As a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), LifeStyle Asset Management ("LSAM") is hired by plan sponsors as an ERISA Section 3(38) Investment Manager to oversee the investments in your plan. This means we are accepting fiduciary and legal responsibility IN WRITING and are given discretion to select, monitor and replace when necessary the investment options available in your plan. Keep in mind that hiring LSAM does not relieve plan sponsors of ALL fiduciary responsibilities and liability. You are still responsible for careful selection and monitoring of us as the Section 3(38) investment manager.
When plan sponsors hire LSAM as a Section 3(38) Investment Manager, they are virtually eliminating their investment-related fiduciary liability, and transferring this liability to us. We are willing to accept this liability since we are an RIA and are already required to act as fiduciaries under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 for all of our clients.
Central to our overall vision to avoid conflicts of interest is our offering as part of an unbundled solution. This means we are completely separate from the duties of recordkeepers, third-party administrators (TPAs) and custodians. By separating the duties of each of these functions, we are not in an environment where bias in decision-making can take place. Therefore, we are able to use open architecture to position investments in your plan that are in the best interest of your plan’s participants and their beneficiaries. In collaboration with your other service providers, we offer complete fee transparency where there are no hidden, implicit costs.
In summary, what makes us different is:
- We are completely independent
- We accept fiduciary responsibility IN WRITING
- We are not biased towards one service provider over another and can work with virtually any recordkeeper, TPA, actuary or custodian
- We only use lower-fee, institutional class funds in investment lineups
- We do not receive any hidden revenue sharing, trailer fees or commissions
- We are not paid differently depending on decisions made for the plan
- We work in the sole interest of your plan’s participants and their beneficiaries
In coordination with your other plan service providers, we will launch you into a Fiduciary Fitness Program to ensure you are up-to-date with current and proposed Department of Labor and IRS rules and regulations. This program is a step-by-step checklist that is periodically utilized to ensure your plan is keeping up with and meeting it’s fiduciary responsibilities to participants.
LSAM also offers professionally managed portfolios within your plan that can be used as the Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA). These portfolios are closely modeled after the private client portfolios we manage for our direct clients every day. And the best thing is, they are available for free. There is no additional cost to you or to your plan participants to utilize any of these portfolios. Using online technology or by use of one-on-one meetings with your employees, we can assist in helping participants select which portfolio is most appropriate for their unique situation.
Lastly, our services are not exclusive to 401(k) plans. We are also available as investment managers to 403(b) plans, ESOPs, 457 plans, defined benefit plans and cash balance plans.
To explore how LSAM can bring a new level of prudent expertise in an open architecture environment for your plan, please call (281) 612-2035 for a free, no-obligation assessment and benchmarking of your current plan structure.