Risk International’s Employee Benefits Advisory division (RIBA) will provide what it says is the first-of-its-kind fiduciary advisory service, an evolution of the division’s conflict-free advisory services that have driven millions of dollars in benefits and health care cost savings for clients over the past five years.
Through its fiduciary role, RIBA provides expert guidance that is in complete alignment with its clients’ best interests. Although fiduciary advisers can be found in the retirement plan arena, Risk International says this is the first time a fiduciary service is being made available to optimize and protect employee benefits plans.
According to the company, a critical element of an employer’s fiduciary responsibility is its ability to avoid conflicts of interest and demonstrate diligence that plan costs (with ever-increasing employee cost sharing) are being well managed. In today’s benefits and health care economy, this responsibility is increasingly difficult for employers to meet because procuring and managing health and welfare benefits doesn’t follow standard supply chain practices. Without a fiduciary adviser, employers are unable to access impartial expert guidance and representation.
“Our services have always met a fiduciary standard in principle and have enabled us to drive significant year-over-year savings for our clients, with an average savings of $1,650 per employee in 2018,” says Eric Krieg, president of RIBA. “By taking on a formal co-fiduciary role, we now provide the highest duty of care by law in our client advising and advocacy, setting a standard that is unreachable by industry stakeholders with inherent conflicts of interest. As the industry exposes employers to more and more fiduciary risk, we empower our clients to fully exercise their rights. This changes the game in favor of our clients’ and their employees’ interests, compelling the deepest disclosure and accountability from all service providers. It puts our clients in the driver’s seat, gets them to a better place faster, and gives them the control to stay there. Quite simply, we see an emerging risk management issue, and we won’t let our clients be exposed or compromised.”
According to Krieg, RIBA is able to achieve better results than the traditional benefits scheme thanks to this co-fiduciary representation combined with its BEST Platform (Benefits Excellence System and Tools), which is a performance management process that departs from dependence on the broker/carrier product-driven cycle.For more information about how RIBA’s services help employers cut costs and reduce risk without cost-shifting to employees or reducing benefits, contact RIBA@riskinternational.com or call (216) 255-3400.