Employer Considerations for Group Retirement Plans

COVID-19, Financial Services

Employer Considerations for the 401(k), 403(b), etc. Group Retirement Plan

During this time of market uncertainty, knowing and understanding the nuances of your organization’s retirement plan can help you, as an employer, make sound decisions on behalf of your business and assist your employees as they navigate their options.

Plan Design:

Take time to review match and profit-sharing commitments. Are they hard coded commitments in the plan document that might need to be amended, or are they discretionary in that they could be stopped at any time if the business needed to do so?


  1. If Plan offers Loans – Participants may be looking to take a loan from their 401k more frequently. To prepare, have these items on hand:
    1. Summary Plan Description (SPD) – understand what your plan document lays out for offering loans. Are they available? How many can be taken at once? Limit? Cost? Interest rate? Your SPD will have this properly documented.
    2. Process – If you haven’t processed a loan in a while, confirm with your 401(k) provider what would need to happen if a participant were to request one.
    3. Education – Have you communicated with employees regarding loan availability and potential consequences?
  2. Hardship Withdrawals – Your plan may offer a Hardship Loan or general Hardship Withdrawals. These types of withdrawals require more details and proof for them to occur, so preparation is important:
    1. Summary Plan Description – Your SPD will also outline your plan’s rules related to offering Hardship Withdrawals
    2. Process – Documentation of a hardship is often required for these withdrawals, so understanding the process is key. Does your TPA/401(k) Provider have discretion over Hardship Withdrawals? If not, what do you need to make sure you are covered from a fiduciary standpoint?
  3. In-Service Withdrawals – Employees who are closer to retirement may decide they want access to their 401(k) assets, potentially feeling they have more control than inside a 401(k). Again, your SPD will lay out what age, if any, is eligible for in-service withdrawals.
  4. Deferral Changes – Employees may be making deferral changes more frequently, both up and down. Make sure you review your SPD noting how often deferral changes are allowed.

If you have specific questions about your organization’s plan, contact your
M3 Financial Retirement Plan Advisor.

Investment advisory services offered through Global Retirement Partners, LLC, dba M3 Financial, an SEC registered investment advisor.

Back to Insight Center