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Advisor Spotlight: Setting a Plan Up for Success

Mark Voecks

Nobody knows your clients like you do. They depend on you for the right mix of education, plan design and investment strategies to keep their employees on track to meet their retirement goals.

But how else can you showcase your unique value?

Matt Voecks, of Pensionmark Financial Group, is a testament to the power of personalized client strategies. His client — Bonfe Plumbing, Heating & Air Service, Inc. — is nominated for 2024 Plan Sponsor of the Year by PLANSPONSOR®. Through their collaborative efforts, the plan has a near 100% participation rate and has maintained an average deferral rate of 10% over the last five years.

Be Present With Participants

Bonfe believes its employees should feel empowered to make informed financial decisions, Matt says. With his partnership, the company implemented a multifaceted education program that meets employees at all levels of financial literacy. These include:

  • Workshops and one-on-one counseling
  • Targeted and tailored financial wellness communications
  • Interactive online resources

Matt emphasizes the importance of one-on-one meetings. While group meetings help people get excited about their benefits, it’s the individual counseling that gets participants to take immediate action. “There is an infinitely better opportunity to encourage somebody to save when you have your laptop in front of you,” he says.

Bonfe also recognizes the challenges of communicating with a workforce that consists largely of in-field technicians. To ensure that their employees receive information when and where they need it, they use all available channels by:

  • Leveraging mobile technology to provide easy access to plan information
  • Delivering timely communications via text messages
  • Enlisting the help of peer champions who share their positive experiences with the 401(k) plan and encourage participation

Lean Into the Company Culture

A distinct quality that Matt brings to his clients is the ability to get an immediate sense of the company culture. How a company makes its employees feel influences how receptive employees will be in participating in their retirement plan. Matt says, “You can’t enroll people who don't want to participate because they don't expect themselves to be there tomorrow.”

At Bonfe, what truly drives results is their deep commitment to caring for their employees. That was evident to Matt from the very first day. “Culture is of paramount importance. It's less about the plan-management part and more about how leadership dovetails in every aspect of their business, including benefits,” he says.

Service and Accountability

According to Matt, entrusting routine administrative tasks to the plan recordkeeper is critical. This frees up time to engage more deeply with clients. This personalized attention not only enhances participant outcomes but also underscores the advisor’s value proposition.

Matt emphasizes that “the DOL mandates that you — plan sponsors — evaluate whether the fees are reasonable for the service that you’re getting.” It’s important to benchmark and keep recordkeepers accountable. But you need to take the extra step of quantifying your own service model to demonstrate the value you bring to your clients.

Are there strategies that you can adopt from Matt to make enhancements to your clients’ retirement plans? To get more ideas, connect with a consultant.


Matt Voecks is a CEFEX-Certified Retirement Plan Advisor with Pensionmark Financial Group, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Matt has been consulting with qualified retirement plans since 2004, providing comprehensive plan design, education and investment services.

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