Month: December 2018

Don’t Forget About the Savers Credit

Now is an ideal time for your employees (and you!) to look at their retirement plan contributions to be sure they are maximizing the Savers Credit. For those eligible the Savers Credit offers a valuable incentive, which could reduce your federal income tax liability, for contributing to your company’s 401(k) or 403(b) plan. Those who qualify may receive a Tax Saver’s Credit of up to $1,000 ($2,000 for married couples filing jointly) if they made eligible contributions to an employer sponsored retirement savings plan. The deduction is claimed in the form of a non-refundable tax credit, ranging from 10% to 50% of your annual contribution.

Remember, when contributing a portion of each paycheck into the plan on a pre-tax basis, employees are reducing the amount of your income subject to federal taxation. And, those assets grow tax-deferred until they receive a distribution. The Savers Credit may even further reduce their taxes.

Eligibility depends on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), your tax filing status, and retirement contributions. To qualify for the credit, you must be age 18 or older and cannot be a full-time student or claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

Use this chart to calculate your credit for the 2019 tax year. First, determine your AGI – your total income minus all qualified deductions. Then refer to the chart below to see how much you can claim as a tax credit if you qualify.

For more information on the Savers Credit, visit this link on the IRS website.

SRP Hits NAPA’s “Top” Lists

In the last month, SRP and its Managing Directors have been recognized on three different “Top” lists by The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA).

Kristen Deevy, Managing Director, Rocky Mountains and Lisa Petronio, Managing Director, Upstate New York were named on the 2018 NAPA Top Woman Advisors list in late November. Lisa was honored as Captain this year, her second year on the list. Kristen was honored as an All-Star for the fourth year in a row. The list recognizes the contributions of the top women financial advisors who specialize in serving retirement plans. This is the fourth annual NAPA Top Women Advisors list, produced independently by the National Association of Plan Advisors. NAPA asked the nominees to respond to a series of questions, both quantitative and qualitative, about their experience and practice. Those questionnaires were then reviewed on an anonymous basis by a panel of judges and voted on by the public. The lists were drawn from nearly 500 nominations submitted by NAPA Firm Partners. Roughly 15,000 votes were cast in support of these individuals.

In December, SRP was named to the inaugural list of the NAPA Top DC Multi-Office Firms and 14 of our offices were named to the NAPA Top DC Advisor Teams list. Unlike other lists, the Teams list focuses on individual firms, or what may be referred to as a team, or office. While the Multi-Office list focuses on capturing the DC assets of an entire firm, or a multi-office arrangement.

Jeff Cullen, Managing Partner for SRP, said, “We are excited to have so many of our advisors and offices recognized on these lists by NAPA, and in the case of Kristen and Lisa, recognized year after year. Each of these advisors and offices is dedicated to creating the best possible retirement outcomes for the companies and employees that they work with and for. We are honored that their commitment to clients, participants and the industry has been recognized.”



Who should serve on my retirement plan committee?

Do we need a retirement plan committee?
If your plan requires an independent audit, you should have a retirement plan committee in place and meet regularly. Your auditor is likely to request committee meeting minutes as part of their audit. Smaller plans are moving to adopt this best practice, as it creates proof of prudent fiduciary process. When you’re responsible for making decisions that impact the financial livelihood of others, this is best practice you want to adopt.

How many representatives should be on the committee?
The committee should be large enough to share the responsibilities – but not too big to make it unmanageable. The most efficient committees have between three and seven members. The larger and more complicated the plan, the more committee members are likely to be involved to share the workload.

Who should serve on the committee?
Some positions on the committee may seem obvious, seeking to include representation from various functions in the organization – notably finance, HR and legal. Sometimes plan sponsors choose to include other key representatives on the committee.

  • If the plan includes both union and non-union employees, you may consider including a union representative on the committee.
  • If the plan sponsor is a not-for-profit organization, you may consider including a board member or finance committee member on the committee.
  • The plan sponsor may consider having individuals representing key divisions, functions or constituents serve on the committee.

Ultimately, committee members are taking on personal liability by serving as a fiduciary to the plan. All committee members must take their role on the committee seriously and be willing to dedicate time to reviewing materials in advance, asking challenging questions and employing strategic thinking for the plan.

Do I need investment expertise to serve on the committee?
While having some level of investment expertise is certainly helpful when serving on a committee, it is not required. Most plans hire a retirement consultant to assist with educating the committee, preparing investment monitoring reports and making recommendations to the committee. The committee member should be engaged in the learning process, willing to ask questions and make decisions based on information learned from their consultants.

Should there be term limits?
This concept is gaining traction, especially for larger organizations with larger committees. For smaller organizations, this can be challenging as there may not be any other suitable representatives. Each plan should evaluate their circumstances to determine if this makes sense for their organization.


Powerhouse Retirement Advisory Practice joins SRP

Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP), one of the leading retirement plan aggregators in the US, announced today that White Oak Advisors, LLC has joined its team. This closes out a banner year for growth, with SRP’s advisors in 17 offices consulting on over 750 plans totaling assets of $11 billion.

Jim Robison, Founder of White Oak Advisors, LLC and SRP’s new Managing Director, Great Lakes, states: “We are thrilled to be joining Strategic Retirement Partners! Ric Clouse and I have known many of the Managing Directors for a number of years and have noted the national depth and breadth of consulting capabilities, dedication to the ongoing improvement in participant and plan sponsor outcomes, the scope of operational support for our office and clients, a strong cultural alignment and, most importantly, the strength of character of our co-owners.”

The White Oak team adds eight new colleagues to SRP’s ranks, including Jim Robison and Ric Clouse who will be Managing Directors in the Great Lakes region.

“White Oak Advisors has grown from a true start-up in 2004 to a firm providing consulting and advisory services to Plan Sponsors who have in excess of 70,000 Employees and $3.5 billion assets in their respective Plans,” said Jim Robison, Managing Principal for White Oak Advisors, LLC. “We have enjoyed our client relationships and the fulfillment of the services provided yet have observed a need for greater bench depth in certain service areas. Being with SRP addresses the team-depth challenges and allows us to work within a collegial, Managing Director owned environment in-which collaboration is encouraged and occurs.”

SRP’s Managing Partner, Jeff Cullen, shared, “We are extremely fortunate to have Jim, Ric, and the entire White Oak team on board with SRP. They have evolved their decades of retirement plan experience into a repeatable process that uniquely equips their clients to take their plans from an additional corporate expense into an optimized asset that can help facilitate corporate strategy.”