Advisers now serve as independent consultants for larger clients.
Jamie Worrell, president of GPS Investment Advisors and managing director of 401(k) Advisors, was recently named one of the country’s 100 top retirement-plan advisers by PlanAdvisor Magazine. Worrell has more than 20 years of industry experience and currently leads a team of employees focused on creating successful retirement-plan experiences for employers and employees. In the past, Worrell has also been recognized as an inductee into the PlanAdvisors’ Hall of Fame and was voted as the 2011 Retirement Plan Advisor of the Year by PlanSponsor Magazine. Worrell holds a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.
PBN: Tell us a little bit about the selection criteria for this list, and how it feels to be recognized.
WORRELL: PlanSponsor and Plan Advisor Magazine compile this annual list of top advisers based on quantitative data (size, number and type of clients) submitted by investment-adviser consultants from across the U.S. The final selections are based on the data the magazine receives. We were happy to be recognized for the work we do.
PBN: What’s changed since you began in the industry?
WORRELL: First, advisers now serve as independent consultants for larger clients that, in the past, would only deal directly with their provider or through big-name firms. There’s also been a shift away from generalist advisers/insurance brokers to more specialized adviser-consultants who are dedicated to retirement planning. Second, due to increased regulations and new fee-disclosure requirements, companies are implementing formal committees and fiduciary compliance processes to protect themselves.
PBN: What’s one piece of advice you often give?
WORRELL: We advise clients to establish a process, follow it and document their decisions and process. The U.S. Department of Labor and the IRS oversee retirement plans and have power to levy fines and penalties on company officers responsible for overseeing these plans. So, our advice is centered on keeping clients out of trouble. With new 408(b)(2) regulations, we advise clients that they must understand the fees they are paying and the services they are receiving for those fees; they must determine whether those fees are reasonable in the marketplace. •