Your Prime Directive: Defining Your Retirement Plan Philosophy
In the first few minutes of the latest Star Trek film, Into Darkness there’s a heated discussion over the "prime directive." The prime directive is the guiding principle behind every mission and operational protocol established within the Star Trek universe. It informs every decision they make. Before Captain Kirk or Spock make any decision that could impact the future, they refer back to this foundational philosophy.
When it comes to building your retirement plan, before you do anything, you need to know what your prime directive is in relation to benefits and retirement for your employees, your company culture, and the sustainability of your business.
According to a recent poll, Fidelity notes that “Ninety-one percent of advisors who offer retirement plans are merely 'accommodating' the business as part of their other wealth management services, rather than pursuing retirement plan work and developing an expertise in it." A concrete block can be an accommodating seat given the circumstance, but it’s no captain’s chair.
Accommodation is what happens when you don’t work together to establish a prime directive. It’s directionless and just as in Star Trek, there can be serious implications when future decisions are made without it being in place. Our prime directive is to only service retirement plans.
For organizations, a lack of a prime directive for the retirement plan can look like a plan that meets minimum standards but with obsolete features, poor employee usage of the plan, or yet another expense on the balance sheet. It can translate into retirement plans that are incongruent with the company’s values, or plans that work for a short time but become outmoded as the company grows and evolves within their respected industry.
Defining your retirement plan philosophy starts with three important questions. This is your prime directive.
- How does this plan fit with the needs of our employees?
- How does this plan fit within our company culture?
- How does this plan fit within the company now and in the future?
There are a lot of moving pieces within your company, and assessing a good plan fit between employee needs, company culture, and company sustainability can be challenging. That’s why Retirement Planology® works closely together with executive teams and HR departments to establish a retirement plan philosophy before beginning any plan work.
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