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Check credentials


Whenever I hear about someone getting caught with lying about their resume or credentials, I am always astounded. I don’t know why people lie about college degrees they didn’t receive or credentials they didn’t achieve, but I guess the fact is that most people get away with it because people are trusting people and rarely check these credentials.


It happened to me, I used a contractor for a few jobs and assumed that they were members of a highly regarded remodeling association because they claimed that they were. Of course, after a dispute, I find out that they weren’t members of this organization.


I’m a member of the New York, Massachusetts, and California bars. You can look it up. You can look up the credentials of any financial advisor you’re hiring and see whether they have any issues with their license. A third-party administrator (TPA) is much harder to check because anyone can open a TPA shop, so find out information about the folks who run it. Perhaps the principals are attorneys, enrolled actuaries, or have credentials through ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries).


As a plan sponsor, you need to check that the people you are hiring are the people they claimed to be. It’s your fiduciary responsibility to do so because the last thing you need is hiring an independent fiduciary who embezzles your funds or a TPA who doesn’t do the work that they were contracted to do.

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