As a 401k fiduciary, your first and only responsibility is the betterment of your employee’s investments. Your responsibilities include:
Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries, with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them;
Responsibly and diligently carrying out portfolio oversight
Following the plan documents (unless inconsistent with ERISA)
Maintaining reasonable fees
Avoiding conflicts of interest
Traditionally, the benchmarking process involves an in-house advisor providing annual reviews of plan fees and performance. These assessments are documented, held, and distributed through the corporate record keeper.
THE PROBLEM WITH THIS SYSTEM?
It creates a conflict of interest.
Companies are usually unwilling to suggest their own 401k rates are unjust. Similarly, they are unwilling to admit having a poorly trained staff, an irregularly monitored portfolio index, or even a poor documenting system.
If you are audited or a dispute is raised against your company, this could prove a challenge for your side of the case. As a fiduciary, this means you might be responsible for reimbursing losses.
THE WAY AROUND THIS?
Your fiduciary responsibility as a 401k Plan Sponsor Company is to make sure your rates are fair and that your client’s portfolio is reaching its top performance potential. Independent benchmarking helps prove that there are no conflicts of interest in the assessment of your plan.
AT BENCHMARK, WE OFFER SERVICES THAT HELP MEET THESE FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES.
This is not only important to you, but to the employees who have trusted you with their future finances. This is why we offer free benchmarking services with one of the many experienced financial advisors in our growing network of professionals.