Earlier this month, former SEC lawyer and now Forbes columnist, Edward Siedle, launched a crowdfunding platform, Investigate My Retirement Plan, which is dedicated to helping participants to investigate retirement pensions.
According to Pensions & Investments, Siedle noted that through the new platform participants in defined benefit and contribution plans may propose forensic investigations and initiate fundraising to finance the inquires. All proceeds from the campaigns will go towards Siedle and his investigations.
Siedle stated in an article:
“The time is ripe to use crowdfunding to disrupt the fundamentally-flawed pension and retirement plan paradigm that has failed the nation’s retirement savers for decades. The existing paradigm, which specifically excludes the very individuals whose money is at risk, never did make any sense. Participants allowed no voice whatsoever in how the plans in which they invest are structured, or managed? That’s the way it’s been for over fifty years.”
The investigations’ key focuses include conflict of interest, fee disclosure, excessive fees, company stock allocation, and suitability of investment options.
Siedle explained that he plans to present the findings to officials that oversee the plans and post results, which will make them available to the public. Any actions that are stemmed from the findings would be up to the plan sponsor to take or participants to pursue.
In the same article, Siedle shared details about crowdfunding and how it can be used for pension investigations:
“Today participants pay the cost of the financial advisers their employers hire to handle plan matters yet lack access to experts of their own choosing to review decisions that are supposedly made solely with their best interests in mind. Lacking plan-specific information and expertise, participants are incapable of weighing-in on plan matters even if they wanted to. And, as mentioned earlier, the existing paradigm does not permit participant input.”
Also revealing the opinions of his new platform, Siedle recently shared:
“I’ve gotten quite a reaction so far since [the platform] launched.”
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