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401(k) Plan Consulting

Retirement Plan Consulting

Preserving and growing your Company’s Retirement Plan takes an understanding of the business and economic landscape. That is why at Pivotal Planning Group, we have organized ourselves to deliver more services and solutions in order to meet your Retirement Plan’s needs. Our dedicated team of Retirement Plan Advisors understands your concerns, financial needs and the importance of intelligent planning. We will deliver unbiased solutions by combining our years of experience and determination to offer you unparalleled, client-centered service.

Fiduciary Services for Trustees

 Research tells us that the U.S. Department of Labor plans to increase the number of ERISA audits it conducts each year and that nearly 75% of the plans audited by the DOL were either fined, received penalties or had to make restitutions for errors. There is also a clear increase in the number of lawsuits against Trustees in the private sector with the primary reason being “Breach of Fiduciary Duty”.

A Fiduciary is anyone who exercises discretionary authority regarding the management and administration of a retirement plan or trust and its assets. A Trustee has a fiduciary duty and stands in a special relationship of Trust, Confidence and Responsibility.

Unfortunately, many fiduciaries struggle to understand the exact nature of their responsibilities, the extent of their personal liability and how to comply with government regulations. Most of the advisors in this country who are serving the 401k space do not have the legal capacity to act as a fiduciary or the credentials to demonstrate their knowledge in delivering prudent plan governance procedures to help mitigate this personal liability for fiduciaries.

This is where Pivotal Planning Group, LLC sets itself apart from the typical commission based broker and investment advisory firm. We are:

A SEC Registered Investment Adviser and a 3(38) Fiduciary Investment Manager. We act in the sole interest of our clients and are legally considered a fiduciary to our clients.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AFIA®). We have significant knowledge and expertise regarding the prudent fiduciary practices needed to mitigate liability and manage your 401(k) Plan.

Pivotal Planning Group, LLC has helped Trustees, Board Members and Investment Committee Members by educating them on their Fiduciary Duties and providing them with the systems and tools necessary to meet their responsibilities. We assist Trustees, Board and Investment Committee Members by implementing and monitoring a 22 step Fiduciary Quality Management System.

What is a 3(38) Fiduciary Investment Manager?
ERISA section 3(38) defines the term “investment manager” as a fiduciary who also is responsible for providing investment advisory services for a fee, but with the important distinction of possessing discretionary control over the investment decisions for the plan.

In hiring a 3(38) fiduciary adviser plan fiduciaries remove themselves from the ongoing investment decision-making process and therefore significantly reduce their personal liability.

What is a 3(21) Co-fiduciary?
ERISA section 3(21) fiduciary is an advisor who renders investment advice for a fee.

Such an advisor serves in a co-fiduciary capacity to the plan and thus shares fiduciary responsibility and liability with other plan fiduciaries.

Hiring an ERISA section 3(21) fiduciary may help to mitigate the potential liability of the other plan co-fiduciaries, as the advisor would provide the necessary investment expertise and process to assist in the required investment decision-making process.

What is a 3(16) Plan Administrator?
The 3(16) administrator is responsible for managing the day to day operation of the plan. The duties of the plan administrator are set by ERISA and the terms of the plan document.

Is your Retirement Plan Advisor acting as a Fiduciary?

If you’re not 100% sure, there is an easy way to find out. Simply print our Fiduciary Acknowledgment Form and have your advisor sign it. Remember to keep a copy in your Retirement Plan file. (Click here for a copy)

What happens if your advisor won’t sign it?
Well, that’s a pretty good reason to begin looking for an advisor that will.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a truly unbiased retirement plan expert, feel free to call our office at 516-333-6565 and ask to speak with John Marchisotta.

Investment Management Advisory Services

Our clients have long realized that utilizing the services of a proprietary broker or investment manager may not be in their company’s best interest. Although they may have relationships with large banks and brokerage firms to custody their Retirement Plan assets, they understand the importance of having an independent expert oversee the prudent management and oversight of their plan.

Pivotal Planning Group, LLC is a SEC Registered Investment Adviser and a Fiduciary to 401(k) and Retirement Plans. We specialize in helping Plan Sponsors and Trustees formalize and meet their fiduciary responsibilities. We are responsible for selecting, managing and monitoring their plan assets along with educating their employees on the benefits of their company’s retirement plan including how to save for retirement.

As a 3(38) investment manager and advisor we serve in a fiduciary capacity to the plan and assume fiduciary responsibility and liability for plan trustees, we are one of a few firms here on Long Island that is willing to act in this capacity. This benefit significantly reduces plan sponsor and trustees personal risk and shifts many important responsibilities to us as an independent expert.

Most will experience better service, a shrinking work load and a reduction in their personal liability as the fiduciary to the plan. Additionally, in most cases we are able to lower the overall fees to the plan and its participants.

Our Process:

Fiduciary Quality Management System – This process consists of 22 best practices as prescribed by law under a Comprehensive Four Step Program. It is intended to uncover Fiduciary Non‐ Compliance and Liability issues and provide the framework for a disciplined investment process. All 22 Best Practices are substantiated by legislation, case law, and or regulatory opinion letters form ERISA, UPIA, UPMIFA and MPERS.

Organize – We will collect, analyze and review your plan documents regarding the selection and management of you investments.

Formalize – an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) that looks at the plans time horizon, risk levels, investment objectives and asset classes. By reviewing these major objectives we can establish the building blocks for formalizing the plans overall investment strategy.

Implement – The newly created Investment Strategy by only looking at the appropriate investment vehicles.

Monitor – This is the ongoing review, analysis and monitoring of the investment vehicles in your company’s plan.

A significant yet often overlooked component of a well-run retirement plan is ongoing educational meetings for employees and participants. Additionally regularly scheduled review meetings with plan trustees are critical to remain in compliance. We will work with you to create a custom schedule based on ERISA requirements and your needs.

Pension & Employee Benefits Consulting

The proper design and implementation of a company’s retirement plan is critical in today’s changing economic environment. Our planning and design team can create a customized plan document suited to your needs. Whether you need a Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Profit Sharing Plan, Money Purchase Pension Plan, Hybrid Plan or so on, our clients utilize our expertise because the traditional Prototype Plan offered by large institutions does not effectively achieve their goals and maximize their pre‐tax contributions.

Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans, also called pension plans, offer a predetermined rate or account balance typically disbursed in a series of payments during retirement. Unlike Defined Contribution Plans where employees bear their own investment risk, Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans place the associated investment risks upon the employer.

The unique qualities and stringent regulatory guidelines of these plans require intensive fact‐finding and due diligence throughout the implementation and administration of your programs. Companies looking to administer or start a Defined Benefit or Cash Balance Plan will need the combined services of accountants, attorneys, actuarial professionals and plan administrators to get the plan up and running.