IT News Online - Meet the Company Using Tech to Revolutionize the Small Business 401(k)

May 21, 2021

SAN MATEO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 21, 2021 / Historically, startups and companies with fewer than 500 employees have tabled the idea of a small business 401(k). After all, traditional 401(k) programs are notoriously costly, not to mention paperwork-heavy. And fielding a constant barrage of employee questions? The mere thought sends shivers down the spines of human resources personnel everywhere.

Yet the basic principle of providing employees with a 401(k) vehicle is a smart one. The right 401(k) helps employees save for the day when they hang up a "gone fishin'" sign and retire. Additionally, a 401(k) can also serve up some tax advantages for companies when handled appropriately. Let's not forget, too, that talented workers frequently look for organizations that advertise corporate 401(k)s in job descriptions.

Does this mean that smaller entities have to grin and bear traditional 401(k) burdens if they want 401(k) benefits? Not as long as there's a Guideline. The game-changing company, Guideline, offers small business 401(k) plans geared to overcome the biggest barriers to 401(k) adoptions. In fact, they've been able to alter the face of the 401(k) package by leveraging technology.

Small employers, meet your next 401(k) plan.

Without a doubt, technology continues to remove obstacles for small businesses in many ways. For example, affordable and cloud-based SaaS systems powered by AI have leveled service and support playing fields. Why not apply the same principle of tech-driven design to revolutionize the implementation of small business 401(k)s?

Guideline hasn't gotten rid of all considerations that go into serving up a 401(k) to employees. But what the company does well is streamline everything from 401(k) program administration to record keeping through its tech solutions.

Below are several ways that Guideline relies on technology to make small business 401(k) vehicles practical, affordable, and achievable.

1. Giving employees self-service options.

Consumers are accustomed to enjoying the efficiency of self-service. They check out their own groceries. They handle their banking needs online. They interact with chatbots on ecommerce sites. In fact, people are showing a preference for being able to find answers to basic problems quickly on their own.

Guideline has leaned into this preference by creating a special portal for employees with 401(k) plans. Users can securely log into a personalized portal, see what's happening with their 401(k)s and receive customer service. Depending upon their 401(k), they may also be able to make investment changes immediately. This allows them to bypass their employer and feel more in control of their retirement decisions.

2. Integrating with top payroll providers.

ADP. Gusto. Onpay. The list of popular payroll providers goes on and on. Guideline's interface works with all the top payroll companies. By integrating effortlessly, Guideline makes it easier for employers to set up employee and corporate 401(k) contributions.

Another upshot to this type of integration is that employees can make sure their pay and contributions are in sync. If they notice discrepancies, they can use the self-service options mentioned above before contacting Guideline or their employer. By linking all pay-related platforms together, Guideline enables 401(k) users to move easily and confidently from portal to portal.

3. Serving up employee onboarding.

Giving employees the choice of a 401(k) plan is one thing. Spending time onboarding them and making sure they understand their small business 401(k) is another. Here's what makes this type of training so difficult: Workers usually onboard at different times. It's not reasonable for a small business to individually teach a new employee to use a 401(k) system. That's where Guideline steps in.

Guideline's automated system allows for on-demand employee 401(k) onboarding. Guideline takes over this lengthy administrative role, right down to encouraging employees to set up online accounts. Again, technology makes this kind of just-in-time onboarding feasible and affordable.

4. Providing employers with a multi-level dashboard.

Documentation and record-keeping of 401(k) plans can be a huge sore spot, particularly for small businesses. Guideline puts all information online and makes reports available through a robust employer dashboard. Employers can get a 30,000-foot view of their 401(k) plans, or they can drill down for more details.

At tax time or during open enrollment periods, employers can use the dashboard to organize and evaluate documents. Companies with profit sharing 401(k) plans can also make sure their non-discrimination testing is up to par to avoid compliance issues.

5. Keeping pricing affordable so companies can save while saving!

Fluctuating price points keeps many smaller companies from dabbling with 401(k) packages. To remove this stumbling block, Guideline works on a subscription based model with a flat monthly base and a low per-employee cost to enable employers to budget for their 401(k)s. No surprises equates to a better overall experience

Guideline uses technology to automate many 401(k) administrative tasks. Those that can't be automated, are handled by their team of account specialists. This allows them to keep monthly prices low while eliminating transaction fees.

Employees pay a low 0.08% account fee coming out to about 0.67 a month for every $10,000 saved. One-time transaction fees are a source of frustration, occurring at a time of financial stress, like changing jobs, needing a loan, or even closing down a business. The account fee offsets separate transaction fees like this, which means no disbursement, loan, or rollover fees for employees, and no plan termination fees for employers.

As a result, companies and their employees don't have to worry that they'll suddenly be asked to pay a large amount out of pocket.

6. Designing customized 401(k) plans online.

Gone are the days of setting up an appointment to talk in depth about 401(k) plans with a representative. Though Guideline offers real-time human-to-human counseling and advising, the system can be self-navigated. Employers can move through the process of getting started by inputting some information. From there, they're directed to create a 401(k) plan that matches their goals.

Being able to see at a glance which type of 401(k) makes sense helps corporate leaders feel more confident. Many founders and executives aren't well-versed in 401(k) systems. Having a chance to weigh the most standard types of small business 401(k)s is a bonus to Guideline.

7. Offering 401(k) and planning suggestions through valuable content.

Employees want to master and meet their retirement goals. Employers want to help them. However, many small businesses lack someone on staff to provide thoughtful advice. That's where Guidline's library of resources can be a bridge.

Guideline consistently pushes out content on their website aimed at both employees and employers. The content isn't fluffy. Rather, it hits hard and answers the most pressing 401(k) questions and concerns. By being a knowledge base as well as a provider, Guideline positions itself as a 401(k) partner rather than portal.

Traditional industries can often use some fresh thinking buoyed by technology. With its innovative small business 401(k) options, Guideline proves that any market can be reimagined. And it's not stopping at 401(k)s. The company is currently expanding into SEP IRAs. This is one company using technology to take it to new places in the financial world.


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SOURCE: Guideline

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