Drastic improvements in the funded status of many defined benefit (DB) plans make this a critical time for plan sponsors to evaluate their plan strategy and objectives. For many, that may trigger a search for a new service provider. Financial professionals who can lead that search process have a significant opportunity to showcase their value. A new guide from the Principal Financial Group ®, one of the leaders in pension risk management, offers best practices and resources to help financial professionals conduct DB provider searches—no matter what their comfort-level or experience with DB plans. “Searching for a new DB provider is very different from a defined contribution (DC) provider search,” said Janet Kubik, assistant vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal ®, the number one provider of defined benefit plans 1. “We developed this guide, based on more than 70 years in the DB market, expressly to help support financial professionals in leading plan provider searches. This allows them to further demonstrate their value and help DB clients accomplish their goals.” The step-by-step guide identifies tips and considerations that are unique to DB plan provider searches and includes sample, non-branded resources that can be customized such as:
- A fact finder to ensure accurate information about the DB plan.
- Plan assessment to understand the plans strengths, weaknesses and priorities.
- Fee assessment to help evaluate total soft and hard dollar costs.
- Search evaluation criteria and sample request for proposal questions.
- Finalist scorecard to more easily identify which provider is the best fit.