Interview Questions for a Potential 401(k) Retirement Plan Advisor:
Here is a checklist of some interview questions you might want to ask;
What is your / your teams experience?
what happens if you quit, die, leave the business?
How often do you hold regular meetings with plan sponsors?
We will meet with plan sponsor annually; to review plan performance relative to objectives, provide ERISA updates that might affect plan objectives, point out any legislation or changes that might be beneficial to plan.
How would you help develop or review our Investment Policy Statement (IPS)?
Although plan sponsors aren’t required to have one, the IPS defines the Plans investment objectives and establishes policy and procedures so that these objectives can be met in a prudent manneR, and ensures that the assets will be managed in compliance with ERISA and other applicable laws. The IPS will be created with and approved by the compny’s Investment committee and reviewed annually.
How often would you check that our investment options line up with our IPS?
Plan Advisor and IC will review policy periodically to ensure it continues to reflect the plans objectives and meets the needs of plans participants. Changes to this policy are expected to be infrequent, as they will reflect long term considerations, rather than short term changes in the market.
How will you provide investment education for plan participants?
CFP professional will schedule time to be onsite at employer location(s) to meet with participants via group / one-on-one to (1) educate on plan benefits and options, (2) ensure participants are able to navigate website, research, and make changes, and (3) ensure each participant has an individual plan to get on track for retirement. Annually.
How would you help us meet the §408(b)(2) fee disclosure rules? Waiting for answer from Kandace)
How often do you review fees of the plan’s fund managers? Fees are reviewed annually when the IPS is reviewed, or as material fund events occur during the year.
What process do you have for disclosing management fees to participants? Our 401(k) services, fees and finds are transparent; full disclosure will be communicated to plan sponsor and participants.
What is your process for ensuring investment fees are “reasonable” as mandated? Investment fees are considered during creation of IPS and during periodic reviews. We will also look at industry benchmark/ best share class availabl
Who are your other service providers that would work with us? Employee Fiduciary will provides TPA and record keeping, Matrix custody, and what ever finds
What would be the exact level of the provider’s fiduciary responsibilities/liabilities?
What are your policies for handling rollovers brought by previous plan participants? The plan may accept a rollover contribution made on behalf of any eligible employee. Previous employee?
What expertise do you or your providers have on ERISA and plan administration? Our administrator EF Founded was in 2004, and currently administers more than 3,000 small business 401(k) plans in all 50 states, serving more than 70,000 participants with nearly $3 billion in assets.
There are so many fund share classes, how do you evaluate them for different plans? Simple, because our fees are based on employee headcount, not assets, we always offer the best (lowest cost) fund share class available.
Do you have Errors & Omissions (E&O) liability coverage that specifically covers ERISA-based retirement plans?
Would you bring in a Third Party Administrator (TPA)? Yes, when hired to provide a comprehensive 401(k) plan we will partner with Employee Fiduciary, LLC to deliver TPA services including maintaining plan document for compliance with the law, completing non-discrimination testing (as applicable), preparing signature ready Form 5500, and other annual notices as required.
Would the TPA provide mostly basic administrative services, or do they possess more specific expertise, such as analyzing plan designs to save taxes for highly compensated employees? (Ask EF)
Would the fees for the TPA’s services be fair and reasonable per mandates? TPA fees are transparent and provided to plan sponsor annually.