10 Insider Blogs Every 401k Plan Sponsor & Fiduciary Must Read (Part I)
The ability to share one’s expertise with everyone who possesses a keyboard and an on-line connection stands as one of the greatest benefits the internet offers. It also represents one of its greatest dangers. Teachers today teach their students not to rely on internet sources even if they appear to be credible sources. For that reason, there’s a growing need for “content curation” – the idea that a reliable source confirms the trustworthiness of specific content.
It is with that spirit that FiduciaryNews.com presents “10 Insider Blogs Every 401k Plan Sponsor and Fiduciary Must Read (Part I).” First, notice we did not say the “Top Ten.” That’s because we aren’t so presumptuous to believe we are the ultimate judge in such things. (Now, if we conducted a poll of readers, then we might have used “Top Ten.”) Second, note that we ended with the phrase “Part I.” We know we don’t know every important blog 401k plan sponsors and fiduciaries must read. In fact, we’re hoping this article will inspire others to tell us about the blogs they read and write.
Of course, we couldn’t provide this list without a definition of what a “blog” means, at least as it relates to our view of things. First and foremost, the blog must be independent (i.e., the author has total control over the content). Second, the blog must be geared (i.e., more the 50% of the content) to 401k plan sponsors and other retirement plan fiduciaries. Third, the blog must regularly feature (on average, roughly one post a month) the writing of one individuals (although site with more than one individual write, each of whom post regularly, would be acceptable). Finally, the blog should not be a “news” or “journalism” site (i.e., one that relies heavily on interviews and outside sources like you would see in the Wall Street Journal, InvestmentNews, and FiduciaryNews.com).
Here is the list, in alphabetical order, of 10 insider blogs every 401k plan sponsor and fiduciary:
- The 401k Plan Blog: Written by Jason Grantz, an Institutional Retirement Consultant for Unified Trust Company, N.A., this site provides new content at least once a month, although don’t be surprised to find four posts in a single month. These are mostly short posts that deal with everyday questions a 401k plan sponsor may bring up.
- Boston ERISA Law Blog: Stephen Rosenberg is an ERISA lawyer and attorney based in the Boston area. He recently joined Marcia Wagner’s firm and, given Marcia’s firm has her own email-based content distribution strategy, we were afraid Stephen would have to curtail his efforts. We’re glad to report after a short hiatus, he’s back in the saddle again. Stephen generally posts once a week, but if there’s news, he’s right on it, offering multiple posts in a single week. He’s extremely insightful when it comes to interpreting court rulings of great and important interest to 401k plan sponsors and fiduciaries.
- Business of Benefits: Maintained by employee benefits lawyer Robert J. Toth, this blog posts new content roughly once a month. Sometimes it misses a month. But Bob is a very focused writer and always manages to pick an enticing topic. He’s not afraid to offer advice and opinion. He’s a very good starting place if you have ERISA questions.
- ERISA Lawyer Blog: Stanley D. Baum, a New York Attorney, and is Of Counsel at Cary Kane LLP, posts several times a week offering analysis on a variety of court and regulatory rulings. This is very advanced stuff, but we’re sure most of our readers won’t have a problem tackling it.
- Fiduciary Matters Blog: Thomas E. Clark, Jr., a benefits attorney with The Lowenbaum Partnership, edits this site. David J. Witz, the managing director and founder of Fiduciary Risk Assessment LLC (FRA) and PlanTools, LLC., as well as Justin D. Witz, the Chief Technology Officer for FRA and PlanTools, also contribute to this blog. It bills itself as providing “timely and relevant information on ERISA fiduciary matters for plan sponsors and retirement industry service providers.” It does this by offering at least monthly posts on court cases and ruling relevant to every 401k plan sponsor.
- Fred Reish: When Fred speaks, people listen. You can’t have attended any 401k fiduciary industry conference worth a dime without seeing him on its speaker list, often in a keynote role. He posts here monthly and offers his eagle eye assessments in the latest from the compliance and regulatory world. If you’re not reading him already, you better start now.
- Frugal Fiduciary Blog: Greg Carpenter, founder of Employee Fiduciary (a recordkeeping provider), posts on a weekly basis. He covers a broad array of topics from the nuts and bolts of plan operations (like only a diligent recordkeeper could) to opinion pieces on topical industry issues. He’s not afraid to offer blunt and provocative analysis. This is good. It keeps you on your toes and thinking.
- Pension Risk Matters: Written and maintained by Susan Mangiero, PhD, this site often provides several posts a week on a wide variety of topics of interest to 401k plan sponsors and fiduciaries. Mangiero is a published author and is not afraid to address issues from an almost academic standpoint.
- Proskauer’s ERISA Practice Center Blog: This is the only truly firm-based blog on the list. It’s edited by Stacey Cerrone and Russell Hirschhorn, both Senior Counsel with Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department. Their large stable of contributors are able to provide very frequent content – sometimes daily – on both court rulings and compliance issues.
- The Retirement Plan Blog: Jerry Kalish, the founder and President of National Benefit Services, Inc., edits this site and authors every other post. Andrew S. Williams, an ERISA lawyer with Golan & Christie LLP in Chicago, writes the other half of the posts. The site, which dates back to 2006, posts content about once a month. The advantage it offers deals with the different perspective each author brings to the table. On one hand, you have Jerry’s years of experience as a practitioner in the financial services field. On the other, you have Andrew’s view from the ERISA law side of things.
If you’d like to discover other important topics confronting 401k fiduciaries, then you’re invited to explore Mr. Carosa’s book 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions and discover how to solve those hidden traps that often pop up in 401k plans.
Mr. Carosa is available for keynote speaking engagements, especially in venues located in the Northeast, MidAtantic and Midwestern regions of the United States and in the Toronto region of Canada.