3 Tips for Small Business Owners to Improve their Company 401(k) Plan
401(k) plans and other company-sponsored retirement plans are one of the most important benefits you can offer to attract top-notch talent to your business. More and more small businesses are offering this benefit, which makes it crucial that your 401(k) plan stands out from the rest.
The good news is, with a few tweaks, this can easily be done. Read on for three tips to instantly improve your company-sponsored 401(k) plan.
1) Offer a Roth 401(k) Option
The traditional 401(k) plan only allows employees to contribute pre-tax contributions to their account. Although still a great benefit, many employees could find greater value in making after-tax contributions through a Roth 401(k). Funds in a Roth 401(k) grow and are withdrawn tax-free. Since after-tax savings is usually beneficial for younger workers in lower tax brackets, this added feature could be key for companies looking to hire young, fresh talent.
Fortunately, adding a Roth 401(k) to your current plan isn’t complicated or expensive. The administrator of the plan simply needs to make an amendment to the plan document, which usually costs anywhere from $100 to $200.
2) Provide Low-Cost, High-Quality Investment Options
Your employees are restricted to using the funds only available in the 401(k) plan, so make sure you provide a good range of high-quality investment options for them to pick from. Your mutual fund line-up should include funds that represent different markets such as U.S. stocks, international stocks and bonds. The funds should also be low in cost. As a rule of thumb, try to make sure at least 75 percent of the mutual funds in the plan have an expense ratio (cost to invest) of less than 1 percent. Also keep in mind the track record of the funds in your plan. Are they underperforming, matching or out-performing their benchmarks?
Swapping fund options in and out of your 401(k) plan should be simple and cost free. Continue to monitor the funds available at least annually, and make sure your employees are happy with the options available to them.
3) Hire a Financial Advisor
Hiring the right financial advisor provides many benefits to your employees as well as to yourself. It gives your employees access to consult with an advisor on some questions that may be causing them unnecessary stress, such as how to invest their account and how much they should contribute. It also allows you to shift the time and legal liability that comes with managing a 401(k) plan from your shoulders to the advisor’s.
The vetting process of hiring a financial advisor is crucial. Make sure you ask the right questions to understand if the advisor is held to the highest standard of care, has the right credentials, and will provide quality service to you and your employees (for a guide on how to vet financial advisors click on this link).
If your 401(k) plan is outdated, feels like a burden or is the source of complaints from your employees, take some time to make these small tweaks. The goal of your 401(k) plan should be to attract top-notch talent while providing a meaningful way for you and your employees to save for retirement.
Kevin Michels, CFP® is a fee-only financial planner for Medicus Wealth Planning based in Draper, Utah. Michels specializes in helping business owners manage their personal finances and company-sponsored retirement plans.