Savant Capital Management, www.savantcapital.com, one of the nation’s largest independent registered investment advisory firms today announced it has received the Service Provider Certification for adhering to the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) standard of excellence for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 3(16) Plan Administrators. Savant is among one of the first organizations in the nation to be independently certified in this role.
The Service Provider certification is an independent recognition of an Administrator’s conformity to the relevant practices and criteria within the American Society of Pension Processionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice and the standard “Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards” published by fi360 Inc. The certification implies that the firm can demonstrate adherence to the industry’s best practices, and is positioned to serve fiduciaries such as Investment Managers and Investment Stewards.
Savant has been certified for various plan administrator functions as regulated by ERISA, which include both fiduciary and administrative functions. The firm’s fiduciary functions include selection of plan providers, interpretation of the terms of the plan and making decisions on claims for benefits. It also includes authorizing distributions, loans and any other plan transactions, managing fiduciary governance and maintaining documentation, and signing all attestations required in governmental filings, including Form 5500.
The firm’s administrative functions include serving as a single point of contact for the plan sponsor, service providers and plan participants related to administrative matters, reviewing plan design for enhancements and modifications and disseminating enrollment materials to new participants. Other administrative functions include preparing and maintaining IRS approved plan documents, determining employee eligibility, calculating benefits and applying other benefit rules and preparing required employee communications.
CEFEX conducts annual assessments according to the international standard ISO 17021. This standard serves as the foundation for facilitating and recognition of CEFEX certifications. The assessment process involves a detailed review of plan documents, policies and procedures followed by interviews with key personnel.