Prior to Simplifynance and Horizon, I’ve worked for a total of 5 employers since college. Of those, 3 offered a company retirement plan to its employees. Of those 3, I knew ZERO of my plan’s advisors….or anyone else involved in the plan for that matter. No one every reached out tome personally and there was never any indication that I had a someone to turn to if I needed help, other than a 1-800 number. Luckily, retirement planning and investing is kind of my thing, so everything felt A-Okay at the time.
Now fast forward with me to today where I am a Simplifynance advisor for Horizon. Outside of Simplifynance, I have this really cool opportunity to also be part of another division solely dedicated to serving Company Retirement Plans and their participants. They spend every day thinking about what ELSE can we do to help, what MORE can we do to educate participants,what IDEA will be the one for us to really connect and be seen as the go-to guy (or gal). It’s pretty impressive stuff that I haven’t witnessed before, from the participant side at least.
The drive that the Retirement Plan division has got me thinking about the disconnect between my past and my present and how many people there must be out there who don’t know who to turn to for retirement help, big or small.
So to that I say…start with Simplifynance! Start by letting me help you understand your company’s plan. I want to introduce you to 6 Key Plan Players below. I know, no one really likes meeting new people. Just hear me out. This is your money guys, it’s your retirement, it’s your future and no one else is in control but you. And if you’re like I was back then, a participant seemingly going at it alone, I want you to take action on getting to know your plan’s real contacts and then utilize them to the fullest.
FIRST UP ON STAGE: YOUR PLAN’S ADVISOR
Retirement Plan Advisors provide participate education,conduct account and investment reviews, and monitor fund performance. Reach out to them to review your account! If your plan has an advisor, it s highly likely that YOU are paying for their service. Use them.
NEXT UP: THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATORS
Sometimes, companies contract with Administrators to help with processing enrollments, account changes and loans or distributions. They also help with the paperwork that’s needed for rollovers. Ask your HR team who the administrator of your plan is and let them know if you need help processing a rollover into or out from a plan.
WHO’S NEXT? YOU! THE PARTICIPANT!
Yes, you too have responsibility in your company’s plan. You are responsible for enrolling timely, selecting investments (with assistance if needed) and requesting any changes that need to be made. Don’t forget to also update your beneficiaries! No one will know to do this for you.
So that’s 3 so far. 3 more to go. Are you still with me? Buller?
WHO KEEPS THE PLAN? THE RECORDKEEPER OF COURSE.
Think about where you log in online to view your account, or what logo you see on your statement in the mail. Is it Nationwide, Voya, Fidelity, Transamerica? These companies keep all the records of your account, your transactions and the performance history. They all should have a 1-800 number you can turn to if you need to find any of those items or establish your online access.
WHO MAKES IT ALL POSSIBLE? YOUR EMPLOYER
It’s not possible for every employer to offer this amazing benefit. Be thankful if yours does. Specifically, thank your HR and payroll team for processing your requests to change your deferral amounts and tracking your eligibility and reminding you to enroll. They are the real heroes.
LAST ONE UP: MUTUAL FUND COMPANIES
Yes, the mutual fund you select to invest in inside of your retirement plan is managed by a separate company. There’s actually even a person, called a Fund Manager, who is responsible for that specific fund and its performance. Did you know you can check out your fund manager’s tenure and how that is relevant to your fund’s rating?
We made it guys, and hopefully it was short, sweet and as painless as I tried to make it. Now it’s up to you to get to know your plan’s contacts. Start by downloading the Simplifynance guide that should help you gather the pertinent information.
You can get to it here > Simplifynance Resources
Hint: Send this document to your HR team so they know exactly what you’re looking for. Then tuck in it a safe spot, or upload it to your online vault if you’re a Simplifynance client, so that it will be there when you need it.
And if you haven’t already, join our Simplifynance community to get updates when new blog posts and resources are published!
You can do that here > Join Our Community
Written by: Rachel Stewart