I was reading a book recently titled What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. and it reminded me of a recent conversation with the owner of a community pharmacy.
The book challenges you to ask and find answers for the really tough questions about your life and where you are going. The pharmacy owner and I were working through questions about his financial situation, his life after pharmacy, and in particular, the retirement plan he was providing for his employees.
The tough questions for this community pharmacy owner were about his role as the plan's fiduciary. Our conversation stood out in my mind because, contrary to what he had heard and been advised, community pharmacy owners who offer a retirement plan to employees are considered fiduciaries. And, a fiduciary is held to the highest standard of care.
We were trying to determine if the plan and the advice he received for managing the plan were not only right for his pharmacy and employees, we were also looking to make sure he was fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility. The conversation was largely about making sure the plan was the best fit for his pharmacy and employees but there was an added sense of urgency as oversight from government agencies has been on a steady upswing. From what I have seen, these agencies are on a decidely intense mission to make sure plan sponsors, business owners like this pharmacy owner, are fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility.
The definition of a fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. Your employees trust you to make the best possible decisions for them which in turn means it is imperative to evaluate your plan by answering some tough questions.
Some of the tough questions to ask yourself about your retirement plan appear below. If you answer "No" to even two or three of them, you may want to reevaluate your retirement plan, your advisors and your fiduciary liability.
The Retirement Plan Fiduciary Checklist:
1. Have all plan fiduciaries been identified and informed of their role as a fiduciary in writing?
2. Do you have a documented investment policy statement?
3. Have you reviewed your plan’s investment choices in the last twelve months through a formal monitoring process?
4. Are there periodic reports which compare investment performance against an appropriate index, peer group and IPS objectives?
5. Does your investment portfolio provide a diversified set of options suitable for a broad range of participant demographics?
6. Do you know the exact cost of the plan’s investments to the plan participants?
7. Is there ongoing communication to participants regarding the plan’s investments?
8. Does your plan have on hand a central, due diligence file where all procedures, decisions and manuals are kept?
9. Is your advisor serving as an ERISA 3(38) provider in writing?
10. Does your provider have fiduciary liability insurance on your plan?
If you feel you are not getting the advice and support you need from your current advisor, or if you would simply like a second opinion, consider our complimentary Fiduciary Checkup. It provides a simple and quick way to find answers to the tough questions that must be asked.
Where does this wisdom come from?
The content of this blog is inspired and substantiated by our experience helping independent community pharmacists enjoy financial independence during and after their life in pharmacy. When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we endeavor to give them as much free value as is possible. In addition to providing educational and strategic planning tools (like the Fiduciary Checkup), we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.
The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a personalized roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.
If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at www.waypointus.com or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.
At Waypoint Pharmacy Advisors, we take care of you!