As a financial advisor looking to add 401(k) services, you should know how important it is to be proactive about ERISA.
Looking down the road for potential pitfalls and addressing them before they can happen makes you far less likely to have plan errors. It’s also affords you and your client, the plan sponsor, a layer of protection from potential lawsuits.
We like to think of it as getting a vaccination, so let’s take a look at what you can do to be proactive about compliance:
Review Fee Disclosures
One of the most important ways to protect yourself as well as the plan sponsor as fiduciaries to the plan is to closely monitor the fees plan providers charge.
As fiduciaries, it’s your job to make sure those fees are reasonable for the services provided. Failure to do that is one of the chief causes of litigation. So it makes sense that holding providers accountable for the fees they charge protects you and the plan sponsor from unnecessary lawsuits.
Tracking fees used to be a complicated and difficult task, but as of 2012, when new disclosure regulations came into play, plan providers must be more transparent about fees they charge.
That makes it easy to see if plan participants are paying reasonable fees. But even with the mandated disclosures, monitoring fees can be complicated and time consuming to understand.
FiduciaryShield has created the perfect solution because retirement plans are the only thing we do.
If you work with us on your 401(k) offerings, we carefully document the expenses a plan sponsor pays, which makes it easier to track them. We can also provide a fee benchmark, so you know how the fees you’re paying stack up against what others pay.
Enrollment/Plan Education Meetings
We all know meetings can be a snoozefest, and it’s understandable why plan sponsors tend to avoid them, but they do so at their own legal peril. We encourage you to help your client, the plan sponsor, understand the importance of showing up and making sure plan participants are engaged and asking questions.
Greater engagement means more participation in the plan and reduces liability because you can demonstrate compliance with ERISA §404(c).
This is another place where FiduciaryShield shines. We provide financial advisors with ongoing educational material, so you can engage with plan participants without leaving the office. Even better, FiduciaryShield can run those meetings for you!
Receive Input From Your Employees
It’s very rare to see plan sponsors engage with participants and gather feedback on the 401(k) plan, but it is essential to having a good plan. Sometimes, plan sponsors forget that a 401(k) plan is an employee benefit, just like the coffee machine or a gym reimbursement. Showcasing this benefit is a positive for any business. It’s also an effective enticement for recruiting and keeping talent.
FiduciaryShield provides a better 401(k), so the plan sponsor, your client, can offer a better benefit. It also puts a layer between you and the administration of the plan, protecting you from any conflict of interest.
Get your “vaccination” now, and you can relax about all things 401(k).
Let FiduciaryShield review your client’s 408(b)(2) fee disclosures and utilize our plan participant to make your services better.
The 401(k) plan is a benefit not only to the plan participants but also the plan sponsor by helping them recruit and keep great talent as well as providing some great tax benefits.
FiduciaryShield can help you deliver comprehensive services when it comes to creating and administering retirement plans for your client’s employees. We help you fully live up to your duty to the plan as a fiduciary, freeing you to grow your advisory firm while ensuring that your client and their employees get the best possible plan and administrative support.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a conversation to see how FiduciaryShield can help you offer the better 401(k)!