ways to protect themselves from the downside risks. With 401(k)s often being the 2nd largest asset most people have after their home, protecting retirement savings is a big concern during this period of continued uncertainty.As important as it is to protect your employees’ accounts from ongoing market volatility, beyond the many considerations and decisions you may need to make as a business owner or plan sponsor, it is also as equally important to address the risks involved when you offer a plan to your employees.In a whitepaper released by Chubb and Groom Law Group, they talk about the surge in ERISA litigation against fiduciaries of employer-sponsored retirement plans, regardless of size, that spans across many types of companies, industries, and institutions.Although the responsibilities and liabilities that come with being a fiduciary on a plan should, and certainly need to be, addressed when vetting providers and advisors in the marketplace, these, unfortunately, are not commonly discussed. This leaves plan sponsors mostly unaware of the risks involved when they offer a plan, leaving them ill-equipped to take the necessary steps in mitigating potential liability. So, if you are looking for ways to help better protect yourself as the plan fiduciary while enhancing your plan for your employees, please consider the following key points. Here are ways you can differentiate your 401(k) from the standard, commoditized 401(k) plans common in today's marketplace: • Proper Retirement Plan Design We help businesses design a plan that helps address their business’ needs. It is always about designing the right plan, not just buying a ‘standardized’ solution. We help you tailor your plan according to your needs and objectives. An example may include allowing higher contributions to the business owner, key personnel or those next-in-line. *Considering the impact brought on by COVID-19, another aspect might be structuring the plan better to add incentives for your key employees as a means to help retain them. • Protection for the Business Owner, Plan Trustee or Plan Fiduciary There are strict requirements regarding your fiduciary oversight; ongoing responsibilities to monitor the plan’s investments and how your plan benchmarks. All too often business owners and plan trustees have a misconception that this is already ‘being done for them’, leaving themselves exposed to the inherent risks that come with offering a plan to their employees.But the reality is the business owner or plan trustee(s) are still on the hook for these responsibilities. By allowing us to evaluate your plan, you will have, at minimum, a well thought-out evaluation of, and recommendations for, your plan, which leaves a written document trail as evidence of the fiduciary process. This aspect of helping alleviate fiduciary exposures and helping protect the company and its trustee(s) is not common in most 401(k)s today. • Access to Tactical Management to Provide a Defensive Strategy to your Employees' Accounts Having a defensive strategy in your employees' accounts can help reduce risks of losses during major market downturns like the ones experienced in 2008 and most recently, the declines caused by this health crisis. This allows employees to participate when markets are favorable, but then provides them with defensive when markets are unfavorable, helping employees be better protected (especially because significant losses could really set back employees, many of whom are already ill-prepared for retirement). This one aspect alone has been found very timely in this current (pandemic) environment we are living in. • Dedicated Support and Access to Individualized Financial Advice Rather than just being directed to a 1(800) number when administrative questions arise or for your employees to be sent to a website only to get generic answers that often don't satisfy, part of our duty in servicing our plans is ongoing personal support to you, your delegates and your employees. That means having dedicated account and relationship managers, in addition to having access to our licensed advisors for one-on-one financial strategy meetings for your employees, done either on- or off-site or even virtually.These individualized planning meetings are a unique aspect of our service offering because our licensed advisors can actually render advice and guidance to your employees on financial matters beyond just their 401(k)s. This includes discussions around budgeting, proper insurance protection, ensuring adequate reserves and most importantly, properly planning for their future with a focus on providing clarity on the steps they need to do.This focus around increasing participant education helps your employees become better engaged and can help improve plan participation as well. The individualized planning sessions come at no incremental costs to your employees and is part of our service to our clients. If there is a facet to your current plan you would like to have evaluated or done better, let us help you. If you’re like most companies, you or your team are likely already inundated with day-to-day ongoing responsibilities, so allow us to save you time by letting our team do the research on your behalf. We have the expertise, experience and capacity to provide this guidance to you. Here's the Best Part:Our process of evaluating plans and making the appropriate recommendation(s) is complimentary Schedule a Conversation A Fiduciary may be held personally liable for responsibilities that are being neglected (Hint: It's a common misconception that this responsibility is being taken care of by their plan advisor).If you're already offering a plan, are you aware that you are a fiduciary?And, as a fiduciary, are you aware of its meaning and your responsibilities? When was the last time you conducted a Due Diligence Review of your Plan?Click below to watch a recording of our last event that dove deep into what is a fiduciary, the risks inherent to fiduciaries of a plan, common issues and more. This video highlights several common pitfalls that plan sponsors are often not aware of, so you may better protect yourself from fiduciary risks, lessen your administrative burden and oversight and position your plan to function more effectively to meet your company's needs and objectives. Watch Event Replay: Optimizing Your 401(k) Plan About Chad Albano Chad Albano is an Executive Director with Global View Capital Advisors. He has nearly two decades in the financial services industry. Chad holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. Prior to this role, Chad had over 10 years experience in various roles within corporate finance and accounting, ranging from tax, financial reporting and planning, distribution and manufacturing.In his role at Global View, Chad has 3 main areas of focus: (On the individual side) planning for Baby Boomers and pre-retirees, helping companies improve their 401(k)s, and working with companies come up with Advanced Plan Designs that focus on helping management teams fill the gaps in their succession planning, key person protection, executive incentive plans and employee retention. Chad is married to his best friend, Nicole, and has 2 daughters. His faith in God plays a key role and serves as his moral foundation in life. Chad values continued learning and growing, mentoring and cultivating others, public speaking, and enjoys family time, camping, fishing and personal defense training.