Month: January 2019

Six Easy Steps to Keep Your Plan Assets Safe

Cyber fraud is a growing concern globally. Individuals are typically very careful to keep their bank account and email authentication information safe, but they aren’t always smart with the rest of their personal information.

Participants need to be vigilant with their retirement savings accounts as well. In the past year we’ve seen a slew of cases of attempted fraud – some successful – against retirement savings plan participants across a multitude of recordkeepers. The good news is that virtually all recordkeepers view security as a prominent priority and diligently update their technology. However, their security can only go so far if the participant isn’t being equally vigilant.

Educate your plan participants on the following tips to ensure the security of their retirement savings accounts.

1. Use all available levels of authentication. If your plan’s recordkeeper comes out with a new type of authentication, your participants should implement it immediately.

2. If participants frequent a website or have an account with a company whose website and information has been compromised, they should change all of their passwords for all online accounts.

3. Remind participants to use strong passwords. Utilize letters, capitalization, numbers and symbols. Don’t use recognizable words. Don’t use the same password for multiple purposes. Have the password be at least 14 characters in length. Consider changing passwords frequently. Using a password manager can make this task less unwieldy.

4. Don’t send authentication information to any third parties, and remind participants to limit authentication access to use on sites which are navigated to independently – not through a link or other prompt.

5. Check your participants’ accounts frequently, address any irregularities, and remind participants to keep an eye out, too.

6. Ask participants to immediately contact you if they receive any “updates” that look suspicious so you can notify your recordkeeper.

Keep your participants in the know. We recommend sending the participant memo that is included with this newsletter on the importance of remaining vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity – it’s one of the most important investments your participants can make.

Records and Their Expiration Dates

“What records should I keep? How long should I keep them? How should I organize my files?”

Advisors have been asked these questions time and time again by plan sponsors looking for a general guideline for record expiration dates.

Record retention doesn’t need to be a mystery, and the filing system doesn’t need to become a tomb. For audits, remember the following requirements.*

As for organizing your fiduciary file, we suggest a format that includes the following sections:

1. Documents with all plan documents, amendments, tax filings and so on.

2. Administrative for all audit results, contribution records, Fiduciary Plan Review meeting minutes, fee benchmarkings, participant complaints.

3. Participant Communication containing copies of enrollment materials, communications and memos, and meeting sign-in sheets.

4. Investments with a listing of fund menu with expenses, Fiduciary Investment Review meeting minutes.

If a participant, auditor, or DOL agent requested plan information, could you find it quickly? The key is twofold: keep the things you need and store them so you can find them easily.

Of course, these are only general guidelines. For questions about your specific case, contact your plan advisor to discuss best practices for keeping records.

*For litigation purposes, we recommend that documents be retained indefinitely.

January 2019 Plan Sponsor Webinar

Click here to register for 2019 – What’s in Store For the Year Ahead?
Thursday, January 31st
at 11:00 AM ET / 10:00 AM CT / 9:00 AM MT / 8:00 AM PT

We hope that you will join us for our first webinar of 2019. Robert Wagner (Chief Investment Officer for
SRP) and Jim Robison (Managing Director, Great Lakes) will share a review of 2018 and the major
financial trends expected for 2019.

If you are interested in the impact of Government Shut Down and Political Turmoil, Trade Conflict, Fed
Policy, and the overall Economy then this is a can’t miss webinar.

New Participant Education Webinar Series for 2019!

Plan Sponsors:  The following message is intended for you as well as the participants within your retirement plan.  Will you please help us share the great news about the 2019 Participant Webinar Series by forwarding this announcement to you participants and eligible employees?  Thank you!

Dear Valued Retirement Plan Participants:

We meet with you, our MVPs (Most Valuable Participants), for group meetings and one-on-ones and have helped many of you enroll in a 401(k) for the first time. We’ve strategized about your retirement goals and encouraged you to keep saving, even during stressful financial situations. As a result, we’ve delighted in celebrating many retirements along the way. At SRP, we take pride in truly understanding what your needs and goals are, as well as what questions and concerns you may have during your retirement planning journey. We have valuable knowledge and we want to continually share it with you! Our upcoming Participant Webinar series will make it possible to share information and deepen our relationship with you, our MVPs.

Retirement Plan Participants:  Please join us on Tuesday, February 5th at 1:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm CST for our first webinar: “The Market Is Down, Now What?!” Click here to register. 

A rocky few months for the stock market has created worry among investors, and it’s not over yet. Many investors opened their 2018 year-end 401(k) statements and did not like what they saw and may be worried about what’s to come in 2019. You may be asking:

“Should I adjust my contributions?” “Should I change my investments?” “How does my age factor in?” “What do I need to know during times of market volatility?”

Join Greg Gavran (Managing Director, Wisconsin) and Sarah Krapec (Director of Participant Education) for a 30-minute webinar to address your most pressing questions related to the ups, and especially the downs, of today’s market. We’ll discuss target date funds, age considerations as well as explore when “staying the course” really makes sense.