401k Advisor • Retirement Plan Fiduciary Advisor in Massachusetts

Tim Hayes

Tim Hayes

Offices In Boston & S Dartmouth, Massachusetts

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Tim helps employers implement, manage, and service the retirement plans of companies and not-for-profits per the rules and regulations of ERISA and the Department of Labor (DOL). 

Tim has an advisory system that helps his clients fulfill their responsibilities under ERISA. In addition, Tim also has a process for comparing retirement plan performance and fees with other like companies.

Because of this, his clients can focus on what they do best while we maintain vigilant guidance for both ERISA compliance and plan strategy. The benefit of this in many cases is decreased administrative duties and improvements in their plans.

401k Plan Advisor

Tim maintains a steady, focused commitment to his clients. He is an independent retirement plan advisor and has been for more than 30 years. Independent means he represents you his primary loyalty is to you. Tim is not beholden to a particular company’s plan sponsor services but has the freedom to work with the best firm for each of his clients.

His work starts by accessing a retirement plan benchmarking database that compares your plan’s performance and fees to similar company plans. Then, Tim would like to offer you a no-cost review of your plan an expert set of eyes, if you will.

Employer Report Card (PDF)

Investment Advisor

This review will address ERISA compliance as well as employer plan performance. In the end, you will either find that your plan is performing to the best levels for firms in your category while maintaining ERISA compliance or that you have some areas that could perform better or need to be addressed.

With that in mind, Tim would like to meet with you to discuss your company’s needs and how his services could be of benefit. You can often address any deficiencies without changing your current retirement plan provider.

  • I build a template for your company’s 401 or ERISA 403 plan that produces plan-specific investment recommendations and advisory reports as well as fees and compliance reports, all of which are now required by the government.
  • I provide investment advice to help participants plan and encourage them to take an online risk profile assessment we can use to help them rebalance their accounts or allocate their contributions.
  • For companies without a retirement plan, I size up and implement the one (401, Profit Sharing, 403, SIMPLE, or SEP) that works best for your company.

Read More: Fee-Only Financial Advisor • Fee-Based Advice In Massachusetts

404(c) Plan Compliance

Tim helps companies mitigate their fiduciary liability through ERISA’s Section 404(c). 404(c) is an excellent program if managed correctly. However, it requires plan sponsors to provide specific information and education to their employees.

If a plan meets the requirement, the plan sponsor and fiduciaries can shift the responsibility for investment losses to the plan participants. However, in Tim’s experience, many companies assume they have 404(c) covered and are not compliant.

As a small business, resources are limited. However, Tim is knowledgeable regarding ERISA rules, including 404 (c). As a credentialed, independent financial advisor, he can help fulfill these requirements.

For example, Tim holds employee meetings to help them understand asset allocation; he also provides employees with risk tolerance questionnaires and detailed information from Morningstar and others on the investment options available in your plan.

With that in mind, we would like to offer you a no-obligation review of your ERISA policies to assure your company complies. In the end, you will either have the assurance that you are in compliance or find areas that need to be worked on. But, again, 404 (c) is an excellent program if managed correctly.

ERISA 404(c) Checklist (PDF)

My Professional Designations

Financial advisors who hold the AIF® designation have:

  • Completed the AIF® Designation Training;
  • Passed the AIF® designation exam;
  • Met the designation’s prerequisites and qualification and conduct standards;
  • Accrued a minimum of six hours of continuing professional education, with at least four hours coming from fi360-produced sources;
  • Attested to a code of ethics.

Financial professionals who hold the CRPS® designation have:

  • Completed a course of study encompassing design, installation, maintenance and administration of retirement plans;
  • Passed an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and to apply theoretical principles to life situations;
  • Pledged adherence to the CRPS® Standards of Professional Conduct, and are subject to a disciplinary process in that regard.

CRPS® designees renew their designation every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

Financial Advisor who hold the AWMA® designation have:

  • Completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax-reduction alternatives, and asset-protection alternatives;
  • Passed an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations;
  • Agreed to adhere to the AWMA® Standards of Professional Conduct, and are subject to a disciplinary process in that regard.

AWMA® designees renew their designation every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct, and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

CFS designation is awarded upon passing an examination on mutual funds, ETS, REIT’s, closed-end funds, and similar investments. Advanced studies on topics include:

·       Fund analysis and selection;

·       Asset allocation;

·       Portfolio construction;

·       Sophisticated investment strategies for risk management, taxes, and estate planning.

San Diego, CA, November 13, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Tim Hayes with the only nationally recognized tax designation, CTS (Certified Tax Specialist). This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete an 135+ hour educational program focusing on personal income taxes and methods to reduce tax liability. The combined top state and federal bracket can easily exceed 40%.

San Diego, CA, September 1, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Tim Hayes with the estate planning designation, CES™ (Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™).

This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete a 135+ hour educational program focusing on trusts, wills, probate, retirement benefits, caring for children, and what should be done after the death of a loved one. Over $50 trillion is expected to pass from one generation to another during the next half-century.

The Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM, or APMA® program, is a designation program for financial professionals. The program educates advisors on the finer points of portfolio creation, augmentation, and maintenance. Students will gain hands-on practice in analyzing investment policy statements, building portfolios, and making asset allocation decisions.

San Diego, CA, May 12, 2020 – The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) recently awarded Timothy Hayes with the only nationally recognized annuity designation, CAS® (Certified Annuity Specialist®).

This graduate-level designation is conferred upon candidates who complete a 135+ hour educational program focusing on fixed-rate and variable annuities. Several trillion dollars are invested in annuities; it is estimated that at least one-third of all annuity contracts are not titled correctly.

DOL Fiduciary Rule Timeline & Updates

July 7, 2020, the Department of Labor issued a final rule to close the circle, begun by the 2010 Fiduciary Rule and the new SEC best interest rule. The DOL rule brings back the five-point test to determine if an advisor is a fiduciary.

The DOL decided the rule will go into effect on February 16, 2021, and will publish related guidance soon.

July 7, 2020, the Department of Labor issued a final rule to close the circle, begun by the 2010 Fiduciary Rule and the new SEC best interest rule. The DOL rule brings back the five-point test to determine if an advisor is a fiduciary.

  1. The financial advisor must render advice as to the value of securities or other property;
  2. The financial advisor must do so regularly;
  3. The financial advisor must do so under an agreement with the client;
  4. That advice will serve as a primary basis for the client’s investment decisions; and
  5. The recommendation is to be based on the particular needs of the investment or retirement plan.

It also withdrew guidance from the so-called Deseret Letter. The DOL had opined that rollover recommendations were not fiduciary investment advice in that guidance.

Previous DOL Fiduciary Rule Timeline

  • March 15, 2018, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Labor overstepped its bounds in creating the so-called fiduciary rule, parts of which went into effect last year. In general, the rule required that advisors and brokers charge clients the same fee no matter what product they offer them — the so-called conflict of interest provision.
  • On February 3, 2017, President Trump ordered a review of the Fiduciary Rule, putting its implementation in doubt. However, some financial services companies may decide to go forward with some of its changes anyway.
  • In April 2016, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced the final version. The early assessment indicates a phased implementation. Some changes were taking effect in April 2017. Others on January 1, 2018.
  • August 10-132015 public hearings were held.
  • On April 14, 2015, the DOL announced a re-proposal of the rule.
  • In February 2015, President Obama announced that the DOL should move forward. Following an uproar by numerous groups and Members of both parties of Congress, the DOL withdrew its first proposal.
  • In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a change to the definition of who is a fiduciary.
401k Advisor
Boston, Massachusetts

Self Employed Retirement Plans

Self-employment can be risky, but it can be made less so with good retirement-saving options. I want to give some love to two under-appreciated retirement plans: (1) the Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) and (2) the Solo 401(k)—available to anyone who generates income from self-employment.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)

SEPs are supercharged IRAs, following the same rules but allowing for higher contributions. In 2022, the self-employed can contribute the lesser of (a) $61,000 or (b) 20% of their net adjusted income (gross income from self-employment minus expenses and half of one’s self-employment tax).

SEPs are easy to set up and administer. You can download Form 5305-SEP from the IRS’s website, or you can get the form from your financial advisor. You do not even have to send the form back to the IRS—simply file it in your records. Most mutual fund companies, brokerage houses, and insurance companies offer prototype SEPs. You can invest your SEP in stocks, bonds, funds, CDs, etc.

You can also make contributions to your SEP until you file your taxes, including extensions. Therefore, someone eligible for an extension can open a SEP for 2019 upon filing tax returns in October 2020.

SEPs are also flexible. You can change the amount you invest in your SEP from year to year, and some years you can decide not to fund it at all. Contributions are 100% tax deductible; they grow tax-deferred. However, they are taken above the line and cannot be Schedule C deductions, which means you save on income taxes but not self-employment taxes.

Solo 401(k)

Self-employed individuals who want to save more than 20% on taxes should look into the Solo 401(k), which allows them to put in the 20% plus an additional $20,500 of employee contributions. Moreover, people aged 50 and over can add another $6,500. A spouse who draws a salary can also contribute.

People aged 50 and over with a net adjusted income of $100,000 can contribute $20,000 to a SEP. However, if they open a Solo 401(k), they could contribute the $20,000, plus the $19,500 of employee contribution, plus another $6,500 in age 50 catch-up, for a total of $49,000.

There is a limit, however. In 2022, that number is $61,000. However, catch-ups do not apply, so people aged 50 and over with enough income can contribute $63,500. One thing to keep in mind: the $57,000 is per employer, while the employee limit is per person.

If you have more than one job from which you contribute to a retirement plan, the most you can do in total is $20,500, and if you’re 50 or over, the $6,500 catch-up. You can add a Roth component to a Solo 401(k) so that some or all of the employee portion of your contribution ($20,500) can go into a Roth account.

A Solo 401(k) does require a little more paperwork than a SEP, and once the assets in the plan reach $250,000, you will have to file Form 5500 EZ with the government every year. However, Form 5500 EZ is only a two-page form.

The deadline for establishing a Solo 401(k) is December 31 of the year in which you would like to receive the tax deduction. However, you can fund the employer portion  (20% or less) until you file your taxes, including any extensions.

With the Solo 401k, you can also access money tax-free using a Solo 401(k) loan. You can borrow 50% of the total 401(k) value, up to a maximum of $50,000. IRS rules do not allow loans with a SEP IRA.

These are the opinions of Financial Advisor Tim Hayes and not necessarily those of Cambridge Investment Research. They are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.

Securities Licenses

Passing the exam qualifies candidates as both securities agent and investment advisor representative.

Individuals who pass the Series 7 examination are eligible to trade all securities products: corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, variable annuities contracts, etc.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to offer the products of investment and insurance companies, including the sales of mutual funds and variable annuities.

The exam qualifies candidates as securities agent within a state. Nearly all states require people to pass the Series 63 for state registration.

I am also licensed to offer life, health, accident, disability and long-term care insurance products, as well as fixed annuities.

Fee-Based Financial Planner, Hourly Rate, or Commission

Most clients pay fee-only or an hourly rate. The size and complexity of the client’s wealth management and financial and retirement planning determine that fee.

Hourly Fee

$ 150 /Hour
  • Fiduciary Advisor
  • Financial Advisor
  • Financial Planning
  • Advisor Financial Planning

Fee-Only

Varies
  • Fiduciary Advisor
  • Fee Based
  • Fee-Only Financial Planning
  • Financial Planning Services

Commission

Varies
  • Financial Professional
  • Best Interest Regulation
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