Protect the Trustee.  Empower the Participant.

A Service of Axiom Advisors, LLC

Has Your SIMPLE IRA Plan become too simple for your business?

Simple Plans are cheap!  That is why most employers use them. There are no filing or testing requirements, and little administrative costs.

Things change! As your business (and profits) grow and the needs of your team change, a SIMPLE may not fit as well as it once did. While a SIMPLE is a good alternative, it is limited in what it can do. A 401(k) may be a better alternative for a variety of reasons:

  1. MORE MONEY: A 401(k) allows participants to defer more money. The 2017 compensation limit for a SIMPLE is $12,500 (with a $3,000 catch-up if over 50). The limit for a 401(k) is $18,000 ($24,000 if over 50).
  2. ADVANTAGES TO OWNERS: Save more money with profit sharing and/or matching contributions. In a SIMPLE, the employer is required to contribute to the plan. In a 401(k) plan, there is no obligation for employer contributions. Different plan designs can be implemented to maximize contributions for owners and/or key employees allowing them to increase the contribution limit to $54,000–$60,000 for those over 50 years old.
  3. BETTER TAX SAVINGS: These are better with a 401(k) plan.  Greater contributions could mean thousands of dollars in taxes deferred until the funds come out.
  4. FLEXIBILITY: With a SIMPLE, the structure of plan design is limited. 401(k) plans provide a myriad of designs that can be tailored to match your specific needs.

DEADLINE NOVEMBER 2:  Employee notifications for SIMPLE Plans are due soon.  Now is the time if you are ready to make the change! Call us and we’ll walk you through the process every step of the way.  Learn more here.

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Accredited Investment Fiduciary
Holly Knight
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
holly@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 778
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

3 Advantages: How Much Difference Can a 401(k) Make?

Winners and losers are difficult to pick in the NBA or NFL, but in my 27 years in the financial planning business I have noticed one almost sure thing.  People who use their 401 (k)’s effectively are more likely to retire financially independent.  A recent survey by Wells Fargo confirmed:

  1. Those who saved consistently from the start of their career have 7.5 times as much in their retirement savings compared to those who were not consistent.
  2. Those who had more started earlier at an average age of 25 verses 33.
  3. Consistent savers had access to a 401 (k).

Implementing a quality 401 (k) plan and encouraging saving for retirement isn’t just providing a nice benefit to offer—it literally changes people’s lives.  To read more about the study click here.

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

 

3 Warnings for 401 (k) Plan Trustees

We all have “idiot lights” on the control console of our car.  Most of us have had the check engine light come on and thought, “Everything seems fine, I will deal with it later.”  Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

There are a few warning signs that your 401 (k) may be vulnerable to a challenge.  To name a few,

  • Failing to benchmark your plan or get periodic Requests for Proposals (RFP);
  • Failure to monitor plan fees and expenses; and,
  • Failure to monitor whether investment fees were appropriate.

If you are like many plan trustees, your response to these items is, “What?”  The Department of Labor is raising the bar for fiduciary responsibility.  What you don’t know can hurt you.

See the full article by Neil Adam, JD, a leading ERISA attorney here.  

To inquire about the 401 (k) Shield go to this page,  or contact me:  david@axiom123.com.  I would be happy to brief you on the service.

 

 

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

 

3 Differences for Right Trackers

“If you don’t know where you are going you might end up somewhere else.”  Yogi Berra

People who are on the right track for retirement are different.  According to a study by Lincoln Financial:

  • 71% have created a financial plan;
  • 98% are focused on the future; and,
  • 78% exercise regularly.

They also found that the use of workplace benefits has a strong impact, but those surveyed said that the information provided was confusing.  To read about the study, click here.

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

 

3 Ways Happy Employees pay Dividends to the Business

My brother had a saying that being a good employee didn’t pay better—but it did pay longer.  That is true not just for the employee, but also for the employer.  The impact to the bottom line of a happy employee compared to that of a disgruntled one or even more, turnover is profitability to the business.

A recent survey by State Street Global discovered that employees that are financially healthy bring these benefits to their employers:

  1. Participants who feel financially well tend to attribute those feelings to their employer;
  2. As feelings of financial wellness improve, participants’ feelings about their working life and their employers improve as well; and,
  3. Happy employees gave their employers the highest trust rating.

Financial wellness is important not just to the individual, but also to your enterprise.  To read more about the survey, click here.

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

 

Who Really Benefits from a Legal Settlement?

An attorney friend of mine often repeated the story of the lawyer who saw an auto accident.  He said, “I saw the whole thing!  I can represent either side!”  In the past year or so upwards of $60 Million have been paid in settlements from retirement plans after the accusation of fiduciary breach.  These cases rarely win in court, but settling is less costly.

So who benefits from the settlements?  The Multnomah Group has compiled a list.  These settlements are about more than money, often requiring changes in the administration of the plan.  But if you want to understand what is going on, follow the money!

To read more about the study click here.

 

 

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

Or contact:
David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Financial Planning Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

 

3 Things a Trustee Should Know about QDIA’s

In the alphabet soup of retirement plans, one set of letters a trustee should know is QDIA.  The Qualified Default Investment Account is the investment designated by the plan for those participants who do not select an option for their deferrals or deposits.  These accounts can be Asset Allocation Accounts, Target Date Funds, or Lifestyle Funds depending on your plan document and the menu of your service provider.

The Department of Labor has stated that the trustee of a plan is responsible to:

  1. Monitor the literature provided to the participants for any communication that may be unbiased;
  2. Monitor the asset allocation model for performance and expenses;
  3. Monitor the service providers for any conflicts of interest or revenue sharing associated with the QDIA.

Many Trustees are barely aware of QDIA’s much less their responsibility to keep an eye on them.

Fred Reisch, one of the nation’s leading ERISA attorneys address the issue in a recent blog.  You can read it here.

To learn about how the 401 (k) Shield can help you stay focused on running your business, not your 401 (k) responsibilities, you can learn more here, or you can contact me.   I would welcome the opportunity to brief you on our services.

For more  about the 401 (k) Shield click here.

David M. Wheat, ChFC. AIF
Axiom Advisors, LLC.
david@axiom123.com
800.769.1287 ext. 103
www.axiom123.com

 

3 Things that can Target Your Plan for Regulatory Review

Did you ever notice that when a state trooper has someone pulled over with lights flashing that everyone slows down?  Are we all guilty, or is it just that we realize that in today’s complex world that the person at the side of the road looking sadly into his windshield could easily be us.

The same is true for the 401 (k) Plan Trustee.  The regulations are compounding.  Your ability to keep up with them all is virtually impossible.  The focus for the Trustee is no longer which investments should I choose, but rather, Am I at risk for breach of fiduciary responsibility.

Since May of 2015, when the Supreme Court gave participants in a retirement plan standing before the court to sue the plan, the courts have been flooded with lawsuits.  Granted most of them settled, but the cost to the plan and the trustee is significant even if you win.

Here are three things that could target your plan:

  1. Failure to do periodic regulatory compliance reviews;
  2. You have proprietary funds on your investment menu; or,
  3. You don’t remember when you last benchmarked your plan.

You can read Nevin Adam, JD, article on the subject here.

To learn more about the 401(k) Shield, click here, or contact me:   I would gladly brief you on our services.

Submitted by David M. Wheat, ChFC | August 29, 2016

Financial Planning Services offered nationwide through
Axiom Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

3 Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 332
Bedford, NH 03110
Tel:1-800-769-1287
Fax: 603-429-1227
Email: info@axiom123.com

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside the specific states referenced.

Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.

OSJ: 3 Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 332
Bedford, NH  03110