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Retirement Plan Advisor Partners Can Be Strong Advocates for 401k Plan

Retirement plan advisor partners can be strong advocates when attempting to manage recordkeepers, investment managers and custodians for your company 401k plan.  At the conclusion of a Fiduciary Education Session, conducted at Rice University, Houston, Texas with Mr. Fred Barstein, Founder and CEO of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU), visited with Mary, a Human Resources Manager of a Department of Defense firm with approximately 30 employees, headquartered in the greater Houston area.  They discussed the benefit of having knowledgeable retirement plan advisor partners on your team of service providers.  Learn how a team of trustees having strong communication skills and experienced retirement plan advisor partners can make a big impact on outcomes for your 401k plan participants.

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This is Fred Barstein with 401kTV at Rice University where we’ve just completed a very successful TPSU program with about 30 client sponsors and I am here with Mary who attended that program. Welcome, Mary.

Thank you very much.

Okay if we ask you a few questions and Mary is an avid viewer of 401kTV?

I am.

And now she can watch herself. So Mary before I ask you a few questions just let our audience know a little bit about yourself.

My name is Mary and I work at a small company of about 26 to 30 employees and we have a 401k plan and we are in the DOD contractor industry.

Great. Thanks. So in the program, you talked about leveraging your advisor and record keeper and most plan sponsors don’t realize the resources they have or they’re willing to talk. So tell us a couple of stories where you had some really good experiences.

Yes, so we have HR, it falls under my umbrella and 401k is one of you know any number of twenty areas underemployment and benefits. And so I rely heavily on our financial advisor and our record keeper organization/provider for our plan. And the adoption agreement which governs our plan is something that I don’t fully understand and I don’t have the time to fully understand it. However, I have read through it and when I have questions I’ve reached out to my advisor who has managed to set up calls with our record keeping company and literally spent anywhere from one to three hours going through a section to explain it to me and that is part of the service that they provide.

And you’re a small company.

We are a small company.

Right.

But, you know, I’m a fiduciary, as a plan sponsor, the person. And so it’s important to know what we’re signing up to and to make sure that we are understanding our plan completely and so we leveraged the advisor who is available anytime for me or any employee.

That’s great. So a couple of things you’re going to try to do when you get back from what you learned?

Yes, what I think I’m going to try to do when I get back I learned was maybe ping our employees and try to give a survey to find out what they know about our plan or what they know about benefits and maybe even what’s important to them.

That’s what you learned from your peers.

I did, I learned that from some people who had used surveys to reach out to their employee population. The other thing that I learned today was to take a serious look at target-date funds and what those are and how we can use them, even in a company of our size, because I understand they are there for any size organization and honestly I had no idea what they had and what they could offer for employees who are less sophisticated investors.

And I’ll tell you what, it’s for all employees whether they are sophisticated or not. You know, they use that, so that’s great. Well, thanks for coming to the program and for watching 401kTV. And thank you for watching 401kTV stay tuned for more interviews like this.

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