Qualified Retirement Plans:
A Relationship of Trust
Plan sponsors are responsible for providing and overseeing a retirement plans. They are held to the highest legal standard of care with respect to all aspects of the plan. Plan sponsors are responsible for selecting the vendors, investment options and plan design. They must also provide the plan participants information and ample education.
Many plan sponsors utilize the services and expertise of a retirement plan professional. Of course, the plan professional should be able to design and implement a prudent process. We believe the retirement plan professional should be held to the same high standard of care as the plan sponsor. In our opinion, the way to achieve this is to employ an advisor that takes on the fiduciary responsibility in writing at both the plan and participant levels.
Analysis Before Design
Minich Macgregor Wealth Management acts as a fiduciary advisor for a number of plan sponsors that are our clients. Our process is based on an International Standards Organization quality model referred to as the ISO 9000. We begin with a thorough analysis of the existing plan, process, vendors and participant success. Our next step is to provide the sponsor with a benchmark based on independent data that measures the plan against its peers. After the analysis, we determine whether or not it is prudent to recommend any adjustments.
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) sees independent benchmark analysis as a fiduciary best practice for plan sponsors. We unequivocally agree that it is necessary in order to know if changes or updates to the plan are in the best interest of the sponsor and the plan’s participants.
Have you had an independent benchmark analysis of your plan within the last 2 to 3 years? Click here to learn more about our benchmarking process.
No Conflicts of Interest
Part of being a fiduciary is eliminating or reducing all potential conflicts of interest. As fiduciary advisors, we operate on a fee-only basis, nearly eliminating any potential conflict of interest in the utilization of one vendor over another. Whether that is the custodian, record-keeper, third party administrator (“TPA”), or investment managers, we do not accept compensation or incentives, direct or indirect, from vendors. Our recommendations are not influenced by any outside sales process. They are based on the best interest of the plan sponsor and participants.