FIA has many years of experience working with sophisticated law firms and other professional services firms on their retirement plan programs. We understand the unique needs and demographics of these firms, which often have wide ranging compensation structures and multiple equity shareholders. Our advisors work with some of the biggest Am Law 200 firms, large management consulting firms, regional accounting firms, large physician practices and boutique law firms. These firms look to us for our expertise and experience in working through the complexities of retirement plans that are unique to professional practices.
- 401(k) Plans – Having worked with many of the top ERISA and benefit attorneys in the country, we understand that law firms and professional practices are different than traditional corporations in their demographics, and hence have different goals and objectives for their 401(k) plans. We customize our 401(k) services to meet these unique design needs and benchmark plan features accordingly.
- Cash Balance Plans – The Pension Protection Act reenergized the demand for cash balance plans. For law firms and professional services firms, these plans can be a powerful deferral tool. Hybrid and market-return-based plan designs are often an effective deferral mechanism that also mitigates risk and reduces contribution volatility if designed and managed correctly. FIA has the experience to develop an asset allocation and management strategy that fits with the organization’s objectives and risk tolerance in either a 3(21) or 3(38) capacity.
- Traditional Defined Benefit Plans – While most law firms and professional services firms are not designing and implementing new DB Plans, many still have frozen plans that need to be managed toward termination. FIA has significant experience in helping these firms design termination glide paths that reduce funding volatility and reduce risk. FIA assists with designing custom asset allocation glide paths and works closely with actuaries to monitor glide path progress as plans de-risk toward termination. FIA works with these plans in a 3(21) or 3(38) capacity based on the client’s preference.
- Pension Termination Services – Many law firms and professional services firms have the desire to terminate traditional frozen Defined Benefit Plans. FIA has worked with many firms to terminate plans. This is an exercise with many moving parts involving multiple professionals (actuaries, attorneys, insurance carriers, and auditors). FIA has worked through the issues and can help clients avoid common pitfalls.
For many plan participants and employees, the announcement that a plan is terminating is scary and unexpected. FIA’s Employee Education and Financial Wellness Services team has helped educate and coach participants via written communications, one-on-one, and group meetings, on what this means for them, enabling the messaging to be positive so that employees can focus on being productive.