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Consulting Services

Heintzberger | Payne Advisors provides comprehensive consulting services for all facets of retirement plan management and operations, including:

Our consulting services can encompass a full review, or be focused on a limited number of specific issues. In all cases, the client can depend on Heintzberger | Payne Advisors delivering an unbiased evaluation with appropriate recommendations.

Plan Design

Heintzberger | Payne Advisors provides technical expertise in plan design and compliance testing of corporate retirement plans. It is not uncommon to find retirement plans that fail to leverage Internal Revenue Code provisions, consequently preventing key employees from maximizing their benefit opportunities and/or resulting in unnecessarily high funding costs. A "one size fits all" approach to plan design can lead to errors, inefficiencies, and a failure for plans to meet compliance requirements.

Most advisors/consultants have expertise in either plan design or investments, but not both. Heintzberger | Payne Advisors, due to the work experience of its Principals, specializes in both disciplines, providing superior value and a more encompassing array of services for our clients.

Vendor Selection/Review

Our Principals have experience preparing comprehensive reviews of plan vendors. We review a provider's operational capabilities, compliance testing and reporting procedures, the plan's fee and cost structure, and the plan's investment alternatives— particularly as to their separate performance characteristics and their compliance to the guidelines and benchmarks of the plan's Statement of Investment Policy.

Our insistence that plan fiduciaries avail themselves of all available statutory relief of liability has us thoroughly examine a vendor's support for ERISA 404(c) compliance. Additionally, we assist employers by conducting formal Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for plan providers. Our team's experience in conducting these searches for employers located across the country has provided us with valuable benchmarking information to determine fair and equitable marketplace standards.

Fee Negotiations

We ensure the plan custodian, recordkeeper, third party administrator and any investment providers make full revenue disclosure. Full revenue disclosure can also uncover conflicts of interest that may limit a plan's performance.

We determine if the revenues generated and fees assessed by the custodian, recordkeeper and administrator represent equitable compensation for the services delivered and are consistent with fees paid by other, similar-sized plans. If not, we negotiate with plan providers on our client's behalf to reduce charges. We provide a comprehensive, written analysis to plan fiduciaries for documentation of this important fiduciary action.

Investment Policy Design/Review

A Statement of Investment Policy ("SIP") is developed and adopted by each client reflecting the risk parameters, investment objectives, and performance benchmarks appropriate to the client's circumstances. The SIP further defines the asset allocation parameters of appropriate investment strategies, i.e., target, minimum and maximum exposures for various asset classes. The SIP then drives Heintzberger | Payne Advisors' investment research efforts to identify investment alternatives by dictating minimum performance criteria and establishing measurable benchmarks that each option must meet for it to be considered, and to remain, as an investment alternative. These criteria and benchmarks (both quantitative and qualitative) comprise the filters Heintzberger | Payne Advisors employs to narrow the universe of potential investment options.

A SIP must clearly express the investment objectives of the portfolio. What amount of return is the portfolio expected to yield? Over what period of time? How much investment risk will be tolerated? Are some types of investments not acceptable for purchase? Are there minimum and maximum exposures to various assets classes? What are the benchmarks against which investment performance will be measured?

Investment Menu Design

For participant-choice plans, Heintzberger | Payne Advisors assists employers in establishing a "best in class" investment menu. Our firm conducts extensive research on institutional and no-load mutual funds in an effort to provide an exceptional investment alternative in each asset class as a core menu of investment alternatives from which participants choose.

Additionally, we can construct actively managed Model Portfolios of varying risk profiles that utilize the underling funds of the core menu. Many plan participants consider this type of managed option as a significant benefit enhancement. Heintzberger | Payne Advisors' goal is to provide participants with a diversified menu of quality investment alternatives while simultaneously eliminating any redundancy of investment management within the menu's selections that would otherwise result in lack of diversification.

Heintzberger | Payne Advisors regularly offers four Model Portfolios at no extra charge to its plan sponsor clients.


Heintzberger | Payne Advisors works very effectively with a client's ERISA attorney by identifying issues of concern in plan design and by providing technical input and analysis.

Click here to learn more about ERISA 404(c) compliance.