Determining Fee Reasonableness
As a steward of your employees’ retirement savings, you have a responsibility to act prudently on their behalf. Any fees that may impact participant savings should not only be clearly disclosed, but also necessary and reasonable.
Request for Proposal (“RFP”)
Although it is a healthy practice to periodically solicit the input of prospective service providers, the RFP process can be time consuming and often results in nothing more than a difficult to decipher “apples-to-oranges” comparison of services. On the other hand, a skillfully executed RFP can serve as clear documentation of your prudence.
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Benchmarking can establish a clear quantitative basis for fee reasonableness. Benchmarking tools are readily available and should serve as the cornerstone of any thorough fee analysis. However, these tools are not without their own shortcomings. Each benchmarking service has its own proprietary methodology and data set. Thus, results can vary greatly from tool to tool. Furthermore, benchmarking fails to incorporate qualitative considerations like experience, support, and clarity.
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