There can never be enough questions for your Investment Committee to ask as it reviews your organization’s retirement plan. Understanding the underlying strategy of your plan’s investment options – and being able to communicate them – is critical. To better gauge the performance of your Committee, here are a few questions to ask at the next meeting.
What is the basis for the funds available on the menu?
“Wow, there are a lot of funds to choose from here; how do I make the best decision for me?” is a common question participants ask themselves when deciding from among investment funds presented. To smooth that process, the Investment Committee needs to add and remove funds, as appropriate, basing their actions and decisions on a procedure that’s well communicated in an Investment Policy statement.
Am I paying too much for these funds?
Maybe the first question that comes to every participant’s mind. With thousands of funds available, your Committee needs to explain why one fund costs more than the next. There are times when a more expensive share class is warranted, but the reasoning has to fit within the plan’s Investment Policy.
What, exactly, are we buying and how much does it cost for each participant?
It’s the fiduciary’s responsibility to determine that fees paid for services are reasonable and warranted, but it’s the participant’s responsibility to hold the fiduciary accountable. By asking the right questions, the participant can better understand the services being provided, and whether or not the fiduciary is acting in the participant’s best interest.
What will you do to keep the fiduciaries and the participants of the plan more informed?
It’s important for participants to be aware of what’s going on in the marketplace. Ask the Investment Committee how they will keep plan participants up to date with current economic market conditions, potential opportunities, periodic performance updates and everything in between.
If you have questions, or would like to discuss the process and procedures Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors follows to ensure our clients are meeting their investment fiduciary responsibilities, please contact Schneider Downs.