Assisting clients in developing and maintaining
high-quality plans for participants.
We help our clients prudently monitor all aspects of their plan, including investment managers, recordkeepers, and participant education service providers. We develop objective processes to help clients select recordkeepers and measure the work they provide to the plan and its participants.
Conducting a vendor search can be a detailed, time-intensive process. If the vendor search warrants the selection of a new vendor, the conversion process requires significant planning time and may have a dramatic impact on the participant-user experience. A properly guided vendor search and implementation may result in:
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires retirement plan fiduciaries to ensure that all fees paid out of the retirement plan are reasonable in light of the services rendered. Plan sponsors are not required to purchase services from the lowest bidder, but they must be able to demonstrate a deliberative process by which the reasonableness of applicable fees is regularly considered. The topic of fee reasonableness has become a critical Department of Labor focal point since the late 2000s, making it important for plan sponsors to be able to articulate the process by which fiduciaries conclude that all plan fees are reasonable considering relevant facts and circumstances.
Multnomah Group provides plan specific fee benchmarking analysis to assist our clients in meeting the fee reasonableness standard. We use proprietary market pricing data to estimate the fee range specified in our analysis report.
Our goals in providing the annual fee benchmarking analysis to our clients are as follows:
The most crucial element of any retirement benefit plan is how successfully and efficiently it drives benefits to its participants. Multnomah Group’s consultants and subject matter specialists have a wealth of experience in designing all types of qualified and non-qualified retirement benefit and incentive programs. In our work with clients, we have found the design of the retirement plan to be the primary determinant of a plan’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, many employers choose to focus on the rate and methodology of the employer contribution, while neglecting other factors that have an equivalent impact. Features such as negative enrollment, automatic escalation, and plan leakage affect participant success as much as contribution rate and methodology. We assist plan sponsors in evaluating the design of their plan with a lens focused on all the aspects of design that impact their employee population.
A: Each year we provide a plan-specific fee benchmarking analysis to assist our clients in meeting the fee reasonableness standard. We use proprietary market pricing data to inform the fee range specified in our benchmarking report. Further, our analysis provides a summary of both investment management and plan service fees, which typically include recordkeeping, administration, employee education, communication, and compliance services.
Our goals in providing the annual fee benchmarking analysis to our clients include:
Our process for helping clients determine the reasonableness of fees promotes the likelihood of the best possible outcomes for plan participants.
A: Multnomah Group has developed a vendor search process designed to match the specific needs of our clients with vendors in the marketplace. Because our consultants have prior experience working for, or with, recordkeeping firms, we are able to better understandthe capabilities, deficiencies, and how to interpret responses compared to other consultants who lack this experience. Importantly, we are an independent firm, and we can assist the Committee in reviewing the entire spectrum of vendors. The process we have developed to reviewvendors focuses on multiple distinct areas of competence, including:
After a vendor is selected, we will provide guidance to the Committee related to vendor service agreement deliverables and assistance in the conversion process from vendor to vendor. In this role, we manage a distinct conversion process to help ensure that the transition and communication campaign aredelivered on time and consistent with the terms of the sales process.
Lead Benefit Analyst
Generally, we believe there are five areas where recordkeeping vendors have tried to monetize their relationship with retirement plans: proprietary investment management, managed accounts, IRA rollovers, cross-selling retail financial products, and annuitization.
In this paper, we take a closer look at each of these five approaches.
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