Lifecycle of the Form 5500

“How old is this data?” That’s the first question on everyone’s mind...and for good reason. We’re in an age of instant information and immediate updates in 280 characters or less. So brace yourself, Form 5500 data is old. To put into perspective what is normal, as of Q1 2019 the latest and most complete 5500 data is the 2017 filing year. The majority of the 2018 filing year disclosures will be filed to the Department of Labor starting July 2019 and likely finish by January 2020. That long timeframe is the result of an unusual deadline system. At least, as ...
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Red Flag: Bottom 10% in Employer Contributions – For Prospecting? (Yes, Really)

In my previous post, I introduced a data point pioneered by Judy Diamond called Red Flags.  These are the 19 proprietary flags identifying retirement plans with problems in plan design, administration or performance.  Red Flags are a hugely valuable tool.  This is especially so when searching the 5500 database to find prospects.  Advisers can use Red Flags to highlight their strengths and present their unique value proposition to sponsors. Red Flag: Bottom 10% in Employer Contributions In that first post on Red Flags, we explored High Average Account Balance.  It is the most widely occurring Red Flag among 401(k) plans.  ...
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/ Blog, Red Flags, Retirement

Plan Scorecard: How to Measure a Retirement Plan’s Heath

One of the most useful features unique to Retirement Plan Prospector is our Plan Scorecard. The Scorecard allows our users to get a brief overview of the plan’s performance and the areas where there might be room for improvement. The Plan Scorecard also enables you to compare the quality of a plan to another plan quickly and accurately. The overall plan score is created by ranking all the plans nationwide by seven different categories. Once the companies are rated on a percentile scale against each other in the seven different categories, we combine the seven different metrics together into one ...
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/ 5500, Blog, Prospecting, Retirement

10 Terms You Need to Know (to Understand the 5500)

If you are new to the market and the 5500, there are likely to be a ton of terms that you may be unfamiliar. Before you dig too deep into your 5500 research, review the below ten terms. Whether you are in the retirement or group insurance market, studying the below terms will help you prepare for prospecting. 1. ERISA The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This law sets minimum standards for most voluntary health and retirement plans offered in the private sector. Yearly completion of the Form 5500 is one part of this law. 2. Sponsor A Sponsor ...
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/ 5500, Blog, Introduction, Retirement

Prospecting the Federal Form 5500 – Finding Your Target

Using 5500 Data for Offensive and Defense Business Development (Part 2): Finding Your Target Now that the east coast is covered in snow, it's the perfect time to continue my series on Prospecting the Federal Form 5500, this time focusing on how to find the targets you identified in the first post of this series. With hundreds of thousands of plans out there, it can be hard to find those plans that are right for you to reach out to. Instead of spending time, effort, and even money contacting leads with little chance of conversation, you need to focus your attention on ...
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