Creating a customized plan design to meet the needs of our clients while retaining their company’s culture is critical to a healthy retirement benefit program. Implementing a “best practice” approach with the ever-changing regulatory environment will ensure that participants have the best opportunities to saving for and or meet their retirement goals. Plan Design considerations relating to:
· Plan Sponsor and Trustees
· Service Providers
Understanding the fiduciary responsibilities that a Plan Sponsor has when providing a voluntary retirement benefit to employees is the foundation of our advisory services. Case Pearlman serves our clients as a Named Investment Fiduciary as an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager. Fiduciary fulfillment areas are:
· Fiduciary Plan Reviews
· Trustee Training and Education
· Fee benchmarking
· Investment Policy Statements
· Advisory Services Contracts
As an independent, fee only advisory firm, we are able to consider most any mutual fund investment option for inclusion into a plan menu. Having a clear and documented review and monitoring process is essential to providing fiduciary protections for a Plan Sponsor and criteria meeting investments for a participant. Applying independent monitoring software provides an objective and measurable scoring system to make peer to peer comparisons.
· Independent monitoring system
· Open architecture
· Investment policy Statement
· Due Diligence Documentation
Understanding the costs associated with providing a retirement plan benefit is a Plan Sponsor and Trustee fiduciary requirement. Having the lowest fee structure may not always be in the best interests of participants. Considerations must be made for service levels, website education and tools, notice fulfillment and financial strength of engaged service providers.
· Total Cost Analysis
· Service Provider Monitoring & Review
· Fund Expense & Share Class Education
Having an Investment Policy Statement serves the plan as the guidance document regarding investment decision making between the advisor and the client. Having the plans stated goals and objectives is key to creating a client’s expectation and responsibility of providing a retirement plan benefit.
· Goals & Objectives
· Duties & Responsibilities
· Portfolio Selection Guidelines
· Monitoring Functionality
Having the service level and responsibilities of your advisory firm outlined and documented provides a clear and focused standard of care of future services. Having a written agreement allows for the explanation of the level of fiduciary status an advisor will be taking on behalf of the plan and its participants. Acknowledging the fee for services schedule clearly establishes the financial obligations of both parties.
· Standard of Care
· Level of Fiduciary Engagement
· ERISA 3(21) or 3(38) Fiduciary
· Fee Transparency