PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 31

they believe the current model should change. Often plan
sponsors will ask in a request for proposals (RFP) whether
an adviser will cross-sell services, giving all parties an
opportunity to get on the same page from the start.
" The main thing is being transparent about the services
you're offering to plan sponsors at the employer and the
employee level, " Morris says. " The plan sponsors and the
adviser need to be aligned on exactly what those services
will be. "
" ... It's an ever-expanding
landscape that advisers
are being asked to offer,
based purely on the needs
and desires of participants
and sponsors. "
Advisers who neglect to do that risk losing the business
altogether. Teigen says some clients have brought FinDec
in after severing ties with a previous adviser who crosssold
too aggressively.
" They were being disruptive or over-stepping their
reasons for being there, " he says. " It was obvious they were
just trying to cross-sell and get as much as they could from
the people in the plan. "
Introducing New Services
Both plan sponsors and plan advisers are broadening the
services they want offered to participants within the plan.
" They're looking at incorporating assets of outside
accounts, debt management, health savings accounts
[HSAs] and, of course, defined benefit [DB] or nonqualified
plans, " Smolen says. " I believe the next iteration will
be wills and trusts and insurance needs. It's an everexpanding
landscape that advisers are being asked to offer,
based purely on the needs and desires of participants and
sponsors. "
According to sources, additional areas where advisers
might offer services include emergency savings, college
funding and elder care. Which of those services are offered
in-plan and which are add-on benefits that participants
pay for varies significantly depending on the plan sponsor.
In the cases where participants are paying, however, the
adviser can typically offer a discounted price based on the
scale of the plan and his relationship with the plan sponsor.
Brad Arends, CEO of intellicents in Albert Lea, Minnesota,
says his firm offers a high-level financial plan for
each plan participant based on the person's age, wage and
401(k) account balance. Participants can then work with a
financial planner to customize their plan further by adding
inputs such as outside assets and their spouse's financial
profile. Some employers pay 100% of the cost for employees
to have access to that more detailed financial plan, while
others subsidize the program, which intellicents offers to
employees at a discount.
" We have to work with the employer on this, " Arends
says. " In effect, they're endorsing us for advice services
beyond the plan, and the vast majority of them have no
issue with that, because we're able to offer better advice to
the participants. "
Different Delivery Methods
Besides various approaches to paying for advice, the way
an adviser delivers such services also differs significantly
from one plan sponsor to the next.
The best way to deliver services may change in the
years ahead, as more employees work remotely, following
the changes in workplace dynamics brought on by the
coronavirus pandemic. Research by Morningstar finds that
remote workers interact differently with their workplace
retirement benefits and that they are more likely to opt out
of the default investment plan and take more interest in
managed account services.
" There's a conversation about the variable ways you can
deliver financial wellness, and it differs with the client, "
Smolen says. " Some want face-to-face meetings, and some
want access to counseling or advice online; others just
want to digitally interface. Some want all three. "
Regardless of the delivery method, plan advisers need
to have buy-in and support from their clients.
" If participants want or expect you to meet with them
in person, on-site, then you need a willing employer that
will allow you to do that, " Arends says. " It's going to have
to let employees take time off during work hours, either in
group meetings or one-on-ones. We have some clients that
will allow that, and some clients that won't. "
'A Solution for Everyone'
Increasingly, plan sponsors want their advisers and other
providers to offer these services not only to the C-suite but
to every single plan participant, and even nonparticipants
who might convert if they could get their financial house
in order.
" One of the first questions we get about financial wellness
is whether this is just for executives or for everybody, "
Arends says. " When we explain what we're offering, it's a
lot easier for us to get an appointment with a new prospect
than it is if we say, 'I'm a better mutual fund picker.' That's
a commodity these days. "
Duffy agrees that offering services to all participants,
rather than simply providing wealth management to the
top high-wage earners, is a differentiator for plan advisers.
" It's a strength for an adviser to come in and help the
plan sponsor know that he will not only help it manage risk
but also help it take care of all of its employees, not just
the highly compensated or high-net-worth employees, " she
says. " It wants a solution for everyone. " -Beth Braverman
planadviser.com September-October 2021 | 31
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PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PLANADVISER - September/October 2021

Masterminds of the Plan
"PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
How to Optimize Connections
Defining Roles
Building Strategic Partnerships
Different Strokes
Cybersecurity Considerations
Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 1
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 2
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 4
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 5
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 6
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 7
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 8
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 9
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 10
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 11
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 12
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 13
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 14
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 15
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 16
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 17
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Masterminds of the Plan
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 19
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 20
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 21
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - "PLANADVISER’s 2021 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers"
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 23
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 24
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 25
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 26
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 27
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - How to Optimize Connections
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 29
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 30
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 31
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Defining Roles
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 33
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Building Strategic Partnerships
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 35
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Different Strokes
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 37
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cybersecurity Considerations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Provider Recommendations
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - 40
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover3
PLANADVISER - September/October 2021 - Cover4
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