Plan Management

Many of the issues facing Plan Sponsors today are rooted in operational defects, such as misinterpreting plan design or failing discrimination testing. Our partnership will help ensure that you maximize operational efficiency and effectiveness throughout the lifecycle of your plan. 

Vendor Benchmarking & Evaluation

Whether you're looking to keep your existing vendor “honest” or you're in need of a new recordkeeping partner, we assist with the vendor search and evaluation process to help you identify partners that are best suited to your organization. As part of the vendor evaluation process, we review the services, features and costs associated with your existing provider and benchmark them against the marketplace. When evaluating new vendors, we use a holistic approach that considers fees, administration, recordkeeping, service, communications and investments, all within the context of your needs and expectations.

Fee Benchmarking

Retirement plan fee scrutiny is at it's highest level ever. When 408(b)2 regulations take effect, plan sponsors will be required to be able to demonstrate their understanding of the fees that are built into their plan and to whom they're being paid. We prepare our clients for this eventuality by helping them analyze, comprehend and benchmark the myriad of costs associated with their retirement plans. As part of this process, we benchmark our own fees in an independently run, third-party benchmarking report.

Investment Policy Statement Design

The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) provides the instruction and parameters by which the investments within the plan should be monitored and evaluated. Too often plan sponsors are unclear on the criteria that will place an investment on watch, how to replace an ailing investment choice, or what the timing should be in determining these options. Without a clear IPS, it is difficult to demonstrate prudent process and procedure, which is a requirement of ERISA. We will help you create your IPS and will also follow-through as an investment advice fiduciary in advisory relationships to monitor investments in relation to the criteria specified in your IPS.

Investment Analysis & Due Diligence

The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) that we help our clients prepare lays out the criteria by which we evaluate the investment lineup. We follow those criteria when reviewing and monitoring the investment selections and our goal is to provide a “score” that is easily understandable for each of the investments in the plan. While simple on the surface, the sub-components of the score take into account investment performance, risk, volatility, cost and manager skill. We meet with our clients 2 - 4 times a year to match up investment performance with IPS requirements. In addition to this quantitative process, Longfellow employs a qualitative process of evaluating managers that applies a proprietary rating system based upon experience, past performance, and tenure.

Plan Design Consulting

With retirement plans, proper plan design can mean the difference between a successful and useful employee benefit and what employees will see as a necessary evil. The right combination of plan provisions attracts employees, rewards long-term service and maximizes participation and contributions. Our depth and breadth of experience allows us to advise our clients on how to best structure their plan to achieve their goals. Additionally, as part of our standard process we review plan design each year to make sure it is still effective and achieving desired results.

DOL/IRS Audit Assistance

No one wants to get that knock on the door. Unfortunately, it happens. When it comes to DOL and IRS audits, we have guided numerous clients through this process. We not only know what to do during an audit but, most importantly, how to be prepared for an audit should one come your way. We take a proactive, upfront role in helping you manage this potentially stressful situation to make it as smooth and painless as possible.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Buying a company or getting acquired can bring a lot of complexities to the table that would otherwise not necessarily require attention. Taking the right steps during a corporate action is critical to optimizing investments, avoiding costly mistakes and minimizing disruption. When the situation arises, we will perform a plan feature assessment, evaluate the investments, assist with transactional and administrative requirements, and develop a communication strategy on how to roll out any changes. In addition, we are sensitive to the fact that during the due diligence process confidentiality is often of utmost importance. We handle this process respectfully and are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement should it be requested.