If you don’t feel right and you go to the doctor and you get some grim or fantastic news about your health, isn’t it a good call to get a second opinion? Especially with certain types of cancer, speaking to a different doctor may lead to a confirmation of your diagnosis or an alternative that can be a better course of treatment.
Yet when it comes to retirement plans and advice from potential plan provides, plan sponsors never ask for a second opinion. That can be harmful when the potential plan provider is advising something that is against the rules set forth by the Internal Revenue Code and puts the plan sponsor in great harm.
One of my top clients (who is a leading plan fiduciary) advised me that a plan sponsor was being advised by a third parry administrator who also double as insurance salesmen (not a good fit) that it was OK for a plan design that only offered a life insurance benefit to highly compensated employees. The problem is that there is rule called benefits, rights, and features that bar any benefit, right, or feature that is discriminatory in favor of highly compensated employees. If this plan sponsor doesn’t get a second opinion and buys this magical bean of insurance only for the highly compensated employees, then they maybe in a rude surprise if the plan ever was audited by the Internal Revenue Service.
Whenever a plan sponsor gets an out of the box plan design solution, a second opinion is just always a good idea.