Financial Resources & News

Retirement Boom to Impact Consumption

As the number of U.S. retirees increases by 1.2 million a year, the resulting population shift will have a dramatic effect on consumption patterns, according to a report from The Conference Board. The report, “The Impact of Demographic Trends on Consumer Spending,” examines how spending patterns will change as people age, and provides perspective on how population-growth trends are likely to...

read more

Determining 401(k) Plan Eligibility Requirements

Establishing eligibility requirements for plan participation requires consideration of both the broad range of available options and the potential effects that different sets of eligibility requirements may have on hiring, retention, and administrative costs. Following is a brief overview of the applicable rules. Conditions of Eligibility Federal law establishes the limits of what conditions may...

read more

Keys to Avoiding Compensation Errors

The plan’s definition of “compensation” is important for many different aspects of plan administration — including elective deferrals, allocations, and discrimination testing. Plan sponsors need to be certain that the definition of compensation is properly applied. Failure to do so could result in an operational failure and possibly affect the plan’s qualified status. Mistakes may arise because...

read more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a final rule delaying by 60 days the applicability date of the DOL Fiduciary Rile and related exemptions.  The new initial applicability date is June 9, 2017.  This delay may only be temporary, and the expanded definition and principles-based impartial conduct standards may survive the final rule.  It will take some time for further...

read more

Markets in Review

Equity markets rose sharply as investor optimism continued, fueled by strong economic data early in the quarter. Following a 3.8% return during the 4th quarter of 2016, the S&P 500 returned 6.1% during the first quarter of 2017. Growth-oriented stocks and sectors outperformed after having underperformed in 2016. Many of the stocks and sectors which had led the market following the election...

read more

RECENT Developments

More Older Americans Are Working A recent Pew Research Center analysis found that the number of older Americans working is increasing. Nearly nine million people, or 18.8% of Americans ages 65 and older, are employed. Only 36.1% of workers 65 and older are working 35 hours or less in 2016, a drop from 46.1% in 2000. Older workers are more likely to be in management, legal, and community/social...

read more

Make Sure Participants Receive the Plan Documents They’re Entitled To

Getting the word out about your retirement plan is an ongoing activity. In addition to the enrollment materials you provide newly eligible employees, you probably communicate with participants routinely, answering their questions and encouraging them to take full advantage of the plan. Required Documents In addition to these efforts, plans are required to make certain plan documents available to...

read more

Paying Expenses with Plan Assets

Whether your organization’s retirement plan has been up and running for several years or you are looking into what would be involved in sponsoring a plan, you may have questions about which plan-related expenses can be paid by the plan and which expenses the employer is responsible for paying. Federal pension law (ERISA) allows plan fiduciaries to use plan assets for the payment of reasonable...

read more

Using Target Date Funds in Your Plan

Target date funds (also known as lifecycle funds) have become increasingly popular in retirement plans. Close to 70% of 401(k) and profit sharing plans offered target date funds in 2014, according to the most recent survey by the Plan Sponsor Council of America.* Are target date funds a good fit for your plan? What criteria are important when choosing to use them in a plan? Understanding What...

read more

Markets in Review

Leaving a volatile second quarter behind, investor sentiment during the third quarter turned to “risk on”. A decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the 0.25% - 0.50% range for the overnight rate drove the equity markets higher. Emerging markets outperformed developed markets as the dollar weakened against other major currencies, including the euro and yen. The S&P 500 index ended the...

read more

Determination Letters

In IRS Announcement 2015-19, the IRS has ended the individually designed plan determination letter process known as the five-year restatement cycle, effective January 1, 2017. The last year of the five-year restatement cycle, which started February 1, 2016, and ends January 31, 2017, is the restatement window for Cycle A. Other than that, determination letters will only be issued when the plan...

read more

DOL Fiduciary Investment Advice Rule

On April 6, 2016, the DOL published its final rule redefining when service providers are required to act in the client’s best interest when dealing with retirement assets. The fiduciary rule broadens the ERISA definition of fiduciary investment advice for retirement plans and accounts. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm, all of BFSG’s advice is already subject to a similar and often...

read more

IRS Compliance Questions

The IRS announced that, since proposed 2015 IRS compliance questions on Forms 5500 and 5500-SF and Schedules H, I, and R were not approved by the Office of Management and Budget prior to publication of the forms in December, these questions should not be answered for the 2015 plan year. The questions have been added to existing schedules to Form 5500, and address the following: Schedules H and...

read more

Should Your Plan Offer in-Plan Roth Rollovers?

In conjunction with offering a Roth deferral option, plan sponsors may want to consider an in-plan Roth rollover (IRR) feature. This feature allows participants to roll over tax-deferred amounts — including pretax salary deferrals and matching and nonelective employer contributions — from their traditional 401(k) accounts into designated Roth 401(k) accounts within the plan, as well as after-tax...

read more

Changes to the Voluntary Correction Program

The Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) is available to qualified retirement plan sponsors to obtain IRS approval for proposed plan corrections that — if not addressed in a timely fashion — could result in the loss of the plan’s tax-favored status or substantial sanctions for noncompliance. By submitting a written proposal to the IRS along with a compliance fee, plan sponsors can bring their...

read more

Latest From The Blog


Our Services

Investment Management

Tailor portfolios to your needs and goals.

Retirement Planning

Investing and saving wisely is vital to success in retirement.

Financial Planning

Navigating the complexities of your financial affairs can be simplified.

Tax Management

Help to increase the amount you “take home”.

Estate Planning

Protect your loved ones and make sure your legacy endures.

Executive Compensation Analysis

Simplify the many options and decision points of executive compensation plans.

Education Planning

Confidently plan for your children’s future.

Charitable Giving

Give in a tax-smart, simple way.

*Please Note: Limitations.  The scope of services to be provided depends upon the terms of the engagement, and the specific requests and needs of the client. BFSG does not serve as an attorney, accountant, or insurance agent.  BFSG does not prepare legal documents or tax returns, nor does it sell insurance products.  Please Also Note: Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk.  Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by BFSG) or any financial planning or consulting services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance level(s), or prove successful.

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

(They're great, we promise)

Connect With Us

Financial Services Group BBB Business Review