Will you be ready when the DOL comes knocking?

Deferring taxes can be a powerful investment decision. Qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) plans allow you to defer significant amounts of money. Moreover, combining tax free contributions with tax-deferred growth can be a sound long term investment. The dollars that would have gone to pay taxes remain in your account. It’s more money working for potential returns.

If you’re an employer who sponsors such plans, it also means meeting your fiduciary responsibilities. Your plan is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL). Under ERISA, you have important responsibilities because you act on behalf of participants (employees) in a retirement plan and their beneficiaries.

The following seven tips will help you consider some of your responsibilities:

  1. Are the plan and all fiduciaries appropriately bonded?
  2. How is the investment asset mix determined, modified, monitored and re-balanced?
  3. Who is rendering appropriate investment advice, is this entity a fiduciary and has it acknowledged its fiduciary status in writing?
  4. Are employees in a safe harbor 401(k) plan receiving annual disclosures about the plan (download a template from our website)?
  5. Are you reporting all employees on the annual employee census form?
  6. Are you aware of and in compliance with all of the new fee disclosure requirements?
  7. Are employee elective deferral contributions (e.g. 401(k) contributions) made as soon as administratively practicable as required by law? Are employer contributions made in accordance with plan documents?

As your investment advisor representative, we are fiduciaries to your plan. We explicitly state so in our formal agreement with you. That means you’re relieved of many (but not all) of your responsibilities. Call today so we can review your qualified retirement plan: 888.86.AZZAD.

Azzad Asset Management

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