By Bob Neinken
Maintaining a Healthy Retirement Plan
If you sponsor a retirement plan for your employees, have you thought about how your plan measures up? We tend to think that past choices and a resistance to change affect the behavior of participants, but those same principles that lead participants astray can also affect sponsors’ willingness to change. We have found a lot of companies take the approach of, “If it’s not broken, we don’t need to make changes.” The path of least resistance is to do nothing.
A skilled retirement consultant can help employers help identify and manage fiduciary risk, simplify administration and advance the level of retirement readiness for employees. An independent study of your plan will give you a true measure of whether it’s competitive and effective in achieving its long-term goals.
Selecting competent service providers is one of the most important fiduciary duties. The first step is to understand all the services that make up a 401(k) plan and apply appropriate benchmarks to measure their value. Although fees may be considered a key differentiator, the true issue concerning fees is whether the sponsor and participants receive good value for their money.
If your company sponsors a retirement plan, how are you managing your fiduciary obligations and investment reviews? Retirement plan fiduciaries are receiving unexpected notifications about ERISA investigation from the Department of Labor more often than in the past. Fiduciary Board training can help educate plan sponsors on the risks and responsibilities associated with being an ERISA fiduciary. And, hiring an investment professional who is experienced in retirement plans will add fiduciary protection.
When was the last time you looked at your plan’s design with fresh eyes? If you were creating your plan today, would it look the same? Perhaps the logic applied when the plan was designed is no longer aligned with your company or its employees. Outdated design features might be challenging participants’ ability to save effectively. Keeping up with industry trends and learning best practices for a healthy plan will lead to plan success and better outcomes for employees. If you are interested in learning more about corporate retirement planning, ask your Wealth advisor about BB&T Retirement and Institutional Services, an award-winning retirement plan provider.
About the Author
Senior Vice President Regional Sales Manager Retirement and Institutional Services
Bob has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. During the past 15 years, he has successfully led sales teams specializing in 401(k) and pension plans, investment management and non-qualified plans. Bob is a graduate of Florida International University and holds his Series 65 license.