PA: What is your mission statement?
Retirement Benefits Group: RBG is built on a foundation of providing the highest level of oversight and deliverables so that each and every participant is afforded the resources and opportunity to retire with financial dignity. At RBG, people always come first. More than just a philosophy, our people-first approach drives everything we do. For us, it’s about knowing your organization inside and out and making a commitment to your success. It means empowering—and motivating—your employees to reach their retirement goals. And it means doing business with the highest personal integrity.
PA: How is your team/process/structure unique?
RBG: Our approach to building our multioffice team structure begins with the desire to serve retirement plan participants and their plan sponsors. We seek advisers who have common ethics and who desire to improve their plan sponsors’ and participants’ experiences in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities and saving for retirement, respectively. The advisers who join RBG understand that they are joining a family. Their clients remain theirs, and we do everything we can to help them grow their business. We provide support via proprietary tools, expert resources, intellectual capital and professional camaraderie.
PA: What have you done in the past year to improve participants’ retirement readiness?
RBG: Through our Passion for the Participant program, RBG has continued to provide tools and resources to our plan sponsor clients to assist them in educating their participants about the importance of retirement readiness. Our advisers meet one-on-one with any participant who would like a review, and we believe that the face-to-face encounter is the most effective in getting someone to take action.
Where possible, we have engaged our clients with the services of providers and vendors who share the same passion for improving retirement readiness. In partnership with them, we have been able to increase deferral rates and participation, and improve investment allocations. RBG is continually researching products and vendors that focus on retirement readiness, as we know this is the key to a plan’s success.
PA: How have you been able to lower fees for clients?
RBG: Over the past few years, RBG has worked diligently for our plan sponsor clients in reducing their total plan costs. We pay for and include as part of our service package annual benchmark reports from Fiduciary Benchmarks Inc. Presenting these reports has resulted in numerous recordkeeper fee reductions as well as adviser fee reductions. We regularly negotiate with plan providers on behalf of our plan sponsor clients for reductions in investment expenses that are paid by the participants. Recordkeeper and investment adviser searches are also very effective in continuing to ensure fees are reasonable for the services provided.
PA: Describe any particularly noteworthy investment initiatives you have led with your customer base in the past 12 months.
RBG: We initiated a high-level analysis of stable value and target-date fund (TDF) categories. The analysis is dedicated to the differentiating factors associated with the various offerings and the respective cost/benefit risk analysis.
PA: Please describe any special education or communication initiatives you’ve undertaken with plan sponsors or participants.
RBG: In addition to our national reach and deep expertise in the retirement plan consulting industry, Retirement Benefits Group is defined by our Passion for the Participant program and our educational services. We combine technology and personal interaction into financial and educational programs that many participants would never be able to afford or understand on their own. Retirement Benefits Group sees itself as an extension of the human resources (HR) staff for the companies we work with. Our specialists explain and clarify the retirement plan process and procedure, gather data and help define goals for their employees.
We are strong advocates of educating participants through one-on-one planning meetings, personal financial reviews, participant transition consulting and overall clear and concise communication.
BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
Plan assets under advisement: $11 billion
Median plan size (in assets): $8 million
Total plans under advisement: 350
Total participants in plans served: 150,000