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fiduciary retirement plan consulting

beyond funds, fees, and fiduciary governance.

how do you define success for your  retirement program?

Are you really focusing on the right things in your 401(k) or 403(b)?  You spend all this time monitoring the plan’s funds and fees, and worrying about your fiduciary governance; but are your employees actually on track to have enough money to retire?  And what does it cost you as their employer if they have to delay retirement?

Studies show that 54% of Americans are stressed about their financial situation.  Consequently, they spend an average of 13 hours per month at work worrying about their finances.  This estimated annual cost for you, their employer, for this lost productivity is estimated to average $7,000 per year for each financially stressed employee. 

This also often leads to behaviors that derail retirement savings.  For example, one in four pre-retirees take money from their retirement plans, and 50% of workers age 60 and over plan to work until age 70 or later.  This costs you somewhere between $10,000 to $50,000 in insurance and benefits for each year an employee delays retirement.  Plus, the lack of advancement for your younger workers can increase turnover, with an average cost of $15,000 per employee that you consequently lose.

delayed retirements dramatically impact your bottom line! 
there is “a smarter way” to gauge the success of your 401(k) or 403(b) 
our 5-step process
intellicents has a 5-step process for improving the retirement readiness of your workforce, centered on both you the plan sponsor and your participants: 

step one

define success

We recommend you strive to achieve 75% of your participants being on-track to maintain their same standard of living during their retirement years as they are accustomed  to during their working career.  Don’t worry, we can measure that for you; and for most employers it’s below 30%.  The real shock will come when we show you the projected liability you have for delayed retirements.

step two

implement plan design

Auto everything… enrollment, contribution escalation, AND investment. Plans that utilize auto features have a 21% higher participation rate than plans that don’t. Your employees will thank you for it when they can retire on time AND with enough money.

step three

implement wellness program

Our intellicents university curriculum includes both education and onsite financial planning services to promote participant engagement. How can we expect Americans to save more when they are maxed out on three to five credit cards, and have no idea how to create a household budget?  Half of workers say that retirement, financial, and health care planning programs would be helpful in increasing their productivity on the job.

step four

add participant advice

This is what your participants need and want. Our advisors come onsite for one-on-one meetings, and all of your people will have access to our allmymoney® financial wellness app. A 1% improvement in their investment performance could boost the number of your employees that are 80% to 100% retirement ready by 15%. Smart people supported by great technology!

step five

benchmark progress

You will receive an annual Plan Sponsor Aggregate Retirement Readiness Report detailing the progress we have made; plus your participants will get an annual retirement readiness report projecting whether they are on track to achieve a comfortable retirement.  And your report benchmarking your looming liability for delayed retirements should markedly improve.

When you help your employees to be on target for a successful retirement, everybody wins. But what about monitoring the plan’s funds, fees, and fiduciary governance? It’s important. 

don't worry,
we do that too!

fiduciary governance services

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holistic employee education

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participant advice services

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an intellicent service structure

to learn more

select a category

fiduciary governance services

Your intellicents retirement plan consulting team can take on the fiduciary responsibility of selecting and monitoring your plan’s investment lineup, and negotiating with your recordkeeper for great service at competitive fees.


  • Nondiscretionary 3(21) investment advisor

  • Discretionary 3(38) investment manager

  • Plan investment menu construction

  • Quarterly investment performance monitoring report

  • Annual total plan cost analysis and benchmarking

  • Aggregate Plan Sponsor retirement readiness report

  • Analysis on the cost of delayed retirements

  • Plan Sponsor Investment Committee meeting minutes

  • Plan sponsor investment committee new-member fiduciary education

holistic employee education & financial wellness services

More importantly, however, our consulting team will help you establish goals and benchmark what percent of your employees are actually on track to a successful retirement outcome.  Isn’t that why you have a plan in the first place? 

Accordingly, our consulting team can help you customize employee education campaigns that fits both the needs of your people and your corporate culture.


• intellicents university financial wellness curriculum

• Online financial learning center

• Educational group meetings

· Informational enrollment meetings

· Retirement planning

· Retirement income planning

· Social Security & Medicare

· Do you need a financial plan

· Budgeting & credit management

· Risk management/insurance needs

• Contribution modeling reports

• Annual participant retirement readiness report

· Education planning

· Selecting the right health plan

· Maximizing your Health 
  Savings Account

· Investment management

· Estate planning

· Tax planning

participant advice services

Not long ago, nobody wanted to give advice to retirement plan participants because of the added fiduciary responsibility. Today, most plans do and it is, in fact, considered a best practice as long as it is delivered by a fiduciary.  

Progressive employers are even going a step farther and offering their employees holistic financial planning and advice. 73% of employees age 25 to 54 find it somewhat or very attractive if their employer offered holistic financial advice as an employee benefit; and 66% of workers age 55 to 65 find it somewhat or very attractive. What’s right for your workforce? We have a lot of options.


  • Risk-based model portfolios

  • Custom target date funds

  • Managed accounts

  • allmymoney® financial wellness app

  • Financial planning 

  • Onsite one-on-one advice

  • CFP 800# financial hotline

an intellicent service structure

To do this it all starts with great people, and then we complement them with progressive technology solutions – with the underlying goal of becoming your partner in delivering a retirement program that helps attract and retain your most valuable asset...your employees.

Your Consulting Team 

Their job is to help you build a workplace retirement program that gets your employees “successfully TO retirement”.  They will assist you in defining goals, and then establish strategies for fiduciary governance, recordkeeping/administration, and participant education and advice to accomplish those goals, delivering progress and benchmarking reports to you quarterly/annually.

Your Relationship Manager

Has the same training and licenses as your consulting team, but tactically is responsible for the day-to-day execution of the strategies put together to deliver successful retirement outcomes for your people.  They typically will lead all participant education and advice efforts, plus can be your advocate for nagging or chronic issues with your plan recordkeeper/administrator.

Personal Financial Management Team

Their job is to get your employees “successfully THROUGH retirement”, taking a more holistic approach to their overall financial situation.  Accordingly, they would typically lead any workplace financial wellness initiatives you elect to implement, including detailed financial planning for your people, and be a resource for your participants’ distribution and retirement income questions or strategies.

Retirement Chief Investment Officer

Dedicated specifically to designing the “intellicent” fiduciary approach to selecting and monitoring the investment options you make available to your retirement program participants.

Personal Financial Management Chief Investment Officer

Dedicated specifically to designing “intellicent” investment strategies for retirement income planning and holistic financial planning for your participants.

Client Services

Our dedicated internal staff for the fulfillment of quarterly fiduciary investment monitoring reports for the plan, annual aggregate retirement readiness report of your participant base, analysis of your aggregate cost for delayed retirements, and participant education material.

  • passive vs. active investment management
    Active money managers generally employ high-priced humans to manage the underlying investments. Most often their goal is to out-perform their pre-defined benchmark. Historical data shows that many active managers fail to provide this performance premium. Therefore, another option is to actually “buy the benchmark” by instead hiring low-cost passive index managers. For most plans, investment management costs are the biggest expense. Numerous recent fiduciary lawsuits center on plan sponsors failing to monitor this expense.
  • utilization of low-cost mutual funds and ETFs
    Whether your plan offers active or passive funds or both, higher investment management fees do not buy you better investment management talent. There is no correlation between higher fees and higher performance. The one thing in the investment management equation that is controllable is cost. And several 401(k) recordkeepers today allow low-cost ETFs to be in the plan’s available universe of funds to choose from.
  • cheaper share classes
    Plan sponsors should always be evaluating whether there are cheaper share classes of their existing funds available. Most fund families offer lower cost “institutional share classes” for retirement plans. Recent rulings by the Department of Labor and the courts illustrate that this level of analysis is clearly an expectation of fiduciaries.
  • CITs versus mutual funds
    Without question, mutual funds are the dominant form of investment vehicle found in plans today, but they are not the only legal investment vehicle for plans to choose from. Many large plans have further reduced their investment management expense by moving to Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) for some or all of their investment options. Mutual funds were invented to allow the small retail investor to adequately diversify, and they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. CITs, however, are regulated by banking law, and are not available for the individual to invest in outside their 401(k) plan. Consequently, their cost for doing business can be lower. Once available only to very large plans, many are now available to even the very small plan. And many mutual fund companies are actually coming out with lower cost CIT versions of their mutual fund options.
  • buying in bulk
    There is no question that more money buys you a better deal in the financial services business. Consequently, big plans have a lower overall cost structure than smaller plans, measured as a percentage of total plan assets. There are, however, ways for smaller plans to band together and collectively become a bigger plan, and thus get better pricing.
  • benchmarking
    Plan fees have come down dramatically over the last several years. Proper fiduciary governance warrants plan sponsors to do a total cost analysis on an annual basis, and benchmark their plan relative to plans of a similar size. Fortunately, there are national data bases available for this comparison.
  • RFP
    Despite dramatic industry fee compression, plan service providers seldom voluntarily offer to reduce their fees. If you’ve been with a service provider for five years or longer, nothing brings them to the negotiating table faster than issuing a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) or briefer Request for Information (RFI). Plus, the results of this exercise don’t look bad to have in your Investment Committee or Administrative Committee minutes from a fiduciary governance standpoint.
  • hire a fiduciary investment advisor for the plan
    The vast majority of plans hire an experienced fiduciary investment advisor to not only assist in selecting and monitoring the plan’s investment menu, but to also oversee the responsibility of controlling plan costs. In essence, you are outsourcing some or most of your fiduciary responsibility, allowing you to focus on what you’re an expert at – getting more of your product or service out the door. Plus, the really good advisors will help you identify and decrease a huge hidden expense for most employers – the cost of delayed retirements.
our mission:
Get your employees “to” and “through” retirement... 
...on time and with enough cash. 
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