Retirement Advisor Council Releases RFP Tool

The Retirement Advisor Council unveiled a free template request for proposal questionnaire for use by higher education institutions looking to select a retirement plan adviser.

A new template request for proposal (RFP) document from the Retirement Advisor Council is meant to cover all the elements of service typically available from professional retirement plan advisers, especially those specializing in serving higher education institutions.

The RFP document helps sponsors measure investment services, participant services, provider services, fiduciary support and compliance support available from advisory firms. The customizable document includes 77 questions on six pages, and can be obtained in Microsoft Word document form on the website of the Retirement Advisor Council. The organization notes the template is provided for use without copyright restrictions.

The RFP template questionnaire is an update to a similar template released in 2012, which has been revamped to reflect current best practice thinking. The questionnaire helps plan sponsors gauge adviser experience with institutions like theirs, experience with providers focused on the higher education market, and perspective on implementation and transition.

Strong interest for fiduciary advisory services among higher education institutions led the council to develop this specific model RFP for the sector. A model protocol for conducting an adviser search is also posted on the council’s website. The protocol outlines a suggested process for plan sponsors to select a professional retirement plan adviser, or to perform due diligence on a current adviser.

The RFP template helps sponsors assess how advisory firms can handle legacy non-ERISA 403(b) arrangements with multiple providers and potentially hundreds of investment options.

The Retirement Advisor Council is a national advocacy organization that pushes for successful qualified plan and participant retirement outcomes through the collaborative efforts of experienced, qualified retirement plan advisers, investment managers and defined contribution plan service providers.

Plan sponsors and other human resources professionals can request a copy of the template here