401(k) Planning Services

401(k) Planning Services

Churchill Management’s 401(k) Planning Services allow you as the Plan Sponsor/Administrator to offer a professional money manager with over 50 years of experience to each of your employees rather than offering the typical basket of mutual funds. All members of your plan will have access to the expertise of a money management firm whose unique strategies have helped individual investors reach their financial objectives within their separately managed accounts since 1963. Churchill works in conjunction with a non-affiliated custodian who will house the plan assets. In addition, you will be able to choose amongst several unaffiliated TPAs who will administer and provide accounting services for the plan.

Structure

Churchill Management Group
  • Assists plan sponsor with satisfying fiduciary responsibility and manages plan assets
  • Provides individualized plans for participants and / or pooled plans
  • May hold annual meetings to increase enrollment / participation and educates plan participants
TPA
  • Provides record keeping and other services to reduce employers’ administrative burden
  • Provides compliance services such as non-discrimination testing
  • Helps track the plan’s success and benchmarks the plan relative to peers
  • Provides online access and educational tools for plan sponsors’ and participants’ accounts
  • Provides flexible plan options for the financial advisor through an open architecture platform
Custodian
  • Holds plan assets and provides contribution / disbursement handling
  • Provides operational services such as issuing monthly and annual statements
  • Executes and confirms plan trades

Assisting with your Fiduciary Responsibilities

One of the most important roles of a plan fiduciary is designing and monitoring a menu of investment options. In addition, the plan fiduciary must follow a strict set of guidelines for retirement plans as outlined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Fiduciaries who fail to follow ERISA’s principles may be held personally liable for their conduct.

Churchill Management Group can assist the plan sponsor, as their investment advisor and fiduciary, in satisfying the plan sponsor’s own fiduciary responsibility as opposed to simply choosing fund options. Churchill will walk the plan sponsor through the process of selecting a plan offering that is appropriate for their employee demographic. Churchill can provide periodic employee meetings to best explain the employees’ options. Furthermore, Churchill will meet with the plan sponsor on a regular basis to review investment options and performance.

Designing a Plan

When designing a menu for employee-directed qualified retirement plans, a plan sponsor should evaluate the plan’s varying needs.  No single investment option will serve the interests of all employees. Fiduciaries should seek a mix of investment options sufficient to allow employees to build their own portfolios appropriate for their individual needs and profiles.  This also relieves fiduciaries from responsibility for employees’ investment choices, as permitted by ERISA. Churchill offers a breadth of solutions that enable plans with all types of employee demographics to meet these goals in a cost-effective manner.

Churchill recommends providing investment choices across three major asset classes. The most basic menu will always include cash equivalents, fixed income, and equities. To further customize your plan to meet the unique needs of your employees, a plan may offer more expanded menus that provide equity strategies that follow various investment styles and objectives. Churchill provides a money market option and fixed income options. Churchill’s equity offerings include two tactical asset allocation strategies which aim to reduce exposure to the stock market during high risk markets and equity strategies that largely stay fully-invested through all market cycles. Churchill also provides external mutual fund options.

Consideration for Menu Construction

Unbundled Approach

Churchill’s unbundled approach allows the plan sponsor the flexibility in choosing the very best service providers in every area of plan administration. If one area is not working well, that service provider can be changed without changing everything else. The unbundled approach provides complete fee transparency as to the Churchill alternatives, independence and a system of checks and balances.