Employers who sponsor a retirement plan for their employees have the intention of providing an extremely valuable service. The employer-sponsored retirement plan is often the most important savings vehicle for an individual and can determine how comfortable that individual's golden years will be.

The plan sponsor and the individuals who participate in the various committees to run the plan, such as the investment committee are investment stewards. They are responsible for managing the money of others.

The US Department of Labor defines their basic responsibilities as:

To run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses. Fiduciaries must act prudently and must diversify the plan's investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses. In addition, they must follow the terms of plan documents to the extent that the plan terms are consistent with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). They also must avoid conflicts of interest. In other words, they may not engage in transactions on behalf of the plan that benefit parties related to the plan, such as other fiduciaries, services providers or the plan sponsor.

The CEFEX Certification Mark is a quality standard recognized by a growing number of investment industry participants. Why you apply for the CEFEX Mark might depend on your overall business objectives. With the CEFEX Mark you can:

  • benchmark your plan against other plans
  • demonstrate you are a responsible employer
  • attract and retain high calibre employees
  • engage your employees by better demonstrating the value of their pension plan
  • help to encourage your employees to save for their retirement
  • ensure your investment committee remains up to date on all industry developments
  • save on fiduciary liability insurance

The annual assessment process also demonstrates to officials from the Department of Labor (DOL) that you are carefully monitoring your plan. Since the certification process is annual, you maintain expert oversight to ensure you are never surprised by the findings of a DOL audit.

The CEFEX Mark is a sign that your employer's retirement plan adheres to the industry's best practice in investment management. This means that YOUR retirement savings are in good hands. Your retirement plan and investment committees are committed to managing your plan in according to the industry's standard of excellence. Excellent management in your plan today will improve the factors affecting your retirement. Download a brochure here.

If your company pension plan does not have the CEFEX Mark it may just be that your pension committee members aren't aware of it yet. You can download a brochure here for your HR department or retirement plan manager.

If you have any doubts, please contact us at admin@cefex.org. We will follow-up with a phone conversation to determine further action if necessary.

The CEFEX Mark of Excellence for Employers