The Standard Enhances Flexibility Of Retirement Plan Services

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Standard now offers advisors more customized retirement plan solutions for their clients. After listening to feedback from the advisor community, The Standard has responded with a more flexible service offering in which advisors can now choose from a broader suite of services to select those services that best complement their practices and mitigate their risks.

"The heart of our support has always been a service offering that allows us to adjust what we provide based on each advisor's capabilities," said Dan Hall, vice president of Retirement Plan Sales. "We believe this produces an alliance that complements the expertise that advisors bring to their clients while ensuring that the plan and its participants have access to a full range of services."

Advisors who partner with The Standard have the power to design a customized retirement plan solution that works to address each client's unique needs. This begins with The Standard's essential plan services, which include recordkeeping and online tools, as well as employee services, including a participant call center, quarterly newsletter and enrollment communication materials.

Advisors can then select which additional services, if any, they want to provide to each client and which services they would like The Standard to handle. Advisors can choose from the following menu of services:

  • Recordkeeping and financial services — Advisors can choose the appropriate investment platform for their plans. Both the Net Asset Value (NAV) open-architecture and group annuity platforms offer nonproprietary mutual funds and full fee transparency.
  • Administration — The Standard can support advisors with a full range of administrative services, including plan document preparation and amendment, Form 5500 preparation and compliance testing. When providing full-service administration, Standard Retirement Services can assume ERISA 3(16) fiduciary responsibility for certain key aspects of plan administration.
  • Investment Advice — StanCorp Investment Advisers, Inc., can provide ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) plan-level advice for investment selection, monitoring and removal.
  • Participant Services — The Standard can support retirement readiness by conducting enrollment meetings and ongoing participant communication and education. In addition, advisors can offer The Standard's Mainspring ManagedSM account service.
  • Plan Consulting — The Standard's local relationship managers can either work directly with employers or support advisors in the ongoing review of the plan's operations, regular communications highlighting issues of importance to the plan, periodic evaluations of the plan's success in meeting goals, and recommendations for enhancements or changes to the plan.

"We realize that employers look to their advisors when it comes to choices for their retirement plans," Hall said. "Advisors can look to The Standard and our flexible service offering for customized solutions that maximize the value that they can offer their clients and help employees reach retirement readiness."