As a plan sponsor you are likely looking for a 401k advisor or other retirement plan advisor who can do multiple things professionally that are related to your company retirement plan. The roles and responsibilities of a plan sponsor are getting increasingly complex, so there are quite a few issues to be concerned about. However, between regulation, liability, performance of retirement savings investments and a host of other things, the most important thing is the actual participant or employee. This is where a plan advisor can be a critical partner.
Naturally, with a large plan, a plan advisor is almost a must-have. But that is not always the case, and in some instances, sponsors may not need to retain an advisor. Have you ever wondered what 401k plan advisors are concerned about?
At the National Association of Plan Advisors Summit (NAPA) in Las Vegas this week, many of the top advisors gathered to discuss the issues facing the retirement industry. 401kTV sat down and conducted interview with over 25 leading 401k plan advisors and 403b plan advisors to gain insight into the inner workings of companies and the individual advisors.
Of course the issue of regulation was a popular topic, however, when I spoke personally with (almost 25 advisors), almost unanimously, the main goal of the 401k advisor was the well-being and retirement readiness of their clients and the employees. It was interesting that regulation was not their main concern. Far-removed from the public image of the “Wall Street Banker”, plan advisors are largely a group of individuals who have spent years (many even decades) toiling with the goal of getting people ready for retirement. That’s because most advisors are not Wall Street Bankers. They are more like educators than financial service professionals.
I was struck by the intense level of on-going education that advisors pursue and the level of specialization that has developed within the industry. There are advisors who specialize in servicing manufacturing companies, private, family-owned businesses, service industries, and many more. Even more impressive was the level of personalization that many great advisor deliver to their clients. I was equally impressed that in discussing their challenges, they often spoke about the employees they service by name. Many of the NAPA attendees know company employees and their families personally.
Advisors are a unique and well-educated group. Finding the right advisor can mean the difference in having a retirement plan, and having a successful one, and the divide between the two is very wide according to many studies. When choosing a 401k plan advisor, you may just want to listen what is important to them as well as discussing what is import to your plan. It is likely that you can find the right advisor for your company this way.
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