The 2014 PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year winners—in the individual, team and multioffice team categories—stand out for their overriding concerns for plan sponsor clients and participants, as well as the leading-edge actions they take with respect to plan design and outcomes. These advisers, by their example, help to set new standards of excellence for employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Launched in 2005, this awards program acknowledges “the contributions of the nation’s best financial advisers in helping make retirement security a reality for workers across the nation.” This year, we set new standards and requirements for advisers who wanted to be considered for the list. They must: be willing to accept fiduciary status for the plans they serve; fully and freely disclose their compensation, moving toward a flat-fee basis; set measures and real retirement readiness benchmarks for participation and deferral rates, among other variables, to determine plan success; and communicate regularly with plan sponsors, encouraging and engaging clients with their retirement plans. That the award remains under the PLANSONSOR brand is a reminder that its goal is to honor advisers who are consistently focused on doing what is best for their plan sponsor clients and participants.

Each of the 17 finalists in the three categories—Retirement Plan Adviser, Retirement Plan Team Adviser and Retirement Plan Multioffice Team Adviser—are standouts, so selecting the three winners among such a distinguished class of finalists was no easy task for the judges. We hope you enjoy reading these advisers’ profiles.