5 Reasons Your Advisor Should Specialize in Retirement Plans
By: Braden Priest, CFA®, Retirement Plan Consultant
Hiring the right advisor for your company’s retirement plan is one of the most critical decisions you will ever make as a plan sponsor. Many brokers and retail wealth managers dabble in retirement plan advisory services, but putting your plan in the hands of a non-specialist advisor can lead to expensive plan corrections, penalties, and poor retirement outcomes for your employees. Here are five things a Retirement Plan Advisor can provide that you won’t get from a non-specialist advisor:
Risk and Fiduciary Compliance – Is the regulatory landscape of retirement plans a complicated mess? Admittedly, yes. Staying apprised of the most recent legislation, regulation, court decisions, and departmental guidance affecting retirement plans is a full-time job, and it’s not an easy one. The stakes are too high to trust an advisor without the intricate knowledge to navigate the complex regulatory environment.
Influence – To put it plainly, service providers want to keep top advisors happy. Well-respected specialist firms have significant influence with vendors and can help you get the best pricing and service personnel for your plan. Vendors often assign more experienced relationship managers and operations teams to the clients of firms that specialize in retirement plans, and in cases where service has been underwhelming, Retirement Plan Advisors have more pull to request personnel changes.
Coordinator-in-Chief – Retirement Plan Advisors know where to go to get problems fixed, and they speak the language of payroll providers, third party administrators (TPAs), and recordkeepers. When plan sponsors have questions about their retirement plan, their first call is often to their advisor, who can bring together the right parties to find the best solution.
Big Cost Savings – A Retirement Plan Advisor knows which rocks to turn over to find the most meaningful cost savings. Administrative cost savings can be found through direct negotiations with vendors or the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) process, but it requires proper benchmarking beforehand to ensure plans are getting the best deal. Significant investment savings, ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, can be found by evaluating and properly selecting the share class of each investment in the plan. These savings can often be realized without changing a single investment manager in the plan.
Big Time Savings – Tired of scheduling committee meetings, drafting agendas, writing meeting minutes, and following up with service providers? A Retirement Plan Advisor should be highly engaged and willing to take these items off your plate so you can focus on running your business.
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