FIRM’s team of professionals can help you with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, and 457’s and traditional defined benefit pension plans, as well as additional innovative variants such as 412i plans, and plans for the special needs and tax circumstances of business owners and executives. We take pride in anticipating and identifying issues before they develop into problems.
Our retirement plan consultants can:
- Design a retirement plan that can be administered effectively, is affordable to your organization, and satisfies regulatory and legal requirements.
- Assist you in selecting investments, either for investment options in your defined contribution plan, or to fund your defined benefit plan. We can assist you in the selection of a money manager.
- Conduct portfolio analysis, monitor and report on the performance of your investments.
- Review, develop and implement employee enrollment and education strategy that meets the diverse needs of your employees and retires.
- Advise you regarding investment policy and strategic asset allocation for pension plans.
Our outsourcing unit can reassess the actuarial assumptions of your retirement plan, by reviewing the plan’s history of investments, morality, service, time and compensation.
FIRM advises on defined contribution 401(k), 401(a), 403(b), and 457 plans, and traditional defined benefit pension plans.
As an independent advisory firm, we work exclusively for you. Our recommendations to you and your employees are objective and free of conflict of interest. We accept fiduciary status as a 3(21) advisor or can take on full discretion under ERISA Section 3(38).
Our investment process entails understanding our clients’ objectives, setting an investment policy statement, analyzing the risk and return associated with asset allocation strategy, conducting in-depth and ongoing due diligence of investment managers, preparing customized performance reporting and attribution analysis, and fulfilling our clients’ requests for information.
Plan Design & Compliance
An effective retirement plan begins with a sound plan design strategy and grows with attentive execution. Upon gaining detailed understanding of your financial objectives, we work closely with you to design, enhance, and maintain your plan with the appropriate features that meet the needs of your organization. We address matching contribution formulas, cross-tested profit sharing allocations and qualification and eligibility issues. From investments and recordkeeping, to compliance and communication, we ensure your plan is compliant with all regulations.
Our disciplined approach educates employees about their organization’s benefits/contributions while teaching them the complete financial value of their employment relations. Effective participant communication is essential for the successful operation of the plan. Each program is custom designed and presented based upon the employers’ specific benefit/contribution program and the results desired by management.
We conduct a complete review of your plan by requesting information from the current plan providers to establish a baseline for benchmarking. This allows us to identify specific, measurable areas for potential enhancement. Comparisons are based on a plan’s exact needs and parameters rather than a database of fee averages for similarly sized plans. We provide you with comprehensive plan assessment report identifying improvement opportunities such as lower fees, enhanced investment lineup and enhanced services and implementation of these recommendations. Our benchmarking services satisfy the fiduciary obligations under both ERISA and 408(b) (2) fee disclosure rules.
Fiduciary standards have become explicitly applicable to defined contribution plans. Most employers and individuals do not understand full scope of fiduciary responsibilities and might find themselves exposed to high levels of risk and liability. We offer 3(21) and 3(38) fiduciary investment advisory services and function under the Fiduciary Standard of Care to help mitigate your fiduciary risk. FIRM Advisory Team has Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designations, which means we employ the “gold standard” of fiduciary excellence in our business practices.
We monitor and report on industry trends, legislative and regulatory changes that may have an impact on our clients’ plan documents and benefit offerings. We research and make recommendations that address fiduciary liability concerns for plan sponsors. We believe that a current and closely followed Investment Policy Statement (IPS), and ongoing commitment to due diligence are key safe harbors in helping plan sponsors meet their fiduciary responsibilities.