Tag: Important Updates

Powerhouse LA Team Joins Strategic Retirement Partners

Doug Bermudez and Erin Hall have joined Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP), a leading national retirement plan aggregator. Through their retirement plan consulting practice in the Los Angeles area, Bermudez and Hall work with organizations to drive overall retirement plan health with a focus on three pillars of service; fiduciary process, plan design and administration efficiency, and participant outcomes.

When asked why their team is making a move to SRP, Erin Hall states, “SRP has a passion and commitment to the retirement plan industry that perfectly aligns with what Doug and I have built with the Bermudez/Hall Retirement Group.”

Doug Bermudez added, “We’ve known the SRP team for a number of years. When the time came for us to make a move, we knew that SRP would provide the collaborative environment, back office operations, technology, and human capital we need to continue to deliver exceptional service to our clients.”

This partnership expands SRP’s footprint into the key market of Los Angeles and brings their offices to 19 nationwide. Additionally, as part of joining SRP, the Los Angeles based team will have the resources and strength of Global Retirement Partners (GRP) at their fingertips. Global Retirement Partners is a nationally recognized leader in the retirement plan consulting space, surpassing $38B in plan assets with over 4,200 plan clients.

Doug has over 25 years of tenure in the financial services industry and was with Wells Fargo Advisors since 2007. Erin joined Doug in 2012 after over a decade of working with corporate retirement plans. The team is leaving Wells Fargo Advisors, where they had been providing high-level service to both corporations and individuals through comprehensive financial advice.

“The commitment that Doug and Erin have shown to their clients and our industry is what initially caught SRP’s attention,” shared SRP’s Managing Partner, Jeff Cullen. “But what excites us more is their alignment with our culture and core values.”

 

About Strategic Retirement Partners
Strategic Retirement Partners is a nationwide independent retirement plan consulting services firm dedicated to providing guidance in decision-making and problem solving to employers and sponsors of retirement plans. With offices from coast to coast, Strategic Retirement Partners currently consults on over 720 corporate and non-profit plans and $10 billion in assets as of April 1, 2019.

 

 

Doug Bermudez, Erin Hall, and Jeff Cullen are registered representatives with and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Global Retirement Partners, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Global Retirement Partners and Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP) are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Global Retirement Partners employs (or contracts with) individuals who may be (1) registered representatives of LPL Financial and investment adviser representatives of Global Retirement Partners; or (2) solely investment adviser representatives of Global Retirement Partners. Although all personnel operate their businesses under the name Strategic Retirement Partners (SRP), they are each possibly subject to differing obligations and limitations and may be able to provide differing products or services.

Strategic Retirement Partners Embraces Fiduciary Excellence

Our firm was founded on the principles of integrity, professionalism and exceptional client service. We are also deeply committed to continuous improvement. Our dedication to doing what is best for you, our clients, prompted us to engage CEFEX, the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC to audit our processes.

We contacted the CEFEX organization and requested an independent analyst provide us with a comprehensive independent review. The process was rigorous and their assessment took months to complete. Now, after going through the audit and carefully evaluating our procedures, we are proud to share with you that Strategic Retirement Partners is a CEFEX certified Investment Advisor.

This certification signifies our commitment to uphold the highest level of fiduciary care and that has a direct impact on you, your plan and your employees. As a plan sponsor, the Department of Labor (DOL) identifies the following as your fiduciary responsibilities:

  • Act solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries and with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them;
  • Act prudently in the faithful performance of all duties;
  • Follow the plan documents (unless inconsistent with ERISA);
  • Diversify plan investments; and
  • Pay only reasonable plan expenses.

By working with Strategic Retirement Partners, you can rest assured that our actions align with these responsibilities; our prudent process aims to help you limit liability and build a retirement plan that strives to improve retirement outcomes.

CEFEX is an independent global assessment and certification organization. They work closely with industry experts to provide comprehensive assessment programs designed to improve the fiduciary practices of investment advisors, stewards (retirement plans, foundations and endowments, etc.), investment managers, and other financial service providers. CEFEX confers a formal certification for those firms that are willing to undergo an independent audit and able to demonstrate that they fully conform to high standards which are substantiated in case law and fiduciary best practices.

At Strategic Retirement Partners, we follow well-defined processes, grounded in best practices, so that we can make sound, objective, and consistent decisions in service to our clients. CEFEX certification offers testament to the fact that we understand the importance of paying close attention to everything from high level strategies and policies all the way down to the details of our business practices. The CEFEX Mark seeks to make our clients confident that we are worthy of their trust.

We wanted to share news of the important recognition of our commitment to fiduciary excellence and continuous improvement. CEFEX certification is yet another way we tangibly demonstrate that serving our clients’ best interests is our highest priority.

 

 

1 Department of Labor. “Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities.” DOL.gov. Sept. 2017

CEFEX and Strategic Retirement Partners are separate, unaffiliated entities.

SRP Earns Fiduciary Excellence Certification

Strategic Retirement Partners is honored to announce our certification from the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC (CEFEX). This certification is only granted by CEFEX to firms that demonstrate adherence to fiduciary best practices. It is a hallmark accomplishment for Strategic Retirement Partners as it signifies conformity to a recognized global standard of fiduciary excellence.

Strategic Retirement Partners was subject to a rigorous, multi-month audit and certification process guided by the “Prudent Practices® for Investment Advisors”, an industry-recognized handbook that is grounded in law, regulation and professional best practices.

“CEFEX is pleased to add Strategic Retirement Partners to an elite group of investment advisors who have demonstrated adherence to professional practices that define a standard of fiduciary excellence,” said CEFEX Managing Director Carlos Panksep. “They have earned the right to use the CEFEX Mark which indicates the firm’s established practices are aligned with investors’ interests and worthy of trust and confidence.”

Jeffrey Cullen, Managing Partner and Managing Director, Great Lakes of Strategic Retirement Partners said, “Strategic Retirement Partners applied for CEFEX to verify our practice is trustworthy and transparent. Receiving the CEFEX certification, we uphold the global fiduciary standard. We embrace an orderly and efficient process, so we are positioned to help our clients make better business and financial decisions.”

Strategic Retirement Partners is certified for Investment Advisor Certification, which is registered and can be viewed at www.cefex.org.

CEFEX certification standards are substantiated by legislation, case law and regulatory opinion letters from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA), the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and the Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement Systems Act (UMPERSA) in the U.S. A full copy of the standard can be downloaded from CEFEX at www.cefex.org and a summary can be viewed by clicking on Strategic Retirement Partners online CEFEX certificate.

 

2019 Retirement Plan Limits

2019 Retirement Plan Limits

As published in IRS News Release IR-2018-211, November 1, 2018

Highlights of Changes for 2019

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000.

The catch-up contribution limit for individuals age 50 or older remains at $6,000.

The income limit for the Saver’s Credit (also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $64,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $63,000; $48,000 for heads of household, up from $47,250; and $32,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $31,500.