7 Simple Truths
JT Stratford provides sophisticated programs for the corporate, professional and governmental markets. We specialize in creating customized 401(k) plans, both ERISA and non-ERISA 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans and profit sharing arrangements.
JT Stratford ensures your plan's success by providing the following services:
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7 SIMPLE TRUTHS ABOUT THE PENSION PROTECTION ACT
1) Yes, it’s true. You are a FIDUCIARY.
JT Stratford, LLC acts as an independent investment manager under ERISA (3)(38) that specifically accepts its fiduciary status and discretion – in writing. Under this delegation, the plan sponsor will not be under any obligation to invest or manage any assets of the plan that the investment manager is responsible for investing. This effectuates ERISA “safe harbor,” which limits fiduciary liability where a qualified “investment manager” is appointed.
2) You must understand ALL your Plan’s fees.
The costs must be broken down into each sub-segment (ex: TPA fees, Advisory Fees, investment management fees) for the plan sponsor to review and document the reasonableness. You do not have to choose the lowest cost plan as long as the services provided justify the additional expense.
3) You need to ask the right questions of your current provider and BENCHMARK your plan.
JT Stratford, LLC offers an Annual Retirement Plan Review, benchmarking your plan investments, fees, and utilization against other plans of similar size and in your industry.
4) You should MAINTAIN an Investment Policy Statement.
An investment policy statement (IPS) has four basic purposes: setting realistic objectives, defining the asset allocation policy, establishing management procedures and determining communication procedures, According to studies conducted by PSCA, Hewitt Associates and Barra Rogers Casey, nearly one half of all defined contribution plans don’t have an IPS in place. It's not possible for a plan sponsor to ensure the procedural prudence for the selection and monitoring of the investments in the Plan without an IPS.
5) You should form an investment committee and MEET regularly.
The plan investment committee should meet regularly to satisfy ERISA requirements and that the activities of the plan are being managed prudently and properly. Minutes should be taken at each meeting to serve as validation of the decision making process and provide insight to how the decisions were made.
6) You are required to MONITOR your Plan.
As a fiduciary you are required to monitor all areas of your plan as a “Prudent Expert” would manage their own affairs. This refers to the areas of Investment Management, Participant Control, Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIAs) and Participant Advice. The plan can delegate these areas to a professional that can effectuate ERISA “safe harbor” which limits liability.
7) You can DELEGATE you Fiduciary Responsibilities.
The plan sponsor can delegate certain areas to a professional that can effectuate ERISA "safe harbor" which limits your fiduciary liability.
How JT Stratford can help you set-up, manage, and administer your retirement plan
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