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Plan Sponsor Education is Important for Plan Success

Plan Sponsor Education is Important for Plan Success

Plan sponsor education and plan design are each vitally important to plan fiduciaries.  Taxes also play a prominent role in overseeing the financials for qualified retirement plans.  Can a plan sponsor obtain assistance in overseeing Taxes, Investments, Plan Design and participant education all at a single firm?   At the conclusion of a fiduciary education session held at Stanford University, in Stanford California, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), Fred Barstein, spoke with Mark Laughton, Vice President at Quintes. Quintes oversees compliance, design and investments for approximately one billion dollars in retirement plan assets. Mr. Laughton stressed the importance of plan participant education and plan sponsor education.

Full Transcript Here

Fred Barstein with 401K TV. Just completed a TPSU program at Stanford and here with our lecturer Mark Laughton, welcome Mark. Mark is at Quentis, which is in central Salinas, California. His firm is both those compliance consulting, advisory work. They have hundreds of plans and almost a billion dollars under management and or that they’re doing compliance work for. Okay if we ask you a few questions today?


So tell us a little bit about your firm and what you do and how you engage with your clients.

So, we’re based in Salinas, California and we serve clients from the Monterey area all the way up to the San Francisco Bay area.


In that, we’re unique in the sense that we’re providing as you said both compliance so the 5500 compliance consulting, along with the financial advisory role as well. And so, in that we feel like we’re able to help the plan sponsor, in everything from the compliance side, to the investment side along with helping the most important people in the plan which is the participants.

Sure. And so, I know that you have a big emphasis on education, so how do you engage with your clients on education?

So, we meet with them in both group and one on one settings, typically what we do, we like to keep those group meetings very short. There’s a study that I read a while back that said that even if somebody’s engaged, it’s hard for them to stay engaged longer than 27 minutes at a time.

27? Okay.

So typically we try to keep our group meetings …

Sit calm, right?

Right. So with that, we try to keep our meetings below 30 minutes and then after that we do sign up sheets and try to ahead of time really work with the HR folks or the contacts at our plans to make sure that they know we’re coming, that they’re engaging in the proper way and that way we have a useful day for the participants and also for ourselves. So, it’s really beneficial and that’s really where we start to build those relationships with the employees to help them over the long run.

Right, so whether you’re doing the consulting, the advisory or the education, you offer all of those services to your clients on that?

Correct, yeah.

And you’re benefiting the administrator of the company and as we say the most important were the employees. So, this was your TPSU program as a lecturer, what did you think on it?

I thought it was great. We had some great questions, we had current clients, we had other plan sponsors in the area that came as well. Purely educational, which was fantastic and there was a lot of great questions that they asked on different aspects of the plan and everything from compliance over onto the investment side and then ultimately how to help their employees, so it went great, and I think they got a lot out of it.

Well thanks for your time at TPSU, I know it’s a lot of hard work and for taking time to visit us on 401k TV and thank you for watching. Stay tuned.


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