Insights and Perspectives

Selling Beyond the 401k: Part One of a Two-Part Series

Help your clients win the talent war with Cash Balance Plans

Market volatility and mixed financial indicators have been hallmarks of the economic landscape for the last few years. These factors, paired with the Great Resignation and a war for talent, may be putting pressure on your clients—especially those who own small businesses—to attract and retain valuable team members.

As their trusted advisor, you are perfectly positioned to offer a variety of retirement plan options beyond a traditional 401k, that can both save your small business clients money, and address one of their most important needs. Along the way, you have an opportunity to be the hero for your clients – and grow your bottom line.

Employees say retirement plans are a must-have

A recent Accenture survey noted how crucial retirement planning has become in winning the war for talent:

  • 68% of workers with pension or retirement plans said those benefits were a critical factor in deciding whether or not to accept a job (1)
  • 62% said they were a critical factor in staying with a job (2)

And a PWC survey noted that:

  • 76% of employees are attracted to a company that cares about their financial well-being (3)

Armed with these stats, approaching your small business clients is an easy conversation that can open the door to a more robust relationship and happier clients.

Cash Balance Plans

A Cash Balance plan is a retirement plan in which everyone who participates has an account that grows from both an employer contribution and a guaranteed interest credit.

Resource: Cash Balance Primer

Ideal Candidate and Positioning:

  • Professional services with partner-owners – law firms, doctor’s practices, financial services
  • Business owners who need to catch up on retirement savings
  • Companies with consistent profitability
  • Closely held or family businesses
  • Principals who need a tax deduction of more than $50,000
  • Principals who are making more than $250,000 annually

Resource: Ideal Candidate Card and Schedule of Savings


  • Easy implementation with FuturePlan for plans of any size
  • Significant reduction on both personal and corporate taxes for the business owner
    • Business owner can accelerate retirement savings and/or catch up on retirement savings
    • Possible to double or triple pre-tax retirement savings
  • Easy to understand participant accounts and statements
  • Flexible contribution amounts for different participants
    • Rollovers permitted into an IRA or other qualified plan
    • Plan assets protected from creditors

Cash Balance Plan Conversation Starters

  • Where are you at with talent attrition and retention? I might have some ideas that can help.
  • Have you started tax planning for 2023? I have some ideas that might yield you some savings there.
  • What’s your catchup contribution status right now? I’ve got some ideas about how we could potentially triple your allowed contribution.

In addition to Cash Balance, there are other options for businesses large and small that can address your client’s goals, put them ahead of the game in the talent war, and build your book of business. We’ll look at 3(16) Fiduciary Services in our next installment.

For now, begin by looking through your client roster to see which clients might make ideal candidates. Approaching them with the benefits upfront can often open the door to a larger conversation.


Cash Balance Resource Center

Cash Balance Coach® Certification

Cash Balance Case Studies

Let us help you grow

As a leading national TPA, we have the in-depth retirement plan expertise to deliver seamless solutions for every type of plan. Let us help you grow your practice and stay connected with us on LinkedIn for more practice management ideas, tools, and strategies.