401(k) & Pension Fiduciary Services
401 (k) and pension fiduciary services go hand in hand, whether you are an employee or an employer. From an employer’s perspective, a well-constructed retirement plan can help employees plan for the future, and help you attract and retain a motivated, productive workforce.
As an employer, there are a number of reasons you would want to consider offering 401(k) services to your team members. First, consider that you will be offering a valuable incentive that produces engaged employees. With a 401(k), you can count on the fact that your employees are more likely to be engaged.
Another reason is that you will be far better luck recruiting quality team members. Far and away, the majority of employees think a retirement plan is important. If you are one to offer a quality retirement plan, you can be sure you will be attracting a higher caliber of talent.
Lastly, consider the prospect of increased revenue. Studies show that the more engaged an employee is, the more productive that employee is. The fact of the matter is that if you take care of your employees, they are far more likely to reciprocate, or they will look for another company will take care of them.
There is more to being classified as 401(k) fiduciary than just offering a decent retirement package for your team. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) posits that a person is a 401(k) fiduciary “to the extent that he exercises discretionary control or authority over plan management or authority or control over management or disposition of plan assets, renders investment advice regarding plan assets for a fee, or has discretionary authority or responsibility in plan administration.” While ERISA defines several 401(k) fiduciary roles, a person’s fiduciary status is based on their plan function.
In meeting your fiduciary obligations, the Department of Labor lists the general responsibilities of a 401(k) fiduciary as:
Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries and with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them; carrying out their duties prudently; following the plan documents (unless inconsistent with ERISA); diversifying plan investments; and paying only reasonable plan expenses.
The team at HeartStone Advisors is dedicated to supporting 401(k) plan sponsors in meeting their fiduciary obligations. We provide on-going fiduciary services and by reviewing all areas of a plan’s management. Providing plan design, participant education, investment recommendations, and more are just a portion of what we can do to ensure you and your employees’ futures are bright.
What Are 401(k) & Pension Fiduciary Services?
401(k) and pension fiduciary services can sound daunting. Simply put, any individual or entity with discretionary authority over a 401(k) plan’s administration or investments is considered a “fiduciary” to that plan. 401(k) plan fiduciaries ordinarily include the employer, trustees, and investment advisers. Attorneys, accountants, brokers, and the like are generally not fiduciaries. The indicator of defining whether an individual or an entity is a fiduciary is whether they can exercise discretionary control over your plan – a fiduciary title is often not required. Commonly, the employer is their 401(k) plan’s primary fiduciary. Fiduciaries possess significant responsibilities and are subject to strict codes of conduct because they act on behalf of 401(k) participants and their beneficiaries.
While 401(k) plans these days tend to employ the internet and other technological advancements to provide more features and services, participants are still often unprepared to make informed investment decisions. For example, 36% of participants in self-directed 401(k) plans invest in only one fund, 19% are in only two funds, and 80% have never rebalanced their account. On top of that, 64% of plan participants feel their company is providing average to poor education about their retirement plan.
Think about how many plans have been started and forgotten in a typical employee’s career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, on average, people will hold nearly 12 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48. As an employer, it is important to foster an environment that, not only encourages sound financial decisions from your term but offers all the tools necessary to achieve that goal.
HeartStone Advisors is devoted to informing your term on prudent retirement planning and the investment knowledge they will need for their retirement. This retirement planning education gets your employees motivated, makes them more comfortable about their decisions, and importantly, provides them with a more comfortable retirement in the future.
Why Are 401(k) & Pension Fiduciary Services Important?
Your retirement is important. You should not spend your golden years in a tough financial situation, especially when it can be avoided. When you partner with HeartSone Advisors, you are partnering with a family-run business that has your best interests at heart.
Plenty of financial advisors, especially brokers, treat 401(k) plans as products to be sold. There generally is no fee transparency. 401(k) plan participants are unable to see how much they are truly paying for their plan because these costs are embedded in opaque mutual fund expenses. HeartStone does not operate this way.
We are ERISA 3(38) fiduciaries. This is the highest level of fiduciary care anyone can bring to your pension or 401(k) plan. As ERISA 3(38) managers, we take on full liability in writing for the investment management of your corporate retirement plan. Only ERISA 3(38) managers can provide plan sponsors and trustees this level of relief from liability. As a 3(38), we must disclose all fees being paid from the retirement plan. These fees are clear, accounted for, and visible on all participant statements. Our fees are also generally far lower than those of bundled plan providers who lack fee transparency.
Even if we were not required to do so by law, we would make very clear where your money is going and how much of it is going to us. Since we charge a flat fee, you have yet another level of comfort in knowing that our interests are the same as your interests. We want a long-term relationship with you and want to know that we have helped yet another family reach their goals and provide a better future for their loved ones.
Who Can Benefit From 401(k) & Pension Fiduciary Services?
Anybody can benefit from 401(k) and pension fiduciary services. If you are hoping for a better future, the power is in your hands – no matter who you are, your financial status, or your history. As a business owner, you are in a position of great importance. Not only do you have customers to take care of and a staff to pay, but you have the opportunity to provide on a deeper level for your team – if you know how.
Many small to medium sized businesses lack the funds or expertise to have an in-house investment committee monitoring the nuances of their 401(k) or pension plan. HeartStone is the expert consultant for these businesses. We seek to meet at least annually with plan sponsors to monitor plan investments, and we also pride ourselves in providing employee education whenever possible.
We offer unbiased advice and guidance by providing maximum value at lower cost with a plan tailored to your specific needs that reduced liability, saves time, and results in confident and satisfied employees.
Get Started With Your 401(k) & Pension Fiduciary Planning Today
Getting started with HeartStone Advisors and taking the next step toward providing for you and your employees’ future is simple. We are here to listen and formulate a plan that benefits everyone involved.
With over six decades of collective knowledge and expertise in the financial services field, we’ve experienced nearly every scenario out there. We have helped employers and their employees across nearly every industry.
We encourage you to reach out as soon as possible so we can help you get your retirement plans on the right track.