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.
Plan Design Consulting
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.
There are many different ways recordkeepers can charge for their services. Base fees, per participant fees, asset-based fees and revenue sharing are all allowable arrangements. Knowing how your recordkeeper is compensated and how much they are earning isn’t always as easy as it seems. And don’t forget about investment expenses. Often the largest component of a plan’s total cost, investment management fees can have a big impact on your participant’s returns. By reviewing vendor service agreements and fee disclosure notices, we can help you better understand the true cost of your plan so you know the fees you pay are competitive and reasonable.
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.
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
Provider Oversight & 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 know if your plan meets both requirements is to occasionally benchmark the plan’s recordkeeping fees. We assist employers of all sizes in obtaining quotes from multiple providers so you have a greater understanding of your current pricing and how it compares. An informal Request for Information (RFI) can be submitted to collect recordkeeping quotes or a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process can be pursued to take a deeper dive into provider capabilities.
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.
Investment Selection & Monitoring
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.
Retirement plans require prudent governance by plan sponsors and fiduciaries. As part of our relationship, we employ a comprehensive plan management process designed to improve the health of your retirement plan and strengthen the ability of plan fiduciaries to operate in accordance with ERISA and plan documents.