Financial advisors working with small business retirement plans will now get easy access to a proprietary digital platform offered by 401kplans.com, the company announced at the RPAG National Conference. With MEPs and small business retirement plans finding renewed attention, 401kplans.com is launching a white-labeled platform for broker-dealers and large advisor firms, and financial advisors can access it directly from the firm’s website or by invitation from platform participants.
The tool will provide efficiencies for advisors who may lack the resources to evaluate plans at scale, said Scott Buffington, CEO at 401kplans.com. “Retirement ‘specialist’ financial advisors have the knowledge but may not have the capacity to spend the hours needed to complete a proper due diligence process for a small plan,” noted Buffington. “In the small plan market, it is estimated that greater than 80 percent of transactions are completed by ‘generalist’ financial advisors, who may not have the expertise, tools or capacity to follow a prudent process where anything more than total cost is measured.” The new product is designed to assist those advisors, as well as providing better access to Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) so they can provide guidance to plan sponsors.
The hope is the app may help speed up the process of due diligence and streamline the proposal process.
The tool allows advisors to document an eight-step due diligence process and compare the total plan cost to a “‘reasonable range’ of a transparent benchmark average based on the actual plan data and market-based pricing,” according to the company. The advisor can then select the best provider on the company’s app, after presenting the client with providers that might be good matches, along with the customized due diligence documentation.