Choosing a Retirement Plan Advisor

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Retirement plans are an important benefit for plan sponsors and their employees, and retirement plan advisors can offer sound advice in the management of those plans. When selecting and working with a retirement plan advisor, consider the following points to maximize plan benefits:

Plan Possibilities
Set plan objectives with your advisor, which may go beyond the current offering. Then determine the opportunities and resources and to fulfill this potential to enhance the plan for all stakeholders.

Plan Design
Your retirement plan advisor can provide insight on how to leverage potential plan design features within the 401(k), profit sharing, cash balance and defined benefit arena to meet your objectives. We can then collaborate with professionals to evaluate executive compensation and ESOP opportunities. Plan design is a business or “settlor” function which may not require fiduciary duty.

Fiduciary
As a sponsor of a qualified retirement plan, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of participants. An ERISA 3(21) advisor serves as an investment co-fiduciary of the plan.

Provider Due Diligence
A knowledgeable advisor will objectively identify and evaluate plan providers by leveraging benchmarking resources to compare providers and recommend appropriate plan partners.

Cost and Value
Consider the liability and impact in future value to participants due to the differences in expenses compounded over a career. Your advisor can help you identify plan expenses such as third party administrators, record keepers, investments and advisors, to create fee transparency and helping to keep costs reasonable.

Sponsor and Participant Education
Your advisor can work to educate plan participants on the importance of retirement readiness.  Helping them better understand the process of wealth accumulation while employed, and asset preservation and distribution in retirement.

Investments
You and your advisor can create an investment policy statement and investment menu that aligns with plan objectives and participant behaviors. Selecting and monitoring an investment menu that emphasizes simplicity, asset allocation, diversification and low fees can prevent overwhelming participants. Reducing fees and using style-pure investment vehicles, reduces the risk of participants’ underperformance and your liability as a sponsor.

Service
Your retirement plan advisor must remain attentive, plus can assist you and your participants in receiving quality and responsive service from plan providers, to ensure your plan runs smoothly.

Improved Outcomes
By creating a partnership with you and the plan provider, your advisor can deliver healthy plan metrics to help plan participants. An advisor that also possesses wealth management knowledge is valuable to help create financial wellness for plan participants.