cash balance and 401(k) plans. While employees see a doubling of
their retirement contributions, business owners win with reduced
tax liabilities and a significant increase in overall retirement
savings. Advisers get to be the hero because they’re bringing this
innovative strategy to clients.
Advisers are often looking for a door-opener to get meetings with
high-net-worth individuals and expand assets under management. They need a solution that sets them apart. Cash balance
plans can take the adviser’s offering to the next level. Ninety-five percent of all cash balance plans are tested
together with a 401(k) plan, so if they’re looking
to win those 401(k) plan assets, cash balance is
a way to do that. These two plans work hand-in-hand. That’s why they’re called combo plans—as a
way to satisfy the nondiscrimination testing rules.
Insley: Ascensus provides the actuarial expertise to do the plan design, the document, and
to really establish the framework in a true open-architecture investment environment. Assets
can be held on many available recordkeeping or
investment platforms. We look to partner with
leading firms for the investment management,
recordkeeping, and custody services, allowing us
to customize our solutions to the specific client case.
Kravitz: With Ascensus acquiring Kravitz earlier this year,
it really rounds out the tools and resources we can bring to
advisers. In terms of creative advanced plan design, Kravitz has
proprietary software solutions that create customized, innovative designs.
Our specialists educate advisers and help them:
• identify and qualify candidates,
• provide free cash balance plan design illustrations,
• produce plan documents,
• offer actuarial services, and
• provide administration services.
We cover everything that’s needed for cash balance plan setup
and the advisor can select who they want to use for investments
and custodial services. Our flexibility when it comes to recordkeeping is a point of pride—we can provide services in-house or
partner with another recordkeeper of your choice.
PA: What education do you offer advisers?
Kravitz: We offer a wide range of educational programs that
empower advisers to bring cash balance plan options to clients
1. They can attend our Ascend conference in San Diego from
November 13-15 where we’ll be offering the cash balance education. To register, visit ascensus .com/ascend2017.
2. Advisers can also complete the four-hour Cash Balance Coach
program online at any time. Advisers who complete the
program can take a test and get certified as a Cash Balance
Consultant [CBC]. Some broker-dealers even let them put that
designation on their business card or in their signature block,
and we have some great anecdotal stories of advisers that have
had the designation actually help them in the
sales process. They can visit cashbalancecoach.
com to register.
3. Finally, advisers can purchase our helpful
and highly rated guidebook, Beyond the
401(k): How Financial Advisors Can Grow Their
Businesses with Cash Balance Plans, on Amazon.
We also offer customized plan illustrations at
no cost. Members of our sales team can walk
advisers through these illustrations and even
attend client meetings or conference calls to
review the illustration with clients. If the clients
decide to proceed, we’ll finalize the plan design,
draft the documents, and move forward with
the annual administration.
PA: Overall, how is Ascensus approaching working with advisers
and supporting them with expanded capabilities?
Insley: At Ascensus, our independence and flexibility allow
advisers to choose the solutions that are best for their clients
and business. They can count on us for certain delivery times and
servicing. Our pricing is straightforward, and we can confidently
say, “Here’s what you can expect from us if you select this service.”
As we continue to grow and offer additional solutions for advisers,
we’ll continue to focus on providing outstanding service, value,
For more information on Kravitz cash balance solutions, visit
cashbalancedesign.com or call us at 877.CB.PLANS. n
Armed with an understanding of cash balance plans
and backed by experts, advisers have an immediate edge