We provide ERISA 3(21) fiduciary services to DC plan-sponsors as well as personalized investment advice and education to plan participants in 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans.
Cognis Retirement Group® acknowledges, in writing, our role as an ERISA 3(21) fiduciary advisor to the plan. Our focus is on empowering plan-participants to achieve retirement readiness while partnering with plan-sponsors to enhance plan-health and mitigate fiduciary risk.
Our 3(21) fiduciary services include:
Plan-sponsors bear a significant responsibility to their participants, and a substantial liability for carrying out their fiduciary responsibilities. ERISA holds plan sponsors to high standards, but does not provide specific guidance as far as processes and procedures. It is largely left up to plan sponsors to navigate the management of their plan. Best practice guidelines can help you set up documents and processes that will help your plan run smoothly and assist the committee in successfully carrying out their responsibilities.
We help you answer questions such as:
Our Plan Governance services include:
o Drafting the investment committee Charter
o Drafting the Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
o Setting up the plan governance filing system and documents to keep
o The optimal structure for your committee and who should be on it
o The committee decision-making process to implement
o How often the committee needs to meet and what should be on the agenda
o Educating committee members to understand their fiduciary responsibilities
o Monitoring service providers
We help plan-sponsors navigate and optimize plan design decisions to help create plans that best serve to prepare participants for retirement readiness; meet their fiduciary responsibilities; and achieve their organizational objectives.
Following are the key areas we help address:
o Structuring best-practice eligibility requirements
o Appropriate use of automatic features
o Make the most of an employer match to drive savings rates
o Set appropriate policy on loans and withdrawals
o How to keep fees fair for all participants
o Whether to use a bundled provider or use an open architecture structure
o Evaluate the pros and cons of using a discretionary ERISA 3(38) structure
One of the greatest challenges for plan-sponsors is crafting an effective investment menu that balances providing enough options for diversification on one hand and on the other hand, keeping the menu simple enough for participants to use easily.
We help our clients build a strong investment menu, determine the best way to present the menu to plan-participants, and help guide participants through their selection process. In selecting the investment menu, we will help the plan-sponsor consider the following key objectives:
o Providing adequate diversification opportunities for participants
o Offering funds that provide both growth and capital preservation
o Managing investment expenses
o Offering a line-up that is easy to use and navigate
o Providing options appropriate to participants at every stage of life and career
Maintaining an employer-sponsored retirement plan is an ongoing process, requiring dedicated attention and oversight. Monitoring investment menu managers, plan providers, and plan fees is an important part of the plan-sponsor’s overall fiduciary responsibility.
Cognis Retirement Group® will help the plan-sponsor with:
o Reviewing performance and other data of investment menu managers
o Managing and providing oversight over your plan providers
o Implementing best-practices for conducting your RFP and negotiation process
o Benchmarking your plan providers
o Assessing, monitoring, and benchmarking plan fees
CRG's Financial Wellness Program offers a comprehensive and flexible solution that addresses employees' multi-faceted wellness and educational needs. A financially-well workforce can lead to less stress, higher employee retention and reduced health care costs.
In addition, ERISA requires that plan participants be educated about the various investment options available to them. Best-practice, as well, underscores the importance of overall financial wellness and education for plan-participants. Our program inspires, educates and encourages employees to make lasting financial behavior changes.
What is employee financial wellness?
Financial wellness or well-being refers to an employee’s overall financial health and knowledge. How well a worker can manage money impacts their morale, engagement, and productivity, among other factors, at work.
“Providing financial wellness resources and education to employees has tremendous benefits,” says Brian McDonald, head of Morgan Stanley. “Finances are one of the greatest sources of stress for employees, and those concerns affect their productivity". Firms that invest in financial wellness resources for employees will clearly set themselves apart in the marketplace.
As a plan-sponsor you may be limited in the number of benefits you can offer your workforce. For those plan-sponsors that we serve, CRG's Financial Wellness Program, is made available to all your plan-participants at no additional cost.
We work with the plan-sponsor to examine plan statistics such as the plan participation rate, average deferral rate, asset allocation, usage rate of plan options and features, and average account balances. Based on the review, we determine which areas will need the greatest attention to enable us customize the program to your plan's specific needs..
The cloud-based solution is a responsive platform with an extensive list of customizable features and interactive content such as interactive courses, budgeting tools, retirement modeling, and more. The dashboard comes with personalized action plans that guide the user from start to finish on the journey to reaching their financial goals.
Key Benefits of our Financial Wellness Program:
Participant Education & Engagement
Participant education is critical to helping participants become aware of their plan and the critical value it plays in their retirement-readiness. Combined with effective investment advice and plan design, education plays a significant role in improving participant outcomes.
Our initial engagement is to take a diagnostic review of existing educational services and tools, as well as the plan’s objectives and goals and to highlight deficient areas among participants.
We then examine plan statistics like the participation rate, average deferral rate, asset allocations, usage rates of plan options and features, and average account balances to benchmark your plan against industry peers and industry best-practice. The goal is to find out whether your participant population is on track for a successful retirement.
We then work with you to set education goals and craft an education policy statement for your plan. Goals may include the following:
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
9375 East Shea Boulevard, Ste 100 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260, United States
09:00 am – 05:00 pm
Copyright © 2021 Cognis Retirement Group® - All Rights Reserved..
Cognis Retirement Group® (“CRG®”) is a State Registered Investment adviser (RIA), pursuant to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, with principal offices in Scottsdale AZ, and branch offices in Greenwood Village CO and Orlando FL.
CRG® and its representatives are in compliance with the current filing requirements placed upon registered investment advisers by those states in which CRG® maintains clients. Copies of CRG’S current written disclosure brochure (Form ADV-Part 2A) and client relationship summary (Form CRS) discussing CRG’s business operations, services, fees, and client relationships are available from Cognis Retirement Group® upon request or may be downloaded from this site under our Legal Disclosures.
This website contains general information about our investment advisory services. It does not constitute an offer to sell investment products or provide advisory services in any jurisdiction in which such offer would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, investment, legal, tax, or other advice.
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