Commonly financial professionals helping plans do so as stock broker taking on no responsibility or liability. Further, they have no specific knowledge of the laws surrounding ERISA governed retirement plans. We believe that you should be served by an advisor that understands the law and is willing to share your risk. Further, rather than focus on investments, we believe you should have an advisors that provides broad knowledge of fiduciary functions with a focus on helping your employees retire.
We embrace helping you carry out your fiduciary duties, most importantly The Duty of Loyalty to your employees and their beneficiaries. We believe the ultimate evaluation of your plan is seeing that at least 70% of your employees can retire. Where many retirement plan consultants simply stop at the board room, we feel that the duty extends to your employee. That is why we are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. As an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF ®) we are committed to annual ongoing fiduciary education. The designation helps us evaluate and improve your fiduciary investment processes, based on the standards of the Center for Fiduciary Studies™.
What is the Center for Fiduciary Studies? Since 1999, the Center has served as the standards-setting body of fi360, the investment industry’s leading source of insights, education, and advocacy on all aspects of fiduciary responsibility. The Center has leveraged its extensive knowledge of state and federal fiduciary law and its research into the processes employed by successful investment professionals and investment stewards to create the Prudent Practices for Investment Fiduciaries. The Practices provide guidance on all aspects of investment management, including asset allocation, investment evaluation and selection, performance monitoring, reporting, governance, and compliance.
How is an AIF ® Different?
While the Practices are available to all advisors, only those who have earned the AIF ® Designation are formally recognized by the Center for demonstrating a full understanding of how to implement those processes to help institutional clients manage their fiduciary obligations.
AIF ® Designees are able to use the knowledge and resources they have gained through their training to:
- Evaluate your organization’s current fiduciary practices and recommend actions that address risk areas and help ensure compliance with applicable state and federal law
- Create and maintain a comprehensive investment policy statement that documents all of the processes and procedures that will be used to manage your portfolio
- Monitor and report performance of your portfolio and its underlying investments on an ongoing basis and recommending changes when necessary
- Serve as a resource for education and assistance to help you understand and fulfill your fiduciary obligations with greater confidence
Professional Plan Consultant™ (PPC™)
The 401k Service Solution is only available through a Professional Plan Consultant™ (PPC™). The PPC™ designation distinguishes those that have made a commitment to education and service excellence in the qualified plan market. What this means is that you are working with a professional that has the education, knowledge and tools to assist you in every aspect of plan management.
The 401k Service Solution™ is a program designed to guide Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries through plan development and design, investment management selection, employee education, legislative changes, and ongoing plan administration and monitoring. Each step takes you through a unique process to identify your plan’s particular needs, provide solutions to address those needs, and create a clear course of action to make managing your qualified plan simple.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®)
Much research says that employees do better when they get help from an advisor. We believe that advisor should have retirement planning credentials like a CFP®. This type of advisor can help employees figure out and implement:
- How much to save?
- How long to save?
- What rate of return?
There are many key assumptions involved in this calculation which a CFP® can assist with. Because their often is a knowing vs. doing gap, it is important that this advice be ongoing. That is why we say, managing risk, boosting retirement readiness.
We serve as an ERISA 3(21) co-fiduciary
We serve as a 3(21) ERISA fiduciary for investment selection,3 acting solely in the best interests of the plan and its participants. We are not compensated for the sale of a product—all of our compensation is agreed upon and paid directly by the company and/or out of plan assets. Empowered by unbiased, truly independent fiduciary advice, your retirement plan committee will receive:
- Keen insights and best practices to help navigate a maze of complicated regulatory issues and disclosure requirements
- Purpose-built tools, to provide recommendations and monitoring of investments and investment performance, that take into full consideration the methodology and documentation that ERISA requires
- Access to comprehensive financial education and enrollment programs designed to improve retirement readiness for your employees
We can provide value through an array of services including:
- Investment Policy Statement (IPS) preparation assistance or review
- Ongoing investment monitoring
- Assistance with changes in investment options
- Ongoing investment recommendations
- Performance reports
- Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) assistance
- 404(c) assistance
- Plan search support/vendor analysis
- Benchmarking services
- Participant enrollment
- Participation education