Business Development Services

NJMEP and the 401(k) Assessment

They said they’d save us money, assume the role of fiduciary and manage our 401k plan?    

By Lynore DeSantis and Robert Basso

Wondering,  if they remained true to their word?  They most certainly did…..

How is this applicable for you?  Almost 70% of manufacturers fail their Department of Labor (D.O.L.) 401(k) plan audits and experience significant fines and penalties. Employer’s responsibilities for those dealing with 401k Plans continue to get more complex.  We hear every day about the importance of having good governance within our 401(k) plan to keep us out of any potential trouble and ensure we have the best Plan in place for our employees.

NJMEP recently engaged AEPG Wealth Strategies to perform an assessment of our 401(k) plan to explore the potential of them managing our plan going forward.  We were pleasantly surprised by the results.

AEPG helped identify and improve the following areas within our Plan:

  • Identifying and implementing improvements to our plan governance process. As an Accountable Advocate® and Fiduciary, AEPG helps oversee our Plan and ensures all our Plan requirements are being met.  They significantly reduced our responsibilities and even take the minutes at our committee meetings!
  • Lowering our overall Plan costs materially while ensuring we continue to get the services we want from our vendors.
  • Making improvements to the breadth, quality and expenses of investment funds available in our plan.
  • Providing employee education and guidance to our employees, with their Certified Financial Planners, to ensure they are getting the financial support they need to get through challenging life events and meet their retirement savings goals.
  • They saved us a lot of time and work.  AEPG was able to take over some of the responsibilities as plan fiduciary and take over some of the time-consuming work of monitoring and administering the plan so we can spend less time on it and focus instead on serving our manufacturing clients and identifying new opportunities like our recently awarded Talent Networks for Manufacturing and TLD.

AEPG is an NJMEP Resource and Elite Affiliate Member. AEPG offers a Qualified Governance Assessment program, to help all of our manufacturers ensure they are getting the most from their 401(k) plan and their 401(k) vendors.  They developed an online self-assessment so that anyone can get a quick idea if their plan is in compliance with the DOL requirements and whether there are areas for improvement.   Lynore DeSantis said “We had a really good 401K Plan along with the stresses to ensure we were always doing the right thing to minimize risk and maximize benefits for all employees.  Now we have an excellent 401K Plan, little to no stress with AEPG assuming the role of fiduciary, and the confidence in knowing we have selected the right partner for our business and employees.”

Wondering how your 401k plan stacks up?  A short and simple self-assessment can be found here or contact us for more information at

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