From recently hired millennials to State of the Union addresses, retirement readiness has been a hot topic conversation among employers of all kinds. But small businesses have been on the short end of the stick, needing to pass a number of hurdles when establishing and maintaining successful retirement programs.

“Many small businesses know they should set up a 401(k) plan for themselves and their employees, but they often become overwhelmed by the decision-making process and think it’s too expensive or complicated,” says Stuart Robertson, president of Capital One Advisors 401(k) services, which oversees Spark 401k — a suite of services aimed to make it simple for employers and employees to open and manage their retirement plans.

Launched Tuesday, Spark 401k is the latest addition to Capital One’s small business solutions suite designed for businesses with fewer than 100 employees to deliver an easy retirement planning experience

[Image credit: Bloomberg]
[Image credit: Bloomberg]

Misperceptions about 401(k) plans are also often a hurdle, Robertson says.

“Some owners believe they can’t afford a match or don’t have enough employees, but it’s important for them to remember any business owner can easily set up a 401(k) plan — even an owner-only business. Owners aren’t required to make matching contributions, and most plans can be set up over a lunch hour and can be managed for as little as $15 a month.”

More and more small businesses are going digital, and Spark 401k’s mobile responsive experience makes it simple to get a quote and purchase a plan, adds Robertson. “Spark 401k offers straightforward plans designed to meet nearly any small business need, and our team of 401(k) advisers is dedicated exclusively to servicing small business.”

In designing Spark 401k, Robertson says his team took the best elements of ShareBuilder 401k plans — the low-cost, all-ETF portfolios, on-demand investment expertise and a free investment fiduciary oversight — and added in the digital features important to small-business owners to easily to manage their plan from a mobile device or tablet.

“Our goal in launching Spark 401k is to meet the needs of small businesses looking for an easy-to-manage, low-cost plan that can empower owners and employees to save more for the future,” he says. “We do this by offering a roster of low-cost index ETFs that keep investment fees under 1%.”

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