Pension Consultants Inc https://pension-consultants.com Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:56:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://pension-consultants.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/site-icon-150x150.jpg Pension Consultants Inc https://pension-consultants.com 32 32 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference Speaker and Agenda Announced! https://pension-consultants.com/2019-ffc-preview/ Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:32:49 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9358 The 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference, sponsored by Pension Consultants, Inc., is coming soon!

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The 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference, sponsored by Pension Consultants, Inc., is coming soon!

This year’s speaker line-up and topics were selected with you, the fiduciary, in mind. With expertise in various areas of the retirement plan industry, our speakers will be presenting topics that provide insight and experience-driven education to attendees.

The conference speaker line-up and agenda are now available on Fiduciary Focus’ website. Head over there now to review the agenda and save your spot!

If you are ready to register, click below:

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Pension Consultants, Inc. included in PLANADVISER’s Top 100 https://pension-consultants.com/pci-planadviser-top100-2019/ Wed, 27 Feb 2019 22:30:09 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9346 (Springfield, MO, February 28, 2019) – Pension Consultants, Inc. (PCI), a leader in performance-driven retirement plan management, was recently recognized as one of PLANADVISER’s Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers. PLANADVISER, a nationally recognized and leading resource for advisers and consultants in the retirement planning industry, compiles the Top 100 listing annually.

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(Springfield, MO, February 28, 2019) – Pension Consultants, Inc. (PCI), a leader in performance-driven retirement plan management, was recently recognized as one of PLANADVISER’s Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers. PLANADVISER, a nationally recognized and leading resource for advisers and consultants in the retirement planning industry, compiles the Top 100 listing annually.

PLANADVISER’s annual Top 100 list includes advisers at the top of their respective peer groups based on Asset under Advisement (AUA) or the number of retirement plan clients. PCI is included with Large Teams with $3.5 Billion or More in Retirement Plan Assets Under Advisement.

Cody Mendenhall, Executive Director of PCI, commented, “We are very proud to rank among the top retirement plan advisers in the country.  It is a testament to our talented consultants who are diligently working to provide our clients with confidence in the plans they provide their employees, and accountability through transparent reporting.”

PCI’s commitment to performance, integrity, and transparency has allowed us to earn the confidence of 401(k) and 403(b) plan fiduciaries. As the concern for the financial security and retirement success of American workers grows, PCI is dedicated to a mission of improving the financial security of the participants in the plans we manage.

If you are a fiduciary and would like the confidence that you are providing a good plan to your participants, we can help. Our free performance review process can help you compare your plan to relevant objective performance standards and discover how your plan’s investment lineup is performing, how your plan fees compare, and how much income your participants are on track to replace in retirement. Contact us today for more information.

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Pension Consultants, Inc. Recently Named a 2018 NAPA Top DC Advisor Firm https://pension-consultants.com/2018-napa-top-dc-advisor/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 19:07:44 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9255 The nation’s leading voice for retirement plan advisors – The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) – has published its list of the top defined contribution (DC) advisor teams in the U.S. For the second year, Springfield’s Pension Consultants, Inc. is proud to be featured among the most outstanding DC advisor teams in the nation.

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The nation’s leading voice for retirement plan advisors – The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) – has published its list of the top defined contribution (DC) advisor teams in the U.S. For the second year, Springfield’s Pension Consultants, Inc. is proud to be featured among the most outstanding DC advisor teams in the nation.

NAPA’s second annual Top DC Advisor Teams list joins the organization’s other industry lists as a “Who’s Who” of important players in world of retirement plan management. The list, “presents a compelling case for the positive impact on the nation’s private retirement system,” says Nevin Adams, Chief Content Officer of the American Retirement Association and Editor-in-Chief of NAPA-Net.

PCI Executive Director, Cody Mendenhall, CFP®, believes that inclusion in this list is a reflection of the importance of advisors who truly put their clients’ best interest at the forefront of their practice. “For 25 years, we have driven change in the industry that helps clients have confidence they are providing a good plan for their employees.  It is rewarding to know we are impacting people’s lives for the better.”

Many surveys show a lack of retirement readiness among many Americans who are approaching retirement. Instead of a storybook retirement, many will have to work long into their retirement years – or live a life that falls short of their expectations – because they lack the financial security they need to retire comfortably.

Our commitment to performance, integrity, and transparency has allowed us to earn the confidence of corporate plan fiduciaries. As the concern for the financial security and retirement success of American workers grows, PCI is dedicated to improving the financial lives of the participants in the plans we manage.

If you are a fiduciary concerned about the financial security of your plan’s participants, and you would like confidence that your plan is performing in a way that serves their best interests, we can help.  Our free performance review process can help you compare your plan to relevant objective performance standards and discover how your plan’s investments are performing, how your fees compare, and how much income your participants are on track to replace in retirement. Contact us today for more information.

 


 

About NAPA-Net

NAPA, a national industry publication, is a leading advocate for retirement plans and retirement plan advisors across the nation. NAPA has made its way into the daily lives of retirement planning professionals, and their publication provides valuable industry news and thought leadership. NAPA is part of the American Retirement Association, aiming to educate retirement plan professionals, and to preserve and enhance the employer-based retirement plan system.

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2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference Registration Now Open! https://pension-consultants.com/2019-fiduciaryfocus-open/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 19:04:21 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9263 We are excited to announce that registration for 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference is now OPEN! Every year, Pension Consultants, Inc., proudly sponsors Fiduciary Focus Conference (formerly Pension Focus Conference), the premier educational experience for retirement plan fiduciaries! The conference has a longstanding reputation for providing fiduciaries with insight and experience that they can use in […]

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We are excited to announce that registration for 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference is now OPEN!


Every year, Pension Consultants, Inc., proudly sponsors Fiduciary Focus Conference (formerly Pension Focus Conference), the premier educational experience for retirement plan fiduciaries! The conference has a longstanding reputation for providing fiduciaries with insight and experience that they can use in their roles.

The conference focus is on you – the plan fiduciaries who want to get the best results for their participants, and who want confidence in the plan they are providing. This year’s conference will feature industry experts who work with fiduciaries and support staff like you every day. They’ll talk about how your role as a fiduciary impacts your plan’s performance, break down the different areas of plan performance, look at emerging industry updates and trends, and explain how fiduciaries can gain confidence that the plans they oversee are ahead of the curve!

Fiduciary Focus Conference is a can’t-miss experience for every retirement plan fiduciary. Now is the time to register! Register before April 5th, 2019 to get the early bird special. Conference agenda and speakers will be announced soon.

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What Hat Are You Wearing? https://pension-consultants.com/what-hat-are-you-wearing/ Wed, 03 Oct 2018 20:00:43 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9177 In today’s organizations, many employees are asked to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. This is especially true when considering the management of a corporate retirement plan. To better understand what role each person plays in the management of a 401(k) (or any other corporate retirement plan), we have to understand what roles there are […]

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In today’s organizations, many employees are asked to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. This is especially true when considering the management of a corporate retirement plan. To better understand what role each person plays in the management of a 401(k) (or any other corporate retirement plan), we have to understand what roles there are to play.

There are three major players in the game of retirement plan management: The Settlor, The Plan Fiduciary, and The Day-to-Day Administrator. Each of those roles has a different set of responsibilities and makes decisions based on specific criteria.

It’s important to note that the following characteristics describe roles and responsibilities, not job titles. It’s possible (and common) for one person to bear the responsibilities of multiple roles, in addition to their regular job duties.

But what hat should you be wearing for each decision? And what happens when you have to wear more than one hat?

First, meet the Plan Sponsor: The plan sponsor, the organization or employer who chooses to offer a plan, typically bears the responsibilities of a named plan fiduciary as described above. However, the plan sponsor is also responsible to make non-fiduciary decisions. As you’ll see, the Plan Sponsor factors into each of the following roles.

Now, let’s take a look at each role.


Settlor (the Plan Sponsor)

Primary responsibility: The Settlor makes business decisions about the design of the plan.

Fiduciary responsibility: No.

Settlor decisions are key decisions about how the plan will be structured, and what impact the plan will have financially on the company.  These decisions about plan design are not considered fiduciary decisions, so the plan sponsor is free to consider the impact on the company as well as on the plan participants and make decisions that make good business sense. These decisions also don’t carry the liability that fiduciary decisions carry.

Settlor decisions include:

  • The type of plan offered and its options
  • Changing or eliminating plan options
  • Requiring, or changing the level of, employee contributions
  • Terminating all, or part, of a plan

In many organizations, tension exists between the desire to make plan decisions that benefit the participants and the plan sponsor/settlor’s desire to minimize costs to the company.  This is especially evident when the roles of settlor and fiduciary are taken on by one individual.


Plan Fiduciary

Primary Responsibility: The Fiduciary ensures that the implementation and management of the plan are in compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and the best interest of the plan’s participants and their beneficiaries.

Fiduciary responsibility: Yes.

Plan fiduciaries are responsible for making sure that the retirement plan serves the best interests of the participants and their beneficiaries. They are also responsible for ensuring that all plan documents are followed and compliant with ERISA, for diversifying plan investments, and for guarding against unreasonable plan expenses and unnecessary services.

Fiduciaries manage many transactional aspects of the plan, including making investment decisions, ensuring that employee contributions are deposited in a timely manner, and hiring third-party service providers.  Some company fiduciaries choose to take these responsibilities on themselves, and others hire advisors – who share or take over the fiduciary liability– to help with those decisions.

To properly manage these elements, fiduciaries need confidence that the plan they’re providing is truly operating for the benefit of participants. That confidence comes from a clear perspective on the investment performance, vendor fees, and employee retirement readiness associated with the plan, gained through clear and easy-to-understand reports from all service providers engaged.

Decisions made by fiduciaries – and co-fiduciaries, when they are hired by company fiduciaries – are held to a legal standard under The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which makes many stipulations as to how retirement plans are managed and who is responsible for management. Failure to comply with ERISA regulations when acting as a fiduciary can carry consequences ranging from monetary fines to jail time for violators.  Liability under ERISA extends to the individual fiduciary and their individual assets. These legal standards further increase the pressure on those bearing fiduciary responsibility.

Who is a fiduciary?

Anyone who exercises discretionary authority or responsibility about the administration of the plan, or management of the plan assets, is a fiduciary (whether or not they realize it, or officially accept the responsibility).  There are many individuals within an organization that may carry this responsibility, and they serve in diverse areas of responsibility within their companies. Each also brings a perspective specific to their primary job role that informs how they carry out the specific tasks related to their fiduciary responsibility.

Named Fiduciaries

Every plan must have a named fiduciary identified in the plan document. Designated by office, or by name, the named fiduciary is any person, corporation, or committee specifically noted as having fiduciary responsibility. For many plans, the plan sponsor is the named fiduciary, which increases liability risk for the company.  Some plans delegate a retirement plan committee to manage fiduciary decisions. Plan documents should clearly assign roles and responsibilities.

The named fiduciary has the authority to appoint others to assist with both fiduciary and non-fiduciary tasks. This appointment is often allowed within the plan document and can be made at the named fiduciary’s discretion.

The responsibilities of the named fiduciary include all of the duties listed under ERISA:

  • Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries, and only with the intent of providing benefits to them
  • Carrying out their duties in the same way that someone who is informed and understands retirement plans would (this is one of the primary reasons fiduciaries hire advisors)
  • Following all plan documents, as long as those documents are compliant with ERISA guidelines
  • Diversifying plan investments
  • Ensuring that the plan only pays reasonable expenses.

The named fiduciary also has the added responsibility of delegating responsibilities (both fiduciary and non-fiduciary) as necessary to administrators, trustees, advisors, etc.

Functional Fiduciaries

Any person who makes discretionary decisions about plan administration or asset management, or who gives investment advice regarding the plan assets in exchange for a fee, is considered a functional fiduciary, and is obligated to act as such. These people may be named in the plan documents, assigned by the named fiduciary, or voluntarily take on responsibilities that require them to use the discretionary authority that is the hallmark of a fiduciary task.

Some individuals may accidentally step into a role as a functional fiduciary by making a discretionary decision. For example: a staff member who makes a discretionary decision to correct a plan error is acting in a fiduciary capacity and is legally responsible for that decision and its outcomes.


Plan Administrator

Primary responsibility: The role of the Plan Administrator is to ensure that the plan is administered according to the regulations of the Pension Benefits Act and the plan design documents.

Fiduciary responsibility. Yes.

The role of the plan’s Administrator is to ensure that the plan is administered according to the regulations of the Pension Benefits Act and the plan design documents. The plan administrator is ultimately responsible for making sure the plan is carried out according to all appropriate regulations and documentation. The role may be designated in the plan documents (even assigned to the named fiduciary), or be assigned by the named fiduciary. If the plan document is silent on the subject, the plan sponsor is the plan administrator.

But here’s the thing: The responsibilities of plan administration are BOTH fiduciary and non-fiduciary in nature.

The fiduciary tasks assigned to the Plan Administrator include:

  • Authorization of distributions, loans, or plan transactions
  • Selection or monitoring of investments
  • The selection of plan service providers
  • Interpretation or enforcement of the terms of the plan
  • Decisions on claims of benefits

The administrative non-fiduciary responsibilities include:

  • Participant eligibility
  • Preparing participant communications
  • Preparing drafts of filings and maintaining records
  • Collecting and applying contributions
  • Processing claims
  • Participant orientation
  • Plan benefit statements
  • Making plan administration recommendations

The plan administrator may delegate any of the tasks above – to human resources, benefits, or finance staff members, or even to third-party service providers – but they are legally accountable for the work done. Additionally, anyone responsible for the aspects of administration that carry fiduciary responsibility is then considered a fiduciary to the extent that they exercise that discretionary authority.


Download our What Hat Are You Wearing Infographic Guide

 

How many hats do you wear?

In many organizations, the roles of plan management may overlap and people may be asked to wear more than one hat.  There’s nothing wrong with that, in theory, as long as those who need to can switch mindsets when necessary. However, it can cause some tension when one is asked to take on both roles. For example, one employee or committee may be asked to make both settlor decisions (which impact the company) and plan fiduciary decisions (which must be in the best interest of the participants). In these situations, it can be incredibly helpful to have an advisor, or co-fiduciary, to help ensure that participants are well served.

We can help

If you’re looking for confidence that you are fulfilling your fiduciary responsibilities and that your plan is serving your employees well, we can help! There are a host of resources on this site about what it means to be a plan fiduciary.

If you want confidence that your retirement plan is preparing your employees for a successful retirement, we can help with that too!  We’d love to unveil your plan’s performance – contact us at pensionconsultants@pension-consultants.com.

 

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Performance-Driven Method Earns National Ranking https://pension-consultants.com/performance-driven-method-earns-national-ranking/ Fri, 27 Jul 2018 14:45:40 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9094 Pension Consultants, Inc. is excited to announce that the firm has been named in Financial Advisor Magazine’s 2018 RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) ranking.  Pension Consultants ranked #88 of 275 ranked RIAs with more than $1 Billion Assets, and 707 total ranked RIAs. PCI’s intense focus on performance-driven retirement plan management has allowed us to differentiate […]

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Pension Consultants, Inc. is excited to announce that the firm has been named in Financial Advisor Magazine’s 2018 RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) ranking.  Pension Consultants ranked #88 of 275 ranked RIAs with more than $1 Billion Assets, and 707 total ranked RIAs.

PCI’s intense focus on performance-driven retirement plan management has allowed us to differentiate ourselves in an industry where true retirement plan performance, and its impact on the American worker’s ability to retire successfully and securely, are often obscured.

Executive Director Cody Mendenhall says, “Our mission is to improve the financial security of the American worker.  The best way we can accomplish that is by providing plan fiduciaries with confidence that they are providing a good plan for their employees.  A plan where the investment lineup outperforms an all index lineup, net of fees.  A plan where the plan fees are in the lower half of plans of similar size.  A plan where the employees projected retirement income is in the top half of plans in the employer’s industry. ”

PCI’s revolutionary approach to retirement plan management stakes our firm’s success on our client’s success, by making the firm’s fees dependent on the performance we provide our client’s plans. Using objective performance standards – uncommon in the financial advisor industry and virtually unheard of among plan advisors – we push our client’s plans toward top-performance using a corporate culture of performance that aligns employee and firm success with client success.

Financial Advisor, via the Investment Adviser Association, reports that RIAs managed more than $70 Trillion in assets in 2017.  4%, or 680, of those advisors, including Pension Consultants, manage assets of more than $1B. The assets managed by RIAs like Pension Consultants represent the hard-earned retirement savings of American workers who rely on advisors to help secure and grow their savings in preparation for future retirement. These workers, and the companies that employ them, deserve to be served by an advisory firm that keeps the participants’ best interest at the forefront of every decision.

Financial Advisor magazine is a top-ranked publication targeting professional financial advisors. FA’s annual ranking article and list are based on survey results, and discuss both the current state of and future predictions for registered investment advisors. To learn more about the Financial Advisor survey and rankings, visit the FA article.

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What Are YOUR Plan Performance Reports Telling You? https://pension-consultants.com/what-are-your-reports-telling-you/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 15:46:14 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9053 If you’ve been following along with our Top-Performing Plan blog series, or you viewed our three-part webinar series, you know that we believe that it’s essential for the retirement planning industry to hold itself to objective performance standards. They’re essential to help you, the fiduciary, understand exactly how your plan is performing. We’ve talked about […]

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If you’ve been following along with our Top-Performing Plan blog series, or you viewed our three-part webinar series, you know that we believe that it’s essential for the retirement planning industry to hold itself to objective performance standards. They’re essential to help you, the fiduciary, understand exactly how your plan is performing.

We’ve talked about how, as a fiduciary, you want confidence that you’re providing your employees with a good retirement plan. But we’ve also explained that many people’s idea of good just isn’t good enough. We believe that a good plan is a top-performing plan wherein 1) the investment lineup outperforms, 2) the plan fees are low, and 3) the employees are better prepared for retirement.

Today, we’re closing out the six-part series with a focus on the importance of clear and easy to understand reporting.


Why reporting is important

The reports a fiduciary receives regarding the retirement plan are often the only way they can track the plan’s performance. Whether it’s tracking investment returns, plan fees, or employee retirement readiness goals, a report’s role is to share current progress and compare that to past performance. It should be simple and transparent, showing whether or not your plan lineup is performing well. We cannot stress how crucial good reporting is to a fiduciary’s ability to manage the retirement plan!


The problem with current reporting

A recent CFA Institute survey[1] showed that investors want transparency in the way fees are disclosed, and reports that are simple and easy to understand. Unfortunately, that’s not what they’re getting.

We think that there are three primary issues with the way most retirement plan reports are currently put together:

  • They are complex and hard to understand.
  • They place too much emphasis on methodology and filler information.
  • They are not focused on the right metrics.

For example, it’s not uncommon for an investment monitoring report to be up to 200 pages long. Those pages are filled with fund descriptions, graphs, charts, dates and percentages.  These reports explain in significant detail how each fund is tracked, and what calculations are used to determine performance. While all of that information is important for advisors to monitor, the average fiduciary (who also has many other work responsibilities) just doesn’t have the time – or the knowledge – to dig through that information to try to find the actual performance indicators for their plan.


A better way

Your plan performance reports should tell the whole performance story in a simple and easy to understand format. We think good performance reports should clearly:

  • Indicate the performance standard (the benchmark)
  • Indicate your plan’s performance
  • Indicate the benchmark performance
  • Indicate if you are top-performing (your plan is better than the benchmark)

In our opinion, performance reports should be separate from the other tracking and monitoring information that is often included with them. A fiduciary should be able to tell quickly how that element of the plan is performing, and how that compares to the last report.

As a fiduciary, you have a duty to do what’s in the best interest of your employees. You oversee, and are responsible for, the plan you are delivering to employees. The quality of your plan performance reports is only as good as your ability to understand them. Setting objective and meaningful standards (and then understanding those clearly) will help you ensure your plan is performing well.

If your plan performance reports are complicated and hard to understand, or you would like confidence that your plan is performing, please contact us at pensionconsultants@pension-consultants.com. We’d be happy to unveil the true performance of your plan!

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Plan Fee Mistakes – FiduciaryNews Coverage https://pension-consultants.com/plan-fee-mistakes-fiduciarynews-coverage/ Thu, 07 Jun 2018 13:30:26 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9033 There is a broad discussion taking place – from advisors to news and information outlets – on how fiduciaries can gain and maintain confidence in their plan, get the best performance for their employees, and avoid making mistakes with costly, sometimes legal, repercussions.  Pension Consultants, Inc. is excited to be at the forefront of that […]

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There is a broad discussion taking place – from advisors to news and information outlets – on how fiduciaries can gain and maintain confidence in their plan, get the best performance for their employees, and avoid making mistakes with costly, sometimes legal, repercussions.  Pension Consultants, Inc. is excited to be at the forefront of that conversation, leading the push for objective performance standards and absolute transparency in retirement plan management.

Last week, Pension Consultants’ executive director Cody Mendenhall had the opportunity to share his perspective on the biggest mistakes plan fiduciaries make when it comes to plan fees. His thoughts are included in this June 5 article on FiduciaryNews.com, written by author Christopher Carosa: What Plan Sponsors Must Do to Avoid Liability from These 3 Common Fee Blunders.

Do you have a top-performing plan?

If you’re a fiduciary who could use more confidence in your plan’s performance, or you’d like to verify your plan’s performance, please contact us at pensionconsultants@pension-consultants.com, or 800.234.9584.

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Free lunch? We don’t think so https://pension-consultants.com/no-free-lunches/ Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:00:20 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9038 Investment performance seems like a simple thing to accomplish, right? Simply buy low, and sell high -easy. But it gets a little confusing, and more complicated, when things like asset classes, risk, investment account types (IRA, Roth, 401(k), qualified, non-qualified, etc.), and investment vehicles (mutual fund, ETF, stock, bond…) all come into play. Then, if […]

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Investment performance seems like a simple thing to accomplish, right? Simply buy low, and sell high -easy.

But it gets a little confusing, and more complicated, when things like asset classes, risk, investment account types (IRA, Roth, 401(k), qualified, non-qualified, etc.), and investment vehicles (mutual fund, ETF, stock, bond) all come into play.

Then, if you have great performance, there may be tax considerations as well. When these more confusing and complex topics enter into the picture, most people will head for an advisor – someone who they believe can give them confidence.

The news and headlines generated in the past few years by the (now defunct) DOL “Fiduciary Rule” shed light on some of the more unsavory parts of the financial services industry. People are now more aware than ever that an advisor does not legally need to have your best interest at heart (even though they absolutely should). However, another little industry “secret” has recently started to garner attention.

And, it could affect your investment performance even if you are working with an advisor in a fiduciary capacity.

We’ve all heard it said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” But to that, we’d add “unless you are a financial advisor”.

All-expenses-paid vacations, gourmet meals, and top-notch entertainment – offered as part of due diligence and research trips – are still pervasive in the industry. Advisors need access to information and processes surrounding the funds they’re considering for their clients. Often, for analysts, speaking to a mutual fund management team is an important way to gather insight and understand portfolio strategy. Fund managers, looking to gather assets, and increase the profile of their funds often provide that access. However, the context in which the access is provided may create a potential conflict of interest and ultimately affect your investment lineup performance.

The idea of reciprocity is as old as time – as humans, we are conditioned to respond in kind. These paid trips and luxurious entertainment will naturally generate goodwill toward the host, even if subconscious. And, though they’d deny it, we think that fund managers are counting on it.  But is that how you’d like your advisor to choose the best fund for your plan?

For investors, it is important to understand the due diligence that goes into each recommendation an advisor makes. When selecting investments, we stick to objective performance standards. We start with performance relative to a meaningful benchmark. Then, our analysis explores the drivers of that performance.

And yes, we do take those due diligence trips, but our firm pays for all expenses. We don’t take any chances – or liberties – with your plan’s performance.

If you are unsure of your plan’s true investment lineup performance and would like to find out, download THIS attached form and let us help you find out!

Want to learn more about these advisor “perks”? Check out the interesting article written by Jason Zweig for the Wall Street Journal.

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Pension Consultants Hosts Annual Pension Focus Conference https://pension-consultants.com/pension-focus-2019/ Mon, 04 Jun 2018 14:48:38 +0000 https://pension-consultants.com/?p=9003 Every year Pension Consultants, Inc. proudly sponsors Pension Focus Conference, hosted at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. Pension Focus Conference has a long-standing reputation for successfully providing fiduciary and plan sponsor audience members an outstanding educational experience that they can apply in their everyday roles. This year was no exception! This year’s […]

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Every year Pension Consultants, Inc. proudly sponsors Pension Focus Conference, hosted at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. Pension Focus Conference has a long-standing reputation for successfully providing fiduciary and plan sponsor audience members an outstanding educational experience that they can apply in their everyday roles. This year was no exception!

This year’s conference offered attendees an in-depth look at retirement plan performance and how they, as fiduciaries, can provide a top-performing retirement plan to their employees. Attendees gained full-scope perspective into how the retirement planning industry is shifting from a relationship-driven style to performance-driven outcomes.

This year’s speaker line up represented a significant breadth and depth of industry knowledge:

Mr. Chris Thixton, representing Pension Consultants, opened the first day and set the tone of the conference. Mr. Thixton walked audience members through a comprehensive look at the retirement planning industry’s history. He reviewed some major events that impacted the industry, and how that has caused the shift to where we are today: Performance.

Keynote speaker, Global Editor-in-Chief of PLANADVISER and PLANSPONSOR, Alison Cooke-Mintzer, took a big picture look at the retirement planning industry, focusing on overall employee retirement readiness and how to make the retirement plan perform for employees. Her session included a quantitative analysis of current retirement plan outcomes and features, and audience members saw some staggering statistics indicating a disconnect between how much employees should be saving and how much they are actually saving.

Dr. Rui Yao (University of Missouri) discussed the mass transition from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans, and how that has changed fiduciary liabilities when it comes to investment plan performance. Dr. Yao reviewed what retirement plan investment performance looks like and the factors that contribute to performance.

Dr. Raife Giovinazzo, with Fuller and Thaler Asset Management, Inc., presented a psychological approach to investing. Dr. Giovinazzo provided an engaging presentation on behavioral finance, discussing when investors are likely to make mistakes, what mistakes they are likely to make, how investors tend to react to certain situations, and how to apply those behavioral lessons when investing for retirement plans.

Conference regular, and expert in employee benefits law, Mr. Brandon Long (McAfee & Taft) provided a candid lesson on understanding retirement plan fee performance. He explained how choosing and monitoring vendors, and managing plan fee performance is crucial to fulfilling fiduciary duties.

The conference also offered two interactive workshop sessions. Mr. Keith Peters (Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather) led one workshop focusing on fiduciary responsibility. He provided several fact patterns that helped the audience understand what it means to be a fiduciary and how to cope with the liabilities it brings. Our second workshop was led by Mr. John Utz, partner at Utz & Lattan, who reviewed best practices and common errors when it comes to plan administration. He led an open discussion with the audience and walked them through strategies on how to handle many day-to-day administration scenarios.

In addition to the stellar speaker line up, Pension Focus added a new interactive element. For the first time, the conference was hosted by a Master of Ceremonies! Mr. Jeff Houghton, host of The Mystery Hour, brought energy and entertainment, engaging attendees in improve games and bringing a comedic breath of fresh air to the conference.

Pension Focus 2018 was an overwhelming success, providing fiduciaries with the opportunity to grow their knowledge of retirement plan performance. We look forward to continuing the dialogue on performance next year.

Mark your calendars for May 9-10th, 2019. You won’t want to miss it!

If you have any questions about Retirement Plan Performance or Pension Focus Conference, contact us at 800.234.9584 or pensionconsultants@Pension-consultants.com!

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