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The 401(k) Tollbooth, Part I



Chad Parks is Founder, President, and CEO of Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, formerly The Online 401(k), has helped savers contribute over $1.4 billion towards their retirement since 1999. As one of the first flat-fee-for-service small business plan providers in the nation, Ubiquity delivers peace-of-mind with zero hidden-fees in the fine print. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with satellite offices from coast-to-coast. Read More...

Parks started out as a broker in the financial services industry by growing a portfolio of individual clients at San Francisco’s Piper Jaffray. Driven by a desire to better serve his clients while anticipating the phasing out of the traditional broker model, Parks left Piper Jaffray in 1997 to obtain his CFP designation and start his own fee-for-service, independent financial planning practice, Retirement & Education Group, Inc.

In his financial planning practice, Parks came across many small business owners looking for cost-effective and quality retirement plans. Finding the small business market highly neglected and underserved, Parks saw the opportunity and took it by launching The Online 401(k). Today, Ubiquity serves more than 7,000 small business customers in 50 states, providing solutions both directly and through partners, such as Zenefits, Charles Schwab & Co. and Morningstar, as well as payroll companies, financial planners and CPAs.

Parks has been quoted in many financial services as well as national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, USA Today, CNN Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager, Business Week, Entrepreneur and Plan Sponsor for his considerable work performed in the space of small business retirement as well as his foray into documentaries with his independently produced Broken Eggs Film, released in 2014.

With his extensive work in Washington DC in getting legislation passed in order to stop the practice of hiding fees in the fine print, Parks has become the go-to expert on public policy as it relates to 401(k), as well as the looming retirement crisis in America, and what we can do to fix it.


February 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm
Retirement News


Imagine taking a road trip with friends or family.

Chances are if you drive far enough you will have to pay a toll. We’ve all had this experience, and can assume without fear that the amount of the toll will be prominently displayed before we reach the booth and that each booth charges the same toll.

But what if the toll at each booth was different, and there was no way of knowing how much any of them might charge? How could you choose the least expensive booth? As bewildering as this scenario may seem, it has been the norm for 401(k)’s and other retirement plans for decades.

As the vehicles of 401(k)’s and other retirement plans travel down the road to retirement, they will pass many tolls. Many employees don’t even realize that they are being charged a fee, or toll, for the maintenance of their account and blithely continue unaware. Some even incorrectly assume there are no fees associated with a retirement plan, but, as we all know, there is no such thing as a free tollbooth.

All of this confusion is slated to change in 2012. With new rulings handed down from the Department of Labor (DOL), 401(k) plan providers will now be obliged to provide a full disclosure of the fees to both companies and their employees.

Finally, there will be transparency!

Don’t be surprised when you start to see the toll you have been paying, and please choose wisely. We want your road to retirement to be the one that takes you all the way and leaves you with a full wallet for retirement.

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