401k Provider Reviews

In an effort to keep clients and business partners up to date on how to conduct 401k provider reviews and searches, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC suggests the following resources.

401k Investment Adviser Annual Reviews – What Employers Should Expect. At least once each year, retirement plan sponsors should be meeting with their 401k plan investment adviser to review what happened in the plan during the prior year. Those plan sponsors that are already meeting with their adviser on a quarterly basis take note – the annual 401k provider reviews should be a little different. All annual 401k provider reviews should cover the items outlined in this post.

401k RFP Tips For Employers. My Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm has been fortunate to receive a number of Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for investment advisory services. While I am grateful to receive these RFPs, I continue to be puzzled by how some plan sponsors choose to manage their RFP process. So, outlined in this post, I have provided some tips on how plan sponsors can optimize their 401k RFP process to ensure it produces the best possible result.

Did You Hire The Right 401k Investment Adviser? As a 401k plan sponsor, you are probably aware of the new fiduciary regulations. You probably have spent some time wondering (worrying?) whether these regulations affect your relationship with the investment adviser or investment advisor who works with your 401k plan. They might. Here’s how to tell.

Does Your 401k Investment Adviser Measure Up? Each year retirement plan sponsors should take time to evaluate their providers. Included in this group is your 401k investment adviser. Most plan sponsors use an investment adviser to help them with their 401k plans. This is a smart decision since many advisers are able to save plan sponsors at least as much as they charge. This post will help you learn if you are working with the right 401k investment adviser.

Five Reasons To Benchmark Your 401k Plan This Year. Are you in the practice of benchmarking your retirement plan on a regular basis? Have you ever benchmarked your 401k plan? This post explains why you should benchmark your plan this year.

How To Evaluate Your 401k Investment Advisor. Each year you should spend some time evaluating the providers who work with your 401k plan. Assessing the performance of your 401k investment advisor is often the most difficult since he/she may be the captain of your 401k provider team. How can you tell if your 401k investment advisor is doing a good job? Check this post to find out!

How To Know If You Are Getting Good Investment Advice. How do 401k plan sponsors know if they are receiving good investment advice? That question is more difficult to answer for plan sponsors than it is for individual investors since plan sponsors need to be more concerned about process than performance. It is not necessary for plan sponsors to offer the best performing funds in their 401k plans. Rather, they should be more concerned that the process used to select and monitor the investment options offered is compliant and sound. Check out this post to learn if you are receiving good investment advice.

Review Your 401k Providers Regularly — Here’s How. On a regular basis, the Department of Labor (DoL) would like you, as the plan sponsor, to conduct 401k provider reviews. As a fiduciary to your plan, you have an obligation to ensure that the providers you are working with are appropriate and that their fees are reasonable. This post shares some suggestions for managing a provider review process.

Services To Expect From Your 401k Investment Adviser. Use the criteria in this post to evaluate the services you should be receiving from your investment adviser.

What To Look For In A Top 401k Investment Adviser. Most employer plan sponsors use an investment adviser to help them with their 401k plans. This is a smart decision since most advisers are able to save plan sponsors at least as much as they charge. How can you tell if you are working with a good investment adviser? This post provides some tips.

Which Fiduciary Should 401k Plan Sponsors Hire – 3(16), 3(21) or 3(38)? Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about whether plan sponsors should contract with their administrative providers for section 3(16) fiduciary services. Outlined in this post are the different types of fiduciary services available to plan sponsors and when it might make sense to use them.

Why All 401k Plan Sponsors Should Use BrokerCheck. Are you working with an honest investment advisor on your 401k plan? One way to find out is by using BrokerCheck — a free service provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This post outlines how you can use BrokerCheck to research the background of your investment advisor. Don’t worry, financial advisors are not informed when you use the service to check their backgrounds.

Additional Resources

Selecting An Auditor For Your Employee Benefit Plan, from the DoL

Looking for some quick tips regarding the selection of a retirement plan auditor? This 6-page guide from the Department of Labor offers suggestions on questions to ask potential auditors and qualities you should be searching for in a competent auditor.

Unsure if the fees you’re paying your 401k providers are reasonable?


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12 Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your 401k Plan

After working with hundreds of 401k plans for more than 30 years, I have compiled a list of low-cost quick fixes that can make a big difference in your 401k plan. Click the button below and complete the form to download the list.