Reminding me of that coffee scene in Airplane II, I worked at a place where we didn’t have the greatest benefits and the raises were not the greatest. When it came to information, we were always on a need-to-know basis, so we didn’t need to know anything until it happened a few weeks before. The employees there (except for a few of us) were lambs ready for the slaughterhouse, but they did raise rancor when management stopped providing milk for the Keurig machine (which the employer did provide). We all have priorities and for some employees, free milk for coffee is a higher priority than health insurance and retirement benefits.
So when a friend of mine who is a financial advisor taking on a fiduciary role, tells me that plan sponsors aren’t interested in improving their plan and saving $30,000, I’m not surprised. The $30,000 in savings would go back into the participant’s back pocket, so some employers may not consider that a big deal. But the fact is that even with fee disclosure and increased litigation and plan sponsor liability, many employers just haven’t made improving their plans a high priority. When they already decided to pay $30,000 more, it’s very hard to convince them that improving the plan through the use of an independent fiduciary and saving money is a good thing because clearly, that’s not their priority.
Getting new clients and convincing plan sponsors to hire excellent plan providers such as you isn’t easy. It takes a lot of convincing and a lot of conversations to get plan sponsors to think that improving their plan and saving plan expenses is a good thing. That’s why conversation and communication with potential clients is key. If you already know that you can help plan sponsors out. make sure the conversation surrounds what they can do to improve their plan and why it’s important they do that. It’s all about trying to convince plan sponsors that improving their plan is as high a priority as it is to provide free milk for the employees’ coffee.