As consultants to organizations across the country, the advisors at Dowd Wealth Management offers services for all types of plans including but not limited to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), 457(f), Defined Benefit, and Cash Balance. We pride ourselves as being completely independent and have no allegiance to any recordkeeper, or investment providers. We have seen combining robust design, fiduciary, and education services, helps greatly enhance your employees’ outcome, as well as, managing liability and administrative burdens for the organizations.
At Dowd Wealth Management we believe that Fiduciary management for any retirement program is dependent on multiple fiduciary facets: investment, design features, education, plan statistics, investment committee, administrative tasks on, and documentation. The biggest challenge we see day in and day out is that Plan Sponsors don’t have a single system to manage all of these aspects. We utilize a customized software suite that allows us to organize all aspects of fiduciary responsibility, documentation, and task management. This software suite is the basis of how we are able to do more for our clients and allow them to focus on their business.Return to Top
The Advisors at Dowd Wealth Management can serve both as an ERISA 3(21) or ERISA 3(38) Fiduciary. A fiduciary is an individual authorized by an express or implied agreement, to act with a high duty of care on behalf of another person. The fiduciary must make prudent and informed decisions based on all available information acting on behalf of the plan and its participants. Fiduciaries are required to avoid conflicts of interest and must place the interest of the plan and participants ahead of their own. Fiduciaries must also act in good faith, maintain confidentially, and communicate by disclosing all pertinent information through the due diligence process.ERISA 3(21) Co-Fiduciary Advisor
401(k) Plans are the primary retirement vehicle in Corporate America. They are used as a recruiting tool and are a critical component to an employees’ overall compensation and benefits package. Setting up a plan is typically a straightforward process but maintaining a plan requires a tremendous amount of responsibility and oversight.
Serving as either a 3(21) or 3(38) partner to the plan, the advisors at Dowd Wealth Management will help ensure that the plan has reasonable fees, aligns with the organizations goals, and that a formal review process is set up to encompass all aspects of the plans responsibilities.
Every company we work with has different goals, needs, and workforce. The combination of all of these goes into the design features of the plan as well as the education program that is deployed.Return to Top
Dowd Wealth Management advisors' experience with non-profit organizations has proven valuable to both plan sponsors and participants alike. As opposed to the 401(k)-plan market, 403(b) plans have slowly evolved from their roots as individual Tax Deferred Annuity plans being marketed directly to participants. The evolution of the 403(b) market has lent itself to advisory firms that have been well implanted in the corporate 401(k) market. As the platforms that are top tier continue to look more like their 401(k) counterpart, however, there is still a large part of the 403(b) market that has legacy products that are typically inefficient and expensive. We take a similar approach with our 403(b) clients to help ensure they are providing their employees with the best retirement platform regardless of plan type.
Our education services that focus on individual planning are also well suited for the 403(b) market. The biggest difference is that with traditional 403(b) education there was no reporting data back to the organization to measure the effectiveness of the education. With our proprietary one on one education program, we are able to measure things like participant income run out, risk profile, deferral rates, and changes that a participant makes after our education sessions. We are also able to help the participant make the changes at the provider level, either live or with screen share, and that ensures that the data we provide is accurate.Return to Top
The advisors at Dowd Wealth Management understand the diverse needs of Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors. Active Plans, Frozen Plans, and plans looking to terminate all have unique needs and challenges. Investment strategy, liability matching, and individual investment selection are all important parts of managing each different stage of a DB Plan. Dowd Wealth Management advisors can act in a 3(21) fiduciary capacity making investment recommendations to your investment committee. As a 3(38) Investment Manager, Dowd Wealth Management advisors are given discretion to manage and implement the plans changes, working closely with your actuary and auditor to help ensure all of the parties are in sync with the plans funded status.Cash Balance Plans
Dowd Wealth Management advisors also work with small professional firms to enhance retirement benefits and tax deductibility beyond what the traditional Defined Contribution Plans allow. Many professional firms as they mature in their practice are behind in their savings due to the length of education and cost of education. Partners closer to retirement in the higher income earning years can utilize a Cash Balance plan to help manage their tax liability and increase their retirement savings.Return to Top
Dowd Wealth Management advisors are well equipped to offer solutions to help plan sponsors on their ongoing management of their retirement plan program. Limitations surrounding qualified retirement plans can make it challenging for highly compensated employees to save enough for retirement. A non-qualified plan can help bridge the gap as well as be an effective tool to recruit, reward, and retain key employees.
The advisors at Dowd Wealth Management work with the top recordkeepers that specialize in deferred compensation arrangements and delivers executive education as these plans do work a little differently, specifically from a tax and distribution strategy.
We will also work with the Sponsor on the proper combination of funding strategies. Studies can be done to determine the best funding vehicle for the plan and it is common to see a combination of mutual funds and Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI).Return to Top
Dowd Wealth Management advisors help our clients understand and evaluate their options surrounding a potential plan merger. Working in conjunction with a team of experts, ERISA attorneys, accountants, and administrative experts we will create a due diligence process that will delineate roles and responsibilities and evaluate the plans offered. We help our clients decide what is the best path for them: termination, maintain existing plans, or merging the plans. Each option has a unique set of pros and cons. Dowd Wealth advisors take on the role of project manager to help our clients through this process.Return to Top
At Dowd Wealth Management we believe that the education program is essential to all retirement programs. Studies have shown that financial stress is one of the top reasons for lack of productivity for employees. In addition, if employees aren’t prepared for retirement, they have no choice but to keep working, potentially at a higher salary and lower productivity. We see the greatest gap in advisory services when it comes to educating the individuals in the plan. Many advisors see their role as working with the committee on the investments and design features but tend to rely on the recordkeeper for education. Although we work with recordkeepers on group education, it is critical and a part of our service model to offer one on one consultation to plan participants. Our one-on-one meetings include the following:
We are also able to help the participant make the appropriate changes on the website of the provider to ensure the accuracy of the data we report back to the Retirement Plan Committee.Return to Top