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Help Plan Sponsors Balance Costs and Value in Defined Contribution Plans

Due to recent legislation, 401(k) plan sponsors need to be more proactive than ever in monitoring fees to ensure all costs are for the benefit of their plan participants.

According to a survey released last August, about 38% of plan sponsors report they’re most concerned about having an advisor who can help with their fiduciary duty. They're anxious about whether their plan's design or processes are flawed, and they worry about participants suing over poor investment choices or high fees.1 But as a financial advisor, you can add value to your relationships with plan sponsors by helping to alleviate those pressing concerns.

We consulted with Ann Schleck & Co. to provide an easy-to-follow four-step process, including all the necessary tools, so advisors like you can help plan sponsors anticipate and address the challenges finding a balance between a plan's costs and value.

Help plan sponsors take steps toward effectively managing their costs without compromising plan value: 

  1. Establish their plan's fee philosophy and guidelines
  2. Evaluate their options for improving the cost-value equation
  3. Put their plan of action in writing
  4. Measure their success

This process will reveal the factors affecting plan costs, and guide plan sponsors in choosing options that provide the most value to participants. Along with ongoing monitoring, it will allow you, the financial advisor, plan sponsors, and their teams to work together in making better decisions on behalf of participants to help them achieve their goals.

Next Steps

  1. Review the Balancing Costs and Value in Your Defined Contribution Plan workbook.
  2. Consider plan sponsors you know who are concerned about managing their increased fiduciary responsibilities.
  3. Schedule a follow-up to pitch the idea to plan sponsors using the overview.
  4. Want to learn how to apply these insights to your practice? Send us your email.

Customizable Postcards

We have customizable postcards for advisors to invite plan sponsors to a seminar or offer them a personal consultation. Order yours today by contacting Noreen McNamara at 610-386-6868 or via email at


This material is general and information only. This material and the material referenced is not intended to be a recommendation or impartial investment advice. Hartford Funds does not serve as a fiduciary. Hartford Funds intends that the recipient to this communication satisfies the Sophisticated Counterparty exception of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule.

1Plan sponsors want help with DOL fiduciary duties,, 3/19/17

Hartford Funds has engaged Ann Schleck & Co. LLC to develop the materials referenced herein. Ann Schleck & Co. LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.