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Life Health > Running Your Business > Marketing and Lead Generation

Help Retirement Plan Sponsors Measure and Plan

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What You Need to Know

  • Employers tend to do much of their performance measurement and strategic planning from August through November.
  • Plan sponsors need to measure performance to meet fiduciary obligations.
  • The results may lead to expansion, or changes.

There are five key moments in the year that can give advisors a chance to add value and build client relationships:

I covered the first four key moments in other ThinkAdvisor articles.

The fifth is this: Showcasing Your Value With a Check-In on Plan Measurement.

Measurement and strategic planning may not seem to be as much of a pain point for the plan sponsor as the first four key moments, but it’s an essential chance for advisors to provide clients with expertise, critical thinking and proactive planning to ensure the plan is meeting its goals.

The window of opportunity to reach out to your own business owner clients, or prospects, for this key moment runs from August through November.

There are a lot of details to cover in an annual plan review with a plan sponsor, so be sure to make time to meet with clients to discuss measurement and strategic planning.

Why is this an important topic? Measuring the success of a retirement plan can help clients verify that they are fulfilling their fiduciary obligations, meeting plan participants’ needs and managing their costs.

Measuring plan performance is also an invaluable opportunity for advisors to set themselves apart by aligning clients with the right provider partners.

Expand client discussions around measurement and planning by asking the following questions about the plan’s providers:

  • Did you receive information on how many of your employees are on track to replacing their income at retirement?
  • Did your recordkeeper measure and report plan and participant results?
  • Did your third-party administrator or recordkeeper recommend plan design strategies that could improve engagement?
  • Did your provider offer solutions to help ensure the plan is cost-effective?

A plan sponsor’s answers to the above questions can shed light on areas of improvement for the advisor and help gauge their satisfaction with their providers — and whether the advisor might want to recommend new ones, if it’s appropriate.

If a client is ready to make a change, connect them with service providers who offer tools to measure financial fitness at the plan and participant levels.

These tools are essential to driving plan design and communication strategies and can give advisors a wealth of information for advising clients.

It’s a good idea to check in with providers regularly to see how they are measuring progress, when and how they are reporting it out to clients, and how they are applying what they’ve learned.

Advisors may also recommend third-party administrators who can work with their recordkeeper to consult on effective plan design improvements to increase engagement.

With the right partners, advisors will be empowered with key information to effectively advise clients and make the best recommendations for plan participants.

Katie SheligaEkaterina “Katie” Sheliga, MBA, AIF, CPFA, is the national accounts sales director at The Standard and a registered representative at StanCorp Equities Inc.




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