Hey Joel! – Answers from a recovering former practicing ERISA attorney

Welcome to Hey Joel! This forum answers plan sponsor questions from all over the country by our in-house former practicing ERISA attorney.

Hey Joel,

Is it okay to use the same company for my plan’s record-keeping, 3(38) advisory services, and administration?

~ Consolidating in California

Dear Consolidating,

It may seem logical to bundle all of your retirement plan’s services with one provider – record-keeping, 3(38) advisory services, and administration. How easy would it be to have a one-stop shop for everything? However, this might not be as good of an idea as you would think.

Having an independent 3(38) or 3(21) adviser is critical in monitoring the providers that are working on your plan. Without an independent expert on your side, how will you know whether, 1) mistakes are being identified, and 2) if mistakes are identified, are they being properly dealt with? An independent adviser will ensure providers are taking proper actions even if it costs them money.

You wouldn’t want the fox guarding the hen house, would you?

Expanding Horizons,

Joel Shapiro, JD, LLM

About Joel Shapiro, JD, LLM
As a former practicing ERISA attorney Joel works to ensure that plan sponsors stay fully informed on all legislative and regulatory matters. Joel earned his Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and his Juris Doctor from Washington College of Law at the American University.


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