5 Questions to Ask Retirement Plan Consultants


Are you looking for ways to prepare for your retirement but unsure of where to start? Do you want to passively work towards a better future without having to think about it 24/7? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about how to find retirement plan consultants.

Doing so can help you proactively establish a better future. You’ll be able to navigate different investments and have an expert to show you when to alter your course or “tough it out” with your current plan.

See below for an in-depth guide on the questions that you should ask retirement plan consultants to ensure you’ve found the right fit.

1. How Long Have You Been in the Business?

You wouldn’t purchase a car from a car salesman without any experience. You wouldn’t purchase a house from a rookie real estate agent. Why do it any differently when hiring the person that will be in charge of your future finances?

The decisions that you make today have a compounding effect on your future. You need to make sure that your retirement plan consultant has the experience that you require.

This can help you ensure that they are compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which was put in place to provide a consistent level for retirement plans. It’s used as a way to help protect people like yourself that are investing in such plans.

Without abiding by these standards, you may be getting screwed out of your own money. Only an experienced retirement plan consultant should show you the way.

Be sure to ask them about their experience level straight up. How much money have they helped their clients save in the past few years? What are some of their biggest testimonies? How has the retirement plan industry changed since they initially became a consultant?

2. Do You Have Any References?

You won’t ever hear a consultant tell you “no” to this question. However, if they start to beat around the bush or don’t have a client that immediately comes to mind, then cross them off your list.

You only have time for those that can help you experience successful retirement planning. The best way to find that? Use previous clients and their feedback as your feeler.

Be sure to ask the retirement plan consultant for a client reference or two that you can reach out to and ask for feedback from. Some consultants may have a privacy policy protecting their clients; if that’s the case, then ask for the contact information for a few business partners or mentors you can call.

You can also Google the name of the consultant (or their firm) and read through the online reviews that pop up. Regardless of which route you choose, here are some questions to ask:

  • Do the previous customers seem satisfied with the level of service they receive?
  • Do they feel that the retirement plan consultant is knowledgeable on the best retirement plans?
  • How has the consultant helped them see tremendous growth?
  • How long have they been working with this consultant?

These questions can help you find the right retirement plan consultant and unlock these benefits for your future.

3. What Services Do You Offer?

You want to make sure you’re getting as high a return on your investment as possible. For that reason, it’s important to ask what services the consultant can provide.

You should also pair this question with asking how much they charge for those services. If there is one portion of their service you aren’t interested in, are they willing to reduce the charge?

Make sure that you both agree upon a level of service and monthly/annual price. Get it all inside a contract and have both sides sign it.

Every year, you should take some time to review how the retirement plan consultant benefitted you and whether or not you used all the services they pitched you. If not, then it might be best to remove that service or find a completely new consultant

4. How Will You Help Me Make the Most of This?

You’re hiring a retirement plan consultant for one reason: you need wisdom. For that reason, it’s fair to ask how the consultant will help you make the most of your retirement plan.

If you’re a business owner, can they help you educate your staff on the retirement plan(s) your company offers and recommend different options for them?

If you’re a worker investing in a plan, how can they help you stay on track and ensure that the plan you’re using is working to your benefit?

5. Will You Be in a Fiduciary Role?

This is vastly important. You want to make sure that the consultant you hire will be acting in a fiduciary role with your retirement plan.

That means that they’ll be the ones taking care of your money and making the best decisions on your behalf. In other words, your retirement plan is being put in the hands of an experienced, ERISA-compliant professional.

Having a fiduciary will also hold you accountable. You’ll prioritize finding the right fit for your plan, rather than just picking the first one you come across.

Find the Right Retirement Plan Consultants for Your Situation

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide to retirement planning and why retirement plan consultants are so important, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Take the time to browse our website for more articles on retirement planning, as well as many other topics that you will find helpful!