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Understanding Workplace Savings

By: Joe Dillon, CFP®
3 Minute Read

The phrase “workplace savings” doesn’t mean much to most people. If pressed, they might guess that you’re referring to a 401(k)-retirement plan. And for the most part, they’re right.

401(k) plans are by far the most prominent and well-known workplace savings benefit. They’re becoming even more prevalent with improved technology and service provider economies of scale making cost-effective options available to even the smallest organizations.

That said, 401(k) plans are just one piece of the workplace savings puzzle.

I’ve spent my entire career in the workplace savings industry. The first ten years with two global investment companies that made servicing retirement plans a core part of their business and the next five with a very large, registered investment advisor that specialized in advising on retirement plans.

Over that time, I came to appreciate the complexity that goes into these programs and how various types of plans can be pieced together and customized to accomplish very specific objectives of an organization. An employer may simply want a cost-effective plan in place that allows employees to save for retirement. A small business owner with high income might need to find a way to save that will significantly reduce their tax bill. Or an organization may need a creative way to retain very key employees that are at risk of being recruited by their competition. Whatever their goal, there are solutions available that can accomplish these objectives, and it’s very common for more than one plan to be in place to do so.

So how is it done?

Once you narrow down the objectives, you can begin to formulate a solution. However, the plan must be carried out in a way that satisfies a complex set of rules—the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and Section 409(a) of the tax code being two of the most notable. You’ll also need to engage service providers that can carry out all the tasks necessary to establish the plans and keep them operating efficiently. The rules, products, and investments associated with these plans are in a seemingly constant state of flux. “Set it and forget it” is not a viable approach.

Getting it right may seem like a daunting task, but if you do, there’s likely a big payoff. Workplace and retirement savings programs are where almost all professionals begin to accumulate wealth. A well-rounded workplace savings program means everyone—owners, executives, and employees—can get the most out of each dollar that goes into these programs. It also helps organizations attract, retain, and reward valuable employees in a competitive labor market.

The key to getting it right, we believe, is to engage a specialist. Advising on workplace and retirement savings programs is a well-defined niche in the broader “advice” industry. As with most industries, ours is changing at a rapid pace. The right partner will put a process in place to ensure your program remains competitive and continually meets the needs of your workforce.

The opinions and views expressed in this blog post belong to and are solely those of the individual author, a representative of Curi Capital, and not of Curi Capital’s parent or affiliated companies or their members, insureds, clients, customers, or partners.

Disclosure: Curi Wealth Management, LLC, dba Curi Capital, is an investment adviser in Raleigh, North Carolina. Curi Capital is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC. Curi Capital does not provide tax or legal advice and only transacts business in states in which it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration. A copy of Curi Capital’s current written disclosure brochures, filed with the SEC, which discuss, among other things, Curi Capital’s business practices, services and fees, are available through the SEC’s website at: www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

Joe Dillon, CFP®
Joe Dillon is Curi Capital’s Managing Director of Retirement Plan Solutions, based in Raleigh, NC.

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