SPARK Rolls Out Updated RFP Guide

The new edition aims to support the needs of employers providing defined contribution plans by enabling service providers to prepare consistent RFP responses, resulting in reduced response times and more accurate evaluations.

The SPARK Institute, a non-profit organization lobbying for the interests of the retirement services industry and its clients, released a new version of its “RFP Guide for Selecting Defined Contribution Service Providers.” 

According to Tim Rouse, executive director of The SPARK Institute, his organization developed the guide to assist advisers, consultants and plan sponsors alike. Using the guide, these professionals can streamline and professionalize the important task of preparing and evaluating requests for proposal (RFPs) for 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans.

SPARK originally issued an RFP Guide in 1997, published a major update in 2014, and has made minor changes to it each year. This new edition, Rouse says, “represents significant updates to incorporate the latest industry regulations, products, services and technologies and the addition of The SPARK Institute’s Cyber Security Best Practice Standards.”

“SPARK also wants to acknowledge the efforts of Cynthia Hayes and Matthew Smith of Oculus Partners for their time and dedication in the making of this document,” Rouse notes. The pair conducted a survey that enabled SPARK to better determine how the RFP Guide is used by advisers and providers today, and incorporate key changes to make the Guide easier to use, and reflective of the tremendous growth in the scope of products and services offered as part of DC plan support today.

The new SPARK Institute Request for Proposal Guide is available at no cost to SPARK member firms and for $100 to all other organizations.  Copies may be ordered by contacting SPARK at 860-658-5058.