Fiduciary Consultants May Create Significant Liabilities for Retirement Plan Sponsors
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — As of July 1, Department of Labor regulations require all retirement plan sponsors to determine whether their service providers’ fees are “reasonable” and share their findings with plan participants. This task is complex and confusing, so many plan sponsors are turning to fiduciary consultants for guidance and support. Finding a qualified consultant is difficult, however, because fiduciary consulting has no educational requirements or regulatory oversight to prevent unqualified people from entering the field.
“You can easily determine whether a doctor, teacher or attorney is well-qualified, since most fields have meaningful barriers to entry, like required education, licenses or state-level supervision,” says Anne Comer, president of Presidium Retirement Advisers. “Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves an ‘independent’ or ‘professional’ fiduciary consultant regardless of their knowledge or experience.”
Determining an advisor’s fiduciary expertise is absolutely critical, because retirement plan sponsors can be personally liable for choosing an unqualified fiduciary consultant. Though no comprehensive federal or state oversight exists, two independent, unbiased organizations can help plan sponsors screen prospective consultants.
Before selecting a fiduciary consultant, retirement plan sponsors should verify that The Center for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) and Dalbar certify their expertise. To earn these designations, firms must complete detailed background checks and demonstrate that they:
- Uphold the fiduciary standard
- Have well-defined and executed processes
- Have no negative legal history
- Act only in clients’ best interests
- Have deep financial experience
In an industry with insufficient oversight, these certifications can help plan sponsors make informed decisions when choosing a fiduciary consultant and protect their personal liability.
“At Presidium Retirement Advisers, we recognize the immense trust retirement plan sponsors place in our guidance,” says Comer. “As the only CEFEX-certified, DALBAR-registered fiduciaries in the Charlotte, N.C.-area, our clients feel confident knowing we don’t just say we’re knowledgeable — our integrity and expertise are independently verified.”
About Presidium Retirement Advisers
Presidium Retirement Advisers is a fiduciary consulting firm that uses forensic accounting to help retirement plan sponsors reveal hidden costs, reduce plan expenses and mitigate liabilities. We believe every plan holds potential for meaningful improvement — and uncovering these opportunities is our responsibility. As a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), we solely devote our efforts and expertise to addressing plan sponsors’ unique needs.
SOURCE Presidium Retirement Advisers