Remember that 401(k) plans are a benefit

I think the one thing that 401(k) plan sponsors really forget is that the plan is an employee benefit. As with all benefits, it is a tool to recruit and retain employees. A great plan with great tools for participation and an employer contribution is going to be a lot more attractive than a plan set up with limited participant tools and zero education and contributions.

If you look at the experience and you think it’s dreadful, then you need to do something about it. You need a participant website and you need investment educational tools (or investment advice) that will engage the participants and get them to defer.

Like with health insurance, the coffee machine, and the break room, you need to focus that a 401(k) plan is a tool to help you with your employees. If you focus on that, you’ll also be able to minimize your fiduciary liability because it means you will focus on your plan and not neglect it like most plan sponsors.

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