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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Choosing and Monitoring Plan Providers and Advisors

Need help and insight on choosing or monitoring your 401k plan service providers and advisors? This resource will give you much of the information you need to accomplish this important task.

This archive contains not only the most current material on the topic, but also older items that are still relevant, provide background, perspective or are germane to the topic.

If you find a broken link or an items that you feel is outdate, irrelevant or no longer appropriate, please let us know.

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When a 401k Plan Sponsor May Have to Fire Their Advisor

Abstract: One big part of when things aren't going so well is when the financial advisor isn't doing their job competently and doing a disservice to the plan sponsor. This article is about situations where the plan sponsor may have to fire their financial advisor.

Source: Jdsupra.com, January 2019

When a 401k Plan Sponsor May Have to Fire Their TPA

Abstract: There are many reasons why you may have to fire a TPA and there are reasons when you have no choice. This article is about when you may have to fire your TPA.

Source: Jdsupra.com, November 2018

Why Hire an Unbundled Service Provider?

Abstract: The perceived disadvantages of "unbundling" recordkeeping and administrative services generally fall into two areas: 1) the belief that adding more parties adds more cost, and 2) the belief that adding more parties adds more complexities for the employer. This article examines these perceptions and then considers some added benefits of an "unbundled" arrangement.

Source: Consultrms.com, October 2018

Benchmarking Is No Substitute for an RFP Process

Abstract: Does periodic benchmarking satisfy a plan fiduciary's duty to monitor? Does benchmarking allow you to determine whether investment-related fees, compensation and expenses are fair and reasonable for the services provided? To answer those questions, one must consider the weaknesses of benchmarking.

Source: Theinhub.com, May 2018

TPA Due Diligence Requires Weighing More Than Fees

Abstract: Engaging a TPA for plan document design, compliance and government reporting services should include more due diligence. If a TPA makes an error, it can be very expensive for the plan sponsor and investment advisor. Another way of stating this issue: If price is the only criteria for investment advisors and plan sponsors, what else do they have on their due diligence files?

Source: Benefitnews.com, April 2018

Changing DC Plan Recordkeepers Can Be Complex

Abstract: The process of procuring defined contribution (DC) plan services is a significant undertaking that may result in a plan sponsor selecting a new recordkeeper as a means to improving service, cost-effectiveness or both. Although DC plan services have become more standardized over the years, the process of moving from one recordkeeper to another is complex.

Source: Segalco.com, March 2018

Retirement Plan Best Practices: Plan Monitoring

Abstract: Monitoring your investment menu managers, your plan providers, and plan fees is an important part of your overall fiduciary responsibility. This white paper looks at best practices and the standards should you be following in your monitoring practices. Throughout the paper, you'll find checklists that may be helpful in building and maintaining your plan monitoring processes.

Source: Arnerichmassena.com, February 2018

A Plan Sponsor's Guide to Selecting Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: When it comes to evaluating plan providers to consider, it's hard to develop a metric that would gauge whether a provider should be hired or not. This article help evaluate how to select plan providers from every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Jane that wants you to select them to be your plan provider.

Source: Jdsupra.com, January 2018

Changing Retirement Plan Administrative Services Providers: Considerations and Pitfalls for Employers

Abstract: An employer's selection of a third-party administrative services provider for its retirement plan is a fiduciary exercise. This means the process by which the employer reaches its decision must be prudently undertaken. It is therefore imperative that an employer pay close attention to the details of, and thoroughly document, the process it follows in selecting or changing its TPA.

Source: Stevenslee.com, January 2018

Evaluating Auditor Proposals

Abstract: Evaluating responses to your plan auditor request for proposals can be done simply and efficiently if you lay out the criteria you consider most critical in advance and assign a weight in terms of importance to each. This approach creates a framework of objectivity before you begin reviewing the proposals.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, November 2017

Tips to Keep You and Your Recordkeeper on Track

Abstract: One of a plan sponsors many fiduciary responsibilities is to monitor its service providers. But how do plan sponsors and recordkeepers have productive and positive relationships? This paper reviews how a plan sponsor can be sure that they are getting the most out of their service providers.

Source: Pavilioncorp.com, September 2017

Maximizing Recordkeeper Relationships

Abstract: While the DOL has provided guidance on the overall responsibilities of plan sponsors, these guidelines fall short of speaking to best practices when dealing with recordkeepers. This 7-page paper aims to help plan fiduciaries maximize their recordkeeper relationships with the end goal of better retirement outcomes.

Source: Porteval.com, September 2017

Review Your 401k Providers Regularly -- Here's How

Abstract: The 401k plan marketplace is very dynamic and you are likely to discover some surprises when you conduct a provider review. This article suggests some points to consider in managing your 401k provider reviews.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, September 2017

The State of Recordkeeping

Abstract: Recordkeeping is often described as a commodity, and that might be true for the pure administration of participant accounts, but the 55 providers responding to this survey showcase a wide range of investment, technology and servicing options.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2017

Pitfalls a 401k Sponsor Can Avoid With Plan Providers

Abstract: There are many plan providers and some of them aren't very good and the not so very good ones cause a lot of headaches and costly bills for the 401k plan sponsors that hire them. This article is about the pitfalls that plan sponsors can avoid in hiring plan providers that could cause liability.

Source: Jdsupra.com, June 2017

NAPA, CIkR Task Force Develops Small Plan RFP Template

Abstract: Small plans frequently have big service needs, and a special joint NAPA/CIkR task force has developed a template designed to make it easier to obtain a consistent, apples-to-apples comparison of service features from 401k recordkeepers.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2017

Advisers' Role Goes Beyond Investments

Abstract: The most essential support that advisers should give is detailed oversight of the investment lineup, followed by compliance and fiduciary protection, analysis of fees, provider evaluation, participant education, updates on regulatory and industry developments, and plan metrics/outcomes.

Source: Plansponsor.com, February 2017

Tips to Keep You and Your Recordkeeper on Track

Abstract: One of a plan sponsor's many fiduciary responsibilities is to monitor its service providers. Best practices suggest that you and your committee should review your record keeper on, at least, an annual basis. Some areas for evaluation are reviewed.

Source: Pavilioncorp.com, December 2016

Services to Look for From Recordkeepers

Abstract: Selecting a recordkeeper is critical for retirement plans. They provide a variety of services, and plan sponsors and advisers should look for the ones most important to them and their participants.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

This Is Why You Monitor Your Recordkeeper

Abstract: Unlike many of the excessive fee lawsuits that we have seen over the past few years, a new suit has been filed against the recordkeeper, rather than against the plan sponsor or retirement plan committee. The complaint alleges that Xerox (the recordkeeper for the three Ford plans), as a precondition to making Financial Engines' investment advice tools available on their platform, required FE to overcharge participants and pay Xerox a "kick back" from the fees charged for providing investment advice.

Source: Pension-Consultants.com, November 2016

401k RFP Template: How to Find the Top Providers for Your Plan

Abstract: Access to more options puts you in a better position to find a 401k provider that can handle changing workplaces, stronger oversight from the DOL, and increasingly distinct employee populations. Find an editable PDF here that can be sent to any 401k provider you're evaluating.

Source: Forusall.com, November 2016

What Clients May Ask About Service Agreements

Abstract: Caveat Emptor applies to all manner of purchases, and is part of the spirit behind a piece that appeared in a recent legal newsletter that suggests questions and offers tips on what plans could consider asking service providers before entering into service agreements with them.

Source: Asppa.org, November 2016

How to Pick Your Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: Selecting a provider must be done through an actual process where you review potential providers in each area -- administration, financial advisory, ERISA attorney and auditors -- before choosing one and documenting the entire method of selection. This article is about what you should consider in deciding on a retirement plan provider.

Source: Jdsupra.com, October 2016

Five Signs You're Working With the Wrong 401k Recordkeeper

Abstract: While your 401k recordkeeper works in the background to support your plan, the role of the recordkeeper is a critical one and supports many building blocks to your plan and gives you and your participants the freedom to access your money easily. For a quick check on whether you have the right recordkeeper for your plan, review the five signs outlined in this article.

Source: Forusall.com, October 2016

DOL Rule Change Forces Due Diligence Process Makeover

Abstract: For retirement plan sponsors, the risks of choosing the wrong investment advisor or consultant just became a lot greater. Spurred by new DOL guidelines, fiduciaries of plans of all sizes are scrambling to evaluate qualified retirement plan investment advisors/consultants using the request for proposal solicitation method. Typically, the process involves a large number of subjective questions and a small set of objective data. Plan fiduciaries can and should ask three key questions that will go some way toward identifying conflict of interest issues, helping to significantly reduce the confusion and complexity associated with the RFP process.

Source: Linkedin.com, October 2016

2016 PLANADVISER Recordkeeper Services Guide

Abstract: Retirement plan advisers may often find themselves in the role of matchmaker: working with a defined contribution client to determine which investments and platforms or providers are the best fit. To be in a top position to guide the client, an adviser must keep abreast of the provider community, so as to stay current on what products and services are available to suit each client's needs.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Third Party Administration Buyer's Guide

Abstract: Some say that third-party administrator services can surpass what most recordkeepers offer to aid with plan design and that this is broadening the TPA's use in the retirement industry. This is PLANSPONSOR first Third-Party Administrator Survey that provides a detailed snapshot of each TPA respondent, revealing, by its numbers, how it compares with peers in the overall market landscape.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2016

Changing 401k Plan Vendors?

Abstract: There is no such thing as too many questions. Recently Ed Moss, Senior Vice President, Employee Benefits at FirstMerit Corporation (www.firstmerit.com) provided some tips for plan sponsors who are considering changing 401k plan vendors.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com

Creating a Request for Proposal

Abstract: Here is an outline to follow in putting together a RFP when you are looking for a bundled 401k provider. Included in this outline are important questions you should be asking.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com

Fewer Recordkeepers in the 401k Field

Abstract: Several 401k recordkeepers have exited the game, merged or been acquired by larger providers because they haven't been able to keep pace with fees or expanded services that plan sponsors have been demanding. As consolidation takes over the recordkeeper marketplace, employers gain more opportunities to get the same service at a discount price.

Source: Workforce.com, July 2016

TPAs Supporting Plan Design

Abstract: Just one among the many difficult aspects of learning to run a retirement plan is coming to appreciate the sometimes subtle, but clearly critical, differences between a recordkeeper and a third-party administrator (TPA), a task made all the harder by the near-constant evolution in business models, technology and client service preferences. Article reviews the differences and why plan sponsors turn to TPAs for help with plan design and administration.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

2016 PLANSPONSOR Third-Party Administrator Survey

Abstract: The survey includes TPA firms from the very small to the very large: $600,000 in total retirement plan assets to $54 billion in plan assets, respectively; more than one in six have in excess of 500 plans. Survey participants have offices in all but seven U.S. states, and about one in six is a national firm. Article provides details from the survey data.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

Good Advice for Plan Sponsors: Monitor Advisers

Abstract: Many external advisers to plans already commit in their contracts with their clients to act as fiduciaries. Some don't, though, particularly those who advise small plans. Executives responsible for overseeing these plans shouldn't just sit back and relax; rather, they should reevaluate their agreements with their advisers, experts say. And there are implications for large plan sponsors as well.

Source: Cfo.com, June 2016

Cogent Report: Fees Most Common Reason for Switching Recordkeepers

Abstract: Report found that plan administration fees are the most common reason for switching recordkeepers, and likewise are an important driver of satisfaction and loyalty when client expectations are fulfilled. Importantly, the aspect of providing good value for the money is the leading enhancer to brand consideration this year, reinforcing the point that plan sponsors are seeking value from a provider.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2016

How to Evaluate 401k Provider Competence in Two Easy Steps

Abstract: Competence is attributes you should consider when shopping for a 401k provider. Unfortunately, it’s also a difficult attribute to evaluate due to the highly-technical nature of 401k services. This piece suggests you employ a two-step process.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, May 2016

What's New With RFPs?

Abstract: NAPA polled its readers on the question of RFPs and evaluating plan designs and plan providers. Nevin Adams shares the results and reader comments here.

Source: Napa-net.org, March 2016

So You Hired an ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary: Now What?

Abstract: Hiring a 3(38) investment manager is like outsourcing any other HR function. While you have outsourced the work and liability, you cannot step away from the process. You must still monitor the service provider to make sure it is fulfilling its contractual obligations. Article reviews a handful of questions to consider when creating a framework to monitor a 3(38) investment manager.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, March 2016

When You Should Fire Your Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: For a business relationship that needs to end, there needs to be signs for one party to decide that it's time to say goodbye. This article is about when it's time to end your relationship with your plan provider.

Source: Jdsupra.com, January 2016

Selecting the Right Plan Advisor for Your Plan

Abstract: Most plan sponsors who partner with a specialized Advisor follow a deliberate selection process before hiring their Advisor. This report offers guidance for plan sponsors interested in hiring a specialized Advisor, and helps them understand the different types of Plan Advisors. Findings are based on focus group discussions with plan sponsors who partner with a Professional Retirement Plan Advisor of some kind.

Source: Dcpicadvisors.com, January 2016

Evaluating and Selecting a Plan Advisor

Abstract: In the white paper, attorney Roger Levy explores a plan sponsor's responsibility in selecting and benchmarking service providers including a plan advisor.

Source: 401ktv.com, December 2015

Monitoring Call Centers: Is It a Fiduciary Duty to Know What They Tell Participants?

Abstract: Plan sponsors need to know what their service providers are saying to participants about distributions and rollovers. At the least, this is good risk management. But Fred Reish emphasizes that plan committees have a fiduciary duty to monitor services, meaning that they should monitor their providers' conversations and written communications.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, November 2015

Practically Everything You Need to Know About Choosing a 401k Plan Provider

Abstract: While large companies with dedicated benefits staff and deep pockets to pay outside advisers may have relatively few daunting issues when selecting a 401k provider, finance executives at smaller companies often feel adrift when charged with the task. This guide to plan selection has the latter executives in mind, even though many best practices apply regardless of plan size.

Source: Cfo.com, November 2015

Selecting 401k Service Providers: Determine the Professional Help You Need Before You Shop

Abstract: Selecting competent service providers is the most important - and most confusing - fiduciary duty of a 401k sponsor. Many plans pay for superfluous services participants do not use. Article lays out a two-step process to ensure your plan does not pay fees for services your participants will not use.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, October 2015

Six Questions for Your Next 401k RFP

Abstract: Aside from all the general information that you'll want to get from every provider during the RFP process (the size of their business, the quality, tenure and turnover of their key staff, their capabilities, service structure, years in "the business," fees, services offered and references), here are some questions that aren't in every RFP that can be enlightening.

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2015

The RFP Process...Checks and Balances

Abstract: The focus of this paper is to provide an outline of best practices a Plan Sponsor can utilize to undertake a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for 457(b), 401(a), 403(b), grandfathered 401k. The information outlined in this document will apply to Plan Sponsors of all sizes.

Source: Nagdca.org, September 2015

The Duty to Monitor Non-Fiduciary Service Providers

Abstract: This article discusses the duty to monitor non-fiduciary service providers. It focuses on two aspects of plan service provider arrangements that can make the monitoring process especially challenging: fees and revenue sharing arrangements.

Source: Octoberthree.com, September 2015

Creating an RFP That Addresses Each Sponsor's Individual Needs

Abstract: Sponsors' use of a more formalized search process to find an adviser has become increasingly common, but don't forget the importance of focusing on understanding a plan sponsor's concerns and needs, and doing so right from the beginning of the search process. Article discusses addressing a sponsor's individual needs.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2015

Why Conduct an RFP for a Recordkeeper?

Abstract: "Why should I conduct a request for proposals for a recordkeeper for my retirement plan?" This is a common question among retirement plan sponsors. The regular completion of an RFP process (as often as every three to five years or under another reasonable period based on the specific plan) is an essential component of the due diligence process.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2015

Legal Considerations When Engaging an Investment Professional for a Participant-Directed DC Plan

Abstract: Considering the potential liability that fiduciaries of ERISA plans face with respect to plan investments, it makes sense to structure a participant-directed defined contribution plan in accordance with Section 404(c) of ERISA. However, given that the legal status of the service provider under ERISA creates stark differences in the retained duties and liabilities of the plan fiduciaries, fiduciaries need to understand the provider's status and which scenario applies to their specific arrangement.

Source: Bklawyers.com, July 2015

The Plan Auditor Selection and Monitoring Process

Abstract: After a recent DOL study found significant errors in auditor reviews of 5500 filings, plan sponsors should anticipates increased scrutiny around their process for choosing an auditor and evaluating their work. This white paper explains the DOL's findings and provides recommendations for how to think about the auditor hiring process and where to ask questions when reviewing the final audit results.

Source: Lockton.com, June 2015

Selecting Service Providers, Competitive Bidding, and RFP's Importance in a Fiduciary Investment Process

Abstract: Industry expert, Roger Levy, writes about fiduciary duties and how important it is to follow a formal due diligence process when hiring service providers, including investment advisors, to a retirement plan and other institutional accounts.

Source: Cloudfront.net, June 2015

When Procurement Is Involved in the RFP Process

Abstract: Frequently requests for proposals for retirement plan service providers are going through procurement departments. Procurement departments can help with the efficiency of the RFP process, but they shouldn't just be left to their own devices.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2015

Vendor Monitoring: Going Beyond the Determination of Reasonableness

Abstract: As a responsible plan fiduciary, ERISA requires you under Section 408(b)(2) to ensure that arrangements with your service providers are "reasonable" and that only "reasonable" compensation is paid for their services. This short article lists some questions you will want to ask your recordkeeper to help you make informed decisions about the services they provide to your plan.

Source: Pension-Consultants.com, April 2015

Best Practices in Retirement Plan Recordkeeper Searches

Abstract: Plan sponsors have a fiduciary obligation to undertake a prudent process for selecting a competent recordkeeper. This article provides an outline of the RFP process, along with best practices for conducting the project smoothly and efficiently.

Source: Fiallc.com, April 2015

Questions to Ask a Plan Recordkeeper

Abstract: The decision to move a company's retirement plan to a new recordkeeper involves careful analysis and is not something that should be approached lightly. Article provides questions one should ask when evaluating a potential new recordkeeper.

Source: Consultrms.com, March 2015

Evaluating 401k Providers: Separating Commodity From Value-Added Services

Abstract: Selecting competent service providers is one of the most important fiduciary duties of a 401k plan sponsor -- and it can appear daunting at first glance. Fortunately, this process can be made much simpler by understanding each service that makes up a 401k plan and applying appropriate benchmarks to those services to measure their value.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, February 2015

Finding "Best Fit" in a Retirement Plan Provider Through the RFP Process

Abstract: Rather than relying upon purely quantitative comparisons of data from competing proposals, plan sponsors should base their final decision on a more balanced set of factors that can help them achieve "best fit" with a prospective provider. Article discusses three areas of fit that are essential to a successful sponsor-provider relationship.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, January 2015

Bundled Services: The Provider Independence Shell Game

Abstract: Article discusses a readily available "tool" that will aid plan fiduciaries in evaluating the fit of a bundled service provider's business model with the plan's own fiduciary governance structure.

Source: Erisafiduciaryadministrators.com, November 2014

Considerations When Picking a Provider

Abstract: Advisers and consultants say that often when plan sponsors evaluate various providers' final presentations, the offerings look alike -- the providers present similar slides and give similar answers to questions. In actuality, though, the recordkeepers' services may be very different. Experts point to five areas where plan sponsors can look for providers to differentiate themselves: participant services, sponsor services, fees, technology and capabilities, and the vendor organization.

Source: Plansponsor.com, November 2014

Five Tips for a Successful Advisor RFP Process

Abstract: A well-run advisor RFP process can help plan sponsors identify and prioritize their most important issues, gather intelligence on advisory services available in the market, help simplify decision making and document an important fiduciary process. The following article shares five tips and best practices that can help make what might seem like a daunting process seem much more manageable.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, October 2014

The "Gotchas" of Retirement Services Purchasing

Abstract: The information gap that has existed between retirement services vendors and retirement plan sponsors has created fertile ground for "gotchas" in vendor service arrangements that continue to waste millions of dollars of retirement plan savings annually. This article explores the most common gotchas plan sponsors face and offers real-world solutions for those organizations seeking to improve their fiduciary supply chain management approach.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, August 2014

How a Turnkey Open Architecture Approach Changes the Game for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Many retirement plan sponsors hire vendors that bundle several services, meaning that a single vendor wears multiple hats. But are bundled arrangements delivering enough value to offset the excessive fee risk that their programs present to both plan fiduciaries and plan participants? This article will explore the dangers inherent in traditionally bundled retirement plan services, and the amazingly similar approach that is redefining the fiduciary landscape.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, August 2014

Changing Employee Benefit Plan Vendors? Tips for a Smooth Transition

Abstract: Regardless of the reason you seek to change your plan's recordkeeper, trustee, or custodian, you face an increased risk of error if the change isn't managed properly. As a result, if you're debating a change in vendors for your benefit plan, it's important to consider the potential risks to both the plan and its participants.

Source: Mossadams.com, August 2014

Please Respond to This RFP: Thoroughly Vetting Service Providers

Abstract: Retirement plan fiduciaries have many responsibilities, one of which is the identification and selection of a service provider through a formal request for proposals process. A fiduciary must test the waters every so often to meet its ongoing monitoring responsibility. An RFP provides the structure for a well-thought-out evaluation and leaves a written document trail as evidence of the fiduciary process.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, July 2014

Are Your Service Providers Fiduciaries of Your 401k Plan?

Abstract: With the increased scrutiny regarding retirement plan investments and administration under ERISA, many plan sponsors are seeking ways to minimize their fiduciary liability by hiring service providers to serve in a fiduciary capacity. Hiring the right service providers can insulate retirement plan sponsors from some fiduciary liability, but it depends on the service agreement itself and how plan governance is structured.

Source: Ifebp.org, June 2014

Conducting an Effective Advisor RFP Process

Abstract: Retirement plan advisors can help plan sponsors select and review retirement plan investment options, stay up to date with evolving regulations, and assist with fiduciary processes. They can also help provide clarity about provider service fees and expenses and deliver participant education or advice. These are all important roles, but how do you find the right advisor? How can you validate that your current advisor is providing state-of-the-art services at a competitive price?

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, March 2014

A Retirement Plan Sponsor's Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

Abstract: When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA, the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. This article is a guide on selecting a financial advisor for your retirement plan or to review the incumbent advisor as part of your fiduciary responsibility.

Source: Jdsupra.com, February 2014

Straightforward Contract Pointers for Plan Fiduciaries Retaining Service Providers

Abstract: If you are a fiduciary of a qualified plan, such as an ERISA plan, and you anticipate entering or renewing a service agreement with a service provider, here are a few straightforward contract pointers for you (and your professional advisers) to consider during the review process.

Source: Winston.com, February 2014

When It's Time to Fire Your Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: As a retirement plan sponsor, you have to recognize when to end relationships with your plan providers because prolonging these bad relationships will only increase your potential liability as a plan fiduciary. So this article is about when you should fire your retirement plan providers.

Source: Jdsupra.com, February 2014

A Plan Sponsor Guide to Advisor Selection

Abstract: As the complexity of fiduciary responsibility grows, reliance on an advisor as co-fiduciary becomes an increasingly desirable objective. The right partner for your plan can save you time and improve the retirement outcomes of all of the employees. It's an opportunity you shouldn't miss. Article reviews the process in selecting an advisor.

Source: Rplaybook.com, July 2013

The Plan Sponsor's Guide to Delegating, Part I: Selecting and Supervising 3(38) Investment Managers

Abstract: Delegating investment decisions to an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager (EIM) can be a huge relief to retirement plan sponsors who are saturated with fiduciary responsibilities and their attendant liabilities. However, it is imperative to vigorously monitor the actions and recommendations of an EIM. In this article, plan fiduciaries will learn the how-to's, benefits and best practices of selecting and supervising EIMs.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, June 2013

The Plan Sponsor's Guide to Delegating, Part II: Recordkeeping Made Simple

Abstract: An ERISA recordkeeper is one of the most heavily relied upon experts within a plan sponsor's vendor arsenal. Often, however, there is confusion about the breadth of a recordkeepers responsibilities, as well as what to look for in selecting the right recordkeeper for a given retirement plan. In this article is a breakdown of the recordkeeping role, its significance to plan sponsors, and how to maximize efficiencies with this key fiduciary partner.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, June 2013

IRA Rollover Services and Responsibility of Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The Government Accountability Office has issued a report that raises serious issues about how participant rollovers are being handled. The report also suggests that plan sponsors and committees, in their roles as ERISA fiduciaries, may have duties regarding rollovers they have never considered. This bulletin summarizes parts of the GAO Report and discusses whether plan sponsors and committees may be obligated to monitor the IRA rollover services offered by their providers.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, June 2013

Employer Responsibilities for Terminating a 401k Contract

Abstract: What are an employer's responsibilities to its 401k plan if the employer terminates the contract with the third party administrator managing the plan?

Source: Thinkhr.com, January 2013

In Search of a Recordkeeper: Fiduciary Best Practices

Abstract: In this white paper, authors describe the fiduciary best practices that can help prevent and protect against litigation for breach of fiduciary duty as it pertains to selecting and negotiating with recordkeepers.

Source: Arnerich Massena, October 2012

An Employer's Guide for Selecting Retirement Plan Financial Advisors

Abstract: When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA, the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. This article is intended to act as a guide for you as you select a financial advisor for your retirement plan or to review the incumbent advisor as part of your fiduciary responsibility.

Source: Rosenbaum Law Firm PC, October 2012

Proposal Games: Why You May Not Know What Your 401k Plan Will Cost

Abstract: When a plan sponsor goes to evaluate potential 401k service providers, will they be able to determine and understand how much their plan will cost? Author says, "Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult, as many providers have tried to gain a competitive edge by playing 'proposal games.'"

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2012

Getting the Most Out of Your RFP Process

Abstract: Requests for proposals (RFPs) are integral to the investment management industry. They help decision-makers select new partners to consult on or manage pools of assets. Done well, they provide a well-structured process for those involved in the decision. But is there room for improvement?

Source: Vanguard, September 2012

An Employer's Guide for Selecting Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: Selecting competent plan providers is part of your fiduciary duty as a plan sponsor and must be done through an actual process. This article is about what you should look for in selecting a retirement plan provider.

Source: Rosenbaum Law Firm PC, September 2012

Questions for Senior Management to Ask to Make Sure that 401k Fiduciary Duties Aren't Ignored

Abstract: This paper puts forth questions that will help senior management assess whether or not their 401k vendors and advisors are helping or hindering efforts to meet corporate goals, not to mention avoiding unnecessary lawsuits alleging breaches of 401k fiduciary duties.

Source: Investmenthorizons.com, September 2012

Creating an Effective RFP Process

Abstract: This guide is designed to help organizations assemble a RFP team, develop a timeline, create the RFP, identify firms to respond to the RFP, distribute the RFP, review and score the RFP, interview potential firms, and make a final selection.

Source: Vanguard, July 2012

Conducting a Vendor Search: Benefits and Best Practices

Abstract: This paper begins with a look at why conducting a vendor search may be necessary to satisfy several of a plan sponsor's fiduciary duties under ERISA, followed by a discussion of the numerous practical benefits that result from a thorough vendor search. The second half of this paper will focus on twelve best practices that, if followed, will substantially alleviate the perceived burdens of conducting a vendor search and help guide the plan sponsor to a perfect-fit vendor.

Source: Multnomah Group, June 2012

Service Provider Contracts Deserve and Require Employers' Attention

Abstract: With so much focus on the disclosure of fees charged to plans, it's easy to miss that new Department of Labor (DOL) rules, effective July 1, 2012, specify several other requirements for a contract or arrangement with a retirement plan service provider to be reasonable.

Source: Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, June 2012

Changing 401k Plan Vendors?

Abstract: There is no such thing as too many questions. Recently Ed Moss, Senior Vice President, Employee Benefits at FirstMerit Corporation (www.firstmerit.com) provided some tips for plan sponsors who are considering changing 401k plan vendors.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com

Creating a Request for Proposal

Abstract: Here is an outline to follow in putting together a RFP when you are looking for a bundled 401k provider. Included in this outline are important questions you should be asking.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com

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