As a retirement plan sponsor, you are constantly bombarded with sales calls, articles, new products, updates on litigation and much more. This information overload can make it challenging to filter through the noise and bright shiny objects to focus on what’s really important to your retirement plan and your participants. With that in mind, I was excited to have Tom Kmak, CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary Benchmarks rejoin me on the podcast to offer some perspective. By way of background, Tom is consistently recognized as one of the most influential people in the retirement industry, prior to founding the incredibly successful firm Fiduciary Benchmarks he was the CEO of JP Morgan Retirement Plan Service. During our conversation, he pulls from his over three decades of experience to comment on how current “trending topics” such as financial wellness, the focus on fees, ERISA litigation, commoditization and few others can draw attention away from helping retirement plan participants retire successfully. Also, If you missed our first conversation on the podcast be sure to check out, “401(k) Plan Fees: Benchmarking Value & Reasonableness” it was our most popular episode for 2016.
Before we get started, I have mentioned on the last few episodes that we are launching an exciting research project on February 1st. Here’s a quick preview to get you thinking, we will be posing the following question to employers, “What have you always wanted to ask your employees about your retirement plan but have been afraid to?” That’s it! To be clear, we are looking for questions that you would be uncomfortable asking your own employees, but knowing the answers would help you make more informed decisions about your retirement plan and the potential human capital impact on your business. More to come, and the only way to participate is if you’re an email subscriber, connected with me on LinkedIn or following me on twitter. So don’t delay, go to 401kfridays.com/subscribe and you can take care of all of those in one stop.
Without further ado, i hope you enjoy my conversation with Tom!
CEO and co-founder of Fiduciary Benchmarks, 2007 to current. Fiduciary Benchmarks (FBi) is a premier and patented benchmarking service (U.S. Patent 8,510,198) for defined contribution plans that uses various mathematical models to help fiduciaries determine whether the fees they are paying to their service providers are reasonable in light of the value being received. Through their construction and presentation, FBi reports give plan decision makers the context necessary to improve decisions and positively affect the measures of long-term plan success. FBi reports are available primarily through advisor/consultants, recordkeepers, TPAs and other plan service providers.
Prior to founding FBi, Tom Started the JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services business in 1990 with American Century. Upon leaving in October 2007, that business employed 1,100 people serving 200 large plan sponsors with over 1.5 million participants and more than $115 billion in assets.
During his 18 years with Retirement Plan Services, the company initiated numerous industry firsts including no blackout conversions and the innovative employee education program, Audience of One. Tom also served on the Executive Committee for JPMorgan’s asset management business.
Named by Ingram’s magazine as one of Kansas City’s inaugural class of “Forty most influential people under Forty,” Tom is a recognized expert in the retirement services industry who has been a featured speaker at various conferences and has published articles in some of the most well-known periodicals in the industry.
Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University with B.A. degrees in Economics and Computational Mathematics. He is also the first graduate of the Management Fellows Program and 3 year letterman in inter-collegiate basketball.
401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
A weekly podcast where Employers, Retirement Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries come to hear candid insights from retirement industry leaders on important trends, topics and current events. Each episode is designed to explore a specific topic and leave our listeners with concrete ideas and strategies to enhance fiduciary protection, streamline plan operations or improve participant retirement readiness.
With over 50 episodes we’ve had the good fortune chat with attorneys, authors, investment managers, professors, business leaders and fellow employers to explore a wide range of topics including fiduciary best practices, investment commentary, legal and regulatory updates, plan design trends, employee engagement strategies and much more! Be sure to check previous episodes at www.401kfridays.com/podcasts.