There are no Absolutes in the Retirement Plan Industry

You hear all the debates in the retirement plan industry, active vs. passive; bundled vs. unbundled, ERISA §3(38) vs. co-fiduciary vs. ERISA §3(21) vs. non fiduciary, brokers vs. RIAs, among others.

Regardless of the debate, there are enough plans in the industry to handle all of them and not one theory of doing business is perfect for every retirement plan out there. For example, I have never been the biggest fan of bundled, insurance company based platform plans. However, they can be a terrific for small plans and some of them have programs that fit the needs and costs for larger plans.

Same with ERISA §3(38) fiduciaries. It is a great fit for the plans where plan sponsors and fiduciaries have no idea how to handle a retirement plans. However, there are a few plan sponsors and fiduciaries diligent in acting as fiduciaries, so there might not be a need for an ERISA §3(38) fiduciary.

The morale of the story is that no matter what product you push, there is probably enough room  in the marketplace. In addition, no matter what products or services you offer, it may not be the best fit  for everyone. There are no absolutes in the retirement plan industry. As Obi Wan Kenobi said in Revenge of the Sith, that “only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

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