Retirement Plan Consulting
The Difference With Axia Advisory
We provide a full range of advisory services to organizations and their plan fiduciaries, and we explicitly acknowledge our role and responsibility as a co-fiduciary. In this role, we take a holistic view in improving plan performance and plan participant retirement readiness.
Retirement Plans require prudent governance by plan sponsors and fiduciaries. As part of our relationship, we employ a comprehensive practice development process designed to improve the health of retirement plans, and strengthen the ability of plan fiduciaries to operate in accordance with ERISA and plan documents.
Plan Design Review
An effective retirement plan begins with a sound plan design strategy. Each element of design can impact your plan – from investments to recordkeeping, from compliance to communication. We will conduct a thorough plan design analysis to find ways to improve the overall experience for both plan sponsor and plan participants. Through this process, we are able to construct a design that meets your company’s objectives.
As a foundation of our consulting practice, we strive to enhance participant outcomes, manage and control risk, and limit liability through a quantitative and qualitative approach to evaluating and monitoring investments. Through our collaborative construction of your plan’s Investment Policy Statement, our firm provides a process to selecting and monitoring investment strategies that utilizes a well-documented methodology.
These reviews of the plan’s investments allow Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries to offer a better suite of options to their participants, helping them improve the outcomes. To learn more about our Investment Management Consulting Capabilities, click here.
Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) Consulting
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows Plan Sponsors to adopt automatic enrollment in which employees “opt-out” of plan participation rather than “opt-in.” When automatic enrollment is adopted, a plan can obtain Safe Harbor relief from fiduciary liability for investment outcomes as long as defaulted contributions are invested in a “qualified default investment alternative” (QDIA). The selection of an appropriate QDIA can have a profound effect on the overall performance of the plan and the success of participants meeting their retirement goals.
We assist plan sponsors in the selection, construction, and monitoring of appropriate QDIA strategies and assist with their communication to plan participants. Whether your plan desires off-the-shelf products, asset allocation strategies comprised of core investment options, or the customization of collective investment funds or unitized managed accounts, we can help construct a QDIA that fits the needs of your organization and participants.
Provider Management and Search Capabilities
Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries have a responsibility to ensure that the plan’s fees are “ERISA reasonable” and “Marketplace Competitive.” The only way to make sure is to benchmark the plan’s fees in relation to the services received and we can help with this. We are able to assist in understanding and evaluating current fees (along with revenue sharing) and services, by helping Plan Sponsors have a greater understanding of the current plan and how it compares.
Our work continues well beyond the plan’s implementation. We reassess the plan constantly as well as conduct formal plan benchmarks every three to four years, or as major changes occur. We take the lead in working with the plan providers, so Fiduciaries and Plan Sponsors can focus on other important matters.
Your employees are the most important part of your company, and it is your responsibility to continuously educate and engage them. We help you by offering a complete package of financial wellness solutions:
- Group and individual employee education seminars
- Employee communication strategies
- Asset allocation and investment guidance
- Financial planning guidance
- Educational employee memos
We also gather feedback from participants and plan sponsors through surveys and discussions so we can continually improve the educational impact on all. Building an effective retirement plan for your firm cannot be done just by analyzing data and assessing research, it requires partnering with you to deliver the services you need.