Setting up a corporate retirement plan carries enormous responsibility, both for your employees’ future and for your company’s compliance with Department of Labor (DoL) regulations. Do you understand your fiduciary responsibilities? Our job is to help you maximize the benefits of your plan while providing compliance assistance.
When we help set up and maintain corporate retirement plans, we become a co-fiduciary with you. We help you evaluate your overall benefits offering. We will help you choose vendors for your retirement plan investment, including recordkeeping and administration. And we will help you understand the options and obligations of each plan you consider. As an Qualified Plan Advisor, Eugene Demmler, can serve on your company’s investment committee with you to advise on retirement plan options and to report back on an ongoing basis to evaluate price, performance and value. We have processes in place to make sure that all the pieces of your retirement plan are configured to address your company’s specific goals.
We offer a Complete Array of Fiduciary and Non-Fiduciary Services for Companies that sponsor a Qualified Plan such as a 401k, Profit Sharing, Defined Benefit/Pension plan as follows:
How do you know that the investments in your company’s 401k are appropriate for the employees who use them? How do you deem that you have provided employees with a full menu of options and what is your plan for monitoring those funds, as required by the DoL? How do you select, monitor and de-select investments for that menu? There are many, many metrics to consider.
As your co-fiduciary, we help you quantify all of those metrics into an Investment Policy Statement. The IPS is the cornerstone of your employee retirement plan investment monitoring. We help you create the IPS to establish finite criteria for choosing your plan options, with the goal of helping you stay within DoL regulations for choosing, monitoring and de-selecting investments.
Using the IPS, we help you choose funds, using our screening tools to make sure the funds you select meet the IPS standard criteria. We will document how investments are chosen for your plan menu; we monitor them; when necessary, we explain when and why they are watchlisted for potential de-selection; we explain when and why we remove an investment; and we help choose appropriate replacements for de-selected funds.
We also help you monitor and justify the costs incurred by the investments in your plan menu. An employer can either pay the cost of a retirement program or pass it through to their employees. But employers often forget that they have a fiduciary responsibility to manage those costs on behalf of employees. And many of those costs are buried in minutiae. As an employer, you are required to show that the value employees are receiving from these costs are within reasonable standards. We’re able to benchmark each of the features you’re using and compare your costs to the average for your company’s size and industry.
We use real-time monitoring tools to see where all of your company’s retirement plan assets are located and how those funds are performing. We measure the funds in your plan against the IPS on an ongoing basis and we look at the qualitative aspects of each fund to see what the results are to make sure the funds in your plan remain appropriate for your list. When a fund is de-selected for failing to meet your IPS standard, we recommend an appropriate replacement. Reports record all of your fund activity, performance and changes within your plans.
Well designed corporate retirement plans provide a safe harbor in the event that your employees fail to select an investment option within your plan. We’ll help you choose an appropriate investment that fulfills the requirements to be deemed a safe harbor.
As an employer who offers retirement plans for your employees, you can safeguard yourself against potential litigation by offering employees ongoing education about their plan.
We can help you by setting up and providing training for employees about how best to utilize the resources you’re offering and how to balance their ideas of risk and reward with what’s available to them. We can sit one-on-one with employees, talking them through their investment allocation decisions and helping them overcome click anxiety, getting them to the point that they can actually execute investment decisions.
Empowering employees to make their best financial decisions is one of your best defenses against unwanted litigation over your employee retirement plan.
We provide group sessions, followed by optional one-to-one meetings with your employees, to educate them about what’s available to them through their retirement plan. We run the sessions or coordinate them through your retirement plan vendors.
There are hundreds of retirement plan vendors out there. Why try to navigate that market on your own? We have a process for vetting all the different services a 401k plan can offer and we will make a request for proposals from vendors we think best fit your needs. We will take their bids and evaluate each vendor on the basis of their administrative costs, investment costs and record-keeping costs, benchmarking them on the value they bring to give you an actionable recommendation.
We look at the services you’re using and evaluate what they are costing you, taking into account your company’s size and industry to provide you with reliable benchmarks against which to measure your plan’s value.
A Base Plan Document lays out every aspect of how an employee retirement plan runs. The DoL requires that every one of those plan provisions is activated through an adoption agreement, setting the terms of the plan.
We provide an analysis of how to properly design your Plan Document to fit your objectives and advise you how to activate appropriate plan provisions. We monitor your Plan Document on an annual basis and, together with your trustees and plan administrator, determine whether your Plan Document is still meeting your needs and making sure that you are aware of your fiduciary responsibilities and understand compliance requirements with the DOL.