How does PlanVision make money?
Well, you pay us! We are not paid by any investment firms and do not receive commissions, revenue sharing, soft dollars, marketing funds, or referral fees of any kind. Our Plan Sponsor clients, and their employees, can pay us directly or have our fees deducted from their accounts. You can determine the approach that works best for you and your staff. Our clients always know precisely what they pay and how it is calculated.
Can you describe PlanVision’s retirement and/or financial planning process?
We offer complete retirement planning services. This is an important part of preparing for your future. We meet with you to discuss your experience with investments, your current financial situation, and hopes for the future. We then generate your personalized plan, utilizing Finance Logix, an industry leader in financial planning software. The final step is to revisit and review the results. During this meeting, you will receive suggestions on how you can accomplish your objectives. As your financial circumstances change, you can meet with us to update your plan.
What is the right amount to save? How much do you need to retire?
Two common questions that we receive – unfortunately, there is no specific answer that is correct for everyone. There are many variables that impact savings and retirement plans. Saving on a regular basis in your employer plan, using a Roth IRA when you can, and keeping your debt low are all good strategies to help you get closer to your retirement goals. Also, being realistic and understanding that you will have to adapt are critical. Saving what you can reasonably afford to save and getting involved in the planning process will help to answer these questions for you. Keep in mind we are here to help when you are ready.
How does PlanVision determine its fees for Plan Sponsors?
Our fee for our Fiduciary Service and PlanVision Support will vary from employer to employer. Factors that influence this include total participating staff, annual employee turnover, and the level of employer and employee support requested. Since we recommend predominately passive fund lineups, our fee is very competitive. We think plan sponsors waste too much money on the ridiculous and unnecessary process of rotating mutual funds in and out of their lineup.
Why is PlanVision so inexpensive?
Several reasons: First, we primarily recommend passively managed portfolios from Vanguard. Second, we are owned solely by PlanVision – there are no shareholders to compensate. Third, we use technology efficiently – this keeps our costs low and makes our work easier to track. We developed the name PlanVision as a reference to our survey process and its integration with our client management system. Finally, our experience of almost 20 years and covering over 30,000 direct participant interactions has helped us develop an efficient client management system. We think a better question is: Why are most advisory firms so expensive!
Does PlanVision provide a service commitment to employers?
Yes. This service agreement is agreed upon in advance, can be modified at any time, and plan sponsors use it to gauge our performance. Our service standards are high, and we work hard to meet them. This agreement is a part of our Plan Sponsor contract.
With PlanVision, will our employees become better educated about planning for retirement?
We believe this is the natural outcome of our focus on one-on-one incremental learning and commitment to simplifying the investment process. An important feature of our approach is that our interactions and consistent message help us get to know your staff. As we repeatedly engage clients in guidance and planning, they will better understand the retirement planning process.
Does PlanVision receive any commissions or income in any other way from our staff?
How strongly can we say NO! We believe it is awful how investment firms and/or broker/dealers use an employer-based retirement plan as a venue to sell other products and services to the plan participants. We have no financial agenda when we meet with your staff. PlanVision does have individual clients who we work with and charge an annual flat fee – but we do not charge that fee to Plan Sponsor participants of PlanVision. If an employee terminates employment and is interested in working with us and does not want to keep their money in the plan, they can work with us on an individual basis.
What if my staff wants to enroll themselves in the plan or use their own financial advisor?
We do not require that staff visit with us. However, we are always here to help if they want assistance. All staff will complete the Retirement Notification and Enrollment Assessment, a survey in PlanVision. This brief survey indicates their investment experience and the level of service they expect. We help them complete it when we meet with them to help them enroll, or we e-mail it to them if they self-enroll, or you can e-mail it to them and they can quickly complete it. You can then put that in their file, we keep a copy as well, and the client is e-mailed a copy of it too.
Does PlanVision encourage auto enrollment, also known as negative enrollment?
Yes. We believe this is better for plan participants and increasing enrollment in the plan. If you opt for auto enrollment, we do provide an electronic decline notice that the plan participant will complete. However, all employers are different and we will want to discuss if this makes sense for your group, and, if so, what is the correct contribution amount to use for auto enrollment.
Can our plan participants indicate that they want their salary increases to go to the retirement plan?
Yes. We encourage this feature since it is a way for people to save more for their future automatically. In addition, many people get used to their budget, so they can afford to put their raise into their retirement plan. We will ask employees if they want this feature in our initial employee assessment and again in the future if they are not utilizing it.