FiduciaryShield launched in 2018 to support the fiduciary requirements of those managing employer sponsored retirement plans. We are excited to launch our newest product feature – 401(k) Prospector. Registering with FiduciaryShield gives advisors access to unparalleled technology designed to support the full lifecycle of 401(k) plan management. From plan prospecting --> plan proposal --> plan onboarding --> plan monitoring – the tools you need to win more 401(k) plans are all here.
We launched 401(k) Prospector this year as a tool to help advisors identify potential 401(k) business opportunities. 401(k) Prospector highlights all plans filing an annual Form 5500 within 10 miles of an advisor's office. A national plan search can also be conducted by either the employer name or plan name. Our database contains information on over 800,000 plans helping advisors identify important plan information such as total plan assets, total participants, and key plan contacts. Plan contacts are even identified on LinkedIn, giving advisors another opportunity to connect.
Retirement Plan Wellness Reports
Retirement Plan Wellness Reports are designed to help advisors identify fiduciary risk factors through annual Form 5500 filings. Wellness Reports empower advisors to be fiduciary experts by helping to identify more than 20 ERISA-specific fiduciary risk factors on a plan by plan basis. Advisors can easily identify important changes in plan demographics that may trigger the need for a plan fiduciary to review plan fees or conduct a competitive request for proposal.
Competitive Proposal Requests
FiduciaryShield offers a competitive request for proposal platform allowing advisors to request proposals from more than 20 active recordkeepers. Recordkeepers who receive a proposal request through FiduciaryShield are aware they are bidding on a competitive opportunity, approved by the employer, and have agreed to customize their proposal responses within seven days of the request being submitted.
Proposals submitted by recordkeepers through FiduciaryShield are presented to advisors in a simple and transparent format, allowing advisors to easily compare proposals side by side. Leveraging FiduciaryShield’s technology allows advisors to present a visually compelling comparison of a plan’s features, investment offerings, and fees.
Document Procedures & Monitor Providers
ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to put proper controls in place which support both monitoring service providers and documenting fiduciary procedures. All requests for proposal, proposal responses, forms, and reports are documented to help meet ERISA regulations. FiduciaryShield also automates quarterly and annual plan monitoring reports to help advisors and plan sponsors meet their ongoing requirement to monitor providers.
In our society an individual's success is often viewed through a lens that, for many, has a significant focus on an individual's income. Within the financial services industry the lens used to judge success is particularly narrow, mainly focused on: increasing assets under management, increasing revenue, and ultimately increasing income.
As a result, the most successful financial advisors are typically tremendously talented sales people. Their communication skills, usually never better than when they are pursuing a potential client, allow them to explain and simplify complex financial problems with ease.
Yet one of the most common complaints that I hear from retirement plan participants and plan sponsors is that they never see or hear from their financial advisor.
I think that may be because financial advisors find themselves caught between their commitment to service existing clients and chasing the annual trophy of success by narrowing their focus towards gathering assets and increasing their income.
In order to achieve lasting and meaningful success in the retirement plan space, advisors must commit to a service model after landing an employer's plan.
The Department of Labor has created a roadmap of success for financial advisors looking to build their practice in the retirement plan space. Financial advisors may play any of the following roles depending on the needs of the plan sponsor:
- Plan Design & Provider Selection – Plan sponsors are fiduciaries and as such are required to choose a plan using a prudent process. Many plan sponsors will look for a financial advisor to make recommendations about different providers, fees, and investment options. The DOL also expects that the plan sponsor will conduct a competitive request for proposal for plan services every 3-5 years.
- 3(38) Investment Manager – As a 3(38), a financial advisor has legal discretion to make plan changes. A financial advisor with this role has also taken on the role of a fiduciary.
- 3(21) Investment Manager – As a 3(21), a financial advisor makes recommendations to the plan sponsor but does not have discretion to make changes on their own. A financial advisor in this role is also considered a fiduciary.
- Employee Education – Plan sponsors are required by the DOL to provide education regarding the plan to participants. This is typically the main role of a financial advisor who is servicing a retirement plan.
Advisors should be able to clearly articulate the roles that they are fulfilling for the plan sponsor and what their compensation will be for that service.
One of the effects of the DOL’s years long public review of the fiduciary rule is that many plan sponsors are putting plan fees under a microscope while reviewing the role of their financial advisor.
FiduciaryShield was created for plan sponsors and advisors to simplify the process of achieving many of the fiduciary requirements of managing a retirement plan.
If you are responsible for any of the following:
- Conducting a competitive RFP
- Analyzing service provider proposals
- Fee benchmarking
- Investment benchmarking
Please visit https://fiduciaryshield.bidmoni.com for more information about leveraging the power of FiduciaryShield to better service your clients and win more retirement plan business.