The value of working with a retirement plan consultant
Retirement plan consultants are financial professionals who help businesses with their employer-sponsored retirement plans. They are equipped to handle the wide and complicated span of retirement plan tasks and responsibilities, from start to finish.
Working with a retirement plan consultant is a benefit to both you and your employees. Instead of spending the time and effort to manage such retirement plans on your own, you would turn the task over to a knowledgeable professional who will help shoulder that burden. This way you can remain focused on your core business. With their assistance, you’ll be confident that the plan is managed correctly and is precisely what your employees need and want.
What else can a retirement plan consultant or financial professional do for you as an employer? Plenty:
- Tailor the plan to meet your organization’s philosophy and requirements
- Help select and monitor retirement plan recordkeepers
- Periodically review the plan’s investment options
- Ensure investment fund consistency with the investment policy statement
- Conduct plan workshops in large and small group settings
- Meet with employees individually to provide plan guidance
- Assist with participant communication
- Examine plan compliance against applicable laws and regulations
- Assume plan administration duties
With a great retirement plan consultant in your corner, potential problems can be averted. Moreover, when your employees do have questions or concerns, you can refer them to a designated expert who can step in, quickly and professionally.
Why should I consider working with a retirement plan consultant?
Companies of all sizes find tremendous value in working with retirement plan consultants. The four most common reasons employers engage a professional are listed below.
1. Plan consultants offer a unique perspective
If you’re like many employers, the tasks, responsibilities and choices involved in starting and maintaining a retirement plan are overwhelming. Yet, this is exactly what plan professionals do. As experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the design and operation of business retirement plans, their role is to satisfy your needs as well as those of your employees.
In addition to understanding the overall retirement plan marketplace, they streamline the process and help reduce the amount of time you are required to spend on all aspects of the plan.
Should any issue arise, their wealth of knowledge will be invaluable—freeing you to concentrate on other business and human resource matters.
2. Retirement plan consultants provide compliance assurance
A crucial function of a plan consultant is to help organizations avoid serious compliance errors. These professionals help manage fiduciary duties and documentation to ensure that retirement plans are administered prudently and according to Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) rules. ERISA sets strict guidelines regarding the funding, administration, and notification requirements of employer-sponsored retirement plans. Retirement plan regulations are amended frequently, so your retirement plan consultant can help you stay on top of the changes and make necessary adjustments.
Compliance mistakes can put you, your business and the plan at risk. Organizations that sponsor retirement plans are responsible for making accurate decisions. However, your retirement plan professional will help make sure all those i's are dotted and t's are crossed.
3. Goal-oriented plan
Each organization has its own motivations for developing a retirement plan. For example, you may want one that incentivizes employees to save the maximum for retirement or to act as an enticement to recruit and retain top talent. Many organizations want to help improve their employees’ holistic financial wellness and help them achieve retirement readiness at the appropriate age. Whatever your goals are for launching the retirement plan, the retirement plan consultant’s job is to fulfill them. And when your employees retire on time, it can mitigate your organization’s increased healthcare costs associated with workers who want to retire but can’t because they don’t have the means.
4. Financial professionals can help increase plan participation
One of the most important functions of retirement plan consultants is to provide ongoing plan education and information, which will encourage a larger portion of your workforce to participate in the retirement plan. When employees are knowledgeable about the way these long-term saving and investment plans work and how their regular contributions will pave the way toward a financially secure future, they are more excited to enroll.
As the retirement plan sponsor, you will need to fulfill the responsibilities set forth by the IRS, and a key aspect is maximizing employee participation and contributions. There are tax advantages when your employees participate in the plan, too. Typically companies can claim a tax credit deduction for covering plan-related expenses, and the administration fees can be deducted as a business expense, which will offset your taxable income.
How can I find a good Retirement Plan Professional or Consultant?
One of the easiest ways to identify a qualified plan consultant is to ask your Voya representative to recommend a few who would be a good fit for your organization. Then start interviewing.
The person you select should have experience working with an organization like yours. Professional credentials to look for include AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) and CRPS® (Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist SM) designations. During the interview process you will want to discuss your retirement plan intentions, and ask how they would help you meet those goals. Be sure to request information about the consultant’s fee structure, from the services it will include to the percentage charged for managing the assets.
Want to learn more about the value of working with a retirement plan professional who can design and administer your organization’s retirement plan? Reach out to a Voya Representative today.
This information is provided for educational purposes only; it is not intended to provide tax or investment advice. All investments are subject to risk. Neither Voya® nor its affiliated companies or representatives provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax adviser or attorney before making a tax-related investment/insurance decision.