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401(k) plans are complicated, detailed products with lots of features and benefits. They also require a lot of players (product provider, third party administrator, trustee, custodian, etc.) and have many laws and regulations to follow. But 401(k) retirement plans do not need to be overwhelming.

Our team of financial experts at Synergy Financial Management is ready to help you understand the ins and outs of 401(k) retirement plans, so you can make informed decisions about what’s best for your company. Explore our website for more information including:

  1. 401(k) plan basics – what do I need to know?
  2. How do I set up a 401(k) retirement plan for my company?
  3. How do I switch 401(k) plan providers?
  4. What legal and regulatory aspects of a 401(k) plan do I need to understand?
  5. What do all these 401(k) plan terms mean?
  6. Plan comparison:  what are the main differences between a 401(k), SEP and SIMPLE IRA?


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I lower fees to offer my employees a better 401(k) plan?

Some 401(k) plans have higher fee structures than others, so when evaluating plans for our clients, Synergy Financial Management performs a Cost Analysis. We will work with you to identify all the services and related costs of your current plan, so we can eliminate unnecessary services and fees.

Because we are independent, we will evaluate whether you need a bundled or unbundled plan, tell you which TPA, record keeper and trustee will provide the best service, and explain your investment options. We will build a 401(k) plan to help you and your employees reach your financials goals at the lowest possible cost.

2. What service providers do I need to manage my 401(k) plan?

There are a lot of players involved in most 401(k) plans, but we can simplify it for you. The two people that you will most likely work with are a salesman and the service provider. The salesman helps you select and set up a plan; the service provider is your advocate and is responsible for closely monitoring your 401(k) plan. The key difference is that the salesman is only required to make “suitable recommendations” regarding your employees’ needs and your goals as the employer. The salesman does not need to closely monitor the plan’s performance, nor is he or she required to be a professional money manager.

When you work with Synergy Financial Management, however, you get more than a salesman. You get a plan advocate and a professional money manager. We have a fiduciary responsibility to recommend the best 401(k) plan options to you and to oversee your account, so you will always receive the best advice, price and service. Our experienced money management team will meet with you annually to review your plan, and we’ll host educational seminars for your employees. This additional level of support doesn’t cost anything extra; our investment advice, employee education, and plan research and support are included in our investment management services.

3. My 401(k) plan is small compared to larger companies. What kind of professional money management can I expect?

Some firms only provide professional money management to clients with larger portfolios, but at Synergy Financial Management, you’ll get our personalized service regardless of the size of your 401(k) plan. We’ll manage the money in your 401(k) plan by maximizing your returns and reducing volatility and risk. By mitigating losses in down markets, your money will recover more quickly without taking on more risk.

Because we are professional money managers, you’ll get exclusive access to this kind of professional money management – the kind of service you and your employees deserve.

4. Will you actively manage my company’s 401(k) plan, so that we’re prepared for market shifts?

Synergy Financial Management manages 401(k) plans like yours using an asset allocation model. We constantly monitor market conditions and build an allocation that will reduce your 401(k) plan’s risk while improving your return. As market conditions change, we review and monitor the allocation and make any needed changes. We are looking for long-term results to grow your assets safely, and we manage your assets according to your direction and long-term financial goals.

5. I am so busy running my business; why is it important for me to evaluate my plan now?

Evaluating your plan now is important for two reasons: 1) you have a fiduciary liability to ensure that your plan is a good fit for your employees, and 2) the quality of your plan directly affects your own retirement savings.

Regarding fiduciary liability, not reviewing plan fees regularly puts you at risk if your employees are not satisfied with the plan’s performance. Looking at their own account balances, business owners often feel that a change of less than 1% does not have a huge impact on their portfolios over time. But if you are 50 years old and reduce your total plan cost by 1.5%, in 10 years, your portfolio will be about 12% larger – and that increases to 25% in 20 years! By reviewing your plan now, you can meet your fiduciary responsibility while also protecting your own financial future.

If you are ready to build a better retirement for you and your employees, call or email us today for more information, or to set up a complimentary consultation.

Still have questions? Contact us any time, and we’ll be happy to answer all of your 401(k) plan questions or provide you with additional information or resources.