Insights and Perspectives

Selling Beyond the 401k: Part Two of a Two-Part Series

Answering the client need for winning the talent war with 3(16) Fiduciary Services

As we learned about in the first part of this two-part series the war for talent is real, and is expected to last. When answering your clients’ need of how to retain talent, looking beyond the 401k will make you a hero to your clients, and help build your bottom line.

Plan errors cost your clients money and time

First, did you know that FuturePlan finds errors in more than 75% of the plans whose data we receive, analyze (and correct!)1 Most of these come from common, preventable payroll errors including incorrect Year to Date (YTD) payroll calculations, duplicate or incorrect payroll files, Social Security errors, missing dates of birth, or ineligible contributions. And of course, these errors not only hurt the talent that your clients are working so hard to retain, but they require executive attention and in general can make administration of a plan onerous for the plan sponsor.

Resource: Payroll Integrity Check

Enter 3(16) Fiduciary Services. A 3(16) Fiduciary takes complete fiduciary responsibility for administration of a retirement plan. By offloading the administrative burden, it makes retirement plans easier to implement than ever, allowing your client to attract and retain valuable talent to their company and to help mitigate liability. For you, the ease of 3(16) Fiduciary Services creates happy clients, and lowers client attrition rates. Let’s take a deeper look at what these services are and how to position them to current clients and prospects.

3(16) Fiduciary Services

Outsources plan fiduciary responsibilities including providing fee disclosures and plan documentation to new hires, monitoring participant eligibility, handling distribution paperwork, and payroll data integrity checks.

Ideal Candidate and Positioning:

  • Any plan sponsor who wants to outsource plan compliance and administration
  • Plan sponsors who have a small staff and no time or bandwidth for administration and compliance
  • Plan sponsors who may have had transactional errors, audits or fines in the past
  • Businesses who have complex or complicated plan details


  • Not a lot of legwork for advisor to implement
  • Easy to integrate into current plans
  • Keeps clients happy and reduces attrition
  • Reduces fines and fees for plan sponsors associated with compliance missteps and transactional errors
  • Takes administration burden off the business itself and puts it in the hands of experts
  • Keeps businesses employees happy as there are no missteps in their plan or savings
  • 100-point data integrity check to reduce plan errors

3(16) Fiduciary Services Conversation Starters

  • I know you had some transactional errors last year with your plan, have you ever thought about adding 3(16) Fiduciary services?
  • I know you don’t have bandwidth to dedicate an employee to this full-time have you thought about 3(16) Fiduciary Services as a way to outsource?
  • Did you know payroll data errors are one of the biggest sources of IRS fines? I’d love to help you avoid these.
  • I know you might have concerns about being able to handle onboarding a retirement plan for your company – have you thought about 3(16) Fiduciary Services?

Resources: 3 (16) Resource Center

As you can see, with both Cash Balance and 3(16) Fiduciary Services, there are many options to address your client’s unique goals and put them ahead of the pack for retaining and attracting talent. Looking through your client roster to see which clients might match the ideal positioning above is a good way to start. Open the conversation with one of the questions above.

Let us help you grow

As a leading national TPA, we have the in-depth retirement plan expertise to deliver seamless solutions for every type of plan. Let us help you grow your practice and stay connected with us on LinkedIn for more practice management ideas, tools and strategies.

Source: 1.) FuturePlan Data Report, May 31, 2022