Benefits of Hiring a Retirement Plan Consultant
Experts Offer Key Assistance in this Complex Landscape
Your company has unique goals and needs when it comes to your retirement plan and your participants. Since you’re busy running and growing your business – and since the number of lawsuits related to mismanagement of retirement plans has risen in recent years – you may find tremendous value in working with a retirement plan consultant.
At Paces Ferry, we believe having an expert in your corner to work with you to establish and maintain the right retirement plan for your company is one of the best ways to meet your company goals – and your responsibilities to your plan participants. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of plan sponsors working with consultants hit an all-time high of 93% in recent years, according to Fidelity’s 2019 Annual Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey.
Below, we’ll discuss three major reasons you may benefit from hiring a retirement plan consultant if you haven’t done so already, as well as how you can find the best one to suit your unique needs.
Benefit #1: Assistance in Meeting Your Fiduciary Requirements
As a plan sponsor, you must meet several fiduciary requirements to your plan participants. You must ensure your plan is administered properly, that it maintains qualified regulatory status, and that it puts your plan participants’ interests ahead of the company’s or your own interests. Utilizing a retirement plan consultant who is a fiduciary means you gain a valuable partner in meeting all your responsibilities to your plan participants. Hiring consultants who are fiduciaries, as we are here at Paces Ferry, means you get independent and objective evaluation of funds and providers. You never have to worry about conflicts of interest, or about whether or not you’re meeting ERISA or Department of Labor regulations.
Benefit #2: Help in Making the Most of Your Plan
Experience can be meaningful when it comes to a complex topic like retirement plans. Partnering with a knowledgeable consultant in a fiduciary role means you can leverage their knowledge on how well your plan is working and whether you can improve it. A retirement plan consultant may also prove valuable in helping you educate employees about saving for retirement, investments, and how they can make changes to their plans.
Benefit #3: Support in Managing a Complex Regulatory Environment
One of the frustrating battles plan sponsors face is keeping up with the constantly evolving regulatory environment surrounding retirement plans. It’s the foundational reason that developing and maintaining a retirement plan for your participants has become increasingly complicated. Your consultant can help you navigate the complexity, allowing you more time to focus on your core business objectives.
How to Find the Right Retirement Plan Consultant for You
Just as no two retirement plans are exactly alike, neither are the consultants in the marketplace. You’ll want to be thorough when meeting with potential consultants, and it can be helpful to prepare a list of questions ahead of time. They should address your company’s unique needs, but you may want to start with these:
- Do they act as a fiduciary?
- What is their process for handling employee account rollovers?
- Are they compensated by fund provider firms or recordkeeping companies in any way?
- How do they disclose fees and plan policies to employees? Is there a process in place?
It’s ideal to get the answers to these questions before you sit down to meet with a potential consultant. You can usually get the answers you’re looking for through a request for information or a formal request for proposal process. If you like what you learn about one or more consultants, schedule a meeting to discuss things further.
When you choose a retirement plan consultant, make sure you’re beginning the business partnership on the same page. Your written contract should include the exact nature of the consultant’s fiduciary responsibility to you, the plan sponsor.
When a retirement plan is designed properly, it can help encourage employees to save for retirement, maximize contributions and benefits for owners, recruit and retain talented employees, and educate your plan participants about things like investing, retirement planning, and other financial literacy topics.
At Paces Ferry, our goal in retirement plan consulting is to help plan sponsors achieve all these things and more. We take a holistic approach to give you a comprehensive understanding of all facets of your plan, as well as the regulatory effects of any recommendations and decisions. In short, we help you navigate the complex landscape of retirement plans in order to achieve better outcomes for your company and your plan participants.
Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This material is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney or tax advisor.