Key Questions for Your Retirement Plan Provider, Part Three: Key Personnel’s Continuity

Retirement plan sponsors, have you ever developed a relationship with a business provider only to have that person drop out of sight? If so, then you know how painful it can be. To minimize these unpleasant surprises, you should ask about key personnel’s turnover and back-up plans when you’re evaluating potential 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan providers.

Retirement Plan Provider’s Key Personnel Plans

Start by asking your key contact, “How long do you personally plan to be in this business with this company?” Don’t simply assume the registered investment advisor or other professional with whom you develop rapport will always be there. Some firms experience a steady flow of staff departures and arrivals. Ask about that overall turnover rate.

Unexpected things happen. So even if your key contact gives a convincing answer about long-term plans, ask about back-up. Who can fill in if that person becomes unavailable for any reason? Check the back-up staffer’s qualifications and experience, too. Just because the firm gives you a name, doesn’t mean the new person can fill the shoes of your original contact.

Retirement Plan Provider’s Organizational Breadth and Depth

One person can’t meet all of your needs as a plan sponsor. It isn’t practical. Ask who else at the firm will work with you, and in what capacity. Again, find out their qualifications and experience.

Another way to address this issue is to ask for an overview of the firm and its retirement plan operations.

More Questions for Savvy Plan Sponsors Evaluating New Providers

If you missed the earlier posts in this series on assessing plan providers, check them out now:

Looking for a registered investment advisor serving Sacramento, Roseville, and Stockton, CA? Smart Investor serves all three cities from our base in Rocklin, CA. Contact us at 916-435-2100.