Re-inventing retirement benefits for the 21st century requires the effective integration of numerous pieces. Using a holistic approach, we review and advise on all areas of plan management.
Long-term success of a retirement plan requires thoughtful design, execution and oversight. We support clients with each of these crucial aspects, incorporating best practices to maximize the success of participants in reaching a secure retirement, while reducing risks of plan fiduciaries.
A key part of our service includes assisting in establishing a governance process, guiding principles and success criteria for the plan and the organization. We apply lessons from behavioral finance—for example, “nudging” interventions such as auto-enrollment and auto-escalation features—that have proven to increase retirement savings. In addition, we can assist in integrating and testing disparate benefit structures that are the result of a merger or acquisition.
We support clients in reviewing and managing a plan’s investment funds. Our services include developing a suitable investment strategy and policy, designing the investment menu and providing ongoing monitoring and reporting. We can also develop:
- Custom target date funds
- Risk-based portfolios
- Managed accounts
- Income replacement solutions
- Non-proprietary, white label, multi-manager solutions to aid participant decision-making
Participant engagement and education
Just as important as plan design, participant engagement and education are essential to participant decision-making and, ultimately, creating better outcomes. Our role in this area can be as involved as our clients want it to be—from developing and assessing the impact of initial and ongoing communication strategies, to delivering customized education sessions with plan participants, to providing them with access to experts for guidance.
Part of our core service is diligently monitoring a client’s vendors involved with the retirement plan (e.g., administrators, trustees) to assess whether their services are relevant, effective and competitively priced. We conduct a fee analysis and benchmarking diagnostic at the outset to identify the overall plan fees and determine the reasonableness of these fees. On a bi-annual basis thereafter, we will conduct a market check-up to confirm the plan fees continue to be reasonable. We will also ensure that vendors are delivering what they have committed to, and that plan sponsors are aware of changes that vendors make in their services offerings.
The regulatory requirements surrounding retirement plans are complex and ever-changing. Clients can rely on us to help them navigate and meet their fiduciary responsibilities, including:
- Providing tools, including due diligence worksheets and checklists, to demonstrate compliance.
- Delivering on-going fiduciary training to plan committees and other key stakeholders.
- Conducting operational reviews to evaluate compliance across critical areas of the plan.
- roviding a quarterly regulatory update on proposed changes in regulations or laws.