Commonwealth Financial Network has launched a vendor-agnostic, fee-based retirement plan platform. The firm’s new Retirement Plan Consulting program provides advisors with universal access to the retirement marketplace and enables them to offer both plan sponsor and participant-level advice. Aligning with fiduciary standards, qualified advisors can provide nondiscretionary services on a one-time or an ongoing basis.
To participate in the program, advisors need to be affiliated with Commonwealth and hold either the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation or the Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) designation.
“I endorsed this program as an important part of prudent risk management for both Commonwealth and its advisors,” says Marcia Wagner, Esq., managing principal of the Wagner Law Group. “The training credentials are likely to attract new advisors to Commonwealth who want to partner with a firm that embraces ERISA’s fiduciary standards.”
“We’ve built a conflict-free, unbiased approach that is truly aligned with fiduciary standards and provides full transparency of fee disclosure,” explains Amy Glynn, Commonwealth’s director of retirement consulting services. “Commonwealth feels that this is the right model for all constituents.”
The platform is supported by Commonwealth’s Retirement Consulting Services (RCS) team, a group of professionals accredited with qualified plan designations. The RCS team currently conducts due diligence on 34 intermediary-based providers; however, it holds no exclusive relationships and advisors can work on a consulting basis with any provider of their choice.
Consulting services offered through the program include:
? Fiduciary management and oversight
? Investment policy statement support
? Investment selection analysis
? Model portfolio construction and maintenance
? Vendor search and benchmarking projects
? Participant education program design and implementation
? Participate advice programs
“The goal is to improve the overall plan value for the participants. Not in terms of monetary value, but in how effectively the plan helps participants achieve their retirement goals,” says Glynn.