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Retirement Plan Consulting

Navigating Plan Sponsors to Achieve Better Outcomes

We believe that having a solid knowledge base of plan governance, plan design, investments, participant investment behaviors and recordkeeper services is unique. With the growing number of court cases and settlements related to the mismanagement of retirement programs, the stakes are increasing for sponsors to fully appreciate their plans’ risks.

Our holistic approach provides plan sponsors with a comprehensive understanding of all facets of their plan and the regulatory effects of their recommendations and decisions. We often refer to our core services as “pillars”, given that each pillar supports the entire plan.

"A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power."

— BRIAN TRACY
  • Plan Governance

    Paces Ferry's involvement with plan governance provides a significant value-add, as we draw on our extensive knowledge of industry best practices, guidance from the DOL, ERISA counsel, and case law to provide foundational documentation and fiduciary training to each of your retirement plan committee members.

    Our ongoing role in plan governance includes the following services:
    • Plan Document Review
    • Fiduciary Compliance Checklists
    • Document Development
    • Record Retention
    • Fiduciary Training
    • 404(c) Compliance Monitoring
    • Service Provider Fee Disclosure ERISA §408(b)(2) Review
    • Participant Fee Disclosure ERISA §404(a)(5) Review
    • In today’s regulatory environment, it is critical to address new risks and challenges through strong governance; however, even the most diligent employers and vendors make mistakes. Since courts focus on procedural prudence, fiduciaries must consider their underlying process, procedure, and documentation when making decisions. In short, your best defense is good plan governance.

      Retirement plan governance is about more than just fiduciary responsibility. Plan governance encompasses all of the duties, responsibilities, and actions connected with the establishment and administration of the plan and the management of the plan assets. Case law has made it clear that following a clearly defined process will better position your organization when your decisions are called into question.

      Furthermore, good governance generally leads to better outcomes for participants and beneficiaries, and positive outcomes for plan sponsors and fiduciaries in the form of lower risk. For a fiduciary, good governance practices may stand between personal liability and no liability at all.

      There are some potentially adverse events, such as economic downturns, Department of Labor (“DOL”) inquiries, participant complaints, and litigation, that plan sponsors will never be able to completely control; however, you and your retirement plan oversight committee are in direct control of your response to these events, and that response should be guided by your governance practices. There is a direct relationship between your ability to demonstrate that you have followed good governance procedures and practices, and the ultimate impact of these potential adverse events.


  • Plan Design

    While it is important to monitor plan design from a compliance and competitiveness perspective, Paces Ferry believes it is equally important to assess your plan design relative to the return on investment received by the plan sponsor. Plan sponsors should expect to receive value that exceeds their plan costs.

    Our plan design services are focused on:
    • Maximizing Plan Sponsor and Participant Return on Investment
    • Identifying and Addressing Participant Savings and Investment Gaps
    • Improving Plan Participants’ Retirement Readiness
    • Improving Plan Efficiency to Reduce Costs and Related Administration
    • Thoughtful plan design can have a significant impact on the hiring and retention of key employees, as well as improving employees’ retirement readiness. Furthermore, efficient plan design focused on maximizing long-term outcomes can lower employment costs, as both engaged and disengaged employees can be better positioned to afford retirement.


  • Comprehensive Education

    Our Employee Education Program leverages our industry knowledge with client plan demographics to discover the best means to educate and advise our clients’ employees. 

    Services in this area include:
    • Development of a Comprehensive Education Program
    • Strategic Assistance to Enhance the Recordkeeper’s Communication Programs
    • Customized Presentations and Communication Materials
    • Developing and Monitoring Model Allocations
    • Risk Tolerance Questionnaires/Surveys (Riskalyze)
    • Coordinating Investment Advice and Financial Planning Services
    • Our approach to participant education begins with gaining an understanding of our client’s highest priorities and identifying the most critical participant saving and investment gaps that need to be addressed. Our assessment includes the foresight regarding the impact of committee decisions on the participants’ ability to achieve a dignified retirement. This strong connectivity requires a thoughtful approach to developing a comprehensive education program to target our client’s most critical needs.

      Paces ferry is committed to delivering tailored participant education solutions with thoughtful strategic planning, valuable professional services and technology-based solutions that result in sustained client and employee satisfaction. Through initiative and follow-through, we help our clients find answers, implement solutions and anticipate consequences.


  • Provider Consultation

    Paces Ferry’s approach to recordkeeper consultation relates to knowing the core services available and the appropriate fees that you and your plan participants should be paying for the services you are actually receiving. We have often discovered that plan sponsors are not fully aware of their recordkeeper’s services and they benefit from an increased awareness of the full breadth of services available. An additional area of our consultation involves applying the appropriate degree of leverage necessary when service issues develop or service professionals are not meeting expectations.

    Services in this area include:
    • Recordkeeper Review
    • Service and Fee Review
    • Fee Negotiations and Fee Policy Statement
    • Contract Reviews
    • Service Level Agreements
    • Our approach to participant education begins with gaining an understanding of our client’s highest priorities and identifying the most critical participant saving and investment gaps that need to be addressed. Our assessment includes the foresight regarding the impact of committee decisions on the participants’ ability to achieve a dignified retirement. This strong connectivity requires a thoughtful approach to developing a comprehensive education program to target our client’s most critical needs.

      Paces Ferry is committed to delivering tailored participant education solutions with thoughtful strategic planning, valuable professional services and technology-based solutions that result in sustained client and employee satisfaction. Through initiative and follow-through, we help our clients find answers, implement solutions and anticipate consequences.


  • Investment Oversight

    A solid foundation provides the framework for a successful retirement program. Paces Ferry's approach is driven by the establishment of appropriate policies and procedures to drive investment and plan decision-making; we view it as critical that our clients establish and follow sound practices that are supported by proper documentation.

    Core investment services include:
    • Investment Structure Development
    • Investment Policy Statement Development/Refinement
    • Manager Searches
    • Ongoing Performance Monitoring
    • Target Date Fund Analysis
    • QDIA Selection and Monitoring
    • Client Reporting
    • As the investment advisors to the plan fiduciaries, it is our responsibility to advise committees on ways to provide participants with the appropriate tools, resources and investment structure to make appropriate retirement choices. Providing the investment structure to best fit your participant demographics, the right funds within that structure and the right share classes of the desired funds are all integral parts of developing that solid foundation.

      We would sum up our investment philosophy as follows: Our mission is to deliver comprehensive investment advisory services that help plan sponsors meet and exceed their fiduciary responsibilities by providing them with the proper risk management solutions and independent advice they need.

      Our process for monitoring managers has a qualitative bias — we believe that relying too heavily on quantitative data can be misleading. With that said, rigorous quantitative analysis can provide valuable insights and the basis on which to challenge managers. As the investment advisors to the plan fiduciaries, we see it as our responsibility to advise the committees on ways to improve their plans and offer appropriate retirement choices.


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2849 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Suite 660
Atlanta, GA 30339

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PACES FERRY WEALTH ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR WITH THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites.