At 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, the ERISA rules clearly state that all plan fiduciaries are personally liable for their plan's management and any wrongdoings that may occur.
While many retirement plan consultants claim they can help ensure your Plan is compliant with ERISA and the DOL, most only scratch the surface when it comes to ensuring operational compliance. In contrast, MFA Asset Management is focused on plan compliance from an investment, fiduciary, AND operational perspective. Our team is well versed in ERISA and DOL rules and regulations and can assist plan sponsors in mitigating the risk of operational compliance failures and “common deficiencies”.
Our operational compliance specialists work closely with our plan sponsor clients to help ensure they are properly interpreting and following their Plan Document. We review the Plan for common IRS and DOL audit triggers, identify potential weaknesses, determine necessary corrective action steps and guide them in the implementation of sound and appropriate internal controls and best practices to mitigate operational errors and vulnerabilities to internal fraud.
We also annually perform select walkthroughs to determine if the Plan is operating in accordance with the Plan Document along with assessing if any previously identified Plan weaknesses have been corrected and internal controls have been properly implemented. This important review has the added benefit of better preparing your Plan for its annual audit and thus resulting in a smoother, more efficient audit for both your staff and your auditors.
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. To assist in this effort, MFA Asset Management provides an independent, conflict-free investment analysis to help our clients enhance their investment opportunities, manage risk and reduce exposure to fiduciary liability. Whether our clients are looking for advice overseeing their plan investment menu or seeking a consultant to help run their committee directed pool of investments, our team of professionals is available to assist.
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.
We offer a rich mix of plan support services to help plan sponsors effectively manage the ever-changing landscape of retirement plans and the associated regulatory environment surrounding them. Through a robust communications program and educational curriculum, we also guide corporate executives and plan participants to reach retirement goals by ensuring they are better informed about their investments, asset allocation and risk tolerance.
To learn more, download our Institutional Consulting brochure.
To learn more, download our Operational Compliance brochure.