The 401(k) Owner’s Manual: A Blueprint for Building and Maintaining an Elite 401(k) Plan For Your Employees

Scott Everhart and Brian Hanna, with Robert Shwab

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 139 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781532017650 Reviewed: October, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

401(k) plans can seem baffling to both the employers who offer them and their employees.  Enter Scott Everhart and Brian Hanna (with Robert Shwab), who provide a valuable, comprehensive review of 401(k)s and how to make the most of them in their book The 401(k) Owner’s Manual.

Everhart and Hanna, both of Everhart Advisors, are experts in their field of 401(k) consulting, each holding an AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) designation. Although many finance books published by firm owners strategically omit details, mainly delivering the self-serving message that readers need to hire a professional, The 401(k) Owner’s Manual is generous with specifics, helping plan sponsors and participants alike make wise decisions, with or without professional consultation.

While enlightening for those employees interested in the structure of their 401(k)s, The 401(k) Owner’s Manual focuses mostly on the role of the business owner in choosing and maintaining a plan. Some readers, even those who own a business that currently offers a 401(k) plan, may be intimidated or even mystified by terms like “fiduciary responsibility,” “safe harbor,” “fee analysis,” and “asset allocation.” While Everhart and Hanna’s writing style is technical at times, it is always thorough, and these and other concepts are fully explained. Among other topics, chapters discuss how to design an “optimal” plan, vendor management, and how to choose the right plan investments. The final chapter delivers brief case studies of various 401(k) management issues that have arisen from the authors’ consulting practice.

Near the end of the book, the authors write, “We have a passion for this business, and we have had a few words to say about it. [..] We share our processes and recommendations because we have seen the results repeatedly.”  That passion is evident throughout this useful book.

In sum, utilizing this manual can mean a win-win for business owners who offer or are considering offering a 401(k) plan, as well as the employees who participate in those plans.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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