Expert Guidance for Retirement Plan Sponsors
By sponsoring a retirement plan, a company is offering its employees the opportunity to provide for their own retirement. Moreover, the company plays a fundamental role in managing this essential employee benefit, so it is important the employer understands its obligations as the plan’s fiduciary and puts processes in place to act accordingly.
One of the simplest, yet most valuable things a company can do is take a hard look at its plan in three key areas:
Carefully and continually review the investment options it provides for its employees’ money.
Assess the effectiveness with which its employees are using the plan.
Analyze the fees employees are paying as compared to the services they receive.
“Each of these tasks requires a more robust process than a lot of companies are currently doing,” says Joseph M. Matis, CRPS®, CIMA®, C(k)P®, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management and Financial Advisor.
Specialized Focus on Retirement
“We believe we are uniquely qualified to work with companies and help their employees retire on their terms and with dignity, while helping to protect the company as fiduciary,” Matis adds. Morgan Stanley is a global financial leader with more than 17,000 financial advisors and $1.8 trillion in assets under management, as of November 2013. Only 1 percent of Morgan Stanley advisors are designated as Corporate Retirement Directors; Matis of the MKP Group is one of those designated.
The CRD designation is bestowed upon financial advisors who have dedicated their practices to helping corporate clients manage all aspects of their retirement plans. “Our goal is to give companies a vision of what a successful plan will look like and provide them with the expertise to create and maintain that plan. Our team can bring you the global resources of Morgan Stanley, with the personalized service of a Corporate Retirement Director,” Matis says.
“We deliver three key resources of Morgan Stanley: our Retirement Services Group, our Global Investment Committee and our Consulting Group. Each fills an essential role in a successful plan and each is an industry leader. We work with over 23,000 defined-contribution plans with over $147 billion in assets, as of Sept. 2013.”
Matis notes that more and more employees are dependent upon defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s. Because of that, retirement planning is important to the business for recruitment and retention of quality employees, and for economic reasons. As more employees reach the age of “normal retirement” without the finances to stop working, the resulting older workforce increases healthcare costs and salaries for businesses.
“We urge companies to look at their plans and hire a dedicated advisor who represents them, not the company providing the retirement plans,” Matis says. In most cases, a company does not need to change its plan vendor. “The right advisor can make a material difference and should be able to work with any administrative provider,” he says.
“CEOs wouldn’t go to medical school to learn how to handle their health,” Matis adds. “They just need the right advice and guidance. With corporate retirement planning, that’s where the MKP Group comes in. This is all we do; it’s all we think about.”
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Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise agreed to in writing by Morgan Stanley. This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account.
Joseph M. Matis is a Financial Advisor with the Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley in Indianapolis. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC www.sipc.org. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors have engaged EMI Network Inc. to feature this profile in Forbes magazine. Joseph M. Matis may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration www.morganstanleyfa.com/themkpgroup. Transacting business, follow‐up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Joseph M. Matis is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.
Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. owns the marks CIMA®, Certified Investment Management AnalystSM (with graph element)®, and Certified Investment Management AnalystSM.