IMHO: Impact Full

In a business notorious for change, it nonetheless seems fair to say that the past twelve months have been extraordinary ones indeed.

In short order, we have had to absorb and assimilate the mandates of the Pension Protection Act, grapple with the portents of qualified default investment alternatives, gird ourselves for the impact of final regulations on deferred compensation plans and 403(b)s—and all this at a time when revenue-sharing practices are drawing an unprecedented level of scrutiny from all quarters.

There is nothing like tumultuous times to highlight the value of, and reinforce the need for, expert help for plan fiduciaries.   It is also the kind of challenging environment that tends to separate the chaff from the wheat—that sorts out the committed from the merely intrigued.   And, yes, it surely plays to the advantage of a profession dedicated to helping plan sponsors construct the right programs, and participants make the best of them.

That is why, in 2005, we launched our Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year award; to acknowledge “the contributions of the nation’s best financial advisers in helping make retirement security a reality for workers across the nation.” Today, it is both my honor and privilege to launch the nomination process for our fourth annual campaign to acknowledge the contributions of the very best financial advisers in the nation, both individuals and teams.  

Impact Statement

The criteria that underlie the award are simple but impactful; we want to recognize advisers who make a difference through increasing participation, boosting deferral rates, enhancing asset allocation, and/or providing better programs through expanded service or expense management. It is no accident that those criteria also underlie the Pension Protection Act’s designs for defined contribution plans, for only by getting more workers saving in these programs at effective rates, and invested in prudent ways, can they have any real prospects for retirement security.

We will acknowledge the finalists in the December issue of PLANSPONSOR as well as the Winter issue of PLANADVISER , and profile the winners in the March issue of PLANSPONSOR and Spring issue of PLANADVISER .   The finalists also will be recognized at PLANSPONSOR ‘s Annual Awards for Excellence celebration in New York City in March.        

While these awards are designed to recognize financial adviser excellence, we trust the standards they embody will continue to provide a source of inspiration for those who make a difference every day. If your plan has been a beneficiary of that kind of excellence, I hope you will take the opportunity to nominate your retirement plan adviser for this year’s award.

You can nominate your plan’s adviser, a colleage, or even yourself (if you are an adviser)     HERE