Plan Design, Employee Education, Investments, Administration

When establishing a 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan, a business owner generally needs help with 3 things:

  1.  Investment selection and monitoring
  2.  Administration
  3.  Record Keeping

Often times a business owner must go to separate firms for investment advice, employee education and plan administration. At MRC we are able to assist with these services all under one roof.  If you are already working with an administrator, record keeper or investment consultant that you like, we are flexible and can handle whatever component you need the most help with.  See below for more context on each of these services.

Investment Selection and Monitoring

This component of running a plan encompasses a broad area of service.  This may include employee education, helping a plan sponsor create a fiduciary process as well as general consulting on plan setup or design.  Generally speaking this service is provided by a licensed investment professional.

At MRC we are able to provide these services as an independent investment advisor.  Being independent of a broker/dealer firm means we are able to control costs, cut out the middle man and develop our own process based on what each individual client needs.  This may include 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary service, individual / group education meetings or selection and monitoring of service providers.

Plan Administration

Given the complex and ever changing rules around retirement plan administration this task is usually delegated to an outside service provider.  This service typically  includes plan compliance, government forms, transaction processing, plan design and other administrative functions associated with running a retirement plan.  In general this task is either handled by the record keeper (referred to as bundled), or an independent third party administrator (TPA, or unbundled).

There are advantages and disadvantages to both administrative options.  At MRC we can work with you to determine which option makes the most sense for your business.  We are able to assist with both bundled and unbundled options, can act as your TPA, or we can work with an independent outside TPA.  We will work to make sure you find the right fit for your company.  Please refer to the “our process” page for more detail on the plan administrative process.

Record Keeping

The record keeping service you select may be one of the most important decisions a trustee makes, and is usually directly tied to the investment options you wish to offer in your retirement plan.  Generally speaking the record keeper is the company that offers a way to access investments (mutual funds or other investments), a participant call center, website and a means to conduct transactions (payroll deposits, distributions, loans, etc.).  Some of the largest insurance and mutual fund providers on the planet are in this business, but so are much smaller firms.  It can be difficult for a business owner to determine the best fit for their company.  Understanding how much record keeping costs, what services are needed (and what is not) is a daunting task.

We can help you navigate this tangled web at MRC.  The record keeping industry is challenging to understand, frustrating to deal with and it can be very competitive.  However finding the right record keeper can be a key component to creating a successful plan for you and your employees.  Given our extensive experience working for, and with, record keeping firms we are well positioned at MRC to help you find what will work best for your company.

Fees in Dollars, not Basis Points

We like to say people spend dollars, not basis points and we strive to provide our services using a transparent, flat-fee structure. We base our fees on the scope and complexity of your specific plan and we work with you to negotiate a reasonable and competitive fee structure.  In certain situations we may charge asset based fees, but a major challenge with retirement plans is that as assets grow, those fees grow as well.  However, the level of service doesn’t necessarily change as the plan grows and you shouldn’t have to pay more for your plan every time you make a payroll deposit or an employee rolls money into the plan.

Give us a call for a quote and cost comparison that can illustrate the difference between a flat fee and asset based fee structure.  The impact to your plan over the long term can lead to significantly better outcomes for you and your participants.

Call us at (619) 942-4510  to learn more or set up a consultation.

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