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Business owners must tackle many important decisions whenestablishing a 401(k) plan for their employees. Many of thesechoices are unfamiliar, and perhaps the most pivotal is also theleast understood — whether to be the plan's trustee themselves(self-trusteed) or designate a corporate trustee, which could bedirected or discretionary.

Since 401(k) plans originated inthe Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in 1978, the vast majority havebeen self-trusteed plans, in which the plan owner or an internalcommittee assumes the role. Business owners were often told thatthe self-trusteed model is cheaper, easier and entails littlerisk.

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