MSSB Offers Benchmarking Services for DC Plans

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney announced that detailed fee and service benchmarking tools have been added to its defined contribution retirement plans.

This new capability, powered by Fiduciary Benchmarks, will enable Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Corporate Retirement Directors (CRDs) to provide insight to plan sponsors about their plan’s fees and services. CRDs are financial advisers who focus on serving retirement plan sponsors.  

Edward O’Connor, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Retirement Services, said in the announcement: “Plan sponsors have an obligation to ensure that the fees they pay service providers are reasonable. Comparing and evaluating plan fees and services to those of other similar plans – is one way to help plan fiduciaries determine what is “reasonable.” While this may seem like a daunting task for plan sponsors, our CRDs can help them identify and understand specific plan fees, leverage Fiduciary Benchmark’s data and benchmarking capabilities to conduct an apples-to-apples comparison, and ultimately evaluate the effectiveness of their plan from both a quantitative as well as a qualitative perspective.”  

The company noted the demand for fee benchmarking services has been on the rise since the release of the interim final 408(b)(2) regulation on July 16, 2010, requiring the disclosure of fees and services related to retirement plans.