More than Investments
The first thing people think of when they hear retirement plans is investments. And because 401(k) plans are the main facet of retirement income for so many people, investments are an essential component. But what we really are is a retirement plan administrators. In general, most people don’t know we exist or understand the role we play in keeping your retirement plan running. Because retirement plans are so much more than investments and while your financial advisor needs to play a key role in the establishment and maintenance of your retirement plan, it is imperative that you have a competent retirement plan administrator.
Retirement plan administrators are tasked with the sometimes daunting role of making sure your plan follows all of the rules, of which there are quite a few. For example, the IRS has rules that dictate how the plan needs to operate and the minimum standards it has to meet to be considered fair to all of its employees. The DOL also has rules for retirement plans that protect the rights of your participants; dictate how you, the fiduciary, are to behave in relation to the plan; and ensure the plan investments are fair and properly disclosed to your participants.
Meanwhile, a competent retirement plan administrator is also going to work with your payroll vendor and your CPA to ensure that the compensation information and the tax compliance of the plan are accurate. Having a retirement plan administrator who understands all of these regulatory nuances ensures that your plan runs smoothly. Because if your advisor ever tells you that you can just set up the retirement plan and forget it, it will run itself, you have a problem.