Federal law requires employers to carefully select and monitor service providers to their Plans. If an employer believes it’s appropriate to change the Plan’s investment fiduciary, Vestwell can assist you. We have an orderly process for implementing the change and notifying Plan participants. The process begins when the employer notifies our Client Success Team and provides the new advisor's contact information. We also need to know whether the advisor will serve as an investment manager or investment advisor - - it’s an important legal distinction because an investment manager has complete discretion to select and implement any investment option and changes for the Plan whereas an investment advisor selects investments for the Plan but must obtain the employer’s consent.
After we receive the new advisor’s information, we follow these steps:
- Our team contacts the new advisor to complete an Advisor Intake Form so that we can onboard the advisor to our billing system.
- The employer reviews and approves the new advisor’s fees If needed, we will send you a new Vestwell Plan Services Agreement and fee disclosure notices. We will also prepare, if necessary, any required communications to participants and the timing of notices or changes.
- A completed Advisor Intake Form will be sent to the employer to review and sign.
After we receive all signed forms, we create a new advisor account on our platform and the new advisor will be prompted to register for access.
- When a Plan’s investment fiduciary changes, you can expect additional changes: As mentioned, we may need to provide you with a new Vestwell Plan Service Agreement
- The investment options for the Plan may change, in which case your participants will receive new prospectuses, fact sheets, and a notice about the changes.
- If Vestwell Advisors, our Registered Investment Advisor, is appointed as your Plan’s investment manager, your participants will be able to select their investments from our fund lineup.
An employer is always a fiduciary to the Plan regardless of what services are delegated to third parties. Vestwell is not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice. You may wish to consider engaging qualified counsel to understand and confirm that you are carrying out your fiduciary obligations to the Plan. You may also wish to review any investment fiduciary being considered to support your Plan by reviewing their record with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you can do here.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.