Qualified retirement plans are an important financial tool for both employers and employees. For employers, they can help attract and retain quality employees and can provide significant tax-deferred benefits for the owner(s) and/or key employees. For employees, they provide an opportunity to greatly enhance their retirement readiness and provide for a secure financial future.
Qualified plans are actually trusts maintained by the business. As such, the company (as plan sponsor), the owners and officers are typically plan fiduciaries. As a fiduciary, one is required to act solely in the interests of the plan participants. Failure to do so can result in fines, litigation, loss of corporate tax deductions and even criminal prosecution.
We can help you to address your fiduciary obligations. Bill Sornstein, our qualified retirement plan specialist, is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designee and can provide fee based investment fiduciary services. He provides these services as part of the Retirement Plan Consulting Program at LPL Financial.
These investment fiduciary and plan consulting services can include any or all of the following:
– Investment Policy Statement (“IPS”) Assist the Plan in the preparation or review of an IPS for the Plan.
– Investment Recommendations Recommend specific investment options for the Plan.
– Investment Monitoring Perform ongoing (typically quarterly) monitoring of investments options available in the Plan.
– Qualified Default Investment Alternative (“QDIA”) Assistance Assist in identifying an investment product or model portfolio to use as a “Qualified Default Investment Alternative” (“QDIA”) as defined under ERISA.
– Model Portfolios Recommend asset allocation target-date or risk-based model portfolios for the Plan to make available to Plan participants.
– Performance Reports Prepare reports reviewing the performance of Plan investments options.
– Service Provider Liaison Assist the Plan by acting as a liaison between the Plan and service providers, product sponsors and/or vendors.
– Plan Committee Education Provide education, training, and/or guidance for the members of the Plan Committee with regard to plan features, retirement readiness matters, or service on the Committee.
– Participant Enrollment Assist the client in enrolling Plan participants in the Plan, including providing participants with information about the Plan.
– Participant Education Assist with participant education, which may include preparation of education materials and/or conducting investment education seminars and meetings for Plan participants.
– Plan Search Support/Vendor Analysis Assist with the preparation, distribution and evaluation of Request for Proposals, finalist interviews, and conversion support.
– Benchmarking Services Provide the client with comparisons of Plan data (e.g., regarding fees and services and participant enrollment and contributions).
– Identifying Plan Fees Assist client in identifying the fees and other costs borne by the Plan.
Qualified plans impose a heavy compliance obligation on plan sponsors and fiduciaries. We can help you manage those obligations…
As an Accredited Investment Fiduciary designee, I am required to abide by the AIF Code of Ethics
To my clients, I will:
1. Employ and provide the client information on the Prudent Practices when serving as an investment fiduciary and/or advising other investment fiduciaries.
2. Act with honesty and integrity and avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
3. Ensure the timely and understandable disclosure of relevant information that is accurate, complete, and objective.
4. Be responsible when determining the value of my services and my form of compensation; taking into consideration the time, skill, experience, and special circumstances involved in providing my services.
5. Know the limits of my expertise, and refer my clients to colleagues and/or other professionals in connection with issues beyond my knowledge and skills.
6. Respect the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of my work, and not disclose such information to others, except when authorized or otherwise legally obligated to do so. I will not use confidential information acquired in the course of my work for my personal advantage.
7. Not exploit any relationship or responsibility that has been entrusted to me.
Our goal is to provide our qualified plan clients with clear and unbiased advice.