XYZ Company was referred to us for 401(k) consulting. Their issues: they had an existing 401(k) plan, but interaction and communication was all online with no input or guidance from an advisor. As a result, communication (to the participants and to the executive team) was poor, investment choices were limited, participation was low and the plan seemed to be designed for someone else.
Smith & Howard Wealth Management’s 401(k) advisors created a strategy to review both the plan design and the investment provider. This began with introducing a local Third Party Administrator (TPA) to oversee the design and administration of the plan. The TPA provided a plan solution that was customized, allowing the client to achieve their goals in a more effective manner than the cookie-cutter plan they had. Also, the client now benefited from direct communication with a dedicated administrator. At the same time, SHWM prepared a Request for Proposal from several qualified plan providers (including the existing provider). We collected and reviewed the proposal responses, which included evaluating the available services from the providers and reviewing the investment choices as well as the fees. We provided the client with a recommendation and reasons for that recommendation. Once a change was made by XYZ Company, SHWM held education meetings with the employees, a first for the company and its participants. The entire process resulted in a much better understanding of the value of the new plan and ultimately in increased participation. An additional benefit is that the employer now has an attractive plan in place that also serves as a recruiting tool. SHWM was able to customize and improve the current plan while keeping the fees about the same.