The Value of a 2-Minute Benchmark

Posted by PlanFees on Apr 13, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Q: What Do All of These Have in Common?

  • Listening to “Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin.
  • Brushing your teeth properly, according to dentist recommendations.
  • Cooking two batches of Minute Rice.
  • Making French toast in a cup … no really
  • Clipping your nails.
  • Watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and drinking a champagne toast.

A: They’re All Doable in Two Minutes or Less. It’s not a lot of time — a measly 120 seconds. But can anything really important, like benchmarking retirement plan fees, actually get done that fast? If you’re an advisor with PlanFees, the answer is a resounding yes!

The Case for an Annual Fee Checkup

As a retirement plan advisor, you know that ensuring your clients’ fees are reasonable — not just years when you take their plan out to bid, but every year — is your fiduciary responsibility. If you don’t, both you and your client can wind up in significant legal peril. And just because you haven’t become entangled in a 401(k) lawsuit, that doesn’t mean the concern ends there — plan fees were identified as the top priority among sponsors in the Callan 2020 Defined Contribution Trends Survey.

With PlanFees, a revolutionary fintech platform, you can perform an accurate, customizable benchmark AND create a professionally designed, personally branded benchmarking report for your client — all in just two minutes. Your competitive benchmark will clearly show comparisons to low-, average- and high-priced plans based on investment, record-keeping, administration and advisory fees. If you’re an advisor who provides a superior level of service (or hope to), then it’s even more important that you justify higher fees with accurate, annual benchmarking data.

Your plan sponsors will have the confidence that they know how their fees stack up each and every year. And when prospectors come calling to ask your client whether they know about their fees, they can reply, “Actually I do — I receive a competitive benchmark every year from my advisor.”

Benchmark Better

Now you can benchmark whenever and wherever you want. Using optical character recognition, simply snap a photo of a fee disclosure statement with your smartphone to generate a report. Customize the number of plan participants and revenue using simple screen sliders. Input fees by percentage or fixed dollar amount — no more lengthy decimal point conversions necessary. By entering just a few fields, you’ll receive a benchmark that’s based on actual live-bid data — not out of a book — data that’s updated regularly so you can be confident that you’re getting a more accurate comparison for your client.

Need to benchmark on your lunch break? While taking an Uber to your client meeting? When all you have on hand is a fee disclosure document and your smartphone? No worries — you’re ready to go!

In fact, by the time you’ve finished reading this article, you could’ve created your own benchmark report with PlanFees. Consider all the time you currently spend getting that “free” benchmark. How many steps from start to finish does it take? And what about all those interruptions to your work? We’ve seen how it can often take several business days to receive a benchmark, or 4-6 hours to produce one on your own in a format that you can deliver to a client. We wanted to offer a better way to benchmark so that advisors could take advantage of that time savings. Because there’s a lot of other things you should be doing if you want your business to thrive.

Time Is Money (or at Least It Can Be)

Four to six hours may not seem like that much time, but multiply that by your number of clients and it can easily become weeks. But even IF you had only one client, in the 4-6 hours you could spend obtaining a “free” benchmark, you could:

  • Schedule and attend 2-3 meetings with referral sources.
  • Conduct 30 minutes of outreach on LinkedIn every business day for two weeks.
  • Send 50 prospecting emails.
  • Make 12 cold calls.
  • Write and distribute an e-newsletter to all your clients.
  • Pen a couple of blogs for your website.

Or you could create as many PlanFees benchmark reports as you need and use them to advise existing clients (before your competitors do) — or prospect new ones.

Your 2-Minute Benchmarking Advantage

PlanFees is a valuable prospecting tool in and of itself. Offering a free, independent and customizable benchmark is an effective door opener, and the low-cost annual subscription can easily pay for itself 10 times over if it helps you sign just one new client or retain wavering business. You’ll benchmark more often and benchmark better —with PlanFees.

Learn how we’re disrupting the retirement plan industry by offering accurate, on-demand and revealing benchmarking. Benchmark better — with PlanFees. Call (949) 305-3718 today for a demonstration.


Topics: Insider, fee benchmarking