It has been a busy year in Washington with stimulus, cap and trade and health care dominating the headlines. Behind the scenes, it has also been a busy year for proposals that will affect how employers manage their retirement plans. Currently, there is pending legislation in Washington regarding participant level investment advice and the way advisors are compensated for this advice. Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, it was OK for plan sponsors to allow advisors to provide this service for participants as long as the person providing the advice was being paid a level fee regardless of the participant investment selection or was using a certified computer model to develop the participant’s investment allocation. Under the proposed regulations, affiliates or employees of the advisor will also be required to receive level compensation regardless of the investment option that is chosen. In addition, compensation must now be level for advisors using any certified computer model to provide advice. These proposals will affect advisors who are employees of broker-dealers and offering these services, possibly requiring a change in the way this service is provided. This in turn may cause plan sponsors to see an adjustment in the fees charged by their advisors. Based on these developments, we are recommending that plan sponsors meet with their advisors to review their employee onboarding and enrollment processes. A review of their advisory service agreement and fee arrangement is also warranted in light of these new proposals.
Feedback From Our Happy Customers
The Innovative team is well respected at AFS. My staff and I feel they are an extension of our HR team! Since implementation, they have always remained committed to assisting AFS with all of its healthcare needs; in fact, it doesn’t matter what time of day, they always respond in a timely manner.
Each year they come up with fresh material so our employee’s interest is always peaked. A few years ago, Innovative provided us with documentation to show that moving from a fully insured program to self-insured would be more cost effective for AFS, and it has been! Innovative has truly made our jobs easier so we can focus on other tasks.
As an HR professional, Innovative makes my job easier and benefits administration much less overwhelming than it would otherwise be.
They are truly a partner with me to make sure our team members have the best benefits and service around their benefits that we can offer. Innovative’s team is responsive, professional and resourceful. (They are at the forefront of knowledge in many areas, including ACA reporting and compliance, which can get highly complicated.)
As a client for the last 4 years, we love working with our Innovative Benefit Planning team because of their service model, scope , depth and quality of expertise in handling our benefits and renewals.
Their level of commitment just keeps getting better each year. They have more than met our expectations on renewal negotiations, response time, assistance with ongoing plans, open enrollment material, meetings, support, bill auditing, and wellness programs.
Since our partnership with Innovative Benefit Planning in 2017, it has been a seamless one. Innovative always provide options, suggestions and recommendations when it comes to our benefits renewal.
Innovative is always present even when open enrollment ends, their year round communication reminds me that I can always reach out for help at any time. Their professionalism is the utmost one can expect. My account representative Jenni is wonderful, courteous, knowledgeable and very helpful.
We have been dealing with Innovative Benefit Planning for many, many years. They have given us nothing but exceptional service.
We can pick up the phone or email them and they always resolve our questions and take care of our employees insurance issues in a very timely manner. They negotiate our insurance rates every year and have managed to reduce the increase every year. Every account manager we’ve had throughout the years have been great to work with.
I have been working with Innovative Benefit Planning for over six years. Previous to Innovative, I had used the same broker for about 25 years. I was used to doing everything myself during open enrollment with my previous broker.
When Innovative came on board, I was pleasantly surprised how “on top” of things they were. I never have to call them and bother them about getting rates to me for open enrollment, as they are in touch with our carriers on a regular basis, and they get me my information for open enrollment as soon as they receive it from the carriers.