Definitions of Advisor Services

 

Service: Act as a Fiduciary to Custom Portfolios/TDFs 

Definition: The advisor acts as a fiduciary to custom portfolios or custom TDF lineups in the plan.

Act as an Administrative Fiduciary (3(16)) to the Plan

The advisor acts as an administrative fiduciary as defined in ERISA section 3(16). (Currently, very few advisors are providing this service.)

Act as Discretionary Fiduciary (3(38)) to the Plan

The advisor acts as discretionary fiduciary (investment manager) to the plan, as defined in ERISA section 3(38). This gives the advisor full discretionary control to make investment decisions for the plan without plan sponsor/committee approval.

Act as Fiduciary to Company Stock

The advisor will take fiduciary responsibility even when there is company stock in the plan. (Currently, very few advisors are providing this service.)

Act as Investment Fiduciary (3(21)) to the Plan

The advisor acts in a co-fiduciary role to the plan, as defined in ERISA section 3(21).

Act as Investment Fiduciary to Participants

The advisor will act in a fiduciary capacity to the participants in the plan.

Asset Allocation Modeling

The advisor will create custom models/portfolios for the plan.

Compliance Oversight

The advisor will provide basic oversight to the plan regarding due dates for filing, any new regulations that affect the plan, etc. This is not a full-blown compliance review/audit that some advisors conduct (and may charge a fairly significant fee to do, because it’s an extensive process).

Dedicated 1-800 Number for Participants

The practice has a toll-free number available for participants to contact the advisor or support staff.

Education Program Strategy

The advisor helps the plan sponsor determine the strategy for addressing the education/communication needs for the employees/participants.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Consulting

The advisor helps design and/or administer an ESOP.

Financial Wellness

The process of understanding and improving employees’ financial lives so they may reach short- and long-term financial and life goals. Sometimes referred to as financial education, financial health, financial fitness, financial literacy or other similar terms.

Financial Wellness Program Strategy

The advisor helps the plan sponsor determine the strategy for addressing the financial wellness needs for the employees/participants.

Financial Wellness Provider Search

The advisor designs and conducts a search for a new financial wellness provider.

Fund Menu Design

The advisor chooses or recommends the asset classes and fund types in the lineup.

Fund Replacements/Fund Manager Search

The advisor will research/make recommendations if a fund in the menu or a fund manager should be replaced.

Group Employee Meetings

The advisor conducts/participates in group meetings to educate the employees about the plan and encourage enrollment in the plan

Investment Monitoring/Committee Meetings

The advisor will monitor the investments in the fund menu, and conduct meetings with the plan sponsor/committee to review the investment performance and make recommendations if funds should be watched/replaced.

Investment Policy Development

The advisor assists the plan sponsor in developing the investment policy/statement for the plan.

M&A Services

The advisor supports the plan during a merger or acquisition and assists with plan changes such as combining multiple plans and communicating changes to employees.

Managed Accounts

The advisor has full discretion over participant investment choices. This may include model portfolios.

Model Portfolios

The advisor provides one or more model portfolios for participants to opt into. The models may be based on risk profiles. The models may also be used to simplify administration of managed accounts.

One-On-One Employee Meetings

The advisor conducts/participates in one-on-one meetings to educate the employees about the plan and encourage enrollment in the plan.

Outsourced Chief Investment Officer Services (OCIO)

The advisor has discretionary authority to make and implement changes to the investment portfolio.

Participant Support in Multiple Languages

The advisory practice provides participant support in multiple languages.

Plan Design Consulting

The advisor consults on how best to design the plan (e.g., features it will include) to meet the plan sponsor’s benefit goals.

Special Institutional/Committee Meeting Training

The advisor provides training to the investment committee to educate them about their roles and responsibilities with the retirement plan.

TDF Family Selection and Monitoring

The advisor will research and select Target Date Fund families to include in the fund menu and monitor them on an ongoing basis

Transition Services to Recordkeeper

The advisor assists in coordinating/troubleshooting the process when a transition occurs to a new recordkeeper/provider. This does not mean that the advisor actually facilitates all the details of the transition.

Vendor Fee/Service Reviews

On behalf of the plan sponsor, the advisor conducts a review of the services that the provider/vendor is providing and the associated fees for those services (i.e., a pricing evaluation).

Vendor Management/Issue Resolution

The advisor acts as a liaison between the plan sponsor and the vendor and helps resolve any issues that may arise. They ensure that what was committed to in the search is executed on by the vendor.

Vendor Search

The advisor designs and conducts a search for a new recordkeeper/provider for the plan.

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