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Plan Consulting Fundamentals

At Troutman & Associates our goal is to assist our clients in making their 401(k) plan the best it can be. The fee-only Investment Advisor Representatives provide unbiased, consultative guidance and advice for both plan trustees and participants.

Think of your plan’s consultant as your liaison between your participants, plan administrator, plan record keeper, investment managers and plan fiduciaries.  We act as the control tower making sure all these constituents work in unison to provide the best opportunity for your plan participants to achieve financial independence.

Participant Services:  Participants need a roadmap to financial independence. Our engagements are structured such that we provide participant level advice, which goes beyond what is considered education.  For any participant that raises their hand, we can provide them a full financial roadmap of what financial independence looks like for them given all their individual or family considerations.

Investment Monitoring:  Plan fiduciaries must demonstrate prudence in the selection and monitoring of their plan investment managers.  We assist setting up Investment Review Committees, establishing an Investment Policy Statement and formalizing a process to regularly monitor plan investment managers.  Our investment monitoring is based on an institutional methodology that large plans, endowments and large pension plans use.

Understanding Plan Fees:  Ever wonder who is getting paid what and why?  Plan sponsors concerns need to be with ensuring plan fees charged to participants are reasonable. We prepare comprehensive plan fee reviews that detail how each plan service provider is being compensated, including indirect payments.  This analysis helps determine if fees are reasonable.  The marketplace is continuously changing, and our knowledge of this area allows us to keep our clients compliant.

Effective Plan Design:  Do current plan document provisions effectively address participation, testing or other compliance needs?  There are high impact plan design changes designed to boost overall participation or other subtle plan changes to correct testing issues.  Understanding the goals of the plan and participant demographics may reveal potentially subtle plan document provision changes that will correct these issues.

Fiduciary Concerns:  The key to minimizing fiduciary liability exposures is by establishing and adhering to a set of best practices designed to demonstrate compliance should you ever be faced with a regulator or claim.  New regulations continue to increase the complexity of plan administration our Fiduciary checklists and fiduciary education modules are designed to help you understand and comply with these regulatory requirements. 

For more information send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.   |  (630) 634-7800