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401k Plan Sponsor Encourages Vendor Meetings

401k Plan Sponsor Encourages Vendor Meetings

401k plan sponsor meetings with providers and vendors will ultimately benefit the retirement plan participants.  A good plan sponsor needs to understand as much as they can concerning the products, services, and contracts associated with the plan service providers.  At the conclusion of a TPSU fiduciary education session held at Virginia Tech in Arlington, Virginia, The Plan Sponsor University Founder and CEO, Fred Barstein, spoke with Holly who works at a Mid-size Trade Association in Washington, DC.  Holly Cannon works with the 40k plan advisor and vendors and she is a strong proponent of reading and comprehending service contracts.  In doing so, Ms. Cannon feels that she is well positioned to hold vendors and advisors accountable for the services and results within the 401k plan.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein:
Fred Barstein with 401k TV, here in Arlington, Virginia, where we just completed a TPSU Program. I am here with Holly, who sat through the whole day. Thank you for that. Welcome, Holly. Okay if we ask you a few questions?

Holly:
Certainly.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. Before we do, a little bit about yourself and the size of your organization.

Holly:
My name is Holly, I’m with a mid-sized trade association in Washington, DC.

Fred Barstein:
So, it’s a 403B?

Holly:
401K.

Fred Barstein:
Oh, it’s a 401K. Great. One of the things you talked about and mentioned, which I thought is really important for our audience to hear is, holding your provider, vendors, accountable, and asking them to be co-fiduciary’s so, what does that mean to you? Holding them accountable?

Holly:
I think it’s important for you to understand and read the contracts that you have with your vendors. I want to understand what I can expect. I want to ask for what it’s in the contract. I’d like to really ensure that that vendor is a partner with us. It’s really very very important for that vendor to share fiduciary responsibility. I think when they do, they are able, and more willing, to rise to the occasion for us.

Fred Barstein:
A lot of people don’t realize how much resources, or how much they might be willing to spend with you. Have you ever had a time where you really reached out and your vendor was responsible for you?

Holly:
I try and meet with my vendors regularly. When I come on board with an organization, or we get a new vendor, I like to establish regular communication. Even if it’s just a short check in to make sure everything’s going well. They need to understand who we are, and I think time and exposure the organization, really helps them understand us. It gives us an opportunity to explain and articulate our needs, which gives them a better opportunity to meet those needs.

Fred Barstein:
Most of them are more than happy. Actually, they love that you’re doing that, right?

Holly:
Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
Plus, all the tools that they have and they’ll tell you about that, once they know your needs.

Holly:
And if you meet with them regularly, they might have added something since the last time, or since the time you signed your contract, so it gives them an opportunity to show how they can add value to you as well.

Fred Barstein:
That’s great. They love showing off their new tools.

Holly:
Absolutely.

Fred Barstein:
And they’re great. Really good. Final question, a couple of things, maybe, that you picked up today that you want to take back?

Holly:
I really feel happy that we were benchmarked to the best practices on the plan. We are preparing to do an RFP, so I really got a lot out of that conversation.

Fred Barstein:
For your new record keeper?

Holly:
Yes. [crosstalk 00:02:47] Absolutely. Really helpful information about how to approach it, and what things are important.

Fred Barstein:
Very good. Thanks for your time today. And thank you for watching 401K TV. Stay tuned.

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