Best Practices In Retirement Services
This blog is designed to showcase the expertise of Alliance Benefit Group (ABG) through its recordkeeping, consulting and compliance services. Delivered locally to retirement advisors and plan sponsors. All blogposts are derived from actual client situations. Enjoy!
Every two to three years, a new buzz word is embraced by the retirement plan industry. For the last two years that term has been “Financial Wellness” and it is most likely here to stay.Financial Wellness is an all-encompassing term to mean a comprehensive collection of tools and education provided to the employees in the workplace. The tools can be varied, but include at a minimum: an assessment tool, education, calculators, videos and articles.
One of the nation’s ten largest waste haulers had a $70 mm dollar 401k plan and a $45 mm Defined Benefit Plan. After an outside advisor warned the sponsor they might be paying too much in their overall fees, they decided to put the plan out for bid and ABG was asked to respond. The plan had an advisor and was using a top 10 institutional recordkeeper. We received the RFP as an independent recordkeeper.
We ran into a 401k plan sponsor who had been routinely refunding over $30,000 in plan contributions made by their highly paid group. We met with the Advisor and sponsor to obtain their objectives in sponsoring the plan, and what they hoped the outcome could be.ABG SolutionBy focusing on the top 20% of highly paids as opposed to just the defined term “Highly Compensated Employees”, we were able to reconstruct the plans formulae and eliminate the refunds.
An ABG recordkeeper discovered a 7 person law firm retirement plan that had a broker collecting 12b1 fees and churning high priced mutual funds at over 100% annual turnover. The plan’s investment performance had underperformed the S & P by over 500 basis points over the past six years. And the broker was not performing its tasks as a Fiduciary.
Problem encountered – we were brought into a plan situation by a new CFO who had discovered issues with their prior plan provider. There was an Advisor who was not a fiduciary, an insurance company recordkeeper, and a Third Party Administrator.
We received an RFP from a manufacturing plant owned by a foreign based company. Their HR team had totally turned over in the midst of our proposal opportunity. They were being serviced by a name brand mutual fund, but it had no advisor. They had mostly target date funds, low participation and low contribution rates.
Problem Encountered – We had a longstanding client relationship with a 12 partner Orthopedic group. As is happening in the health field, they wanted to merge practices with four other Ortho groups to form a super group with 50 partners. We had established a 401k plan and a cash balance pension plan for our group, and the partners were projected to end up with $2.5-3.0 million in each of these plans by retirement.