How to find a benefit advisor

How to Choose the Right Benefit Advisor

September 22, 2016 - 12:46 pm

Employee benefit advisors offer a wide range of services — and a wide range of ability when it comes to delivering them. The road to choosing the right benefit advisor requires creating an roadmap, structured evaluation process that defines your overall benefit objectives and where you want to go.

Once you’ve dissected the written proposals and narrowed your list of benefit advisor candidates to two or three, invite each of the finalists to a separate face-to-face interview with your organization’s key personnel. To add consistency to this evaluation process, make sure the same individuals from your organization attend every interview.

How each benefit advisor firm answers your standardized list of questions will help to facilitate a true apples-to-apples comparison, allowing you to make an educated decision about who to engage as you move forward in designing a benefits plan.

 

Questions for Benefit Advisor Candidates

  1. What do you know about our individual business and how might that knowledge translate into better understanding our employee benefit needs?
  2. How would you improve upon our current employee benefit plan?
  3. What is your basic philosophy and approach to the employee benefit selection process, particularly cost containment and consumer-driven and wellness offerings?
  4. Why do you believe your firm has the best marketplace relationships, leverage and knowledge to negotiate the most favorable terms for our organization?
  5. What kind of benchmarking and accountability tools do you use, if any, to help employers analyze information and make better-informed decisions moving forward?
  6. What type of financial reports/summaries do you provide, and how often do you provide them?
  7. How do you keep up with trends in the industry, such as legislative or underwriting changes, and new or innovative
    products?
  8. How many key people at your company will work with this account? What are their areas of expertise, and how many years of experience does each of them have?
  9. Outline for us your firm’s financial stability.
  10. Do you outsource any of your functions to other brokers or firms?

 

Questions for Benefit Advisor References

  1. What is the size of your firm?
  2. How long have you had a relationship with this advisor?  Would you characterize your benefits broker as more of a partner or vendor?
  3. How effective has your current benefits advisory firm been in negotiating or renegotiating your employee benefit plan?
  4. What is this firm’s greatest strength? Its greatest weakness?
  5. How well do you feel they have kept themselves and you informed of changes in the employee benefit space, including product updates, regulatory changes, and industry trends?

 

Questions for Internal Discussion

  1. Did you find that the presentation contained good information, data, and details, or was it more fluff and
    personality-driven?
  2. Was there chemistry between the presenter(s) and your key internal team members?
  3. What was unique about this firm compared with others?

 

We hope you will find the above Q&A roadmap for finding the perfect benefit advisor for your group is helpful.  Please contact us for any questions you might have and we look forward to serving from you.

 

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