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  • What is a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor?
    A certified plan fiduciary advisor is a an advisor who has went through all the necessary training and understanding of ERISA fiduciary guidelines and standards. Think of them as not only an advisor on your plan but as an advisor to you as the fiduciary. A CPFA can tell you things such as what is considered a fiduciary breach and what could be best practices to avoid liability. Think of them as the quarterback on your plan. They ensure all your decisions are executed smoothly and within ERISA guidelines.
  • What is a Service Provider?
    A service provider is the financial institution providing you the retirement plan itself. This typically comes with an online platform for employees to login to along with plan administration tools for you as the plan sponsor.
  • What is Fee Analysis?
    I conduct a full-scale analysis on your retirement plans fees. These fees include admin costs and also mutual fund costs. Its important to know overall fees on the plan and how they effect participants. Your plan gets benchmarked with companies of similar sized plans to see where it ranks in cost. There is no regulation in the industry to give you competitive fees. Its why it is important to have an independent advisor do this for you. Service providers are incentivized to bid up the highest price possible on your company.
  • What is a Diversification Analysis?
    I conduct an analysis on your plans investment menu to ensure there are no highly correlated fund pairs. The last thing you want is one mutual fund to be identical to another one. This is more common than you think.
  • What is Plan Benchmarking?
    I make sure your plan ranks competitively with your peers across the nation. I measure across 20+ different metrics such as annual plan returns, participation rate, average contribution and much more. Besides benchmarking for performance, I also benchmark your service provider because admin costs and plan platforms matter depending on your company's size.
  • What are 3-year Morningstar Rankings?
    Typically the best performing mutual funds for a retirement plan has ratings such as : expenses, fund size and fiduciary rating. This is important to consider because it is a violation of fiduciary duty to have underperforming funds in the plan for several years.
  • What are Recordkeeper Proprietary Date Funds?
    Service providers do not consider your best interest when providing you an investment menu. They get paid extra on the backend to offer you their own mutual funds stamped with their name on it. What the service provider doesn't tell you is that the mutual funds are packed with excessive fees. There are identical alternatives with the same returns and less fees for participants.
  • What are your fees?
    There have been several instances where I have determined fees can be different for every company's plan based on the services it needs. However on average, fees are typically .2-.5% of current assets annually. Although you never would see publicly stated fees from an advisor, I will mention that it still depends and what type of services you expect on the plan. For example a company also expecting me to personally provide advisory services to each participant.
  • Are you a financial advisor?
    Yes I guess I am considered a financial advisor, however the biggest difference is how I am considered a fiduciary on your retirement plan. That is what allows me to provide you ERISA type services and be legally obligated to provide you advice in your best interest. Most advisors take hidden commissions for their work which are known as 12-b1 fees. These fees are hidden in the mutual funds without any consultation to your company. Commissions can affect how advice is provided.
  • What is 404 (c) Compliance?
    ERISA section 404(c) relieves plan sponsors and other fiduciaries from liability for losses resulting from participants’ direction of their investments. This protection applies only to participant-directed investments, and not to investments required under the plan or directed by the plan sponsor.
  • What is 401(k) Safe Harbor Plan?
    A safe harbor 401(k) plan is similar to a traditional 401(k) plan, but, among other things, it must provide for employer contributions that are fully vested when made. These contributions may be employer matching contributions, limited to employees who defer, or employer contributions made on behalf of all eligible employees, regardless of whether they make elective deferrals. The safe harbor 401(k) plan is not subject to the complex annual nondiscrimination tests that apply to traditional 401(k) plans.
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