How has your plan adviser performed during the pandemic?

Recent market volatility has shown not all retirement plan advisers are created equal. Use these questions to determine whether your adviser is providing the service you and your employees need to navigate this uncertain market. 

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How has your plan adviser performed during the pandemic?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reached out to the me and all plan participants regardless of their account balance.

B: My adviser proactively reached out to me along with participants who have a high account balance.

C: My adviser proactively reached out to me.

D: I get mass marketing emails with market updates, but my adviser didn’t reach out to me or participants personally.

F: I still haven’t heard from my adviser.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reached out to the me and all plan participants regardless of their account balance.

B: My adviser proactively reached out to me along with participants who have a high account balance.

C: My adviser proactively reached out to me.

D: I get mass marketing emails with market updates, but my adviser didn’t reach out to me or participants personally.

F: I still haven’t heard from my adviser.

Does your adviser put your interests first?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser is a fee-only RIA who acts as an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager who takes on my responsibility for managing the fund lineup. As a fiduciary, they have an incentive structure that aligns with my success, with no conflicts of interest, and they put this commitment in writing.

B: My adviser accepts revenue sharing from our recordkeeper or from the funds, but not both. They disclose this incentive structure to me annually in writing.

C: My adviser accepts revenue sharing from our fund lineup and from our recordkeeper, but does not try to cross-sell products to me or my employees.

D: My adviser occasionally tries to sell me additional products, such as private wealth management or insurance products, but doesn’t try to cross-sell my employees. They accept revenue sharing from our funds and from the recordkeeper.

F: My adviser earns commission-based incentives and has attempted to cross-sell me additional products. They only speak to participants if they’re trying to cross-sell.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser is a fee-only RIA who acts as an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager who takes on my responsibility for managing the fund lineup. As a fiduciary, they have an incentive structure that aligns with my success, with no conflicts of interest, and they put this commitment in writing.

B: My adviser accepts revenue sharing from our recordkeeper or from the funds, but not both. They disclose this incentive structure to me annually in writing.

C: My adviser accepts revenue sharing from our fund lineup and from our recordkeeper, but does not try to cross-sell products to me or my employees.

D: My adviser occasionally tries to sell me additional products, such as private wealth management or insurance products, but doesn’t try to cross-sell my employees. They accept revenue sharing from our funds and from the recordkeeper.

F: My adviser earns commission-based incentives and has attempted to cross-sell me additional products. They only speak to participants if they’re trying to cross-sell.

How do you rate the quality of investments your adviser offers?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser proactively selects, monitors and updates the funds on our lineup. They benchmark all our investment options based on fees and quality, and share this information at least annually. All investment options generate zero revenue to the adviser so they can act solely in our best interest with respect to the investments.

B: My adviser will review our fund lineup, but only if we request it. This review includes a benchmarking report that rates our funds on quality and fees.

C: My adviser initially set up our fund lineup and occasionally provides generic guidance that isn’t specific to our plan.

D: My adviser set up our fund lineup but hasn’t reviewed or updated it since. The lineup has a few proprietary funds that generate revenue for the adviser.

F: My adviser set up our fund lineup, but hasn’t reviewed or updated it since. The lineup includes mostly proprietary funds that generate revenue for the adviser.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser proactively selects, monitors and updates the funds on our lineup. They benchmark all our investment options based on fees and quality, and share this information at least annually. All investment options generate zero revenue to the adviser so they can act solely in our best interest with respect to the investments.

B: My adviser will review our fund lineup, but only if we request it. This review includes a benchmarking report that rates our funds on quality and fees.

C: My adviser initially set up our fund lineup and occasionally provides generic guidance that isn’t specific to our plan.

D: My adviser set up our fund lineup but hasn’t reviewed or updated it since. The lineup has a few proprietary funds that generate revenue for the adviser.

F: My adviser set up our fund lineup, but hasn’t reviewed or updated it since. The lineup includes mostly proprietary funds that generate revenue for the adviser.

Do you know what your total fees are, and how much goes to the record keeper, the adviser and to the funds?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reviews plan fees with me annually, so I know how much our plan pays each service provider. They benchmark fees for our funds and our service providers so I can understand how our total plan fees compare to other plans.

B: My adviser reviews plan fees with me, but only if I request them. The review includes the fees that are disclosed on the plan statement, like fund fees, but it doesn’t include a thorough review of 408(b)2 or 404(a)5 fee disclosures. No benchmarking is included, so I’m not sure how our plan fees compare to the rest of the industry.

C: My adviser sends me a disclosure that outlines their fee only, but I’m not sure what we pay our other providers. They receive commissions from the investment products in my plan.

D: I’m on an annuity platform with funds that generate revenue sharing and commissions to the adviser. I’ve reviewed our fee disclosure, but the revenue sharing makes it difficult to understand. My adviser doesn’t proactively help me with this.

F: I’m not sure what the fees for my plan are. My adviser doesn’t review these with me.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reviews plan fees with me annually, so I know how much our plan pays each service provider. They benchmark fees for our funds and our service providers so I can understand how our total plan fees compare to other plans.

B: My adviser reviews plan fees with me, but only if I request them. The review includes the fees that are disclosed on the plan statement, like fund fees, but it doesn’t include a thorough review of 408(b)2 or 404(a)5 fee disclosures. No benchmarking is included, so I’m not sure how our plan fees compare to the rest of the industry.

C: My adviser sends me a disclosure that outlines their fee only, but I’m not sure what we pay our other providers. They receive commissions from the investment products in my plan.

D: I’m on an annuity platform with funds that generate revenue sharing and commissions to the adviser. I’ve reviewed our fee disclosure, but the revenue sharing makes it difficult to understand. My adviser doesn’t proactively help me with this.

F: I’m not sure what the fees for my plan are. My adviser doesn’t review these with me.

Grade the level of administrative support your adviser dedicates to your business.

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reaches out to me proactively multiple times during the year regarding plan administration. They cover topics ranging from compliance testing and 5500 filing to plan amendments and payroll integration. During the pandemic, they proactively reached out to see if I had any questions about legislation like the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program. They also helped me create and maintain a fiduciary audit file, and they provide ongoing proactive guidance on plan governance.

B: If I reach out to my adviser with questions regarding plan administration, they will help me. However, I don’t receive any proactive guidance.

C: When I reach out to my adviser about plan administration, they connect me directly to somebody at the recordkeeper or TPA who can help me.

D: When I reach out to my adviser about plan administration, they direct me to call the 1-800 number for the recordkeeper, where I often sit on hold and receive generic information.

F: My adviser does nothing to support plan administration. I don’t even bother to reach out to them because they don’t have expertise in plan administration.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reaches out to me proactively multiple times during the year regarding plan administration. They cover topics ranging from compliance testing and 5500 filing to plan amendments and payroll integration. During the pandemic, they proactively reached out to see if I had any questions about legislation like the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program. They also helped me create and maintain a fiduciary audit file, and they provide ongoing proactive guidance on plan governance.

B: If I reach out to my adviser with questions regarding plan administration, they will help me. However, I don’t receive any proactive guidance.

C: When I reach out to my adviser about plan administration, they connect me directly to somebody at the recordkeeper or TPA who can help me.

D: When I reach out to my adviser about plan administration, they direct me to call the 1-800 number for the recordkeeper, where I often sit on hold and receive generic information.

F: My adviser does nothing to support plan administration. I don’t even bother to reach out to them because they don’t have expertise in plan administration.

Grade the level of investment education your adviser proactively provided employees during periods of market volatility.

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reached out to all employees via email and phone multiple times to provide them with the investment education and counseling they need. They also offered helpful webinars and information to employees to provide further education. All employees were offered one-on-one meetings, regardless of their balance.

B: My adviser reached out to all employees via email multiple times, and even called some employees with high balances.

C: My adviser reached out to all employees via email, but only once.

D: My adviser reached out only to employees with high balances in the plan.

F: My adviser didn’t proactively provide any education to employees.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser reached out to all employees via email and phone multiple times to provide them with the investment education and counseling they need. They also offered helpful webinars and information to employees to provide further education. All employees were offered one-on-one meetings, regardless of their balance.

B: My adviser reached out to all employees via email multiple times, and even called some employees with high balances.

C: My adviser reached out to all employees via email, but only once.

D: My adviser reached out only to employees with high balances in the plan.

F: My adviser didn’t proactively provide any education to employees.

How has your adviser helped manage legal and regulatory risks as a fiduciary?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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Next
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager, which means they select, monitor and update funds on our plan lineup with discretion as a fiduciary. My adviser puts this in writing and backs up this service with a money-back guarantee. They also evaluated whether our plan should hire an outsourced 3(16) administrative fiduciary for notice delivery, loan approvals and Form 5500 filing.

B: My adviser uses an outsourced 3(38) solution to select the funds for our plan’s fund lineup.

C: My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(21) Investment Adviser and regularly meets with our investment committee to make recommendations.

D: My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(21) Investment Adviser but doesn’t meet with our investment committee and hasn’t made proactive recommendations in years.

F: My adviser doesn’t act in any fiduciary capacity.
What is an A+ Grade
My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager, which means they select, monitor and update funds on our plan lineup with discretion as a fiduciary. My adviser puts this in writing and backs up this service with a money-back guarantee. They also evaluated whether our plan should hire an outsourced 3(16) administrative fiduciary for notice delivery, loan approvals and Form 5500 filing.

B: My adviser uses an outsourced 3(38) solution to select the funds for our plan’s fund lineup.

C: My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(21) Investment Adviser and regularly meets with our investment committee to make recommendations.

D: My adviser acts as an ERISA 3(21) Investment Adviser but doesn’t meet with our investment committee and hasn’t made proactive recommendations in years.

F: My adviser doesn’t act in any fiduciary capacity.

Does your adviser specialize in small and mid-size business 401(k) plans?

SELECT GRADE:
A+
B
C
D
F
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Next
What is an A+ Grade
Yes, my adviser specializes in serving 401(k) plans, with dedicated staff solely focused on helping me manage my plan.

B: My adviser manages more than ten 401(k) plans but has no expertise or specialization in the 401(k) space. I can tell because they don’t offer proactive analysis of plan features, have never offered to benchmark my plan and don’t provide any guidance on plan administration.

C: My adviser manages more than ten 401(k) plans. However, they are too busy acquiring new clients to pay much attention to servicing my plan.

D: My adviser manages a handful of 401(k) plans. They are mostly focused on private wealth management and/or selling insurance products.

F: I think our plan is the only 401(k) plan my adviser manages.
What is an A+ Grade
Yes, my adviser specializes in serving 401(k) plans, with dedicated staff solely focused on helping me manage my plan.

B: My adviser manages more than ten 401(k) plans but has no expertise or specialization in the 401(k) space. I can tell because they don’t offer proactive analysis of plan features, have never offered to benchmark my plan and don’t provide any guidance on plan administration.

C: My adviser manages more than ten 401(k) plans. However, they are too busy acquiring new clients to pay much attention to servicing my plan.

D: My adviser manages a handful of 401(k) plans. They are mostly focused on private wealth management and/or selling insurance products.

F: I think our plan is the only 401(k) plan my adviser manages.
A

401(k) Adviser Grade: A+

Congratulations! Based on your answers, your adviser appears to offer a level of service you and your employees can benefit from, including one-on-one enrollment meetings and day-to-day administrative help for your 401(k) plan manager. 

Include Fisher in your next 401(k) review to get a breakdown of our services and how they compare to what you’re currently being offered.

 

Contact us today for a free assessment to learn how your plan can benefit from a service upgrade.

How Fisher is Different:

  • Your Interests First: Our incentive structure is aligned with your success: No revenue sharing, kickbacks or commissions
  • Superior Financial Guidance: As one of America’s top financial advisers, we work with you to build the optimal program and provide ongoing financial guidance to maximize employee participation, employee deferral rates, fund quality and fund fees.
  • Do It For You (DIFY) Approach: From acting as the single point of contact for your program, negotiating better deals with vendors on your behalf, and selecting and monitoring your investment lineup, we provide services that other advisers can’t or won’t provide
  • Unparalleled Service: Fisher is a proactive partner that works hard to anticipate your needs and solve problems before they exist. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Fisher proactively reached out to 100% of plan sponsors and 29,000 plan participants to answer questions and provide financial guidance, resources and tools.

 

Top Rated Adviser
Financial Times
2014 – 2019

Top U.S.-Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser
Investment News
2016 – 2019

Top DC Adviser Team
NAPA
2018 - 2020

 

B

401(k) Adviser Grade: B

Looks like you could use an adviser upgrade. Fisher’s specialization in small business retirement plans means we provide the superior plan and investment guidance you require. Our results speak for themselves: 

  • 55% higher employee participation rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 100% higher plan participant savings rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 61% higher quality funds*
  • 72% lower fund fees*

**Data gathered for 100+ companies between dates Jan. 2020 and May 2020 and measured by Fi360.

 

Contact us today for a free assessment to learn how your plan can benefit from a service upgrade.

How Fisher is Different:

  • Your Interests First: Our incentive structure is aligned with your success: No revenue sharing, kickbacks or commissions
  • Superior Financial Guidance: As one of America’s top financial advisers, we work with you to build the optimal program and provide ongoing financial guidance to maximize employee participation, employee deferral rates, fund quality and fund fees.
  • Do It For You (DIFY) Approach: From acting as the single point of contact for your program, negotiating better deals with vendors on your behalf, and selecting and monitoring your investment lineup, we provide services that other advisers can’t or won’t provide
  • Unparalleled Service: Fisher is a proactive partner that works hard to anticipate your needs and solve problems before they exist. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Fisher proactively reached out to 100% of plan sponsors and 29,000 plan participants to answer questions and provide financial guidance, resources and tools.

 

Top Rated Adviser
Financial Times
2014 – 2019

Top U.S.-Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser
Investment News
2016 – 2019

Top DC Adviser Team
NAPA
2018 - 2020

 

C

401(k) Adviser Grade: C

Looks like you could use an adviser upgrade. Fisher’s specialization in small business retirement plans means we provide the superior plan and investment guidance you require. Our results speak for themselves: 

  • 55% higher employee participation rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 100% higher plan participant savings rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 61% higher quality funds*
  • 72% lower fund fees*

**Data gathered for 100+ companies between dates Jan. 2020 and May 2020 and measured by Fi360.

 

Contact us today for a free assessment to learn how your plan can benefit from a service upgrade.

How Fisher is Different:

  • Your Interests First: Our incentive structure is aligned with your success: No revenue sharing, kickbacks or commissions
  • Superior Financial Guidance: As one of America’s top financial advisers, we work with you to build the optimal program and provide ongoing financial guidance to maximize employee participation, employee deferral rates, fund quality and fund fees.
  • Do It For You (DIFY) Approach: From acting as the single point of contact for your program, negotiating better deals with vendors on your behalf, and selecting and monitoring your investment lineup, we provide services that other advisers can’t or won’t provide
  • Unparalleled Service: Fisher is a proactive partner that works hard to anticipate your needs and solve problems before they exist. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Fisher proactively reached out to 100% of plan sponsors and 29,000 plan participants to answer questions and provide financial guidance, resources and tools.

 

Top Rated Adviser
Financial Times
2014 – 2019

Top U.S.-Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser
Investment News
2016 – 2019

Top DC Adviser Team
NAPA
2018 - 2020

 

D

401(k) Adviser Grade: D

Looks like you could use an adviser upgrade. Fisher’s specialization in small business retirement plans means we provide the superior plan and investment guidance you require. Our results speak for themselves: 

  • 55% higher employee participation rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 100% higher plan participant savings rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 61% higher quality funds*
  • 72% lower fund fees*

**Data gathered for 100+ companies between dates Jan. 2020 and May 2020 and measured by Fi360.

 

Contact us today for a free assessment to learn how your plan can benefit from a service upgrade.

How Fisher is Different:

  • Your Interests First: Our incentive structure is aligned with your success: No revenue sharing, kickbacks or commissions
  • Superior Financial Guidance: As one of America’s top financial advisers, we work with you to build the optimal program and provide ongoing financial guidance to maximize employee participation, employee deferral rates, fund quality and fund fees.
  • Do It For You (DIFY) Approach: From acting as the single point of contact for your program, negotiating better deals with vendors on your behalf, and selecting and monitoring your investment lineup, we provide services that other advisers can’t or won’t provide
  • Unparalleled Service: Fisher is a proactive partner that works hard to anticipate your needs and solve problems before they exist. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Fisher proactively reached out to 100% of plan sponsors and 29,000 plan participants to answer questions and provide financial guidance, resources and tools.

 

Top Rated Adviser
Financial Times
2014 – 2019

Top U.S.-Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser
Investment News
2016 – 2019

Top DC Adviser Team
NAPA
2018 - 2020

 

F

401(k) Adviser Grade: F

Looks like you could use an adviser upgrade. Fisher’s specialization in small business retirement plans means we provide the superior plan and investment guidance you require. Our results speak for themselves: 

  • 55% higher employee participation rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 100% higher plan participant savings rates as of Jan. 1, 2020
  • 61% higher quality funds*
  • 72% lower fund fees*

**Data gathered for 100+ companies between dates Jan. 2020 and May 2020 and measured by Fi360.

 

Contact us today for a free assessment to learn how your plan can benefit from a service upgrade.

How Fisher is Different:

  • Your Interests First: Our incentive structure is aligned with your success: No revenue sharing, kickbacks or commissions
  • Superior Financial Guidance: As one of America’s top financial advisers, we work with you to build the optimal program and provide ongoing financial guidance to maximize employee participation, employee deferral rates, fund quality and fund fees.
  • Do It For You (DIFY) Approach: From acting as the single point of contact for your program, negotiating better deals with vendors on your behalf, and selecting and monitoring your investment lineup, we provide services that other advisers can’t or won’t provide
  • Unparalleled Service: Fisher is a proactive partner that works hard to anticipate your needs and solve problems before they exist. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Fisher proactively reached out to 100% of plan sponsors and 29,000 plan participants to answer questions and provide financial guidance, resources and tools.

 

Top Rated Adviser
Financial Times
2014 – 2019

Top U.S.-Based Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser
Investment News
2016 – 2019

Top DC Adviser Team
NAPA
2018 - 2020

 

 

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Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions is dedicated to helping small and mid-size businesses deliver successful ‭retirement plan services. Our success is defined by each business achieving its custom 401(k) plan goals and by ‭empowering employees with the dedicated support and resources necessary to achieve a dignified retirement. Our ‭solutions are built on the core principles of providing employers and employees ready access to dedicated 401(k) ‭specialists, flexible investment options, and fee transparency.

The Fisher Investments Resource Library is designed to support 401(k) Plan Sponsors with insights, tools and ‭answers without obligation.

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Camas, WA 98607

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