ERISA requires plan sponsors to obtain fee disclosures for their plan and ensure that all fees paid out of plan assets are reasonable for the services provided. By obtaining clear documentation that their fee-related decisions are sufficiently prudent and objective, plan sponsors can more effectively meet their fiduciary obligations and reduce the likelihood of litigation. If done correctly, plan benchmarking can provide that type of documentation.
At Bridgehaven, we utilize a service that builds a custom benchmark group tailored to each plan’s characteristics – number of participants, economic profile, cost structures, industry, etc. – so we can accurately assess fees, support, and services and compare them across a representative sample. To ensure diversity in these comparisons, each benchmark group includes a minimum of 25 plans across at least ten different record keepers and two different business models.
Plan benchmarking is the first step in establishing and documenting a prudent process.