Often, plan sponsors are not fully aware of their responsibilities as a retirement plan trustee. Without periodic plan reviews, documentation of investment decisions, and ongoing participant communication and education, plan trustees may be held personally liable for any complaints filed against the plan. Our proactive and thoughtful process helps plan fiduciaries stay in compliance with section 404(c) of ERISA, and provides a useful benefit to employees.
West Financial Services provides fee-only analysis and evaluation of company retirement plans, including investment options, participation, cost and design. Further, we act as a co-fiduciary with respect to decisions that impact the ultimate beneficiaries of the plan – the employees.
An overview of our approach:
- Plan Evaluation
Our services start with a full evaluation of the current plan. Based on this evaluation, we may recommend changes that your current provider can implement to improve investment options, lower costs or improve overall service.
- Investment Review
As part of the initial review we evaluate available investment options, or select core funds based on criteria that the trustees have agreed upon.
- Investment Policy Statement
We will help update your investment policy statement or create one for you as part of the investment selection process. West Financial Services believes that the drafting and implementation of a well-articulated investment policy statement is a key element in selecting and monitoring retirement plan investment options.
- Employee Education
We meet with employees to review changes to the plan and investments. We also discuss retirement planning issues, risk management, and asset allocation. Periodic newsletters provide employees with ongoing economic commentary, individual fund review, and performance information and additional financial planning articles.
- Plan Monitoring
We summarize each year with an annual trustee report that includes detailed fund reviews, participation and cost analysis, and recommendations for any needed changes. Meetings with the trustees are held to review this report and prepare for the next plan year.