My assumption is that most of you who are reading this blog post already have a financial advisor with whom you work on your company’s 401(k) plan. However, as with most things in life, not all advisors are created equal and finding the best fit for the needs of your plan and participants can be essential to the success of the plan.
1 – Your Plan Needs an Advocate
There are so many working parts that go into running a successful retirement plan. Some tasks are large in scale and may include designing a plan document that encompasses a strategy to increase participation and deferrals in order to drive retirement readiness. Others are smaller, day-to-day tasks like submitting employee contributions and processing loans. Whatever the task that you are tackling, the job can be made easier by working with a financial advisor who understands the needs of your plan and how to accomplish them. Additionally, the goals of your plan need to be addressed. Do you want to benefit the owners of the company? Is your company invested in the retirement futures of your employees? Whatever the reason, it is important to match the goals of the plan with the financial advisor. Your advisor may have a knack for working with business owners and may be a good fit if your goal is to benefit the owners. On the other hand, if your focus is on the retirement readiness of your employees, then you will want your advisor to have a strong background in employee education. Again, whatever the reason, fit is essential.
2 – You Need a Partner
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it is becoming more and more difficult to stick to specific roles and responsibilities, no matter your job title. CFOs are faced with mounting responsibilities including forecasting and “guesstimating” tax rates. Human Resource professionals have become staffing firms, marriage counselors, and payroll processors. Not to mention, everyone at the company is tasked with moving towards the goal of growth. With all of the noise you deal with day in and day out, you need a financial advisor who can do some of the heavy lifting for your plan. In my role at Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial, I only serve the needs of our retirement plan clients; therefore, I can focus all of my time on the latest trends, rules, and regulations impacting qualified retirement plans. As an indication of my commitment to 401(k) plans, I have earned the following designations: Certified Fiduciary Plan Advisor (CFPA), Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), and Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA). While I most certainly am not saying your financial professional must have these designations to be highly qualified to work with your plan, I am encouraging you to research the professional’s background and determine if it will take your plan to the next level.
3 – Your People Deserve the Best
We’ve all heard, said, or read that your people are your most valuable resource; the question is if you are treating them as such. When you hire someone, you expect them to come to work day in and day out and give you their best effort. By offering a well-designed 401(k) plan, you are also taking a step to give the best to them as well. As I have documented in previous posts (It’s Not All About the Money), offering a 401(k) plan can help reduce financial stress, bolster workplace productivity, and make employees more loyal. At Grinkmeyer Leonard, Caleb Bagwell takes the lead in coming up with new, innovative ways to reach your employees and engaging them in becoming active participants in the plan and in saving for their future.
Whatever your reason, working with a qualified retirement plan advisor can help alleviate some of the stress of running a plan, can elevate your plan, and can make your people engaged.
Jamie Kertis, AIF®, QKA
Retirement Plan Specialist
Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial
1950 Stonegate Drive / Suite 275 /Birmingham, AL 35242
Office: 205.970.9088 / Toll-Free: 866.695.5162