- About Us
- Why Summit?
We provide the tools and techniques that improve participant outcomes and help individuals take responsibility for their financial future. At the same time, we help you maintain the vigilance needed to meet fiduciary obligations and ensure the health of your plan.
To stay competitive, your company has to provide enough choices and flexibility to give employees sufficient autonomy and control over the plan they choose.
Summit Retirement Plans is a leading independent provider of retirement plan design and consulting, administration and investment due diligence services. We provide a comprehensive array of retirement plan services to defined contribution and defined benefit plan sponsors.
Summit Retirement Plans provides the most competitive full-service, cost-effective plans in today’s marketplace. We are problem solvers approaching everything from a “solution based” starting point, with passion, conviction and integrity. Our client service team delivers customized retirement plan solutions to companies looking for flexible, prudent methods to assist their employees in developing a plan to secure a comfortable retirement.
Our clients are based throughout the United States and range in size from small closely held companies to very large corporations, encompassing all industry sectors including for profit as well as not for profit organizations.
Summit Financials commitment to promoting prudent financial and retirement planning strategies among your plan participants is unwavering. Your employees will learn more about how to plan for their retirement from us than anyone else in this industry.
All of the educational meetings we conduct are customized to address the unique features of your plan. We develop a series of seminars designed to bring your participants “up the ladder”, starting with retirement and investment basics to ending with the development of a comprehensive income plan in retirement.
Measuring the “success” of our educational seminars has been well documented and can be measured in terms of improved participation following our sessions as well as improvements in employee morale.
The “real” value of our education seminars is that employees learn exactly what they need to do to accumulate appropriate income replacement levels at retirement. As an employer it will be rewarding to know that the expense you incur to deliver a “first rate” plan are not being taken for granted.
Summit Financial will assist your Plan Fiduciaries in developing a “prudent” process encompassing all aspects of operating your qualified plan. In addition to ongoing documentation, important fee disclosure and annual 404(c) notices for plan participants will be drafted and delivered by Summit Financial.
Summit will coordinate meetings with Plan Fiduciaries and Investment Committee Members no less frequently than annually to document the due diligence process. Minutes from all meetings will be provided and maintained in client due diligence files.
As needed due diligence process includes thorough review of investments, plan design, plan documents, plan administration, plan recordkeeping services, compliance and all plan expenses.
The “real” value of Summit Financials risk management services is ongoing recognition of fiduciary risk, and directed process aimed at mitigating risk. Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Liability Insurance Policies as well as large “Audit” plans may require fiduciary risk mitigation process which we will help you document.
See also: Plan Implementation case study
Registered Representatives from Summit Financial will meet with every one of your employees to make sure they fully understand your plan, and how they can use it to achieve adequate income replacement levels at retirement.
We customize income replacement strategies for every participant and we make sure they understand what it takes to develop appropriate asset allocation strategies.
Helping your employees “make-it” to retirement is not our objective, our goal is to help them develop a prudent income plan to ensure their efforts result in a comfortable retirement with an eye towards longevity, inflation and continued market risk.
The “real” value of our individual retirement planning sessions is that your employees will understand how much to save, how to invest, and how to transition into prudent income planning strategies to achieve and maintain a comfortable retirement while minimizing risk. They will understand and credit your company in helping them make their long term financial goals a reality.
Registered Representatives from Summit Financial will work with your Plan Trustees and Plan Fiduciaries to help you develop your Investment Committee. We will guide you by customizing a written investment policy statement which will become the foundation of your prudent investment selection and monitoring process.
Summit Financial is completely independent and totally revenue neutral when it comes to the selection of investments for your qualified retirement plan. We meet with your Investment Committee on an annual or semi-annual basis to perform due diligence reviews and document the process.
Our process assists in the screening and selection of “no-load” investment options for your plan with an eye toward expenses, risk adjusted and total returns, performance consistency, management tenure, and style purity.
Summit Financial will explain your new “prudent investment process” to your plan participants during employee education seminars to make sure they understand the commitment your investment committee is making in the ongoing monitoring process.
The “real” value of our investment services is that the “prudent process” we help you customize will increase the likelihood that the investment options in your plan will be above average, benefitting your plan participants. A second “real” value is that your “prudent process” will minimize Fiduciary risk related to the investment process.
See also: Investment Line-up case study
Summit Financials unique administration model assigns one retirement plan expert to deliver accountable, consistent, dependable service that our clients rely on.
Unlike most firms, we don’t “pool” administrative departments to increase our volume because these “efficiencies” come at the expense of speed and accuracy, costs we simply will not accept for our valued clients.
All of your ongoing administrative, technical, and legal questions are answered with one phone call to your Summit Financial Representative resulting in less disruption and far greater efficiency for you.
The “real” value of our approach to plan administration is that it leads to a familiar relationship that is comfortable for our clients. They learn to trust that all of their qualified retirement plan needs are being met, and their Summit Financial Representative is taking every precaution to guard against future problems.
We will work closely with you to make sure your plan design is perfectly suited to address the unique needs of your organization. If it’s a “qualified” or “non-qualified” plan, you can be sure our team has worked with it.
Our practice of assigning one retirement plan expert to administer your plan is a unique approach that allows us to deliver a number of strategic advantages starting with the ability to efficiently administer a completely customized plan design quite unlike the “standardized” plan designs that have flooded the marketplace in recent years.
In addition to basic 401(k) Plans, we specialize in creative plan designs including cross-tested, new comparability and safe harbor plans which allow business and business owners to take full advantage of IRS plan limits.
Defined “Benefit” Pension Plans, yes we do that too. We have three enrolled actuaries on staff at Summit Financial and our specialty is helping Plan Sponsors regain control over their plans following the Pension Protection Act. We are uniquely positioned to work with Pension Plan Sponsors looking for expert actuarial and consulting services.
The “real” value of our plan design and consulting services is that all of our clients know their plan “fits” their specific needs whether that’s to promote plan participation among specific employee groups, reduce overall employer plan costs, or “carve-out” specific employee groups for enhanced benefits.
Summit Financial sponsors its own “pre-approved” plan document and employs a full-time plan document specialist to oversee all IRS document requirements.
One critical advantage to using our own plan document is that we can customize your plan to address your company’s unique needs.
Summit Financials in-house document specialist is responsible for amending your plan as your companies design needs change, minimizing the time required to make changes, and minimizing the costs associated with plan amendments.
The first step in any Summit Financial engagement is a complete and thorough review of your existing plan, and amendment onto a new plan document that is “up-to-date” with all IRS prescribed amendments.
The “real” value of our in-house plan document services is that we reduce costs associated with ongoing plan amendment services and we reduce the potential for plan document failure in the future.
See also: Attention to Detail case study
Summit Financial partners with National “Industry leaders” to deliver recordkeeping and custodial services to the Plan Sponsors we work for.
All of the recordkeeping partners we work with deliver state of art daily valuation access to plan sponsor and plan participant alike, multi-lingual service models, data encryption and system back-up protection to protect valuable plan data, national service scope, and competitive cost structure with no set-up or discontinuance charges.
The recordkeeping partners we utilize offer multi-fund family investment selection with no proprietary fund requirements. There are no limits to the number of investment options that we can use to build a diversified investment menu for your participants.
The “real” value of the recordkeeping and custodial service models that we deliver to our clients is that it delivers “best in class” recordkeeping with national size and scope with fee structures commensurate with these economies of scale with “best in class” expert local service delivered by the team at Summit Financial Corporation.