If you are a key manager or human relations executive, you are already wearing many hats. One of them might be acting as the fiduciary of your company retirement plan.
Hiring a financial professional to help manage your fiduciary responsibilities is a well-advised step, especially when it comes to educating employees about their retirement plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
If you are a fiduciary, you may not be taking advantage of the benefits of hiring a financial professional to help manage your fiduciary responsibility. You may be missing:
- A qualified individual with the knowledge of and background in the industry
- Someone who is up-to-date with current regulatory changes and market trends
- An individual who can educate employees regarding their retirement situation
- A resource who can provide financial and investment education
- Someone who can help you fulfill your fiduciary responsibility toward plan participants
- The ability to encourage more employees to participate in your company's retirement plan
- A regular review of your plan's investments to keep your plan on track
- Customized service for the plan sponsor and its fiduciaries
Due to growing concerns over fiduciary liability, most plans outline investment education in their Investment Policy Statement, but few actually provide it. Providing employees with access to a financial professional helps them conquer their fears, encourages active participation, and fulfills some of your fiduciary responsibilities.
It is also a good way to increase your plan's participation rate. Many times, employees don't contribute to a plan because they don't know their options or understand the basics of investing.
A consultant can help you by removing the intimidating barriers employees may have about participation. They can explain in clear, simple language how a plan works, what its provisions are, and how to get started.
The consultant should be:
- Able to identify with your needs
- Ready to assist in the constant monitoring of your plan's goals and investments
- Someone who will be there when you need them
Deciding which financial professional to hire is not easy, but exercising due diligence is essential. Get references. Don't select the person who is the cheapest, or someone who will leave after establishing the plan.