Why Plan Sponsors Shouldn’t Have Too Much Loyalty to Their Plan Providers

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When I first started in the retirement plan business in 1998, I worked for a law firm that served as the counsel for a third party administrator (TPA), there was an office worker there named Orville. I remember Orville because I never saw someone who was male who sang “My Heart Will Gone On”, the Titanic theme song sung by Celine Dion. Orville wasn’t much of a worker, but for some reason my boss had an affinity for him. When the office work wasn’t panning out, they made Orville a computer tech guy. I think Orville knew as much as about computers as my grandmother did. When the tech thing didn’t pan out, they put Orville in an administrative position of dealing with retirement plan distribution to participants. As my boss would probably say: “he’s a good guy, he’s loyal.” Well, one day, Orville tried to overpay a participant $18,000 more than what the participant had in their account. The person managing the daily operation of this TPA had enough and Orville had to go. From what I was told, Tom actually had to call my boss to get permission tom fire Orville. Never understood why my boss had this loyalty towards Orville. I thought it was a lot of misplaced loyalty. The same can be said of some retirement plans and their plan providers where the plan sponsor places too much loyalty on them. So this article is trying to tell plan sponsors why they shouldn’t attach too much loyalty to their plan providers.

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