If your company is starting a retirement plan from scratch or looking to improve an existing plan, you may have questions about who should manage what and where to start. Many employers hire a retirement plan advisor to guide their organization through the process and manage a number of responsibilities related to the plan.
Responsibilities of the retirement plan advisor
A retirement plan advisor handles several crucial tasks, including (but not limited to) interpreting and explaining plan provisions, providing employees with relevant plan details and acting as a liaison between you and your other plan providers. An advisor should assist with conducting an annual plan review each year with your plan committee to review plan goals, activity, compliance, regulatory changes, providers, investments and expenses so there is documentation of fiduciary oversite of the plan. The plan advisor differs from the plan fiduciary, which is the role your organization plays in sponsoring the 401(k) and selecting the plan advisor, administrator and other providers. Multiple entities can serve as the plan fiduciary and manage the other responsibilities, including monitoring the plan providers, making investment decisions, plan administration duties along with conducting plan benchmark reviews every three to four years.
Experience developing and monitoring retirement plans
Not all retirement plan advisors have the same amount of experience. When searching for an advisor, you want to find someone with a track record of working with companies of a similar size and background as yours. An established firm, like RKL, will have the necessary expertise to handle any complexities with your organization’s retirement plan.
Your team members will have questions about their options, benefits and how to make changes to their plan. The plan advisor needs to have the knowledge to handle these questions as they arise and guide your team members through their plan. Retirement plan advisors help minimize the risk your organization may face from lawsuits, noncompliance penalties, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits and investigations. Someone with the right experience and knowledge can help protect your company.
Attractive investments and competitive costs
Consider what investments the plan advisor offers. There are thousands of different options to choose from, and you want to ensure your advisor can guide you and your team towards the best options for their goals. Various investments also have different fees associated with them. Determine if these fees are comparable to other similar products. Your plan advisor should be able to explain what you’re paying and why and help you to monitor those fees. A good plan advisor will ensure that plan expenses remain competitive with the market.
Responsive customer service
It’s necessary to pick a plan advisor who will be available to your company and employees. The advisor should have a team who can help address any questions or issues you may experience regarding your plan. It’s impossible to guarantee a plan with no issues, but a good advisor will be able to help address them promptly should they arise.
Having the proper plan advisor can make a difference for your organization. RKL’s Qualified Retirement Plan Services team has experience with administering and managing corporate retirement plans. Contact your RKL advisor or use the form below to get started.