As independent consultants, we recognize the importance of staying close to our clients during each phase of our service. Our approach is as follows:
o Conduct an in-depth analysis of how the plan is being operated;
o Determine if the plan formula is up to date in light of changes in the law, changes in social security contributions and other related factors;
o Display alternate forms of plan design which may translate into reduced costs or higher pension benefits.
Our methodology permits us to be of assistance throughout the major phases of a consulting assignment. These phases are:
o Planning Phase - We research the client company's needs and methods and suggest alternate approaches;
o Design Phase - We define goals, determine costs and design plans or programs;
o Implementation Phase - We develop administrative guidelines, manage in new procedures and communicate plan or program elements to all employees;
o Operational Support Phase - We help with government filings, conduct annual actuarial valuations, and periodically update plans or programs.
Our findings submitted recommend a variety of options supported by the appropriate actuarial valuations. The recommendations made are within government regulations and guidelines established by the American Academy of Actuaries.
Accompanying our supporting data are a) clear and concise explanations of the current plan, and b) our recommendations in terms understandable to the laymen.
Thus, our charter in this consulting mode is not only to recommend cost reductions and benefit enhancements, but to educate those not involved in the daily workings of pension and profit sharing plans.