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Understandability, transparency, and cost containment are our primary objectives when constructing a retirement plan.

We strive to design and implement an effective retirement plan design that emphasizes long-term success for employees/participants. We primarily use low-cost index funds and value added active strategies to create a streamlined, but diversified array of investments for employees/participants. We design the plan, and provide ongoing education, to reduce behavioral deficiencies common to many investors.

Our Experience

Since the firm’s inception in 1979, we have acted as an investment adviser and fiduciary for trusts and retirement plans. For 40 years, we have managed corporate pension plans. Today, we manage/advise over $400 million of pension, profit sharing, and 401(k) plan assets.

Our Capabilities

Willis Investment Counsel offers the following services for 401(k), pension, and other ERISA clients:

  • Investment policy development
  • Investment management; direct management of pension fund portfolios
  • Participant menu option design (default funds, model portfolios, auto-investment options, etc.)
  • 401(k) plan mutual fund selection, management, and monitoring
  • Investment tracking and benchmarking
  • ERISA fiduciary compliance
  • Trustee and pension/401(k) committee reporting
  • Education and counseling (client reviews, investment education, documentation, ERISA news, etc.)

Willis Investment Counsel partners with other well-established firms that provide plan administration, recordkeeping, compliance services, general educational materials, and additional fiduciary support.

Because we believe in a straightforward, streamlined approach to retirement plan design and ongoing management, we independently select individual stocks and bonds and/or mutual funds that we believe will accomplish our clients’ objectives.

Firm Insight

The Willis Investment Counsel research and portfolio management team periodically publishes its views on the retirement landscape including plan design, risk management, diversification, fiduciary responsibility, ERISA developments, behavior, and investment strategy.

Retirement Plan Design: Automatic Enrollment – August 2019
The Recent Uptick in ERISA Class-Action Litigation and How We Design Retirement Plans to Mitigate Those Risks – July 2019
Common 401(K) Plan Mistakes – February 2019
Retirement Plan Design: Target Date Funds – November 2018