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How the Ongoing Evolution of the Fiduciary Rule Affects Small Business Owners

by Tom SmithMarch 28, 2018 8:00 AM

The fiduciary rule has had a bumpy ride in the past few years. After initially going into partial effect in June of 2017 and targeting Jan. 1, 2018 for a full rollout, the move to have all financial professionals who work with retirement plans follow the same fiduciary ethics and standards was postponed until July 1, 2019. Now MarketWatch reports that the Fifth Circuit Court “struck down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule” in a split decision Thursday, March 15, 2018.

This may not be the end of the fiduciary rule, however. According to Forbes Contributor David Trainer, the fiduciary rule may still make an impact even after being struck down. Trainer writes “While the ruling could end the Fiduciary Rule as law, it cannot erase the awareness the DOL [Department of Labor] raised, nor can it stop market forces leading the business towards a more ethical place.”  

So, what does this mean for business owners? The fiduciary rule wasn’t designed to directly impact you as an owner, but it does affect the financial advisors connected to your business. Here’s a quick rundown of how the fiduciary rule can still make an impression on financial advisors and what that may mean for your business.

Financial advisors for a small business 401(k) plan.

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Benefits

How PEOs Can Help Small Businesses Use Economy of Scale to Benefit Their 401(k) Plans

by Tom SmithMay 30, 2017 8:00 AM

It can be very difficult for small business owners to compete with big companies when it comes to 401(k) plans. Due to their size, large corporations can use economy of scale to their advantage and offer attractive retirement plans that are more affordable due to the size of their employee base. 

Small business owners don’t have hundreds of employees to their name, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have access to economies of scale through other resources. 

Image of a smal business 401(k) plan

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Benefits

Unique Benefit Plans

by Tom SmithSeptember 29, 2016 8:00 AM

Are you a business owner looking for additional ways to compensate and retain your key employees? There are several options that are mutually beneficial for employees and businesses.

I’m going to preface this blog with the fact that I was born and raised in Ohio and am therefore an Ohio State fan. I was on ESPN’s website the other day and came across a story about the “school up north” and their Head Coach Jim Harbaugh getting additional compensation in the form of a life insurance loan.

The story caught my attention because you don’t see articles like this too often, especially when you are looking to read about sports. The fact is, it is commonplace in the corporate world for businesses to offer additional benefits to key executives and/or employees. The agreement that the University of Michigan and Jim Harbaugh have entered into is called a split-dollar life insurance arrangement. These types of arrangements can be a win-win for the employer and employee.

Image of Jim Harbaugh. Contact GMS about unique benefits plans for employees.

Photo by Eric Upchurch via Wikimedia Commons.

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Benefits

401(k) Testing: What is That About?

by Tom SmithMay 9, 2013 10:14 AM

I receive this question very often, especially at the beginning of each year. The IRS requires any company with a 401(k) plan to conduct annual compliance testing.

The testing is conducted after the plan’s year-end. For most plans, this is 12/31.

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