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Tips for Year-End Retirement Planning

August 19, 2021

As year-end is quickly approaching, many advisors are looking over their client relationships, reviewing deadlines and ensuring they’re prepared to address any items that need to be completed prior to the end of the year. One area of focus this time of year is the need to review and discuss retirement planning options with clients.

SIMPLE IRA vs. 401(k) – Which is Right for Your Clients? 

For applicable clients, now is the time to begin discussing the differences and benefits of a retirement program. There are a number of steps and deadlines that go into setting up or transitioning to a new plan, so it’s important to begin this conversation sooner rather than later.

According to industry sources, the following are key questions for advisors to discuss with their clients when considering retirement program options:

  • Are you interested in increasing contributions for yourself and your employees?
  • Do you want the ability to save via after tax (Roth) contributions?
  • Do you want the ability to choose investment options from multiple fund families?
  • How important is having a vesting schedule?
  • Do you want to offer loans as a plan feature?

If it’s determined to be advantageous for a client to transition from a SIMPLE IRA to a 401(k) plan, timeline highlights are as follows:

  • Review the options with clients in August/September
    • Choose the 401(k) provider that best suits the needs of the plan.
  • Determine plan design, e.g., eligibility, enrollment periods, company match, vesting schedule, etc.
    • Complete necessary documents in September.
  • Send notices to participants regarding terminating the SIMPLE IRA and establishing the 401(k) plan 60 days prior to termination. Note: SIMPLE IRA participants must be notified of the intention to terminate before Nov. 1, 2021.
  • Individual accounts in the SIMPLE IRA may be rolled into the 401(k) plan.
  • If Safe Harbor design, notices for Safe Harbor are required before start of plan year.
  • On Jan. 1, 401(k) plans go live.

Need help determining the best course of action for your clients? Contact Fran Gillis with Dynamic’s Wealth Retirement Plan department at (970) 225-2001 or

Photo: Scott Graham, Unsplash