Retirement Plan Consulting

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on July 11, 2023

Get Any Financial Question Answered

Retirement Plan Consulting: Overview

Retirement plan consulting services help businesses and individuals design, implement, and manage effective retirement plans. These services can include plan design, regulatory compliance support, employee education, and investment selection and monitoring.

By engaging the services of a retirement plan consultant, both businesses and individuals can enhance the effectiveness of their retirement plans and maximize their retirement savings.

Retirement plan consulting plays a crucial role in ensuring that businesses and individuals are well-prepared for retirement.

For businesses, a well-designed retirement plan can help attract and retain talent, while reducing fiduciary risk. For individuals, working with a retirement plan consultant can help optimize savings strategies and ensure a more secure financial future.

Retirement Plan Consulting for Businesses

Designing and Implementing Retirement Plans

Types of Retirement Plans

Retirement plan consultants can help businesses choose from various accounts, such as 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE IRA, and SEP IRA plans.

Each plan has its unique features and benefits, making it essential to select the right one based on the specific needs of the business and its employees.

Tailoring Plans to Meet Business Needs

Once a suitable plan type is selected, retirement plan consultants can assist businesses in designing and implementing plans that meet their specific needs. This can include determining eligibility requirements, contribution limits, vesting schedules, and plan administration processes.

Compliance and Regulatory Support

Ensuring Legal Compliance

Retirement plan consultants can help businesses navigate complex legal and regulatory requirements related to their retirement plans.

This may involve ensuring that plans meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines, as well as state and local regulations.

Navigating Regulatory Changes

As regulatory environments evolve, retirement plan consultants can help businesses stay informed about relevant changes and ensure ongoing compliance. This can help minimize potential legal issues and protect businesses from costly penalties.

Employee Education and Engagement

Promoting Retirement Savings

Retirement plan consultants can work with businesses to develop and implement employee education programs that promote retirement savings.

These programs can help employees understand the benefits of participating in a retirement plan and encourage them to save for their future.

Communicating Plan Benefits and Features

Effective communication of plan benefits and features is essential for employee engagement. Retirement plan consultants can assist businesses in creating clear and concise communication materials, such as plan summaries, enrollment guides, and ongoing educational resources.

Investment Selection and Monitoring

Developing Investment Menus

Retirement plan consultants can help businesses design investment menus that cater to a diverse range of employee needs and risk tolerances. This may involve selecting a mix of investment options, such as mutual funds, target-date funds, and stable value funds.

Ongoing Investment Monitoring and Review

Regular investment monitoring and review are essential to ensure that plan investments continue to align with business and employee needs.

Retirement plan consultants can provide ongoing investment oversight, evaluate performance and make recommendations for adjustments as necessary.

Retirement Plan Consulting for Businesses

Retirement Plan Consulting for Individuals

Retirement Plan Analysis and Recommendations

Evaluating Current Retirement Plans

Retirement plan consultants can help individuals assess their current retirement plans and identify areas for improvement. This may involve evaluating plan features, contribution levels, investment strategies, and overall plan performance.

Identifying Opportunities for Improvement

Based on this analysis, retirement plan consultants can provide recommendations for improving effectiveness. This may include suggestions for increasing contributions, optimizing investment strategies, or exploring alternative retirement savings vehicles.

Retirement Income Planning

Estimating Retirement Income Needs

Retirement plan consultants can assist individuals in estimating their income needs based on factors such as desired lifestyle, inflation, and life expectancy. This information can help individuals set appropriate retirement savings goals and develop effective withdrawal strategies.

Developing Sustainable Withdrawal Strategies

Retirement plan consultants can help individuals create sustainable withdrawal strategies that aim to preserve their retirement savings while providing a steady income stream.

This may involve determining optimal withdrawal rates, considering various income sources, and adjusting strategies based on market conditions and personal circumstances.

Investment Strategy Development

Assessing Risk Tolerance and Investment Goals

Retirement plan consultants can work with individuals to assess their risk tolerance and investment goals, ensuring that their retirement plan investments align with their unique needs and preferences.

Customizing Investment Portfolios

Based on this assessment, retirement plan consultants can help individuals develop customized investment portfolios that balance risk and return, while considering factors such as investment horizon, tax implications, and liquidity needs.

Retirement Plan Consulting for Individuals

Benefits of Retirement Plan Consulting

Ensuring Retirement Plan Effectiveness

Retirement plan consulting services can help both businesses and individuals ensure the effectiveness of their retirement plans.

By providing expert guidance on plan design, compliance, employee education, and investment strategies, consultants can help optimize retirement savings and improve overall plan performance.

Reducing Fiduciary Risk for Businesses

Working with a retirement plan consultant can help businesses reduce their fiduciary risk by ensuring that their retirement plans are managed in the best interests of their employees.

Consultants can assist with regulatory compliance, investment oversight, and employee education, helping businesses fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.

Enhancing Employee Satisfaction and Retention

A well-designed retirement plan can contribute to higher employee satisfaction and retention.

By working with a retirement plan consultant, businesses can create retirement plans that meet employee needs and encourage long-term savings, leading to a more engaged and loyal workforce.

Maximizing Retirement Savings for Individuals

For individuals, retirement plan consulting can help maximize retirement savings by identifying opportunities for improvement and providing guidance on investment strategies.

By working with a consultant, individuals can optimize their retirement plan performance and secure a more comfortable financial future.

Choosing a Retirement Plan Consultant

Evaluating Credentials and Experience

When selecting a retirement plan consultant, it's essential to evaluate their credentials and experience.

Look for consultants who hold relevant certifications, such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designations, and have a proven track record of success in retirement plan consulting.

Assessing Communication and Client Service

Effective communication and client service are crucial when working with a retirement plan consultant. Ensure that the consultant you choose is responsive, attentive, and able to simplify complex concepts.

Considering Fees and Potential Conflicts of Interest

Finally, be sure to consider the fees associated with retirement plan consulting services and be aware of any potential conflicts of interest. Look for consultants who provide transparent fee structures and prioritize their clients' best interests.

Choosing a Retirement Plan Consultant


Retirement plan consulting offers significant value for both businesses and individuals seeking to optimize their retirement plans and maximize retirement savings.

By providing expert guidance on plan design, compliance, employee education, and investment strategies, retirement plan consultants can help ensure that retirement plans are effective and well-suited to the unique needs of businesses and individuals.

Retirement plan consultants play a crucial role in promoting readiness by helping businesses and individuals navigate the complex world of retirement planning.

By working with a knowledgeable and experienced consultant, businesses and individuals can enhance their retirement plans and improve their overall financial well-being.

Selecting a knowledgeable and experienced retirement plan consultant is essential to ensuring the success of your retirement planning efforts.

By carefully evaluating credentials, experience, communication skills, and fees, you can find a consultant who will provide the expert guidance and support needed to optimize your retirement plan and achieve your retirement goals.

Retirement Plan Consulting FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

Meet Retirement Planning Consultants in Your Area

Find Advisor Near You