Key Concepts in Benefits Consulting

In choosing a Benefits Consultant and defining a consulting engagement, the smaller employer should consider the following:

Somewhere between a specific question and carte blanche . . .

Your consultant should be selling nothing but counsel.

Small plans are different than big plans.

Offer access to the necessary information and personnel.


  • Find the balance

Somewhere between a specific question and carte blanche . . . you will find the best balance of issues to put before your consultant. It is generally a mistake to focus the attention of your advisor too narrowly. The risk is that you will receive an answer that is entirely accurate, but fundamentally useless. Give your advisor the reasons behind your inquiry, and explain the basis of limitations that you impose upon the engagement. Be aware that better consultants will still want to know about the role that the particular topic of consideration will play in your overall benefits package.

  • Choose independent advice

Your consultant should be selling nothing but counsel. Buy your investment products from people who focus their energy upon investments. Get your technical advice on benefit plans structures from people who do that for a living. If a business' principal revenue comes from selling products, then this is the likely focus of its interest and expertise. The service provider, on the other hand,  will be intent upon providing you with good service.

  • Match the expertise to your needs

Small plans are different than big plans. Plans should be designed to meet the needs of the sponsoring employer. Smaller employers tend to face different problems than large ones. It is simply common sense that the experience and expertise of your advisor should match your circumstances.

  • Equip your adviser

Offer access to the necessary information and personnel. While it may take a bit more work, you will be better satisfied with the recommendations of your benefits consultant if you provide an opportunity to explore the available information, even if its relevance is not fully apparent. If your benefits advisor is not paying attention to things you haven't thought of, it may be appropriate to choose another.

 

 
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