The Hartford introduced a program on Monday to help advisors identify common risks clients face in their retirement plans.
CustomConsultant is a proprietary, online portal powered by Larkspur Data Resources that advisors can use to identify up to 70 potential risks associated with a specific plan. To supplement the program, The Hartford has 80 retirement plan specialists who can provide educational support.
“The world of retirement plans is quickly becoming more regulated and more complicated, which means many employers may need help managing their retirement plans and assessing related risks,” said Christine Chaia, assistant vice president of distribution marketing for The Hartford’s Retirement Plans Group, said in a press release.
Some of the most common risks The Hartford found were:
- Not fully adopting the fiduciary protections provided by section 404(c) the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
- Triggering the return of retirement plan contributions made by highly compensated employees because of low plan participation by the overall employee population.
- Lacking sufficient fidelity bond protection against plan improprieties, thereby exposing the employer to greater financial liability.
- Using ineffective plan designs which limit retirement assets.
“Some risk factors, under certain circumstances, can potentially lead to costly civil or even criminal court actions, federal and state tax issues, or other problems," Chaia added. "In many instances, though, the greatest risk is missed opportunities for employers and their employees to make the most of their retirement plans and accumulate enough assets for retirement."