Heffernan Financial Services

San Francisco, California


: PA TOP 100 - 2014: Teams and Individuals With 20% or More in: 403(b) Plans

For over 20 years, the team at Heffernan Financial Services primary goal has been to assist our non-profit and corporate clients meet the ever changing needs and objectives of their employee’s retirement goals. As a team of independent financial advisers, Heffernan Financial Services helps over 25,000 participants in our defined contribution plans save for the retirement that they want. Our team has over 75 years of combined experience in retirement planning and we offer our clients a documented proven process to identify, qualify and quantify their objectives while consistently evaluating the overall results.

What is your mission statement?

We are committed to educating our individual and corporate clients on all aspects of the planning process which inevitably leads to prudent and meaningful strategies. The services we offer are delivered through our disciplined goals based process which serves as the cornerstone of our practice. We offer our clients a documented proven process to identify, qualify and quantify their objectives while consistently evaluating the overall results. Our success is measured in terms of our clients reaching their objectives.

What are any special education or communication initiatives you’ve undertaken with plan sponsors or participants?

The team at Heffernan Financial Services has been using a multiple pronged approached to employee education. Using automatic enrollment and automatic increase has help boost the participation and deferral rates of employees. The second approach is using short 3-5 minute pre-record presentations on different savings and investing topics which helps reach young employees who are consuming their information online and not from the annual employee education meeting. Lastly, having a full time education and communication consultant that is available to employees for individual questions can help them address their question on their time table.

What are you doing about fee disclosure?

Our team has been providing full fee disclosure since 2009, helping plan sponsors understand what costs are being paid out of the plan and who is receiving that compensation and for what services. We also provide benchmarks from independent third parties to show sponsors what the ranges and averages are for groups of equal size and complexity.

What about this business are you most passionate about?

Helping employees get on a savings path that will allow them to live the retirement they want. Almost everyone has an idea of what they want their retirement to look like and everyone’s vision is different. By focusing on employees individually, no matter what stage in life they are at, and getting them on saving a path that strives to help get them where they want to go.

What is the key to a good team?

Communication is key to any successful team. Our team based approach to client service allows us to be able to respond to any employer or employee question within 24 hours and often much faster than that. Keeping the team up to speed on what is happening with each client requires clear communication and documentation, but it is what allows us to deliver high quality service to all of our clients.