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Retirement Savings Policy by Michael P. Barry

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Chapter 20 The Structure and Administration of 401(k) Plans, Revisited

Within the regulatory framework we described in Chapter 19, 401(k) plans are organized in a very specific way. In what follows, we are going to review, again, how 401(k) plans “work,” with a focus on (1) what 401(k) plan fiduciaries do and (2) how persons providing investment, recordkeeping and trustee services to 401(k) plans are paid.

Basic Organization

As we have discussed, in the typical 401(k) plan, participants choose investments from a fund menu, and they are generally (and with some common exceptions) allowed to change investments daily. To set up a 401(k) plan, someone must construct and “populate” that fund menu with investment options.

The other critical features ...

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