How to Select an Advisor for Your Company's Retirement Plan
When you want a job done right, you usually hire a professional to get the best results. The same can be said for managing your company's retirement plan. A financial advisor will try to minimize the financial risks for you by helping you determine the proper asset allocation to fit your goals and continuing to evaluate your investments to make sure they are still appropriate for meeting your short- or long-term objectives.
The Advantages of Working with an Expert
A financial advisor has the time, knowledge, research tools, expertise and experience that you may not have. After all, investment planning is his or her full-time job. It is important, however, to use due diligence in selecting the right advisor for you. Below you will find questions to help you determine if an advisor might be right for you.
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Nine Questions to Ask an Advisor in the Interview
Hiring a financial advisor for your company's retirement plan is no simple process. Below, I've outlined a few questions that you may want to ask prospective retirement plan advisors.
- As the advisor to our plan, how often will you meet with the Investment Committee to review all aspects of the plan?
- Please explain the process you'll use to design our plan. What will you do to maintain the plan with regulatory benefits at both the plan and participant level in future years? Is there an additional cost for these services?
- What is your established process for conducting a quarterly review of our fund line up? Please provide sample copies of quarterly fund reviews.
- How will you, as the advisor, assist us in establishing an investment committee? What will you do to outline our roles and responsibilities according to ERISA?
- What systems do you, as the advisor, provide that will assist us in clearly understanding our fiduciary responsibilities and help us to meet those responsibilities?
- As a provider of services to your plan, which definition of "fiduciary" do you ascribe to yourself? Do you put this definition in writing?
- What reports and resources do you provide to the participant and the investment committee to ensure that our investment options and allocations models are well suited to meet our retirement goals?
- Do you have a fidelity bond?
- Do you carry fiduciary liability insurance?
These may not be the only questions you want to ask as potential retirement plan advisor, but it is a good list to help you get started in the interview process.
Do Your Due Diligence Before Choosing an Advisor
When you are selecting a financial advisor to work with your company's retirement plan, it's absolutely essential that you do you due diligence. Before hiring an advisor, make sure that they are able to answer all of the questions outlined above to your satisfaction.