Being in charge of your company’s retirement plan can feel like a second job sometimes. With the many competing priorities and decisions to make, it’s a challenge to stay focused on what you do best: helping to grow your company, solving business problems and staying ahead of your competition. Working with a retirement plan advisor can not only help you manage your plan and stay on track with core business priorities, it can help you improve employee retirement outcomes.
According to a recent survey by Fidelity Investments1, plan sponsor satisfaction with their plan advisor/consultant has reached its highest level in 5 years. In 2022, 76% of plan sponsors rated their advisor either “6” or “7” on a 1 to 7 scale. Another study, by Morgan Stanley At Work2, found:
- Nearly 45% of plan sponsors with a plan advisor noted that 75-100% of eligible employees are enrolled in their company’s 401(k), versus only 33% of plan sponsors without a plan advisor.
- 87% percent of plan sponsors reported that offering access to a plan advisor with a workplace retirement plan delivers better retirement plan outcomes.
- 95% of plan sponsor respondents said the fees associated with a plan advisor is well worth the cost given the investment management, fiduciary, and compliance support they offer.
Making Your Job Simpler and Easier
A plan advisor can help you understand the many provisions contained in the recently passed SECURE Act 2.0. This includes the timing and implementation considerations of mandatory provisions as well as evaluating the benefits of adding any of the optional provisions to your plan. In addition, a plan advisor can:
- Help you identify your retirement plan needs and goals, taking into consideration employee concerns such as education and participation.
- Assist with identifying and reviewing any available resources to address your retirement plan goals and objectives.
- Help you emphasize and promote the benefits of your retirement plan to your employees.
- Address your concerns about plan administration, compliance, plan fiduciary responsibilities, and monitoring investment options (and provide solutions to help shoulder or reduce your burdens). This could potentially include offering ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) investment management fiduciary services to help shoulder some of the responsibilities you face as a plan fiduciary.
- Help you evaluate the offerings of different retirement service providers, such as mutual fund companies, recordkeepers and Third Party Administrators (TPAs).
- Help you implement and manage progressive plan features such as automatic enrollment and escalation, as well as determining the most effective employer match.
- Conduct ongoing reviews to make sure your retirement plan continues to meet your expectations and the needs of your employees.
Finding The Right Fit
While the Fidelity study reflects high satisfaction with advisors, it also found that many plan sponsors are looking to make a change. The top 5 reasons included:
- A new advisor offered better employee communication and education
- A new advisor offered a better investment lineup
- A new advisor offered a strategy with more extensive services
- Need an advisor who is more effective at dealing with servicing issues with the recordkeeper
- Need an advisor with more retirement plan expertise
Finding the right advisor is about choosing the one that you think can best address your needs and those of your employees. While expertise is important, so is chemistry. While it’s not an easy process, making the right decision can help ensure that your plan is successful in attracting and retaining talented employees, improving their retirement outcome -- and maximizing the satisfaction and enjoyment you experience in managing your plan.
1Fidelity 2022 Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey, 13th Edition
2Morgan Stanley at Work’s Value of the Financial Advisor study, 2022