Independent Retirement Plan Advisers Form New Organization

A group of independent retirement plan investment advisers formed the National Association of Independent Retirement Plan Advisors (NAIRPA), a sister organization to the American Society of Pension Professionals&Actuaries (ASPPA)

The mission of NAIRPA is to educate and advocate the role of retirement plan advisers, the importance of independence, and “the real meaning of independence,’ according to a press release.

NAIRPA is not affiliated with financial services companies. Its members are registered investment advisers (RIAs) whose fees for service do not vary with the investment options selected by the plan or participants, the organization said.

NAIRPA members also make other commitments about fee arrangements and fiduciary status, according to the release. Members commit to disclosing expected fees in advance of an engagement, reporting fees annually thereafter, and agreeing to serve as a plan fiduciary to all plans for which it serves as a retirement plan adviser.

“NAIRPA will give independent investment advisers a voice in ongoing policy discussions about investment and fiduciary issues for qualified retirement plans,’ said Mark Davis, of CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, a founding member of NAIRPA, in the release. “We believe independent advisers have unique expertise to offer, and previous to NAIRPA, we have not had an organization to represent our interests in the retirement plan industry.’

NAIRPA said it will provide opportunities for independent advisers to participate in policy discussions about crucial issues, such as investment advice and fee disclosure for 401(k) plan investments. NAIRPA intends to work closely with regulators at the U.S. Department of Labor and with policymakers in Congress “to ensure independent retirement plan advisers have a voice in setting and implementing policies to strengthen the retirement system for working Americans,’ the release said.

As a sister organization, ASPPA will be providing logistical and lobbying support to NAIRPA.

Firms interested in joining NAIRPA can contact Kara Getz for more information.