Through our affiliate, MFA Asset Management, we offer a unique set of advisory services that help plan sponsors understand and effectively manage their complex retirement plan, including issues concerning plan investments, operational compliance and fiduciary liability. We assist plan sponsors and other fiduciaries with the definition, implementation and ongoing monitoring of a clear and prudent process that maximizes plan efficiency, ensures compliance with ERISA's rigorous standards and allows for the delivery of a best-in-class retirement plan for their employees.
As a plan sponsor, our clients have significant personal fiduciary responsibility under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA requires that they act with the skill, knowledge and expertise of a prudent expert and ensure that every decision they make as a plan fiduciary is in the best interests of plan participants and their beneficiaries. Whether it be managing plan fees and expenses, choosing and monitoring the appropriate investments, complying with reporting and disclosure requirements or conducting employee educational meetings, guidance from our team of retirement plan advisors ensures that our clients understand the full scope of their fiduciary responsibilities. We take a disciplined approach to fiduciary fitness, assessing the overall health of the plan and verifying it is operating in accordance with the Plan Document. We also help our clients to ensure their plan is in compliance with ERISA and the DOL and that they, as fiduciaries, are following best practices.
Businesses face a distinct challenge in choosing and monitoring the appropriate investments offered within their retirement plan. It’s a serious fiduciary obligation as it can impact a participant’s retirement readiness. As a 3(38) investment manager we will significantly reduce your liability by assuming the role of fiduciary, or as a 3(21) investment advisor we will work with your investment committee in a co-fiduciary function.
While the choice of engaging us as a 3(38) investment manager or a 3(21) investment advisor is your choice, we at MFA Asset Management strongly advocate for the 3(38) investment manager role. By serving you in this capacity, we maximize the protection to you and your committee by shouldering the maximum fiduciary liability allowable under the code of ERISA. We feel a 3(38) advisory relationship adds unequivocal value to you and your plan, and far exceeds the alternate 3(21) advisor relationship, where the investment advisor chooses to take on only a small portion of the fiduciary risk; leaving you to shoulder the majority of the risk. Our ultimate goal is to apply our expertise to mitigate risk, increase value, and empower your plan participants.
Selecting and monitoring the service providers to an institution's retirement plan is an essential fiduciary function and involves regularly assessing the reasonableness of fees and expenses for the retirement plan as well as identifying potential conflicts of interest.
Benchmarking plan provider services, investment opportunities and total plan fees can overwhelm even the most diligent plan sponsor. At MFA Asset Management, we shoulder the responsibility of a thorough market analysis, offering guidance and support throughout the process. Not only do our benchmarking and full vendor search solutions help our clients meet their fiduciary obligations but they are also designed to minimize total plan costs and maximize the scope and quality of plan provider services for the institution.
MFA’s multi-disciplinary team of advisors is focused on the economic enhancement of your plan and its participants. As such, we offer a comprehensive education plan designed to ensure your employees understand and are taking full advantage of the benefits afforded to them under your plan. We offer a holistic, guided and personalized experience that helps plan participants to reach retirement goals by becoming better informed about their investments, asset allocation and risk tolerance.
To learn more, download our Institutional Consulting brochure.