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401k Plan Advisor Role and Duties

401k Plan Advisor Role and Duties

401k plan advisor roles are not always clearly defined.  This is especially true for company employees who are new fiduciaries or newly appointed members of a retirement plan committee.  It is just not simple for fiduciaries to immediately know exactly what the 401k plan advisor role should encompass.  At the conclusion of a Plan Sponsor University (TPSU) Fiduciary Education Program held at a San Jose State University in San Jose, California, TPSU Founder and CEO, Fred Barstein spoke with Rhonda, a TPSU Program attendee. As Chief Human Resources Officer at her 115-employee organization, Rhonda shares the oversight responsibility for overall 401k plan administration.  One of the business partner relationships she would like to better understand is the 401k plan advisor role.  Due to the multiple business partners who are involved with every 403b or 401k retirement plan, it is difficult to know where the lines-are-drawn for roles and responsibilities.  Watch to learn how Rhonda plans to move forward to better understand the 401k plan advisor role.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
This is Fred Barstein with 401kTV in beautiful San Jose, where we just completed a TPSU program at San Jose State University. I’m here with Ronda. Welcome, Rhonda.

Rhonda:
Thank you.

Fred Barstein:
Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Rhonda:
Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
Okay. Before we do, tell us a little bit about yourself and the size of your organization.

Rhonda:
Yes. I’m a chief human resource officer for an organization that has approximately 115 employees.

Fred Barstein:
Great. Today, one of the topics that we brought up, and we always bring up, is about advisors. You had, I thought, a really good question. What was your question?

Rhonda:
My question was what is the real role of an advisor and what should they be doing? And what does that differentiate from the record keeper? Because I’m not that familiar of each role and what to expect from them.

Fred Barstein:
Right. Why is this important? Why did you bring that question up?

Rhonda:
Because in our organization I’m actually new into this function and so I want to learn about what each of them is supposed to do so I know what to expect from them and what I should be doing in my role to make sure that they’re doing their role.

Fred Barstein:
What are you going to do when you get back?

Rhonda:
Well, immediately go back and find out who is this responsible and what are they doing for us? And what they recommend for us to create our committee and to move forward in this process and make sure we’re doing all our compliance requirements.

Fred Barstein:
Do some due diligence.

Rhonda:
Yes, absolutely. Due diligence and going through and making sure that we have everything in line and that we’re doing the best we can for our participants.

Fred Barstein:
And you can use your common sense. Right?

Rhonda:
Yes, absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
You don’t have to be an Arista expert.

Rhonda:
Nope, and I’m definitely not.

Fred Barstein:
Right. None of us are.

Rhonda:
Yes.

Fred Barstein:
Maybe I am. A couple of things you picked up you want to do when you get back to the office?

Rhonda:
Yeah, immediately go back and check into our plan and create a committee.

Fred Barstein:
Very good.

Rhonda:
Looking at the process for making sure that we’re doing all of our compliance, and then, like I said, identifying a little bit about our investments. Seeing what we’re doing right.

Fred Barstein:
For all our perspective, 401k stars, this was not hard, right?

Rhonda:
Oh, not hard at all.

Fred Barstein:
Okay, very good. So, we encourage you all to do it when we come to our TPSU program.

Rhonda:
Yep, [crosstalk 00:02:07]

Fred Barstein:
Thank you very much. Thanks for your time today.

Rhonda:
Thank you. It was a pleasure.

Fred Barstein:
Thank you for watching 401kTV. Stay tuned.

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