How Our Clients Saved Thousands on Retirement Fund Expenses
At Alliance, we pride ourselves in helping companies design and implement retirement plans that reflect their unique needs. Below are few examples in which we have positively impacted our clients and helped them save on retirement fund expenses.
Client Saves Over $206K in Retirement Plan Design Contributions for Employees
A women’s health care provider (referred to as WHCP) wanted to review their retirement plan design. Their goal was to maximize owner contributions while minimizing staff contributions. WHCP and their advisor felt that the current design may have been inefficient to achieve this objective.
The current provider overlooked critical contribution factors, such as the ages of partners and the contribution limits for everyone versus the employer contribution requirement.
We initially identified three key issues:
- Some owners that had reached age 50 did not start contributing the available catch-up contribution.
- Some owners had not increased their personal contributions to meet the increasing Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) for employee deferral limits, thus increasing the overall employer cost.
- One of the owners was not deferring at all but still received full profit sharing, which greatly skewed the compliance requirement and greatly increased the overall employer cost.
These invaluable insights left WHCP impressed with the level of consultation they received and led to a more efficient and cost-effective plan design.
Original Design: $274,100
Improved Design: $248,300
Annual Savings: $25,800
Times 8 years: $206,400
Moreover, WHCP had the potential to save even more—up to $694,400 over eight years. However, due to various financial obligations, they decided not to increase their contributions to that extent.
Original Design: $274,100
Improved Design: $187,300
Annual Savings: $86,800
Times 8 years: $694,400
Law Firm with 150 Employees
An East Coast law firm with about 150 employees approached Alliance with the following challenge: increase contributions to the partner group without increasing the already generous contribution to staff.
We collected their employee census and presented three alternatives which, in varying degrees, accomplished their stated objective.
Contributions per partner were increased by over $20,000 with no additional contribution required for staff.
Machine Shop with 3 Owners & 15 Employees Saved $100K on Retirement Fund Expenses
A suburban Chicago machine shop established a 401(k) plan for its three owners and 15 employees through their insurance agent. They were happy with the initial enrollment meeting and the handouts and had pretty good participation. Business was good, they bought another small machine shop, and six years later they had over 50 employees and almost $2,000,000 in the plan.
Alliance was asked to meet with this company to review their plan. They were fairly happy with the plan, although they had a few concerns regarding the turnover of relationship managers at the insurance company. When we told them that they might be overpaying they said, “No way, this plan is cheap; I think we pay about $2,000 per year, tops!” We then showed them that they may not be writing a large check, but they were paying more than expected because they were being charged extremely high fees on the investment funds.
We prepared a spreadsheet and illustrated that if they used the same investment funds and accessed them directly through an open architecture program like Alliance’s, they would cut their investment expenses by over $16,000.
Over the seven years they have been a client, we have saved them over $100,000 on the total cost of their plan.
Helping an HR Manager Solve a Payroll Problem
Patty Neloff is a retirement plan administrator who discovered that Mary’s (a Human Resources Manager for a new client of Alliance) company had a discrepancy in its retirement funding numbers.
Here is Patty’s success story:
After noticing a discrepancy with a regular payroll contribution, Patty contacted Mary to review the situation and let her know about the inconsistency. Identifying this type of error is important because it is critical for payroll data and the corresponding deposit to match exactly; any discrepancy will cause a delay in processing and investing plan participants’ funds.
Patty met with Mary to review the data and deposit totals and discovered that there was a contribution in the data that was missed by Mary’s team when calculating the deposit total. With this detailed review and quick action, Patty helped effectively resolve what could have been a missed or late deposit.
Mary followed up upon resolution to thank Patty and indicated that she was very happy that we were able to get things squared away and grateful that we were able to catch this quickly.
“We want to make sure we’re taking care of our clients and their employees. It’s great to be able to give clients peace of mind because they’re confident that we are paying attention. We do our best to make sure that we’re providing a premium quality service.”
If you or someone you know is looking for a team that pays attention to details and solves problems, reach out today!https://www.alliancepension.com/contact-us/inquiries/
Law Firm with 20 Employees
A Chicago law firm with 20 employees hired a new accountant. The accountant noticed that all of the firm’s partners had deferred the maximum to their 401(k) plan, but only three staff members were deferring. Suspecting something was amiss, the accountant asked Alliance to review the plan which was, at the time, administered by the law firm’s payroll provider.
We discovered that the payroll firm required the company to identify their own testing groups (which can be very complex), and, unfortunately, they did not properly fill out the form. The law firm’s improper coding of their employees resulted in a passed ADP test – a good result based on bad information. In truth, the firm had badly failed the required test and hired us to help correct this violation.
They now have a much healthier plan.
In Their Words
Alliance Pension Consultants values our relationships with our clients, advisors, and partners. Here are a few stories they wanted to share with you.
When it comes to helping a client design and manage a successful retirement plan, he’s a true expert. We asked him about his industry perspective and experience working with Alliance.
Donna Rebeck, MBA, CPA, CAE, Vice President, Finance & Operations National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Offices in Chicago, ILDonna Rebeck is responsible for accounting functions, payroll and insurance, as well as the association’s pension and 401(k) related matters. We asked her about the association’s retirement plans and their experience working with Alliance Pension.A Little BackgroundNAMA was founded in 1936 and represents the interests of more than 1,100 member…