Doble LeBranti meets with companies throughout the year to discuss and review their Retirement Plan goals from both a company and employee perspective. Our process is a comprehensive one, in which ideas are exchanged and collaboration is central. Here is a description of our Retirement Plan Consulting process that we conduct with Plan Sponsors:
A Discovery Meeting is required to gather information about the Employer and its ownership structure, culture, current retirement plan, employee needs and wants, education programs and its Fiduciary liability mitigation process. We pay particular attention to the goals and objectives of the Employer. In many instances, an Employer will express one of the following needs with regards to the 401(k) or 403(b) plan they have in-place:
-Improving plan design, reviewing investment options, reducing fees, increasing employee deferrals and participation rates
-Implementation of a more robust Education Program
-Reducing Fiduciary liability through our Fiduciary360 process
At the end of the Discovery meeting, we address some overall concerns and general mitigation opportunities. Next steps are also discussed with the Plan Sponsor, including gathering appropriate census data so that a Request For Proposal (RFP) process can be initiated.
The search for a plan provider can be time-consuming and challenging. Plan sponsors must act in the best interest of all participants and evaluate many of the different facets of the retirement plan. We have strong relationships with leading Retirement Plan providers and are keenly aware which providers match up with the goals previously expressed to us in the Discovery stage.
Prior to the second meeting, we gather RFPs from several plan providers and then summarize our findings to plan sponsors in an easy to understand analysis. We discuss each Proposal and its advantages and disadvantages. Fund availability, name recognition, target date manager options, and total plan costs are a few of the many factors we detail for the Employer. A Total Cost Analysis where fees are broken down by both Employer and Employee and compared to the current Retirement Plan is discussed in detail as well. If there is an opportunity to make enhancements to the current retirement plan, then next steps are discussed in detail before the Design & Compliance process begins.
Design & Compliance
One overlooked design element can create unnecessary problems in the future, so this step is given a lot of attention. There is no one-size-fits-all retirement solution, so we work with you every step of the way, educating you on Plan Design solutions that are best aligned with your goals. Plan Benefits (match, profit-share, safe harbor, combination), Features (default investment options, Roth 401k, loans, withdrawals), Investment Lineup (the entire matrix of fund options, advantages/disadvantages), and Administration (recordkeeper fees, capabilities, and services) are all discussed in detail. Plan set-up is coordinated with the recordkeeper, third party administrator and Plan Sponsor during this critical step as well.
Our Fiduciary360 Compliance Process starts to take shape during this stage as well. Few Plan Sponsors know about their responsibilities in complying with the Department of Labor regulations. During this stage, we discuss the organization of the Fiduciary File and Fiduciary Best Practices. We also develop an annual or semi-annual schedule for reviewing plan operations, plan design, employee education and plan investments, and keeping in-depth notes in case of a Plan Audit. Our disciplined process helps ensure that the plan is operating within the latest fiduciary guidelines, minimizing the company’s fiduciary liability.
Onsite workshops and individual consultations are designed to motivate employees to use all the retirement tools available to them. The Financial Education Program schedule is finalized and blends print media with electronic media. Targeted communications from the initial Plan Enrollment meeting to webinars, newsletters and presentations throughout the year help the employees stay on track for retirement. We are available to all Employees and Executives, no matter how simple or complex the question or issue, on an individual basis. Our presenters and personnel have a minimum of 15 years of financial planning expertise.
Our RetireReady Program is focused on financial wellness and adapting one’s lifestyle to meet a future retirement need. Many Plan Sponsors have enjoyed implementing presentations that are focused on improving one’s lifestyle (nutrition and sleep, for instance), in conjunction with a short, financial presentation. It is a strong differentiator and often results in increased employee-advisor engagement and employee deferrals, and employee confidence in the plan.
Contact us today to see how your plan and your employees can benefit from having a Process in place to manage the many requirements of a retirement plan fiduciary.