Retirement Plan Stewardship
As an employer offering a retirement plan to your employees, you are making an important and generous contribution to their financial security. While a company retirement plan is one of the best benefits you can offer to attract and retain a quality workforce, it also carries a serious fiduciary duty that requires effective plan governance.
Eastman Financial, LLC acts as your retirement plan partner with services designed to ensure your plan is structured to maximize the potential benefits for the employer and plan participants, and will stand the test of time. We strive to help plan sponsors lower their plan fees and expenses, improve plan investments, and fulfill their fiduciary duty to minimize potential liability.
Just as important, we strive to help your employees achieve their retirement savings and income goals. We work with your 401k provider to develop a participant education and communications program customized for your employees, tailored to their individual financial situation, risk tolerance, investment goals and retirement time horizon.
As a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist™, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and Investment Advisor representative, your 401k advisor with Eastman Financial, LLC has the integrity, ethics and fiduciary duty to work in your best interests. Our retirement plan services include:
Whether you are considering adding a new retirement plan, or improving an existing plan, we can help you design the most cost effective and advantageous plan for your specific needs. The types of retirement plans we work with include:
- Traditional 401(k) Plans
- Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans
- SIMPLE or SEP IRAs
- SIMPLE 401(k) Plans
- Individual 401(k) Plans
- Cash Balance Plans
- Non-Qualified Executive Benefit Plans
The design of your retirement plan can help you realize the highest tax-deductible retirement plan contributions allowable, and help both owners and employees build their retirement nest egg. Effective plan design can also help owners reward senior and highly compensated employees with greater profit sharing allocations under ERISA’s permitted disparity rules. Supplemental, non-qualified executive benefit plans are also available to reward select “key” employees. At Eastman Financial, LLC, we can help design the best qualified and/or non-qualified plans for your specific needs.
Once the most suitable plan design has been determined, Eastman Financial, LLC will undertake a prudent “Request for Proposal” process by obtaining and evaluating proposals from a number of highly rated retirement plan record keepers and/or third-party administrators. We will conduct the requisite fee and investment analysis along with an objective assessment of each plan’s suitability for your particular needs. Our independence allows us to make recommendations based solely on the interests of our clients. We have no proprietary plans to sell. Instead, we work with the top retirement plan providers in the industry to help you find the best plan for your company and employees.
INVESTMENT REVIEW & FEE BENCHMARKING
Periodic investment review and fee benchmarking are critical components of effective plan stewardship and key to helping you and your employees meet your long-term retirement goals. Eastman Financial, LLC employs a prudent investment evaluation process, based on our experience and knowledge, to help you develop an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). We will help the plan’s investment fiduciaries select and monitor investments in accordance with ERISA’s “Prudent Man” rule and your IPS.
Under ERISA Section 408(b)(8), plan sponsors also have a fiduciary duty to understand their plan’s cost structure, and ensure their plan’s costs, both direct and indirect, are “reasonable” for the services provided. We will periodically benchmark your plan’s fees and expenses to help ensure they remain “reasonable” over time, and help you satisfy ERISA’s fee disclosure requirements.
PARTICIPANT EDUCATION & COMMUNICATIONS
Ultimately, the success of your retirement plan benefit will be measured by its ability to positively impact the retirement readiness of participants. While managing participant investment costs and providing highly rated investment options are important, providing sound education and communications are equally important.
Whether your plan has just a few employees, or a few hundred, Eastman Financial, LLC will work with your 401k provider to develop a customized education and communications program. Our philosophy is that participant education works best when tailored for the individual participant. Through group education or re-enrollment meetings, and individual consultations, we can educate employees on plan provisions and help guide them through the process of creating an appropriate investment and retirement income strategy based on their individual needs, risk tolerance, and retirement time horizon.
Effective plan governance also means helping plan fiduciaries comply with the Employee Retirement Income and Savings Act, otherwise known as ERISA. This is an ongoing process that includes periodic review of your plan documents to help ensure all plan provisions are being followed. It also includes periodic fee benchmarking and investment performance reviews, and documenting a prudent process was followed for plan level decisions. We can also help you take advantage of the liability “safe harbor” offered by ERISA by adhering to the requirements of Section 404(c).