Qualified Retirement Plans

We help to achieve better participant outcomes, navigate change, and reduce plan sponsor workloads.

Named to the NAPA Top Defined Contribution Advisor Teams 2019 & 2020

Qualified Retirement Plans

A successful retirement plan can positively impact your organization’s talent acquisition, retention, and employee satisfaction. However, implementing and managing a 401(k), 403(b), Defined Benefit, Cash Balance or other qualified retirement plan on your own can be a complex and high-risk task. PensionmarkMeridien is here to help. Over three decades of experience in serving the qualified plan market, we have developed a streamlined process for helping you achieve a successful retirement plan that lowers your administrative burden and costs, improves your participation and retirement readiness, and educates your employees.

Provider Benchmarking

To help you choose a unique retirement plan provider, PensionmarkMeridien partners with you to understand your organization’s unique needs and the many factors to consider. Our team will assist you through a streamlined selection process that benchmarks prospective vendors based on a number of quantitative and qualitative factors.

  • Fund Expenses
  • Retirement Tools and Support Services
  • Ease of Administration
  • Fee Negotiations

Plan Design Direction

Our team helps to ensure your retirement plan is proactive and protective by:

  • Benchmarking national trends
  • Providing industry experience and best practices
  • Providing plan design guidance

Compliance & Fiduciary Guidance

Our retirement consultants help you to fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities using a checklist of action items that ensure you remain compliant with Section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This act outlines voluntary guidelines that, if followed, effectively transfer the potential liability associated with investment decision-making responsibilities from plan sponsors to employees who participate in the plan. The key elements which the PensionmarkMeridien Team assists with are:

  • Prudently select and monitor plan investment options
  • Provide appropriate investment choices and information enabling participants to make educated decisions
  • Document that all participants receive such information
  • Establish Retirement Plan Committee, facilitate committee meetings, and draft meeting minutes
  • Fiduciary training
  • Investment policy statement
  • Education policy statement

Administrative & Participant Support

Throughout the implementation phase and ongoing plan administration, our dedicated team proactively takes on tasks to reduce your administrative burden. They are not afraid to dig into the details and do whatever it takes to help keep you in compliance, facilitate the completion of plan requirements, support any needed interaction with the Department of Labor, or advocate on your behalf to negotiate lower fees with plan vendors. With PensionmarkMeridien you will have an accountable, proactive, dedicated partner. Some of the areas that we will help you with include:

  • Day to day operations
  • Compliance testing and audit support
  • Government filings
  • Required notices and disclosures
  • Project management between vendors and Plan Sponsor

Investment Performance


It’s important to select a range of diversified investment options suitable for, not only the type of plan being offered, but also for those who will participate in the plan. This requires regular monitoring and benchmarking of the investment options and investment providers to ensure they continue to be appropriate choices.



Investment options offered in retirement plans (e.g., Mutual Funds and other investment vehicles) have management fees (usually charged as percentage of assets) to pay for the professionals who perform the research and analysis to determine which investments to include in the fund. Investment-level fees relative to peers must be quantified and disclosed to participants.

Advisor fees


If you use outside advisors or consultants for assistance with the administration, investment guidance, and/or compliance for your plan, you still have the responsibility to ensure that the services provided are necessary and that the cost is reasonable in light of the level and quality of services.

Target Date Fund Analysis/ Monitoring


The US Department of Labor has developed general guidelines for selecting and monitoring Target Date Funds (TDF), including: establishing a periodic review, understanding the underlying investment allocation, reviewing and monitoring expenses, and developing effective employee communications.

Fiduciary Fitness


Being a fiduciary means having responsibilities; the more you learn about them, the better equipped you are to make effective decisions. Measuring fiduciary fitness is a helpful starting point for you to determine if there are areas where your current processes can be improved or enhanced.

Investment Selection & Monitoring

As part of your plan implementation and our ongoing service, PensionmarkMeridien’s experienced professionals perform extensive investment screening and analysis. We work with you to establish Retirement Plan Committee and Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to outline the decision process. Our team will continuously monitor your plan’s investments and send you our comprehensive analysis based on an industry leading, quantitative and qualitative criteria presented in an easy-to-understand scorecard format. Our services include:

  • Personalized investment reviews
  • Monitoring of current fund offerings
  • Recommendations to replace underperforming funds
  • Facilitation of vendor fund changes
  • Assistance with participant fund change communications
  • Alignment of company philosophy with program offering

Participant Education & Support

Employee education is at the core of PensionmarkMeridien’s philosophy for a successful retirement plan. The more your employees know about their retirement plan and investments, the more they will be encouraged to participate in the plan. We will help your employees understand the importance of saving towards retirement and the state of the current market, and also provide the tools to help employees make an informed decision on their investment strategy.

Our dedicated education professionals will establish employee education programs and customize campaigns to fit your employees’ specific needs. In addition:

  • We make ourselves available to answer participant questions by phone and email
  • We provide ongoing group education meetings, one-on-one consultations, web based seminars, and other resources
  • We evaluate the effectiveness of employee education on an ongoing basis

Providing your employees with robust financial planning and technology to empower their financial lives.

SMARTMap™ Foundational Planning

An available, expanded financial wellness offering to better serve plan participants through cutting edge technology coupled with personalized financial planning support. Our team of Financial Advocates work with your employees to build a financial plan designed to assist with the most common financial challenges. To learn more, please view our brochure or contact us to discuss how we may help you empower your employees financial wellbeing.

Request a retirement plan benchmark report