- Insurance Services
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Retirement Planning Services
Retirement planning is increasingly complex. A host of investment options, combined with fluctuating interest and inflation rates and other variables, make it difficult to determine how much you will need, where you should invest, and who to turn to for assistance. The complex tax and legislative environment surrounding retirement planning compounds the confusion. With qualified plans (such as IRA, pension, profit sharing, 401(k) and Keogh plans), the timing and amount of withdrawals are critical in order to avoid additional tax penalties. And, if you have accumulated significant qualified plan assets you may face additional problems, including the "Double Tax Dilemma," where the government can tax these assets twice. We guide our individual and corporate clients through the confusion surrounding retirement planning. Our professional staff will:
- Develop customized short and long term investment strategies based on your personal objectives, risk tolerance, time frame for accumulation, and current financial situation
- Work to preserve and grow your net worth through work to investment opportunities and proper allocation and diversification of assets
- Provide you with access to select investment vehicles, including those that offer tax-deferred accumulation and potential tax-free distributions
Qualified Retirement Plans
We offer objective advice, custom products, quality retirement planning services, and practical ideas about qualified retirement plans. Particularly today, with the complexities of new pension laws, and the desire of employers to hire and retain valuable employees, more employers are seeking professionals with experience and knowledge. Employers now appreciate advisors who pursue the right principles: analyze, design, and then act.
We offer comprehensive and sophisticated capabilities in all aspects of qualified retirement plans. Working closely with our clients, we help them to set their retirement plan objectives, review any existing plan, and/or design a new retirement program to help achieve their goals.
We serve employers ranging in size from one employee to several thousand employees. We assist fiduciaries in fulfilling their ERISA mandated responsibilities. With increasing participant litigation, as well as increasing audits conducted by the Department of Labor (DOL), our clients understand the value of experts in the ongoing operation of their retirement programs.
Our process can help our clients pursue the right principles.
- Listen: We take time to get to know our clients and use a detailed questionnaire to explore issues that may or may not have been considered.
- Understand: We seek to establish realistic relationship expectations along with a careful analysis of the issues in qualified retirement design and installation.
- Act: We choose solutions from a variety of sources, set realistic goals, and then plan monitor results, including legal requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA.
Define your Objectives
Each type of retirement plan has its own special characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. The proper retirement plan for your organization will be the one that most closely corresponds to your organization's unique circumstances and objectives. In order to define your objectives, it is important to consider the following questions:
Who should the plan cover? Are there specific classes of employees, such as union members or part-time employees, who should be excluded?
How much can the company afford to contribute to the plan? i.e., x dollars per year or y% of payroll?
Can the company afford a fixed commitment to the plan each year or must employer contributions be discretionary?
Should employees contribute to the plan?
Should the plan be designed to favor any particular employees? i.e., owners, other key employees, older employees, longer service employees?
How important is it to maximize contributions and employer tax deductions? (Some types of plans allow higher employer deductible contributions than others.)
Should investment decisions be controlled entirely by the employer, or should some level of participant investment discretion be involved? (Participant-directed investments provide employees with greater personal financial control and tend to reduce employer fiduciary exposure, but this feature may add to plan complexity and expense.)
How important are simplicity, ease of administration, and low administrative expenses? (Low administrative expenses are particularly important to small employers. However, some of the plan types with lowest administrative expenses have mandatory funding requirements and restrictive provisions not found in other plan designs.)
Select a type of plan below for a brief description of each major plan type. We hope this background information will help you identify the type or types of plans that are most likely to respond to your objectives.