Investment Due Diligence

Employee Communication and Education

Benchmarking your Plan

Expense Analysis Report

Plan Deign and Report

Fiduciary Oversight

 

Investment Due Diligence

SkyOak Retirement Services will work with the retirement plan investment committee to develop and maintain the plan’s investment strategy, which is codified in an investment policy statement. This investment policy statement is used as a guide to evaluate your current investment offerings, measuring them against applicable indices, your existing provider’s complete menu and the broader universe of investment options. The result is confidence that your plan’s investments are diversified, well managed, and meet the stated objectives of your investment policy statement.  This process is important to keep the plan compliant with ERISA regulations for record keeping and protocol.

 

Employee Communication and Education

A hands-on communication program is critical to the success of a company’s retirement plan.  We put real people in front of your people.  Enrollment and education specialists at SkyOak understand that the development of a customized effective communication program.  We review the wide variety of options available with the Plan Administrator and create the most appropriate program for their particular employee population.  Consistent implementation of the communication plan increases employee understanding and participation while raising the profile and appreciation of the benefit.

Key components of SkyOak Retirement Services communication strategy include:

  • Pre-enrollment memos
  • All on-site meetings conducted by securities licensed representative(s)
  • On-site group enrollment meeting, also available electronically
  • On site “one on one” meetings, also available electronically
  • On-site group investment education meetings, also available electronically
  • Multi-lingual meetings and representatives
  • Video teleconferencing “Meet Me” meetings for remote locations
  • Access to team of individual advisors
  • Customer service representatives and e-mail contacts for plan participants

 

Benchmarking Your Plan

The plan administrator’s review process can be time-consuming, confusing, and frustrating.  All too often, standard vendor-provided proposals do not include enough information to determine administrative, recordkeeping, compliance, and employee communication services and standards for which the plan administrator is responsible.  Furthermore, total plan costs of vendor provided proposals are usually impossible to determine in the provided materials.

 

SkyOak Wealth Management is your partner in the plan review process. SkyOak utilizes an independent third party for plan benchmarking analysis. We compile and translate the third party research.   The provided report enables plan sponsors to eliminate the confusion and frustration of selecting a 401(k) provider, and dramatically reduces the amount of time plan sponsors must allocate to the evaluation of new plan providers.

 

Our plan benchmarking analysis maintains the richest data and conducts the most comprehensive research on retirement plan providers and asset managers. Employers who choose to evaluate their plan providers on fundamental product, service and cost components will find this program to be an integral part of their required due diligence process. The powerful research and analysis tools are aimed at providing transparency to best identify pricing options and service enhancements from each provider.  Using an independent third party allows us to avoid a conflict of interest later.

 

Expense Analysis Report

Understanding Expenses

Recent fee disclosure requirements under DOL section 408(b) (2) legislation are still new to some plan administrators.  These regulations require 401(k) plan providers to disclose all plan fees charged to employees.  For many years, the plan fees were minimally disclosed, hidden through various schemes, or not disclosed at all.  Currently, many plan platforms and plan service providers are attempting to circumvent the regulations by continuing to hide fees or making the disclosures so complex that is difficult for plan sponsors and fiduciaries to understand. In response to this, we provide access to a tool to help.

 Expense Analysis

An Expense Analysis is created with fee transparency in mind.  At SkyOak, we produce a Fee Analysis Report, which includes the following.

  • Fund Expense and Revenue Sharing Analysis – A list of all fees at the fund level, including expense ratios, wrap fees and revenue sharing. The totals are displayed in both dollar amounts and a percentage.
  • Summary Investment Expense/Revenue Sharing – A summary of assets based fees, revenue sharing and wrap fees.
  • Fee Details – A list of all parties getting paid by the Plan and how much they are receiving for their services with an optional section for advisor commentary.
  • Client Fee Summary – A balance calculation of revenue sharing to total plan fees.

 

The Expense Analysis also provides a one-page fee analysis Summary that is presentation ready. The summary is comprehensive and easy to read, so that you can more easily understand the real costs of the plan.

 

Plan Design and Support

Over the last decade, Congress has burdened plan sponsors with an overwhelming volume of legislation, making continual review of retirement plans essential. It is critical that the legal, compliance and design aspects of a plan are current.

While legislation dictates uniformity for certain plan features, recent changes in law are aimed at increasing employee participation and restoring some of the incentives and benefits previously lost by plan sponsors.  SkyOak Retirement Services can help you navigate and maintain these requirements.  We review the design and operational features of your company’s plan, from an unbiased perspective, focusing on:

  • Increased employee deferral limits and employee tax credit incentives
  • Increased employer plan contribution deduction limits
  • The relationship between loan incidence and plan participation
  • Tiered and Age-Weighted discretionary contribution formulas
  • Online participant access for account balance inquiry and changes
  • Key personnel Internet access to plan and participant data
  • Paperless enrollment
  • Electronic transmittal of payroll, loan and distribution transactions
  • Automatic enrollment/negative election
  • Controlled Group plan set-up and design alternatives
  • Optimum frequency and educational content of employee communications
  • Complying with 404(c) investment guidelines and requirements
  • Management of the conversion/transition process

 

Fiduciary Oversight

The fiduciary role required of a plan administrator possesses the most significant amount of personal risk in the corporate arena. Most plan administrators are inundated with primary job functions, finance, accounting, and/or human resources.  They generally lack the time and tools to fulfill their fiduciary accountabilities.  For plan administrators who are aware of their fiduciary responsibilities, they are concerned about their personal liability as a fiduciary.  For plan administrators who are unaware of their fiduciary responsibilities, there is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.  As a service to plan administrators, SkyOak Retirement Services offers a fiduciary oversight program that delivers protection and ensures excellence in plan management through independent governance and monitoring.

SkyOak’s fiduciary oversight ensures fiduciary compliance through the effective use of investment committee training, plan governance, and provider monitoring.  SkyOak Retirement Services accepts more fiduciary responsibilities from the plan administrator than most financial advisors.  We have independent third parties who are willing to accept as much of the fiduciary responsibilities that can be assumed from the plan administrator by law.

SkyOak may act as either a limited fiduciary in the scope of only a financial advisor.  We may assume more of the employer’s fiduciary duty by agreeing in writing to act as an investment manager, taking the place of the investment committee.  SkyOak also has access to an independent firm to act as a 3(16) fiduciary, nearly eliminating any fiduciary responsibilities

SkyOak Retirement Services’ clients satisfy the following fiduciary functions with an uncompromised level of assurance:

  • Demonstrate prudence through a document trail and plan binder;
  • Understand the key factors around investment management decision making;
  • Adhere to the plan document and the committees’ investment strategies;
  • Avoid conflicts of interest;
  • Monitor service providers according to the new global benchmarks of fiduciary excellence.

 

Free Retirement Plan Audit

 

If you have an existing plan, SkyOak can provide an audit of your existing plan.  The audit will not only analyze the plan costs, but also several of the indicators of a successful plan.  SkyOak will analyze the design issues that may be hampering the plan effectiveness.  We will also point out any regulatory issues that may exist.

You’ll receive:

  • A proposal customized to your company’s size and needs
  • Key information that will help you decide what retirement plan is right for you
  • A free retirement consulting session with a retirement expert

The SkyOak Retirement Services expert consultants will help you:

  • Determine what type of plan your company needs
  • How you should structure your plan to meet your employees’ needs
  • Understand what small-business tax credits the government offers you

What do I need to do?

Just click on the green bar above and fill out some basic information about your company. We will then contact you to set up your free, no-obligation retirement consulting session.

 

Start a New Company Plan

 

If you are looking to start a plan, SkyOak will meet to discuss the objectives that you have for the plan.  They will educate you on your options and provide a clear recommendation.  We will educate your plan administrator and build the team of plan providers around them to insure that the plan is successful and minimizes the time required for plan activity.

You’ll receive:

  • A proposal customized to your company’s size and needs
  • Key information that will help you decide what retirement plan is right for you
  • A free retirement consulting session with a retirement expert

The SkyOak Retirement Services expert consultants will help you:

  • Determine what type of plan your company needs
  • How you should structure your plan to meet your employees’ needs
  • Understand what small-business tax credits the government offers you

What do I need to do?

Just click on the green bar above and fill out some basic information about your company. We will then contact you to set up your free, no-obligation retirement consulting session.