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How-To Guides

Deliver More Effective Retirement Plan Reviews

Retirement plan reviews provide you with a great opportunity to help plan sponsors update, improve and better appreciate their plans. These four steps will help you prepare for and deliver a more productive and meaningful plan review meeting.

Step
1

Review the plan’s fund menu

How to do it:
  • Review the fund results and generate a report to inform your discussion.
  • Offer insight and identify discussion points about investing news, trends and strategies.
  • Prepare discussion points for clients who may need help selecting and monitoring plan investments.
  • Reinforce the soundness of choosing the American Funds Target Date Retirement Series® for the investment menu.
Step
2

Assess overall participant plan activity

How to do it:
  • Discuss how participants are planning and saving for retirement and how plan assets, fund allocations, participation rates, contribution rates and account balances have changed over the years.
  • Describe your efforts over the previous year to educate participants about saving for retirement and how you’ve encouraged eligible but nonparticipating employees to enroll.

Resources to use:

For PlanPremier® plan data:

For RecordkeeperDirect® plan data:

Step
3

Analyze plan fees and expenses

How to do it:
  • Be prepared to discuss the service provider and participant fee disclosure, which American Funds provides annually to PlanPremier and RecordkeeperDirect sponsors.
  • Compare the plan’s fees with other similar plans, and generate a detailed plan fee report.
  • Help determine if the plan’s current share class still makes sense, especially if plan assets or the number of employees has changed significantly over the past year.
  • Have a candid conversation with your clients about plan and investment fees, including your own compensation.

Resources to use:

Participant Fee Disclosure Sample (PDF)
Retirement Plan Cost Comparison Tool
— Compare the estimated fees and expenses of different retirement plan providers and generate reports for clients.
Price-It ToolSM
— Get a preliminary estimate of the total cost associated with plans in PlanPremier and RecordkeeperDirect and order a proposal.

Step
4

Prepare for the new plan year

How to do it:
  • Recommend ways to improve the plan and enhance education; leverage American Funds printed and online education materials.
  • Review plan sponsors’ fiduciary responsibilities and explain ways they can reduce fiduciary liability.
  • Help track participant disclosure responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate the key sponsor benefits of the American Funds participant Financial Checkup Brochure, including the options that can be personalized for their plan.

Resources to use:

Target Date Funds (Brochure): Target Date Funds | Quarterly Statistical Update
Investing for Life (Brochure) — American Funds education program for retirement plan participants.
Stay on Course (Brochure) — A guide for plan sponsors on meeting fiduciary responsibility.
Plan Disclosure Checklist for Sponsors (PDF)
You Are Here (Brochure) — Personalized financial checkup brochure sample.

Afterward

Within a week after the review:
  • Answer any questions and, if necessary, provide additional research.
  • Schedule the next meeting with this client.

This material is intended for use by financial professionals or in conjunction with the advice of a financial professional.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.