The Richards Group is one of Vermont's and New England's top retirement and fiduciary advisors

Index Funds – Passive or Passive Aggressive?

One of the largest misconception about index funds is that their only distinguishing feature is their fees. It’s not uncommon to hear, “index funds are just holding the stocks or bonds in the index, so we don’t need to pay attention to them.” This assumption, however, is an oversimplification. Many investors don’t realize that all index funds are not created equally. For more information, click here.

No Beneficiary Designation. Who Gets The Money?

Plan participants sometimes forget to update their beneficiary designations after divorce or other life changes. This article discusses the rules relating to beneficiary designations, a US Supreme Court decision regarding divorced participants who fail to remove their ex-spouse as beneficiary, and what plan sponsors can do to address these issues and look out for the best wishes of their participants. The article can be viewed here.

May Any Employee Join the Retirement Committee?

Upon first blush, to the extent an employee from the general populace can and wishes to make a contribution as a committee member, there seems to be no reason why they shouldn’t participate on the committee. In practice, most committees consist of executives from finance (preferably the CFO), benefits and human resources. Due to the potential personal liability exposure, if there is interest from other lay people who wish to represent the vote of the participant base, they are best served participating as a non-voting member with no discretionary capabilities. This type of person should be identified and documented as a non-voting member assuming there is no intent to take on fiduciary status and the potential liability attached to all retirement committee members.