Oct 25, 2012 --- The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Co. Inc.
launched a tool to help advisers assist their clients with service provider
Plan advisers can work with sponsors using The Resource
Optimizer, developed by Guardian and Pension Resource Institute LLC (PRI), to
establish the need and value of service provider support. The tool enables
clients to determine plan risks, employer needs and the opportunity costs of
implementing a retirement plan.
“Fee disclosure, a changing regulatory landscape and
broker/dealer restrictions on fiduciary roles are creating significant
opportunities for both experienced financial professionals and non-fiduciary
financial professionals, particularly in the small-plan retirement marketplace,
which accounts for the vast majority of plans,” said Jason Frain, vice
president of 401(k) product management and development at Guardian Retirement
Solutions. “These changes are forcing plan sponsors to rely on financial
professionals to provide education and actionable solutions for compliance
challenges. Many plan sponsors lack the experience, time and resources to
effectively manage these plans to help participants achieve successful
The Resource Optimizer includes a comprehensive worksheet
that determines the necessity of various services involved in the
implementation of a retirement plan. The 15-question worksheet assesses a plan
sponsor’s needs and allows clients to discover plan risks and understand costs.
Frain told PLANSPONSOR that 10 questions in the worksheet are process-focused (for
example, committee meetings, investment policy statements), and five are based
on employee outcomes.