When it comes to plan sponsors in choosing providers for their retirement plan, I think one rule of thumb is to choose plan providers that are ahead of the curve. What do I mean by ahead of the curve? Retirement plan providers that are consistently innovators in the industry that started to change before change was required.
What is a TPA that is ahead of the curve? A TPA who practices full fee disclosure before it was ever required.
What is a financial advisor that is ahead of the curve? A financial advisor who understand their role in assisting in the fiduciary process for the plan sponsor by developing an investment policy statement, constant review of plan investments, and offering investment education to plan participants. It’s also an advisor who is sensitive to the cost of plan administration and plan investments.
What is an ERISA attorney that is ahead of the curve? An ERISA attorney who is interested more in lowering the administrative costs and potential liability of a plan sponsor instead of how many hours they billed them.
Whether it’s exchange traded funds in 401(k) plans or ERISA §3(16) administrators that will be the next big thing, always check the providers that are willing to try new things than those who stand pat and refused to change with the times. You either change with the times or the times will change you.