Retirement Plan Services

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Retirement plan services can be complicated or simple depending on who is performing the service and what they are doing. Retirement plan services may mean a whole load of things. An employer providing a retirement plan, an employer seeking information on a retirement plan, a plan owner seeking sound investment advice, and key record keeping and custodial duties are all retirement plan services.

Retirement Plan Services for Employees and Employers

Most individuals are funding their retirement solely through the retirement plan that they receive through their employer. The main reason for this is simple; most employers match contributions, or are the sole contributor to an employee retirement plan. If your employer does not match your contributions, it would probably be better if you opened your own retirement account elsewhere. By doing so, you will have greater control of your plan and will probably have a wider variety of investment options to choose from.

The most important part of a retirement plan can be the service you receive from the plan administrator. I can't tell you how many people I have talked to that have never heard from their plan administrator. The bear market of 2000-2002 should have educated investors as to the dangers of ignoring investments. Millions of people lost a lot of money and more importantly, time, due to lack of service from their plan administrator. If you are not getting the service from a plan administrator that you deserve, talk to your employer. If a majority of employees are dissatisfied with the plan provider the company may change. Plan administrators work for you, you don't work for them.

Employers who choose to offer retirement plans can either take on the task by themselves or hire a company who specializes in retirement plan services. There are many businesses that provide retirement plans for employers ranging from large companies to smaller independent advisors. These companies perform many of the mundane and tedious tasks involved with retirement plans. Detailed record keeping and proper IRS notification are few of the vital services that these companies provide. There are generally fees involved with providing these services including one-time set up fees to annual maintenance charges. It is important to consider the quality of service employees will receive when comparing fees involved with different providers.

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