Industry Missing Mark on Employer Fiduciary Concerns

Employers pushed to the background amid fiduciary rule positioning

401Ktv iMAGEWhile the DC industry is hyper focused on the DOL’s fiduciary rule and how it will affect their respective business models whether they are advisor, BD or record keeper, somebody might want to check in with what employers think. Smaller and mid-size plan sponsors are watching on the sidelines with perhaps prurient interest as I reported on NAPA Net.

Here’s what concerns me: if we are so hyper focused on rules, how do we then turn around and tell plan sponsors to focus on outcomes and doing the right thing rather than just follow the rules. After all, you can have a crappy plan that complies. Not hearing a lot about leadership and stewardship – more about hardship.

Also, plan sponsors are more concerned whether their advisor is helping them comply with all rules and laws fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities rather than whether the advisor has approval from their broker dealer or carries a designation that declares that they can act as a fiduciary. WIIFM.

The DC industry’s perception is often based on flawed or biased research sponsored by providers, outdated assumptions and mega market plans to understand the concerns of smaller and mid-size DC plans. Maybe we should spend more time listening which has been eye-opening to me after attending 60 TPSU programs the past two years.


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