Chris Thixton, QPA, C(k)P® On the Road to Educate Fiduciaries about Offering a Rewarding Retirement

Chris Thixton, principal with Pension Consultants, Inc., is returning as Adjunct Lecturer for upcoming The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) training programs. He will provide retirement plan fiduciaries with education about overseeing plans that prepare participants to retire on time with dignity. TPSU offers a comprehensive retirement plan certification program for business owners, benefits specialists, and employer fiduciaries.


Mr. Thixton, QPA, C(k)P®, will be lecturing on what it means for plan fiduciaries to offer a rewarding retirement for their participants, companies, and communities. In his session, he will walk through the honor and challenges fiduciaries face and offer insights to help you effectively manage and measure your plan. He will provide the tools to learn whether your participants are on track to retire on time with dignity, and what you can do to put them there.


In addition to the great learning experience, participants who attend these half-day training programs earn 5 hours of CPE with NASBA, and 5 hours SHRM and HRCI continuing education credits! There is no cost to attend.


Mr. Thixton will be lecturing at the following sessions in August-September 2020:

  • 8-27-2020 – University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • 9-1-2020 – Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
  • 9-2-2020 – University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • 9-15-2020 – Washington University, St. Louis, MO

If you are a retirement plan fiduciary in these areas, register for this great educational experience! You don’t want to miss this opportunity! 


We hope to see you in August and September! Visit The Plan Sponsor University’s registration website here:




Dear Fiduciary, Why Fiduciary Focus Conference?

A Message from the Fiduciary Focus Team

2020 Fiduciary Focus Conference has been cancelled.

Thank you for your interest in Fiduciary Focus Conference. We made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s conference, but safety is our top priority. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your patience.

However, it’s not all bad news! We have CONFIRMED the dates for 2021 Fiduciary Focus Conference. Be sure to mark your calendars and save the date! The conference will be held on May 20-21, 2021 at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. We hope to see you there!

Our team is available any time to answer questions, comments, or concerns. Please visit to reach us.

Fiduciary Focus Conference (previously Pension Focus) has been held annually in Branson, Missouri since 1996. It was created specifically to provide the specialized education fiduciaries need, not just to fulfill their obligations, but to achieve their maximum positive impact. Many attendees return year after year, having come to expect a quality event with timely information and good speakers. But, for those who haven’t attended before, I would like to share why Fiduciary Focus Conference is a good investment of time and money.

Fiduciaries Are Vital to Employees and Companies

We have all seen 401(k) and 403(b) plans become the primary retirement savings vehicle for most Americans. These plans are managed by a group of often unseen and unsung individuals, their fiduciary committee members. As a fiduciary, you are responsible for making the decisions that impact millions of peoples’ lives. If you do your job well, a good plan will contribute positively to the lives of employees, their families, and their community. A poorly managed plan will not. Whether a corporate retirement plan is good or not is a direct result of the skill of the fiduciary committee members.

For employees, a good plan will put them on a path to retire at their accustomed lifestyle at an expected retirement age. A rewarding retirement is the ultimate desire of most employees after a lifetime of work. However, retirement is not an employee’s only benefit from a good corporate retirement plan. During their accumulation years, the build-up of savings contributes significantly to their feeling of financial security.

Employers benefit from a good plan, too. As employees build financial security, they frequently become more productive at work. Financial stress is a leading cause of distraction at work. A study by the consulting firm Mercer pegged the cost of employee financial insecurity at $250 billion annually in terms of lost productivity. A good retirement plan can go a long way toward reversing that damage.

Additionally, employers benefit when workers are able to retire on time. As older employees leave the workforce, younger employees have more advancement opportunities. The employer will benefit as the younger worker is often lower on the pay scale. Also, with greater advancement opportunities, younger workers are more likely to stay with their employer. This can reduce turnover and save the employer more money.

Specialized Information from Experts

Fiduciary Focus Conference is specifically designed for fiduciary committee members. It is a time to receive training that can ultimately produce the desired results for your plan’s participants. Since all plan fiduciaries are responsible for duties at work aside from their plan committee duties, it is a unique time to focus on this important work.

Each year, the conference board and facilitators arrange for speakers and topics that are relevant and impactful. The conference is held over two days (from noon to noon) at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake, in Branson, Missouri. The environment is professional but relaxed.

One thing you won’t find at Fiduciary Focus Conference is exhibitors. In fact, the conference only has one sponsor, Pension Consultants, Inc. (PCI). PCI helped launch the conference in 1996 and has been sponsoring it each year since.

As a result of PCI’s approach to business integrity, no other money is solicited from plan service providers or investment companies. Therefore, you will not be encouraged to walk by booths or talk to sales people. In fact, speakers are not allowed to make pitches either.

It’s why so many people that attend Fiduciary Focus Conference return each year. I hope you will make plans to join us. I look forward to seeing you there.

Brian Allen, CFP®

Brian Allen is the Founder and Chairman of Pension Consultants Inc. (PCI), based in Springfield, Missouri. He has been advocating for transparency and results-based management for defined contribution plans since founding PCI in 1994.

2020 Fiduciary Focus Conference Registration Now Open!

A Message from the Fiduciary Focus Team

2020 Fiduciary Focus Conference has been cancelled.

Thank you for your interest in Fiduciary Focus Conference. We made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s conference, but safety is our top priority. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your patience.

However, it’s not all bad news! We have CONFIRMED the dates for 2021 Fiduciary Focus Conference. Be sure to mark your calendars and save the date! The conference will be held on May 20-21, 2021 at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. We hope to see you there!

Our team is available any time to answer questions, comments, or concerns. Please visit to reach us.

We are excited to announce that registration is now OPEN for 2020 Fiduciary Focus Conference!

Every year, Pension Consultants, Inc. proudly sponsors Fiduciary Focus Conference, the premier educational experience for retirement plan fiduciaries. The conference has a longstanding reputation for providing attendees with insight and experience to use in their roles. This conference is designed for fiduciaries who want to succeed in their critical function by providing GOOD PLANS for their employees and companies.

What’s New at Fiduciary Focus Conference this year?

This year’s conference is focused on results, and how fiduciaries can discover new ways to oversee their plans to provide those results. This year will feature industry experts from all areas of retirement plans who work with fiduciaries every day. They’ll cover how your role as a fiduciary shapes your plan’s success, break down the different areas of plan performance, and explain how fiduciaries can gain confidence that the plans they oversee are ahead of the curve!

In addition to an outstanding schedule and presenter lineup, the conference has added new onsite features and a conference app. Conference attendee also have the opportunity to receive continuing education credits from 7 providers related to the fiduciary role. New in 2020, Fiduciary Focus Conference is a SHRM Recertification Provider!

Fiduciary Focus Conference is a can’t-miss experience for every retirement plan fiduciary. Now is the time to register! Register on or before April 10th, 2020 to get the early bird special. Bring your entire fiduciary committee. Book together to receive a great group discount. Conference agenda and speakers will be announced soon. Don’t miss out – save your seat below.

If you would like to learn more about Fiduciary Focus Conference, visit!

Join us there: May 7-8, 2020, at Chateau on the Lake, in Branson, MO!


Pension Consultants Hosts 2019 Fiduciary Focus Conference

Every year Pension Consultants, Inc. proudly sponsors Fiduciary Focus Conference, hosted at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri. Since 1996, Fiduciary Focus Conference (formerly Pension Focus Conference) has successfully provided fiduciary committee members valuable insight on how they can have confidence that the plan they offer to their employees is truly a GOOD one. This year was no exception!

This year, Fiduciary Focus Conference really honed in on topics that are critical to the conference’s fiduciary-based audience, as well as their roles and responsibilities in service to their plans. Audience members were able to experience hands-on training and engage in scenario-driven educational sessions. Additionally, this year’s speaker line-up represented a significant breadth and depth of industry knowledge from every area of retirement plan management. Speakers presented on several different topics and facilitated an open dialogue that helped fiduciaries be more prepared to make decisions that will help improve their plan’s outcomes and give them the confidence to know their plan is a good one.

Opening the first day and setting the tone of the conference, Mr. Chris Thixton, QPA, C(K)P® (Pension Consultants, Inc.), walked audience members through a comprehensive look at what a GOOD retirement plan looks like. He dove into the three qualities of a good plan: plan’s investment lineup, fees paid by the plan, and employee’s retirement readiness. He discussed how each of those areas should be measured to provide a clear plan performance picture, as well as what to measure those three qualities against – a relative, objective benchmark.  

Experts in employee benefits law Mr. Eric Namee, JD (Hinkle Law Firm LLC), and Ms. Felicia Finston, JD (Wilkins Finston Friedman Law Group), caught us up on current legal issues and regulatory updates in interactive breakout sessions. They worked with audience members through hands-on case studies and real world scenarios, walking them through common legal issues fiduciaries should be aware of. Some topics that were discussed in those sessions include: fiduciary decision-making and oversight, plan administration, vendor and fee management, employee relation issues, etc.

Thursday was rounded off with National Spokesperson with MassMutual Workplace Solutions, Mr. Tom Foster, JD. Mr. Foster led a discussion about the economic and financial value of the retirement plan. He presented strategies to help participants retire, reviewed the current state of the retirement plan business and how it’s evolving, as well as look at how to take action and make effective fiduciary decisions that result in positive outcomes.

The conference opened Friday’s breakfast session with Mr. Brian Allen, CFP® interviewing industry research expert Dr. Rui Yao, CFP® (University of Missouri), on current industry research findings and her perspective of the future of the industry. In this session, Dr. Yao presented staggering results that most retirement plan investment lineups are not performing well. The research has unveiled the need for the plan adviser industry to focus on performance.  

Friday concluded with the conference speakers reconvening for the Conference Faculty Panel, where audience members had a chance to ask the expert panel questions they had throughout the sessions.

Followed by the panel discussion, we broke out into our newly added session, the Fiduciary Roundtable Discussion. This brand new interactive workshop brought together all of the fiduciary audience to discuss the current state of their plans – the things that are going well and the things that may need improvement. 

Led by Pension Consultants, Inc.’s team, this session gave attendees potential actions or decisions they could make to influence the outcomes of their plan’s performance.

The first official Fiduciary Focus Conference was a resounding success, providing fiduciaries with the opportunity to grow their knowledge and gain confidence that the decisions they make on behalf of their employees them to having a GOOD plan.

Ready to Save the Date for 2020 Fiduciary Focus Conference? Visit HERE to add a calendar reminder for conference hosted on MAY 7 & 8, 2020! Or, visit conference website to learn more! 


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