Frequently Asked Questions

Retirement savings, investments, mutual funds, retirement plans, CDG benefits and more.

How are you different from other companies?

CDG has worked exclusively with California dentists for more than 48 years. We understand the investment needs of dental practices. Members of the CDG Board are dentists themselves, and investors in our Guild.

Given our “one team, focused agenda” approach, we are uniquely qualified to build a financial investment team to help you build a future that works for you.

What are your costs?

There are, of course, standard fees associated with retirement investments. And we are proud to say that we are completely transparent and have no hidden fees. The independent structure we built with our financial partners creates efficiencies, and some of the lowest fees in the industry.

Our Retirement Program Specialists will walk you through the fee structure. There will be no surprises.

Recent federal laws were enacted requiring investment companies to be more transparent in fee disclosures and any additional charges. This has had no impact on CDG, as we have been completely transparent since we built the Guild in 1966.

There is no charge to establish a plan with CDG and we provide annual testing, Form 5500 filing, EGTRA updates, and many other services as part of our platform, at no additional cost.

There is a $5k minimum to establish your plan. But this money is yours, goes directly into your account, and begins working for you right away.

What is cross-testing?

Under current law, organizations must demonstrate that investment plans do not overly discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees.

To satisfy this federally mandated legal requirement and to protect and maximize your investments, we perform cross-testing on our Qualified Plans such as a 401(k) or Profit Sharing Plan or a combination of both.

Read more about cross-testing.

What does “institutional buying power” mean?

Institutional investments are a type, or class, of investment.

We negotiated with our financial service providers to “pool” each of our dentist’s assets and use our $100 million collective investment portfolio to access an institutional level of mutual funds at the lowest expense.

As a member, you will be able to participate in this institutional class with your first dollar. Most fund families require significant balances before giving you access to this class of funds at a lower expense.

How much can I invest in my 401(k) each year?
What are the differences between a 401k and a SEP-IRA?

SEPs require that all employees are eligible to participate after 3 years. An employee is defined as someone at least 21 years old who has “performed services for you” in 3 years over the last five (including part time or seasonal employees).

A SEP could be an expensive plan, as you must contribute the same percentage for your employees that you defer for yourself.

A 401(k) employer contribution will “max out” at 4% of the employee’s compensation. The eligibility is 1 year and 1000 hours. The 401(K) option allows for employee deferrals from their own salary.

In a SEP, contributions become the property of the employee immediately, so it's not possible to create a vesting schedule as an incentive for employees to stay, and workers can't make their own contributions to the plan.

What kind of Plans and Funds do you offer?

The Guild offers a variety of plans, from Qualified Plans to IRA’s. Qualified Plans consist of 401(k), Profit Sharing Plans, and Custom Designed & Tested Plans. We also offer Individual Retirement Plans (IRA).

Each of these plans is constructed with different requirements and objectives. Your Retirement Program Specialist will discuss this with you in detail.

Visit Your Retirement Plan & Fund Options to get a complete list.

My 401(k) requires a 5500 filing. Can you help me with that?

Yes, the Guild does assist with the filing of this form. Typically the fee for filing this form may range from $500-$1,500 each year.

The Guild includes this in our platform at no additional cost.

IRA vs Qualified, which plan type suits my financial needs?

This depends on our initial discussions with you to determine your financial needs. There are many factors to be considered.

A few factors to consider are income, practice ownership, practice revenue, 1099 or W2, and more. There is no “one plan fits all” approach.

Your Program Specialist will work with you to pinpoint the best plan for your retirement needs.

What are the costs associated with a Third Party Administrator (TPA)?

Third Party Administration is included in our platform at no additional cost to our dentist members.

Our Guild works as your Project Manager and gathers the legal paperwork, forms and information necessary to assist in your decisions and develop an investment portfolio.

We present these reports to you, explain the process and steps, and answer any questions you may have.

Can I access my account online?

Yes, as a member of the Guild you will have online access to view your account for balances, performance, online trading and more.

We are very excited by this valuable online tool made possible by our recordkeeper, Milliman.

Get complete details of this benefit in Online Tools.