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September 17, 2013

Controlling your Own Destiny

by The 401k Study Group ®


Destiny | Noun| the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible course of events

Sports anchors are fond of saying “the team controls their own destiny”.  Really?  I am not the King of grammar, nor the Prince of punctuation.  However this phrase is one that (literally) may drive me mad.

In the retirement plan arena there are loads of people throwing stones at the system.  We call them window breakers.  They cast doubt, and suspicion on the system.  These pundits blame the mutual fund companies, the insurance companies,  Advisors and even the employers.  They long for a new system.  A system where: the “fees” are low; the interface is user friendly;  advice is abundant; enrollment is easy; savings rate soar; everyone opts in; earnings rate are more predictable; there is no liability; and on and on…idealistic, impractical and possibly a waste of valuable time.

When looking  for new clients it makes sense to  look for companies that are paternalistic.  They believe their employees are NOT cogs in the wheel.  They let you come in on company time to educate the employees about using the benefit.  They understand that the 401k plan may be the only effective place for an employee to save for retirement

The 401k plan is not like any other benefit. Take dental insurance.  You pick the package, 2 year rate guarantee and if at the end of two years you find out that no one used it, you just don’t renew it.  That’s it, all she wrote.  Can you do that with a qualified plan? Not really……

We actually believe that the local Advisor working in concert with a proactive Plan Sponsor can positively impact the participants.  We believe a qualified plan needs work to become a meaningful benefit.  We believe participants are at the heart of the equation.

Do  plan participants control their own retirement destiny? The answer is up to you……

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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