4 Tips for Plan Fiduciaries During These Interesting Times

This type of drastic change should make you wonder, do I have everything ”in order” and do I have the right protection levels built-in.  We have talked about this many times, but as a sponsor of a retirement plan, there are distinct fiduciary responsibilities that you want to make sure you are on top of during this time; while also ensuring your employees are getting the help they need to make informed decisions.

 

The Adcock Financial Group acts as a fiduciary to all of its plans.  Our job is to help act as an extension of your HR team in fulfilling some of these important duties.  Establishing sound processes around your plan can help protect you and lead to better retirement outcomes.  Here are a few you should make sure you have in place:

 

- Investment Policy Statement-

It’s critical to have a method for monitoring your plan's investments to identify when you should take action to replace underperforming funds and understand the risk associated with those funds.  It’s important to use an independent analysis to support and compare to your provider's investment reporting so that you remove any conflicts of interest providers may have in keeping their own funds in a plan.  When you do this, document your process.

 

- Review Cash Alternatives-  

With interest rates at an all-time low, the one investment that you can almost assure employees will lose money in is a 401k money market.  Once the investment expense is factored in the interest may no longer be enough to cover it leading to a loss.  Review the other options that are available to your plan that might credit a larger amount and offer more of a safe haven for employees looking to protect their assets.  Make sure you understand how you can exit these plan options as some may have hidden expenses and time constraints. Instead of …Many have some hidden “I got you’s” in them.  

 

- Target Date Funds-

Not all target date funds are the same or have the same plan for how they should be used. Unfortunately, many plan sponsors and employers pick the funds based on fees or performance, not on outcomes.  The change in interest rates and the volatile markets may change your paradigm on what target date strategies should be made available to your plan.  Remember, the DOL “recommends” you do this and document this anyways to get safe harbor protection.  If you aren’t you could be in trouble.

 

- Creating a Robust Education Plan-

Many employees have a lot of uncertainty around their 401(k) and what steps they should be taking at this time but with most employees not coming into the office or with the practice of social distancing, how do you provide education to your employees.  These are the critical moments where most investors make mistakes.  Have a game plan for helping your employees make informed decisions.  Adcock Financial Group’s dedicated Education Team can provide virtual strategies to help reach your employees most effectively.

 

We know this volatility leaves some questions around many areas including your 401(k) plan. First, it is important that you build a foundation of sound processes around your plan and to document them.  Then remember this plan is for your employees and helping prepare them for successful retirement outcomes.  Having a dedicated retirement plan advisor team can help you do these things so that you can focus on the other areas of your business that are critical in times like this.  

 

If have questions we can help you address, The Adcock Financial Group is here to help you Experience Something Greater.  

 

Sincerely,

H. Brian Adcock

(813) 935-4091 x 230

www.adcockfinancial.com

 

 

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. Adcock Financial Group is a member firm of PartnersFinancial. Kestra IS and Kestra AS are not affiliated with Adcock Financial Group or PartnersFinancial.

 

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