Retirement Plan Expertise
The retirement industry is complex. When you hire an advisor to help with your plan, you’d expect them to be knowledgeable on ERISA matters and able to interpret the changing regulatory landscape and provide guidance and assistance in understanding and managing your fiduciary responsibilities.
Things to Look for include:
- Retirement Focused
Associated with or a member of a firm dedicated to the retirement plan business
Has experience, education and CREDENTIALS that prove competence in the area of retirement plan management
- Industry Expertise
Demonstrates advanced knowledge in the retirement plan industry
- Industry Recognition
Has been recognized in the retirement industry as a leader with a proven service model
When you hire an advisor to help with your plan, most plan sponsors assume they’re hiring a professional that is looking out for their best interests.
Not all advisors, however, are held to a fiduciary standard and it’s important to look for key items that show their duty of loyalty is to you rather than to their broker dealer.
NOT selling proprietary products that are created by their firm
- 3(21) and 3(38) Fiduciary Services
Can accept investment fiduciary status in writing, offering advice and accepting liability, rather than simply providing recommendations
- Fiduciary Standard
Held to a fiduciary standard, meaning all recommendations must be in the best interest of the plan participants and beneficiaries, vs. held to a suitability standard that simply states recommendations must be appropriate
- Open Architecture
Can sell any investment or product and is not limited to only investments that pay revenue sharing
Value Beyond Investments
With the 408(b)2 and fiduciary rule regulations, you, as a plan sponsor, must demonstrate that the proper disclosures have been received, and that your plan fees have been evaluated and deemed reasonable in light of the services being offered.
When you evaluate the services received on your plan, it’s important to identify if your advisor is providing investment only services or if there is value that helps protect you as plan fiduciaries with service qualities that might include:
Has a proven process that helps reduce plan sponsors personal liability by providing fiduciary education and safeguards
Provides an organized documentation system that helps plan sponsors demonstrate prudence in the management of their plan
Provides qualitative as well as quantitative analysis of investment options and provides recommendations based on future ability, not past performance exclusively
Provides assistance interpreting and applying regulations surrounding 401(k) plans such as the current 408(b)2 and 404(a) disclosure requirements. Also assistance with settlor and non-settlor expenses.