Is the current investment advisor on your corporate retirement plan acting as a fiduciary? If you don’t know the answer to that question, don’t panic. However, I would strongly recommend taking the time to find out. If you really like your advisor and want to continue working with him or her, there may be a way for him or her to act as a fiduciary to the plan. Perhaps you have been working together a long time and it was just something that was never formalized. If you don’t have much of a relationship with your advisor or you want to work an advisor that acts as a fiduciary, then it is a fairly simple process to hire one.
Most plan sponsors cringe at the thought of moving their retirement plan. There are some valid reasons for that resistance to change. However, if you are familiar with the different parties to a corporate retirement plan, the burden of making changes to your corporate retirement plan is mainly associated with changing recordkeepers. When you change recordkeepers, all of the plan assets have to move, new investment options need to be chosen, employees can’t access their accounts for an extended period of time and there is a new website with new logins for all of the employees. Oh yeah, and there is a lot of paperwork and disruption in your day for a couple of months. No wonder it is one of the most common things for plan sponsors to put off.
Most fiduciary advisors are able to work with multiple recordkeepers so you can simply hire a new advisor and keep your recordkeeper and TPA. Furthermore, a good fiduciary may be able to address any issues you have with your recordkeeper if you don’t like your recordkeeper, which can potentially save you from having to switch recordkeepers.
When you switch investment advisors, there is no blackout period, no change in the website for participants to access their accounts and no change in the day to day operations of the plan. What you do get is an advisor who acts as a fiduciary to the plan and who will put processes in place to help you meet your fiduciary obligations. He or she can also look at your current recordkeeper objectively and determine if it would be advantageous to you and your employees to make a change.
Managing a corporate retirement plan comes with a lot of responsibility that the right investment advisor can make or break your ability to handle. Furthermore, acting as an investment advisor to retirement plans has become a more specialized offering due to the increased demand for advisors to act as a fiduciary. If you feel like you should be thinking about making a change to your investment advisor to add a fiduciary advisor, don’t let the perceived burdens get in the way.
Finally, if you are in the market, we would love an opportunity to discuss your plan with you. Simply click the “contact” button on your right and one of our team members will reach out to you.