ERISA Plan Advisor Search Services

One of the most challenging aspects of doing an ERISA Plan Advisor RFP is finding the right cultural fit. Yes, you want an advisor that is experienced, respected, and qualified. You need to ask some basic qualifying questions that are quantitative in nature. For example, total number of clients, number of plans, assets under management, average client load and similar questions. But asking questions that help identify the differences between specific ERISA advisors … now that’s a challenge.

In addition to being challenging, it is a big responsibility. Choosing a plan service provider is generally considered a fiduciary act. Adequate documentation is also a key part of the process. Simply retaining the RFP responses does not tell the whole story. You need to document the entire process.

Here is how we can help you.

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What We Do:

For Plan Sponsors

  • Consultation regarding desired advisory services
    • Confirm current basic fiduciary process
    • Identify fiduciary process areas for improvement
    • Evaluate employee education needs
    • Consider financial wellness programs if needed
    • Identify any need for a recordkeeper search by advisor
  • Training for your plan committee members regarding ERISA 3(21) vs ERISA 3(38) advisors
    • Understanding both models
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Guidance on how to document the search and selection process
  • RFI interviews with ERISA Advisor Teams
    • Determine baseline qualifications
    • Identify cultural and personality fit
  • RFP content review
    • Assist committee in identifying service merits of each advisor instead of just a fee based (AKA lowest bidder) approach
    • Isolate content that “looks like everyone else,” from what you are truly searching for
    • Identify conflicts and potential conflicts of interest
    • Turn 401(k) industry speak into terms you understand
    • Evaluate base fee and anticipated “All-In fee.”
    • Identify without a doubt who you can expect to see at committee meetings
  • RFP submission review
    • Evaluation by RFP 401(k) Advisors
    • Facilitate plan committee review and discussion
    • Selection of finalist
  • RFP finalist presentations
  • Facilitate final selection, or retention of current ERISA Advisor

For Advisors:

To be clear we are focused on serving the plan sponsor in their advisor search process.  Here are ways we can help the ERISA Advisor community.

  • Speaking at client/prospective client seminars
  • Assist you in more transparent communication in the RFP process
  • Assist plan sponsors with a better RFP question set to help differentiate advisor services
  • Educate plan sponsors on ERISA 3(21) vs ERISA 3(38)
  • Provide guidance to plan sponsors and advisors regarding best communication to promote plan sponsor’s effective monitoring of the ERISA Advisor